Power flushing is a spring clean for your central heating system, designed to get it working as good as new again. Water and chemicals are circulated through the pipes and radiators to clear away all the debris that builds up over time. The way it works is to gently lift limescale deposits, general sludge and bits of corroded metal from inside the heating system and flush them out. The method does not use high pressure, as you might have concluded from the name, so the joints and components of your central heating should not be damaged in any way. Rather than high pressure, powerflushing uses a high volume of water, with added chemicals, to do its job.
A power flush is usually recommended as a precautionary measure to prevent your boiler Cv storing from being damaged by debris in the system. It also helps keep your central heating working efficiently. If you are wondering whether your system needs a it or not, there are some obvious clues to look out for. If your boiler makes knocking or banging sounds when it is working hard, or if some radiators have cold spots or need frequent bleeding, powerflushing could be the cure.
A qualified plumber will carry out the service for you using fresh water, mixed with cleaning agents. The first step is to loosen all the debris in the system and this is done by flushing through with fast flowing water and chemicals. This is helped by creating turbulence with a flow reversal mechanism. Once all the sludgy bits have been dislodged they can be flushed out of the system with more clean water. After the the flushing is completed, you are left with completely fresh water in your central heating system. There’s no mess and the job is usually very straightforward and fairly inexpensive.
Like most maintenance work, power-flushing your central heating system every so often is a sound investment in the long term as it can prolong the life of the boiler and even keep heating costs down. Hard water areas are particularly prone to a build-up of limescale in the heat exchanger which significantly reduces the systems efficiency. If you are installing a new boiler in an old central heating system, you will need to clean the pipes and radiators first. This is to protect the new boiler and prevent it being damaged by old debris and sludge, and is usually a requirement of the manufacturer’s warranty.
Of course, power flushing is not guaranteed to solve every central heating problem. For extremely neglected and corroded systems, it may be too late. Sometimes there will still be some deposits in the system after a power flush has been carried out, and these can break loose at a later date. All central heating systems have a limited life span and although you can keep them going for much longer with regular maintenance and power flushing, sometimes replacement is the only option.