Have just had the bladder, vessel, release valve, hose and some radiator
lockshields changed by British Gas, because they were totally blocked by
sludge. The water came out fairly blackish with bits in it.
I had invested in a tube of X400 to remove the sludge, then some X100 to use
as an inhibitor. I told the Gas man this and he said:
"Don't use the X400 on this system, it will turn the sludge to concrete."
Is he talking a lot of 'gas' and trying to sell me their £400 PowerFlush
instead, or does he have a point?
Basically how can I do this on the cheap, without creating concrete.
I'm sure the powerflush is good and it will work. £400 sounds quite
cheap to me as they quoted me about £800. Anyway I'm doing it myself
using Fernox. I drained the entire system yesterday several times until
the water came out clear. I also had to clean the header tank as it was
full of brown stuff. I put the cleaner in and (rather disconcertingly) a
few radiators downstairs didn't heat up and I ended up turning all the
other radiators off just to get the pump pumping round the radiators
that were blocked - this worked. However this morning a couple of
radiators wouldn't go again so I turned off the upstairs and the
downstairs seems to be okay at the moment. Does anyone know if I'm
causing permanent damage doing this? I was going to leave it in for a
week (it says you can on the bottle) and then drain it on sunday but I
may drain it all on friday if I can get a day off work.
Then I'll stick the inhibitor in and hopefully say goodbye to these
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Your system has (or had) a corrosion problem which is corroding the
insides of the radiators. Since it is a sealed system, the usual causes
don't apply. It may be an old problem if the system once had a feed &
expansion tank with an older boiler. If so, it should have been flushed
before fitting a new boiler. You need to find and rectify that fault
I probably shouldn't ask, but did you have a new boiler fitted in
recent years by a Big Gas company?
If you can do a spot of heating pipework & connecting, then hire a
power flushing pump and buy the chemicals from the hire company & DIY.
Probably under £100.
You can then do it for longer and more thoroughly than a contractor.
IMHO, even this is unlikely to shift all the black magnetite sludge.
You may have other problems in the future but it is most important that
you ensure your radiators are not still being converted into sludge.
I agree, the previous homeowners should have had the system flushed, but
hey. BG engineer said it could be old flux etc. from when they had the new
radiator valves fitted, that had been left in the system to corrode.
The radiators are quite modern, about 10 years old, and don't have many cold
bits at the bottom, just 1 bit that isn't as scorching as the rest, so I'm
hoping the rads themselves are okay.
I know this is a broad statement, but British Gas = Lying Gits. I've had
old people in tears because BG had convinced them they needed a new boiler
when there was nothing wrong with it whatsoever (just not SEDBUK 'A'). I
personally despise them all. Each BG engineer is also a salesperson with a
sales target to meet, therefore make many unnecessary recommendations.
We had a BG "salesman", who was fantastic. He didn't try any hard sell,
everything he said made sense from what I'd already gleaned from this
group. He didn't tell us all the rad were corroded or that we needed a
power flush, etc. We were very impressed. Then he told us. He'd
resigned and was leaving his job the following week, LOL.
Been having problems with my heating system, downstairs rads not heating up
etc so thought of power flushing it.
Does anyone know if you can hire the units anywhere?
Had a quick look on the tool hire sites but can't see them anywhere.
I had a similar problem and was advised by British Gas engineer (Service
contract) I needed a powerflush. Had it done by a private plumber for
about £150 less than BG's quote, the plumber told me, whilst flushing, that
the system wasn't that dirty and after flush the problem of cold radiators
Eventually got British Gas back (different engineer) who immediately
diagnosed a faulty bypass valve and pump which instantly cured the problem
Needless to say, try as I might, British Gas refused to compensate me for
the unnecessary cost of the power flush, despite their engineer saying it
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