Power Flushing a CH system

Hi,
I was wondering if anyone here has had there ch system power flushed??
Did it make a big difference to the system??
Any recommendations for companies, we live in Cambridge.
We think that we sludge in the bottom of all our radiator downstairs as there all hot at the top and cool at the bottom.
Thanks Satpal & Asha
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Satpal Chander wrote:

Its very expensive just to cure that. You can do it yourself, certainly the rads. Search back in this ng on google for posting by Andy Hall how to do this, and cost of "pro" job ( up to 750)
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wrote:

I missed that article too. But if it were me doing this job I think I'd be looking at draining the system then lifting each rad off, take out to the garden and then flush with a garden hose.
Did that a few years ago on one of my houses to great effect.
PoP
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On Mon, 06 Oct 2003 21:19:39 +0100, PoP

That is basically my method, although in the original article there were a few additions, plus some that have been suggested along the way:-
- Drain the system and flush at least between header tank or filling loop and drain cock first.
- At a radiator I use a couple of new plastic cat litter trays to go under the radiator valve unions simply because they are a cheap and convenient container to catch any remaining water and some sludge.
- Some small sandwich bags and stout rubber bands are useful to put on the radiator tails before taking the radiators outside. Sludge and rusty water stain furnishings and carpets permanently.
- Using a pressure washer directed through each tail in turn and tapping the radiator with a soft mallet is good, but a mains pressure hose isn't bad either.
- Before refitting the radiator, flush some water through the system from the filling loop or header tank through each radiator valve in turn to clear as much crud from the pipes as possible. Also, consider cleaning and painting behind the radiator.
- Once the job is complete add some system cleanser when refilling and run hot for the recommended time - typically a week.
- Drain, flush and refill adding corrosion inhibitor.

.andy
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drain the CH system to install some TRVs and a ladder towel warmer to replace a radiator.
Before, the pump and diverter valve were noisy, I could hear the water and sludge being pumped around the pipes. Now the valve is silent in operation, the pump much quieter and the water circulation virtually silent. The boiler no longer sings like a kettle either. Two days effort at minimal cost. It helps to have a second person to handle the steel radiators. Dont forget the chemical flush and inhibitor a few days later.
It also pays to make sure all the drain points are working properly...or install one if you dont have one.
Cheers
Ian L.
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Don't forget to ask yourself these two questions. 1) How did it get like this in the first place? 2) What are you going to do to stop it happening again?
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On Mon, 6 Oct 2003 22:43:32 +0100, "Skip"
I guess I'll press the buzzer and give my tuppence worth.....

a) Whoever filled the system didn't put inhibitor in? b) A minor leak over a period of time caused new water to enter the CH system, diluting the inhibitor?

c) After flushing ensure that the system is refilled with the appropriate amount of inhibitor?
PoP
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I have used sentinal desludger ,cost about 12 for a litre. On a sealed sysytem it has to be introduced via a radiator. note that for both systems some removal of the water in the circuit is needed. This is left for a couple of weeks, then system is drained. This weekend I might be trying another method on another open vented system using the Kamco CP 90 power flushing machine. The weekend hire is about 65 and the flushing chemicals 35. From what i have seen ,on the web, this is what some professional central system cleaners use. Either way after cleaning the system I have been advised to add an inhibitor, again Sentinel do one. This is added when filling up the system.
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snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (dave) wrote

I would also be interested to hear about how the power flushing goes. How do you connect a power flusher to the system in the first place, is it hard??
I bought some sentinel Ferroquest from plumb centre, after advice from the guy behind the counter. He recommended that I do the following: 1) Run the system really hot 2) Half drain the system 3) Add the Sentinel Ferroquest 4) Run the system for about 6 hrs really hot 5) Completly drain the system and refill it 2 twice 6) When filling up the third time add some Sentinel X100 Inhibitor
Dose this sound right???
Cheers satpal
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On 7 Oct 2003 15:51:04 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@ntlworld.com (Satpal Chadner) wrote:

The principle is right but 6hrs may not be enough time if the system is badly sludged. Desludging chemicals do vary, so it would be wise to follow the maker's printed instructions. When he says half drain the system it really means drain enough to put in the chemical. If you are going to do this chemical treatment without clearing out any sludge first then it would be worth at least draining and flushing the system with plain water to begin with.
If you have bad sludging, then the flow of water in some parts of the system may be very poor, and then obviously the chemical treatment won't have the desired effect.
You may be able to improve this by turning off all radiators and then opening the valves one at a time in turn so that all the flow is directed through one radiator. Then turn it off and proceed to the next.
It is certainly worth giving this chemical treatment a go, but don't be too surprised if the effect is somewhat limited if used alone.
You may well be better off by draining the system and emptying the sludge out of each radiator first and then using the chemical flushing agent.
.andy
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snipped-for-privacy@ntlworld.com (Satpal Chadner) wrote in message (dave) wrote

