Before talking about weather or not your system needs a flush you need to understand what the ‘sludge’ is. The ‘sludge’ is a form of rust. When you combine different metals, water and oxygen you get rust. There is one particular type of heating system that is more prone to sludge and that is the more traditional open vented system, which is the system with a water tank (feed and expansion tank) in the loft or high up in an airing cupboard. The reason these systems are more prone to the buildup of ‘sludge’ or rust is because oxygen can get into the system through the feed and expansion tank. If this system had a small leak in it say on a radiator valve or on a pipe or on a radiator the rust build up would accelerate. The reason being fresh oxygenated water would be fed into the system from the feed and expansion tank and combined with the metals in the system would cause more rust or ‘sludge’.
If however you do not have a feed and expansion tank (sealed systems) but you are having to top up the water pressure in your central heating system regularly then this will also accelerate the production of rust. Regular loss of water pressure in a sealed system does mean there is a fault somewhere in the system and should be investigated as soon as possible to avoid bigger repair bill if not addressed.
In order to prevent the rusting to occur in the 1st place a central heating inhibitor / protector should be added to the central heating water. These solutions do expire over a certain amount of time depending on which brand you use so this should also be checked during any heating system service.
Now onto the question of ‘do I need a flush?’ One of the easy ways to tell if your system has a build up of sludge and therefore inefficiently would be to feel your radiators after the heating has been on for 20 – 30 mins. If the bottom middle is significantly colder than the top middle of the radiator then that means there is something blocking the radiator and that something will be sludge. The downstairs radiators are more likely to be the worst affected by any sludge build up.
Another symptom would be a noisy boiler when the boiler is reaching temperature, noisy or failed heating pump.
Keep it Clean
After you have had a central heating flush it’s a good idea to fit a central heating filter on the system to protect the system by collecting any rust that occurs throughout the year. then during the boiler service the central heating filter can be cleaned and it can indicate whether or not the system requires more inhibitor or not.
Flushing a central heating system usually takes between half a day and full day to complete depending on the size of the system and the amount of sludge in the system.
If however you are looking to change your boiler building regulations and boiler manufacturers state a the central heating system must be flushed before the boiler installation is complete. If the system is not flushed the warranty on your boiler is usually void. There has been talks of adding central heating filters to the building regulations because of their benefits.
The central heating filters I recommend are the MagnaClean Pro 2.
It’s very important to get your boiler serviced regularly. The manufacturers state this must be once a year which is a good general rule however if you have a boiler is in a building that is not occupied all year round then you could get away with having the service done less often.
However for those of you who do get your boiler serviced regularly your boiler may not be getting a proper service.
The purpose of a boiler service is to clear any ash from the main heat exchanger and the condensate trap, which is caused by the burnt bugs, dust, bits of plants etc that can be sucked into the boiler when it’s being used. Depending on the boiler other checks would be done on other parts such as the fan, expansion vessel, water filter and sensors. A check would be done on the boilers performance by checking the amount of gas that is being used and the emissions coming out of the flue. The boilers safety devices would also be checked.
There are some manufacturers, Worcester being one of them who state in their manufacturer’s instructions to only clean the main heat exchanger if the emission / pressure reading are outside certain parameters. To me this doesn’t make sense. I say why let the readings go outside the parameters in the 1st place. If the readings went outside the parameters that would mean the boiler is not working efficiently. That is why I do a proper service every time. If you get a service make sure the engineer does not just do the tests to see if the boiler needs a service but actually does a service. After all you are paying for a service so you may as well get a service.
And one more thing, it’s really handy to keep the boiler manufacturer’s instruction and to have them ready for the engineer for the service. Most engineers should have access to digital versions of the manufacturer’s instructions however a paper copy is always easier to work with. There will be information in the manufacturer’s instructions on how to carry out a proper service and the correct readings the boiler should be performing at.
If Pavlou Plumbers currently service your boiler then you’ll be sent an email reminder when the service is due otherwise get in touch to arrange a boiler service before the summer ends.
