Your Power Flushing Myths Busted

Power flushing is the most effective way to remove sludge and blockages from a central heating system, but some plumbers struggle to convince homeowners that this is a service worth paying for.

So Matthew Bygate, Lead Engineer at Gower Plumbing & Gas, identifies some of the misconceptions around power flushing and how this service could benefit you and your family.

POWER FLUSHING MYTH #1 – POWER FLUSHING WILL CAUSE LEAKS IN MY HEATING SYTEM?

This is highly unlikely because most power flush systems are designed so that the maximum pressure is two bars or less. It is a high flow rate that makes power flushing effective, not high pressure.

Some systems may have radiators with localised deep corrosion pits, with only a scab of rust preventing the system water from leaking out. The vigorous flow rate required to mobilise sludge and deposits may dislodge the scab, leading to a leak from the radiator.  The advanced stage of corrosion means that the leak would occur in due course,  even without a power flush. If the problem is revealed by the flushing process, it is better that it occurs whilst a heating engineer is present to resolve the problem.

POWER FLUSHING MYTH #2 – YOU CAN’T POWER FLUSH MICROBORE SYSTEMS

This is incorrect. You CAN power flush most microbore systems, but it is wise to allow more time than normal for the flush. Before quoting for a power flush job on a microbore system, we first fire the boiler and check the condition and heat output of each individual radiator.

If the radiators have twin entry valves (both valves at one end of the radiator) we recommend changing them to conventional radiator valves. Power flushing will be more effective, and the householder will gain more even heat output as a side benefit.

Microbore systems with 8 or 10mm tubing can sometimes have a problem with a build-up of thick sludge in sharp bends in the pipe. As a result, we always pre-treat microbore systems with a flushing chemical to loosen up and mobilise the corrosion debris as much as possible prior to the power flush.

POWER FLUSHING MYTH #3 -THE PRESSURE FROM A POWER FLUSHING PUMP WILL DAMAGE THE BOILER

This is most definitely an old wives tale! For safety reasons the internal workings  of a boiler have to be tested by the manufacturer to withstand 4.5 bar. The maximum pressure of a power flushing pump will never exceed much more than 2 bar, and therefore won’t over-pressurise and damage the internal workings of a boiler.

POWER FLUSHING MYTH #4 – YOU CAN’T FIRE A COMBINATION BOILER TO HEAT UP THE WATER DURING A POWER FLUSH

In most instance you can fire the boiler during a power flush, but you might you need to remember that a combi boiler needs at least 0.5 bar water pressure before it will fire, and non-firing is usually related to an apparent lack of pressure.

If the boiler won’t fire because the system circulator has been removed in order to connect in a power flushing pump, some boilers can be fooled into continuing to fire by adjusting the boiler setup/control panel.

POWER FLUSHING MYTH #5 – A MAGNETIC FILTER WILL DO THE SAME JOB

Whilst installing a permanent filter is a good idea, it can only remove debris from the water passing through it, invariably leaving debris elsewhere in the system to break loose at a later date. Most permanent filters have a limited capacity and the debris in many systems would overwhelm their capacity. Relying on the standard circulator pump to remove corrosion debris can never be as effective as the much higher flow rate of a power flushing pump.

POWER FLUSHING MYTH #6 – ANYONE CAN CARRY OUT A POWER FLUSH

This isn’t advisable as most plumbing engineers undergo specialist training to carry out a power flush correctly.  This training includes learning about what NOT to do when carrying out a power flush as well as hints and tips on how to carry out the most effective work.

BOOK YOUR POWER FLUSH TODAY

At Gower Plumbing & Gas we use state of the art equipment so our engineers are able to power flush your system to get it back to optimum operation.  Call us today on 01792 209407 to book your power flush appointment.