It’s the time of year that the temperature starts to drop. Autumn will soon turn to winter and the heating system is fired-up to keep the chill at bay.
Having laid dormant over the spring and summer months magnetite deposits may have started to build up at different points in your heating systems pipework, radiators and the joints and valves that connect them.
What is Magnetite?
Magnetite is compound formed by the corrosive combination of air, metal pipework and water. As the metal components disintegrate over time pieces break off. It is these pieces and dirt in the system that form magnetite.
Quite commonly the magnetite particles and pieces of metal will build up where your hot water would ordinarily have flowed. This can have a bottle-necking effect or even block the flow of the water through the system.
How does magnetite affect a heating system?
As the boiler is fired-up to power the heating system, the resulting hot water and pressure can cause the magnetite dirt and debris to be propelled around the system and get caught in the narrowed parts of the pipework and valves. This can further restrict the flow and with older poorly maintained heating systems it invariably causes blockages in different parts of the systems pipework.
How do I know if I need a chemical flush or a power flush of my central heating system?
The most common signs and easiest way to spot the build-up of magnetite and blockages happening in your heating system are noisy pipes and hot and cold spots on your radiators.
What can you do if you have a blockage in your heating system?
Thankfully there are techniques for clearing your central heating system’s radiators and pipework known as a power flush or a chemical flush
If you are experiencing these symptoms please contact us to arrange for one of our heating e engineers to visit and check your heating system. We will then be able to advise if a chemical or power flush of your central heating system would be beneficial.
What is a central heating Chemical Flush?
A chemical flush is much like is sounds. One of our heating engineers will add a special cleaning chemical to the water in the heating system. The heating is then turned on, the boiler heats the water as it flows around the pipework. After a short while, once the boiler has heated up the system, it is then drained. This then removes the dirty water and the debris in the system. the water in the system is the refilled. At this point we usually add a chemical solution called an inhibitor. The inhibitor is designed to help reduce further corrosion in your heating system.
What is a central heating Power Flush?
If a chemical flush does not resolve the issues within your pipework and radiators of your central heating system, it may then be necessary to perform a power flush. To perform a power flush the chemical cleaning solution is added to the water in the system. We then connect a special pump to the pipework in order to flush the chemicals and water through the pipework at pressure. This should then solve to breakdown and remove debris from the pipework and radiators.
What are the benefits of a chemical or power flush?
Apart from the obvious benefit of removing dirt, debris and clearing any form of blockage, a chemical flush will help prolong the life of your boiler system. It will protect the heat exchanger on your boiler from corrosion and it will help minimise the strain on the pump pressuring the system.
As part of a chemical or power flush of your central heating we always add an inhibitor afterwards. This does go some way to helping stop corrosion and further blockages.
We advise our customers is to have a magnetic central heating filter fitted to their heating system.
Magnetic Filter Units
Magnetic filter units are fitted close to the boiler on the return pipe. As the water passes through the magnet collects any metal particles as they pass through, thus helping to keep the system clean and efficient whilst protecting your boiler.
At Pettifer Plumbing and Heating we recommend Adey Magna-Clean magnetic filters, which we can supply and install for you. Please ask us for more information.
Please contact us to arrange an appointment for your heating system inspection by one our expert Gas Safe Registered heating engineers or to arrange chemical/power flush.