Home Radiator Power Flush/Balancing/MagnaClean/Boiler Service???

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Posted 14th Nov
Hi

Anyone done a PowerFlush on radiators and Balancing???

If so, from where and how much did you pay?

Also, anyone installed a MagnaClean?
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Plumber, round here there £500-600...
After we had a complete blockage caused by sludge in the pipes on our system, I drained a radiator and used a couple of hosepipes hooked up to both taps, turned off all the radiator and other valves and opened one at a time and used mains water pressure, fully opened both valves on one radiator at a time and gave the radiator a bit of a bash with my hand, as I couldn't find the rubber mallet, to loosen up the sludge so it would be washed out. Worked a treat, cost nothing.
Edited by: "melted" 14th Nov
from the top

Sludge is Iron Oxide and caused by oxygen getting into the water via the header tank or a leak + refilling of a closed loop system. Sludge tends to concentrate and solidify in smaller pipes and in the bends at the bottom of the house or in the middle of rads. Have you turned on the heating and noticed the rad gets hot at the inlet, the outlet and top but not the middle at the bottom? Probably time to de-sludge or replace the rads. This is a summer time activity.

Replacing rads is not difficult and better than trying to clean severely blocked rads

Melted has a 'nice idea' ring to it but sludge that breaks down is in rough edge chunks that can then block elsewhere. Look at screwfix for Sentinnel products to a) clean and b) inhibit further problems after cleaning

Balancing is as old as central heating. You can now buy an IR thermometer gun thingy for £10 on Amazon that reads the temp on the inlet and outlet rad sides to help you gain an appreciation of how much heat from the ring main is going to each. If you go wild on TRVs, remember to leave one rad without any so the water can circulate and not build up overheat once all the valves close. It isn't usually a problem but cowboy plumbers have been around for a long, long time and some joints may not like it.

Magnaclean is good but messy to clean. Sentinnel do a very good alternative that is easy to clean and do Fernox. Both let you add further treatments easily.

Go nuts on Youtube for videos of how to do it. Get a big piece of plastic sheeting and loads of old towels to avoid a divorce
Bargainhead14/11/2019 20:15

Plumber, round here there £500-600...


WTH! My radiators cost less to put them on!!!
melted14/11/2019 20:33

After we had a complete blockage caused by sludge in the pipes on our …After we had a complete blockage caused by sludge in the pipes on our system, I drained a radiator and used a couple of hosepipes hooked up to both taps, turned off all the radiator and other valves and opened one at a time and used mains water pressure, fully opened both valves on one radiator at a time and gave the radiator a bit of a bash with my hand, as I couldn't find the rubber mallet, to loosen up the sludge so it would be washed out. Worked a treat, cost nothing.


So you did this whilst the radiator was still on the wall? Did you have to take any of the valves off?
ccnp14/11/2019 20:46

from the topSludge is Iron Oxide and caused by oxygen getting into the …from the topSludge is Iron Oxide and caused by oxygen getting into the water via the header tank or a leak + refilling of a closed loop system. Sludge tends to concentrate and solidify in smaller pipes and in the bends at the bottom of the house or in the middle of rads. Have you turned on the heating and noticed the rad gets hot at the inlet, the outlet and top but not the middle at the bottom? Probably time to de-sludge or replace the rads. This is a summer time activity.Replacing rads is not difficult and better than trying to clean severely blocked radsMelted has a 'nice idea' ring to it but sludge that breaks down is in rough edge chunks that can then block elsewhere. Look at screwfix for Sentinnel products to a) clean and b) inhibit further problems after cleaningBalancing is as old as central heating. You can now buy an IR thermometer gun thingy for £10 on Amazon that reads the temp on the inlet and outlet rad sides to help you gain an appreciation of how much heat from the ring main is going to each. If you go wild on TRVs, remember to leave one rad without any so the water can circulate and not build up overheat once all the valves close. It isn't usually a problem but cowboy plumbers have been around for a long, long time and some joints may not like it.Magnaclean is good but messy to clean. Sentinnel do a very good alternative that is easy to clean and do Fernox. Both let you add further treatments easily.Go nuts on Youtube for videos of how to do it. Get a big piece of plastic sheeting and loads of old towels to avoid a divorce


My radiators are fairly new, 4 year old and my boiler although not new is a Worcester. The radiators are not bad but takes AGES to heat up n ain’t as hot around lower mid section!

