You may detect that one of your radiators is warm at the top and sides but cold in the middle (take care when touching the radiator to ensure that you do not burn your hand). If this is the case you may have a build up of “sludge” in the radiator.
Most central heating systems develop this sludge over time. It starts as in the diagram below with a small amount of deposit building up in the bottom of the radiator.
As the water flows past the obstruction it is diverted into a circular pattern through the radiator and this enables the build up of additional deposits over time.
Removing these radiator sludge deposits requires care. Disturbing the sludge which has built up in the heating system over many years could merely result in redistributing it throughout your other radiators, expanding the problem in future years.
Worse still the sludge could reach your boiler and restrict the flow of circulating water causing a major central heating problem.
As these radiator deposits will lie dormant in your system you do not want to replace or update your boiler with the latest model without removing these contaminants and debris.
As the sludge and general dirt are disturbed in a new boiler installation it will find its way into your modern replacement boiler and reduce its effectiveness or life span.
If this does happen it will inflate your heating bills, which will be costly, and it will possibly require an early repair visit from a plumber or heating engineer costing you further money.
The solution is for a plumber to complete a Powerflush of your system. A Powerflush will remove Magnetite sludge from your system and can also help to alleviate : -
- Cold and inefficient Radiators
- Boiler Deposit build up
- Internal System Corrosion
- Heating Pump circulation problems
- Central Heating Pipe Blockages
- Noisy heating systems
- System blockages
Without a Powerflush you could see a gradual reduction in efficiency of your boiler system as this sludge coats the internal piping and reduces circulating efficiency.
In addition to reducing the issues outlined above the benefits of a professionally delivered Powerflush could be :-
- A warmer home as the full surface of the radiator heats your room once radiator cold spots have been eradicated
- Reduced fuel costs in future years with improved central heating system efficiency
- Increased pump life as your central heating pump processes clear water instead of sludge
- Reduced radiator corrosion or internal heating system corrosion.
- Eliminating banging noises (kettling) and prolonging the boiler life
A Powerflush machine is used to complete the task. It is connected to your system and the central heating water is routed through the machine where it filters out the contaminants. The Powerflush literally flushes the new liquid through your central heating system. Once the task is completed the plumber should refill your central heating system adding a corrosion inhibitor to prolong its operating life.
To prevent a build up of radiator sludge you need to protect your radiator with corrosion inhibitors. One is ‘Sentinel’ and another is ‘Fernox’ as advertised below (many years ago!).