With regards to the power flushing.
Using the Kamco ClearFlow CF30. Power flushing open vented central heating system with a total of 9 rads. Its not as easy as you are led to belive by the Kamco leaflets, but its worth the time and effort. Does take some working out and some plumbing and heating knowledge is needed. Was hired from Alexandra Tool Hire. Total cost of hire for the weekend + Monday + chemicals was under 150.
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I'll add a little more explanation
In my experience the major cause of "sludging" on open vented systems is poor design/configuration of the pipework. If this is the cause in your case then this needs addressing at the same time or the problem will be back.
Skip
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I am sorry for you all. the simple truth is that getting a system properly power flushed is the only way to go.
i should know, its what i do for a living.
forgive me if i sound arrogant, it is not intended. the advice given by such people as andy hall, will do some good. certainly it will result in radiators being cleared of loose debris in the radiators. however, it will not clean a system like a power flush will. how could it. often the cause of the circulation problems is corroded radiators, in turn caused usually by poor installation pipework.
the facts:
1. you will never stop corrosion in radiators. never. why do you think that sentinel and fernox list their products as "inhibitor", and not "corrosion proofer". of course it will slow corrosion process down.
2. power flushing blasts the whole system with an acid, pipes, boiler, radiators... the whole lot. the pump on the power flushing unit is at least 4 times more powerfull than a domestic unit, and when coupled with the fact that you can pump backwards round the system as well as forwards, the process currently has no rivals.
3. Andy hall. can i tell you just how many people i have sorted out through a power flush after they have done your run-around dare i say dangerous approach to system cleaning. people will of course go for cheap. but how cheap are new carpets/clothes when they spill black iron oxide all over them. they do you know. nearly all i have been to after they have tried to do the work themselves have stained carpets. power flush= no stains. none. i say again, the number of people who have called me after attempting their own chenmical flush. it just doesn't do the job!
what can i say in conclusion? if it works for you, then well done. if it doesn't... you were warned!
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On 19 Oct 2003 11:21:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@dsl.pipex.com (chris) wrote:

Not it isn't. If the system were properly cared for with inhibitor in the first place, there would be no need for flushing. If it has not been, then power flushing is *one* option - certainly not the only one.

You should be aware that this NG does have rules about commercial posting. While your post is in response to a question, suggesting that the service that you offer is the *only* solution is verging on unnacceptability. It is *a* solution and nothing more. At the prices typically charged, it is unneccessarily expensive and poor value for money.

My suggested method of removing radiators, flushing them with a pressure washer outside the property, flushing the pipes to the installation points of the radiators and also circulating a chemical agent, will be at least as effective, if not more so than power flushing. For one reason, the exit route for any accumulated material is much closer to the radiator.
If you wish to dispute that principle, then please supply independent evidence (i.e. not from yourself, a manufacturer of machines or chemicals).

Perfectly well, since the pressure can be applied at the radiators themselves and the crud carried immediately out.

(as you see them)

.. and quite considerably if you follow the maker's directions and test and top up inhibitor regularly. On my own system, which is 18 years old and has always been maintained religiously, there was virtually no accululated sludge in radiators and mush of the material flushed out was copper swarf from the original installation.

.... apart from taking the radiators and flushing them as well as flushing through each pipe individually in the system so that debris is removed via the shortest path and not pumped around.

Then clearly they didn't do it properly.

No you may not. It is not dangerous if followed correctly. Please explain the basis for your assertion.

If you read my posts in general, you would know that I am the last person to go for "cheap". However, I certainly do believe in cost effectiveness, with the emphasis on effectiveness.
On other systems that I have cleaned for friends and neighbours, I have been able to achieve very effective cleaning for about a tenth of the cost of power flushing.

Which is why I have been careful to state in *every* post that I have made on this subject to take care about release of iron compounds and that they are indellible dyes.

But how effective? Questionnable effectiveness and certainly highj cost.
I would put it to you that your service is a "distress" sale and is priced accordingly, along with emergency plumbers, drain clearers and equivalent predatory operations.

If you just put in chemical agent and pump it round, it will do something, but clearly the standard CH pump is limited in what it can do. Hence the suggestion of removing radiators and flushing at their connection points.... Once most of the debris is removed mechanically, a chemical flush under CH pump pressure completes the job.

Just like the Institute of Plumbers considers that DIY be limited to "putting up a few shelves" and that anything more is beyond Mr. Average. Considering that said organisation requires no membership qualifications beyond "experience" (whatever that is); I would lump your proposals in the same category as that.
If this were a newsgroup the main purpose of which were to offer solutions to issues by recommending commercial contractors, then that would be one thing. However it is not; it is a DIY group and it is not reasonable to assert that a commercial solution is the only way to go, when it obvious and demonstrable that there are perfectly good DIY methods. .andy
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Thanks for the sympathy but its not required unfortunately for you. I have both removed and flushed out individual radiators and powerflushed a system. The first method is labour intensive but really does get the crap put of each individual rad. After recently hiring a powerflushing unit it has restored a very old system to excellent working order.In fact some old the rads haven't produced heat in years and are now working great. If given the choice of spending huge amounts of money ( have been quoted between 450 to 750 )on just a flush, then i would spend that money on fitting new rads. Hire a the unit for a few quid, do a little research you will be pleased you made the effort. One full day with a mate will do it. I did it by myself in a full day and that included having to replace a section of pipe and completely removing the F& E tank taking it into the garden and using a jetwash to clean it out,know any one that would do that as well? Like the old adage.. if you want something doing well.. do it yourself.
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