I used Sentinel to clean my radiators n then inhibit last year but I don’t think it’s made a huge difference. I plan to maintain this routine every 2 years?

IR thermometer gun sounds fun! I’ve read
turn lock shield valve clockwise until closed, then open by a quarter??? Obviously some are open more depending on distance etc.
Just read this article, quite awesome! Need an IR Thermostat reader now!

MagnaClean Pro 2 looks easy to clean n to add treatments. Have you not seen the vids?

What about servicing my boiler? I’ve not done it in 5 years! I did take cover off just to dust it but nothing else!

Thanks for your comprehensive reply, must appreciated.
Edited by: "ruheluddin86" 15th Nov
Just drain the system in spring time.
ruheluddin8614/11/2019 22:04

So you did this whilst the radiator was still on the wall? Did you have to …So you did this whilst the radiator was still on the wall? Did you have to take any of the valves off?


I lifted the one radiator I drained off the wall so that I could connect my hoses to the pipework via the two radiator valves.

and used a couple of ~2" bits of copper pipe with compression fitting nuts on that fitted my radiator valves in place of the radiator tails. I cut them from an old bit of pipe with various fittings on that I had on my junk heap and used hot water and jubilee clips to attach the hoses.

All the other radiators and valves were left in place, but turned off to maximise the flow of water through each radiator as I jarred it. I also blocked the expansion pipe and turned off the valve on the pipe from the expansion tank, although that probably wasn't necessary. Obviously, I turned the power to the heating system off first so the pump and boiler wouldn't run.

There was a lot of sludge in my system, it's one with an expansion tank so its open to the atmosphere and hadn't been fully drained or fresh fernox added since the current boiler was fitted about 15 years+ ago! Before I did it my boiler kept overheating when the hot water was off, and I'd realised the bypass valve was getting blocked, fully opening the valve would clear it, and it would then be ok for several days until the valve blocked again.
Edited by: "melted" 15th Nov
ruheluddin8614/11/2019 22:16

My radiators are fairly new, 4 year old and my boiler although not new is …My radiators are fairly new, 4 year old and my boiler although not new is a Worcester. The radiators are not bad but takes AGES to heat up n ain’t as hot around lower mid section!I used Sentinel to clean my radiators n then inhibit last year but I don’t think it’s made a huge difference. I plan to maintain this routine every 2 years? IR thermometer gun sounds fun! I’ve read turn lock shield valve clockwise until closed, then open by a quarter??? Obviously some are open more depending on distance etc. Just read this article, quite awesome! Need an IR Thermostat reader now! MagnaClean Pro 2 looks easy to clean n to add treatments. Have you not seen the vids?What about servicing my boiler? I’ve not done it in 5 years! I did take cover off just to dust it but nothing else! Thanks for your comprehensive reply, must appreciated.


I balanced my radiators by opening all the thermostatic and lock shield valves fully while the system was cold, turned it on and rushed around checking which radiators were getting hot first by touch and adjusting the lock shields on them to restrict the flow so they all heated up evenly, seemed to work pretty well.
ruheluddin8614/11/2019 22:02

WTH! My radiators cost less to put them on!!!


Sorry, plumber to do a power flush and the a power flush is 500-600..
Bargainhead15/11/2019 05:22

Sorry, plumber to do a power flush and the a power flush is 500-600..


Yes that’s a ridiculous price! Not worth that at all! People charge £200 for power flush, where did you get that figure of £500-£600 from?
melted15/11/2019 01:27

I balanced my radiators by opening all the thermostatic and lock shield …I balanced my radiators by opening all the thermostatic and lock shield valves fully while the system was cold, turned it on and rushed around checking which radiators were getting hot first by touch and adjusting the lock shields on them to restrict the flow so they all heated up evenly, seemed to work pretty well.