Stay Gas Safe
This customer in Rossett wasn’t happy with his en-suite because it had a shower cubicle with walls on 3 sides which allowed very little light into the shower cubicle. The customer and his wife referred to the shower cubicle as ‘the coffin’ because it was so dark and horrible. No work had been done to the en-suite since the property was built around 15 yrs ago however the toilet and basin were in good condition. We were able to re-use the old toilet and basin which saved the customer some money. We removed the shower cubicle, removed the toilet and basin, removed the small stud wall, installed the bath, fitted the water wall boards around the bath, tiled one wall then fitted the toilet and basin back in position. I always recommend installing water wall boards around the shower area because they will last longer than the grout in between the tiles and they are a lot easier to clean, and they come in various colours and styles.
I would just like to say a big THANK YOU to all my customers who have taken the time to write a testimonial for Pavlou Plumbers. It really means a lot. Thanks again.
The testimonials can be found at www.pavlouplumbers.co.uk/testimonials
A customer in Hawarden had an old Worcester 280 which was expelling water from the pressure relief valve and the hot water temperature was not constant. Like a car, when a poorly maintained boiler gets to a certain age parts will start to fail one at a time. Its at this point the boiler owner needs to decide if they would be happy to wait for the boiler parts to fail one by one. Is happy to have to wait in for a gas engineer to attend to look at the boiler then wait in again to repair the boiler when the replacement part is sourced. Is Happy to deal with no heating each time the boiler breaks down.
Boiler break down covers are a good idea for customer who have an older boiler however some companies will not cover your boiler when it passes a certain age. I have heard of cases where customers have been paying a monthly fee for years then needed to make a claim only to be told that the customers heating system is not covered!
This Hawarden based customer who had the boiler pictured below installed decided he did not want to pay a monthly fee for his boiler break down cover because this combi boiler comes with a 7 yr manufacturers warranty. Other boilers come with a massive 10 yr warranty! Instead this boiler owner will have hassle free heating for at least 7 yrs (providing the boiler is serviced every year), and lower gas bills.
If you would like any advice on the state of your boiler then please do not hesitate to get in touch by phone 01244 88 88 01 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Its been a long time since my last post. The main reason for this is I’ve been busy repairing boilers and heating systems and replacing boilers over these last few weeks. If you have a non – condensing boiler, specially if your boiler was installed before the year 2000 then its likely that the boiler is coming to the end of its life cycle. The average life cycle of a boiler is 15yrs. If you have had your boiler serviced every year and the manufacturer of the boiler is a reputable one then your boiler could still be running fine, and it could last for up to 25yrs. However if the boiler has not been well maintained and it is a lesser known manufacturer then I would recommend saving for a replacement boiler. In 2005 it was made compulsory to install only condensing boilers due to them being a lot more efficient. This means it was not possible to buy an non – condensing boiler after 2005.
How do I know if I have a non – condensing boiler?
The main reason why condensing boilers are more efficient is because they extract more energy / heat out of the fumes that leave the boiler through the flue (chimney if you like) of the boiler. Due to more heat being taken out of the fumes condensing boilers have a plastic internal tube, which is fine because the fumes are not hot enough to melt plastic. A non – condensing boiler must have an all metal flue because the fumes are a lot hotter.
Here are a couple of pictures of old non – condensing, less efficient boilers.
Below is a picture of a more efficient condensing boiler
If you are still uncertain if you have a condensing boiler or not, or you would like a boiler service would like a more efficient boiler then get in touch to arrange an appointment.
If you are thinking about renovating your property then I would strongly recommend installing underfloor heating because it is much cheaper to run and provides a much better performance. Due to the source of heat coming from the ground, the temperature of the water running through the underfloor heating pipes is much lower than the water temperature in radiators. Lower water temperature means your boiler works less which means lower bills. Have a look at the YouTube video below for more information on why underfloor heating is better than radiators. Pavlou Plumbers are BPEC qualified underfloor heating installers so please get in touch for more info or to book a review.
[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaPo7x0KlKg[/youtube]
A very happy customer in Ewloe wanted to sell their property however their bathroom and downstairs W/C had seen better days, so they invested in having a new bathroom and downstairs WC installed. A wise move in my opinion. The painting and flooring was arranged by the customer in the pictures below.
I supplied and fitted an electric shower in Chester yesterday. The tenant was very happy to have a working shower again.