I did that yesterday n they all warmed up consistently together! I’m wondering is there any point in actually closing them n quarter turning them now seeing as they all warmed up nicely in 10 minutes?
I’ll need 1 of those IR thermometers to follow the guide/link I shared. What does that actually do having a 12c difference between valve n TRV ends???
melted15/11/2019 00:58

I lifted the one radiator I drained off the wall so that I could connect …I lifted the one radiator I drained off the wall so that I could connect my hoses to the pipework via the two radiator valves. and used a couple of ~2" bits of copper pipe with compression fitting nuts on that fitted my radiator valves in place of the radiator tails. I cut them from an old bit of pipe with various fittings on that I had on my junk heap and used hot water and jubilee clips to attach the hoses.All the other radiators and valves were left in place, but turned off to maximise the flow of water through each radiator as I jarred it. I also blocked the expansion pipe and turned off the valve on the pipe from the expansion tank, although that probably wasn't necessary. Obviously, I turned the power to the heating system off first so the pump and boiler wouldn't run.There was a lot of sludge in my system, it's one with an expansion tank so its open to the atmosphere and hadn't been fully drained or fresh fernox added since the current boiler was fitted about 15 years+ ago! Before I did it my boiler kept overheating when the hot water was off, and I'd realised the bypass valve was getting blocked, fully opening the valve would clear it, and it would then be ok for several days until the valve blocked again.


Pretty awesome what you did mate!
So which radiator did you decide to work on? So 1 pipe had water gushing in n the other pipe taking out all the gunk AND this worked through each n every radiator within the system?
Is compression fitting nuts necessary?
Water gushing in, was that simply through hot water tap flow?

Since I rebalanced yesterday my radiators feel much warmer n the middle is hot too
ruheluddin8615/11/2019 10:17

Yes that’s a ridiculous price! Not worth that at all! People charge £200 fo …Yes that’s a ridiculous price! Not worth that at all! People charge £200 for power flush, where did you get that figure of £500-£600 from?


They aren’t doing it properly
pinkleponkle15/11/2019 10:53

They aren’t doing it properly


Replacing my 8 radiators will only cost £400 n £200 labour. I’d never pay that for a power flush, people got too much money to blow if they do!
ruheluddin8615/11/2019 10:56

Replacing my 8 radiators will only cost £400 n £200 labour. I’d never pay t …Replacing my 8 radiators will only cost £400 n £200 labour. I’d never pay that for a power flush, people got too much money to blow if they do!


You can replace 8 radiators in a day if the pipe work is already there. You can’t do a proper power flush in a day.
ruheluddin8615/11/2019 10:17

Yes that’s a ridiculous price! Not worth that at all! People charge £200 fo …Yes that’s a ridiculous price! Not worth that at all! People charge £200 for power flush, where did you get that figure of £500-£600 from?


When we were pricing for new boiler, on the quotes the power flushes were down for that amounts...
ruheluddin8615/11/2019 10:42

Pretty awesome what you did mate! So which radiator did you decide to work …Pretty awesome what you did mate! So which radiator did you decide to work on? So 1 pipe had water gushing in n the other pipe taking out all the gunk AND this worked through each n every radiator within the system? Is compression fitting nuts necessary? Water gushing in, was that simply through hot water tap flow? Since I rebalanced yesterday my radiators feel much warmer n the middle is hot too


I think tap fittings for hosepipes might fit standard valves, but you'd need to check. I do have some some drain valves on my system, but they leaked more water on the floor than what goes down the hose when I tried to drain the system using one of them.

I connected into the downstairs radiator in my hallway, nearest to my back door for convenience and took the radiator I removed outside. Cleaned that one out with my jet washer.

I actually had the hose pipes fed out the front door letterbox so I wouldn't have a window open, letting in the cold! I just used cold water from the outside tap, rapping on the radiator was enough to get the settled sludge in suspension so it was washed out the system, I had someone keeping an eye on the outlet hose who let me know to stop banging when the water ran clear. Fortunately, I'm not on a water meter.

I had initially planned on removing every radiator in turn, taking it outside and flushing it, but fortunately my lazy method worked for me and that wasn't necessary. I put some corrosion inhibitor when I refilled the system and I've not had another problem with it for two years.

I had put one of those system cleaning chemicals in, about a month or so earlier and flushed it out after a couple of weeks as per the instructions, followed by an inhibitor, which I'd hoped would stop the overheating until the following summer, but that hadn't worked, I expect I needed a lot more of the cleaning chemical.

You could hire a power flush over a weekend and would probably cost less than £100, plus chemicals. There should be some videos on youtube how to use one.


Edited by: "melted" 15th Nov
melted15/11/2019 16:14

I think tap fittings for hosepipes might fit standard valves, but you'd …I think tap fittings for hosepipes might fit standard valves, but you'd need to check. I do have some some drain valves on my system, but they leaked more water on the floor than what goes down the hose when I tried to drain the system using one of them.I connected into the downstairs radiator in my hallway, nearest to my back door for convenience and took the radiator I removed outside. Cleaned that one out with my jet washer. I actually had the hose pipes fed out the front door letterbox so I wouldn't have a window open, letting in the cold! I just used cold water from the outside tap, rapping on the radiator was enough to get the settled sludge in suspension so it was washed out the system, I had someone keeping an eye on the outlet hose who let me know to stop banging when the water ran clear. Fortunately, I'm not on a water meter. I had initially planned on removing every radiator in turn, taking it outside and flushing it, but fortunately my lazy method worked for me and that wasn't necessary. I put some corrosion inhibitor when I refilled the system and I've not had another problem with it for two years.I had put one of those system cleaning chemicals in, about a month or so earlier and flushed it out after a couple of weeks as per the instructions, followed by an inhibitor, which I'd hoped would stop the overheating until the following summer, but that hadn't worked, I expect I needed a lot more of the cleaning chemical. You could hire a power flush over a weekend and would probably cost less than £100, plus chemicals. There should be some videos on youtube how to use one.[Video]


Do you think I need to buy an IR thermometer n then shut the valves n then reopen a quarter or more depending on 12c difference?
Also, who’s best to use for a boiler service!?
melted15/11/2019 16:14

I think tap fittings for hosepipes might fit standard valves, but you'd …I think tap fittings for hosepipes might fit standard valves, but you'd need to check. I do have some some drain valves on my system, but they leaked more water on the floor than what goes down the hose when I tried to drain the system using one of them.I connected into the downstairs radiator in my hallway, nearest to my back door for convenience and took the radiator I removed outside. Cleaned that one out with my jet washer. I actually had the hose pipes fed out the front door letterbox so I wouldn't have a window open, letting in the cold! I just used cold water from the outside tap, rapping on the radiator was enough to get the settled sludge in suspension so it was washed out the system, I had someone keeping an eye on the outlet hose who let me know to stop banging when the water ran clear. Fortunately, I'm not on a water meter. I had initially planned on removing every radiator in turn, taking it outside and flushing it, but fortunately my lazy method worked for me and that wasn't necessary. I put some corrosion inhibitor when I refilled the system and I've not had another problem with it for two years.I had put one of those system cleaning chemicals in, about a month or so earlier and flushed it out after a couple of weeks as per the instructions, followed by an inhibitor, which I'd hoped would stop the overheating until the following summer, but that hadn't worked, I expect I needed a lot more of the cleaning chemical. You could hire a power flush over a weekend and would probably cost less than £100, plus chemicals. There should be some videos on youtube how to use one.[Video]

Do you think I need to buy an IR thermometer n then shut the valves n then reopen a quarter or more depending on 12c difference?
ruheluddin8625/11/2019 22:20

Do you think I need to buy an IR thermometer n then shut the valves n then …Do you think I need to buy an IR thermometer n then shut the valves n then reopen a quarter or more depending on 12c difference?


I'm no expert, but I don't understand the reasoning behind restricting the flow of water to any radiator by any more than is necessary for all the radiators heat up together when all TVRs are fully open, which should also prevent any radiator being starved of hot water when another's TVR opens.

As far as I see it, restricting the flow beyond that, would just make the pump work harder and make it take longer for the radiator to warm up the room when the heating switches on, or someone leaves the door open and makes the room cold.

I would suggest it is a good idea to turn back any lockshield valves that end up being fully open by up to a quarter of a turn as you would with a stopcock, to make the valve easier to free should it ever become seized.
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