• Stu Clark

The importance of power flushing your central heating system.

Updated: May 18

We will clean your central heating system and supply and install a magnetic system filter for £450. Find out why you need to do this below as this will save you money on your heating bills and breakdown call outs.


If you struggle with hard water / limescale we can also supply and fit a magnetic scale reducer for an additional £85 at the same time.


Contact us on 07570 656198 or hello@thebeardedplumber.co.uk to arrange.

Do I need to power flush my central heating system?


That's a question we get quite often, and quite simply the answer is yes. Especially if it's never been done, or if it's been some time since it was last done.


No matter how hard you try there will always be air in your central heating system.


When oxygen, water and metal mix a chemical reaction takes place forming Magnetite which then gets pumped around your central heating system, getting into the pipes, boiler and the radiators. This magnetite is an iron oxide that is most commonly known as "sludge" within the trade. It's a black or brown substance that's thicker than water and can harden within the pipes, radiators or the heat exchanger within your boiler.


The most common reasons for a boiler breakdown, burst pipes, burst or faulty radiators and faulty valves is both magnetite and limescale. With both of these in your central heating system, along with casting sand, welding debris, paint particles and other small bits and pieces whirling their round your radiators the life span of your central heating system is getting shorter and shorter.


That's why it's a great idea to get your central heating system cleaned every few years or so, depending on it's usage, how well serviced it's been, whether or not you've kept up with adding inhibitor in every year and whether or not you've got a central heating filter attached and how often that gets cleaned.


Central heating boilers are like a car. If they are serviced regularly, kept topped up with the right chemicals and cleaned often they will last you a long time. If not, well you'll be replacing it sooner than you think, but also chances are it will break down right when you need it. No more hot water or hot radiators to keep you warm. Then of course, you've got to wait for a plumber to fit you in and fix the problem, which, chances are if you've left it too long will be an expensive replacement which could have been avoided.


Not only that, but all those pipes supplying your radiators will be blocked, meaning your boiler is working much harder to heat the water, increasing your energy consumption, which in turn increases your energy bill. It all starts to add up.


So what is a central heating power flush?


When we power flush a central heating system we do a number of things. We use an Adey MagnaCleanse, the reason being, apart from loving the products that Adey come up with, the MagnaCleanse is very easy to use, there are no moving parts which means less to go wrong. It also comes with a VibraClean agitator which we use to disturb and loosen the magnetite, limescale etc. from the bottom of the radiators and pass it all through the MagnaCleanse where it gets picked up and removed from the system.


This process is done on each radiator, focusing the power of the VibraClean, MC5 cleaning chemical and the powerful magnets of the MagnaCleanse specifically so that we can safely say that we have gone through each part of the heating system and everything is working to it's highest efficiency.


This in turn will save you money on your heating bills by up to 25%, it will also increase the life expectancy of your radiators and boiler, which will save you money on costly, avoidable replacements.


What are common problems if I don't get my central heating power flushed?

1. Boiler breakdowns. A minimum cost of £100 generally, but that's just the beginning. Then there are the parts, increased labour and the potential for it to all happen again when the magnetite and limescale damage the new parts.


2. Pin holes in the radiators, pipework or the heat exchanger. If not noticed straight away this will result in black or brown, sludgy water being sprayed inside your home, damaging carpets, wall paper, plasterboard, ceilings. Causing a flood if left for long enough, which can cost £1000 + for the repair of the problem, then the repair of the issues the problem caused.


3. Cold radiators. Ever wondered why some radiators are warmer than others, or some have cold spots that you can never heat up. That's because magnetite and limescale have built up in the radiator, stopping the hot water from travelling through it. This will get worse, potentially blocking the pipework up altogether. If left untreated a powerflush won't fix this, you'll have to remove the blocked pipework and radiators and replace them. You're looking at around £200 + to replace a radiator, then there's the next one, then the next, then the next.


4. Increased energy bills. This is due to the boiler having to work extra hard to pump the water through the pipework as it's slowly getting blocked up by Magnetite, limescale and other sorts of debris. Not only will it use up more gas and electric, but a boiler that would have lasted 15 years, may only last 5 years if the system isn't treated. Protect your investment.


I've got my central heating system power flushed, now what?


Don't just assume that now that's done you can forget about it for the next few years. There are always ways to keep your central heating system working to its full potential. Ensure you have your boiler serviced annually, this is there to ensure it's working to its full efficiency, whether it's safe to use and that it's not going to breakdown on you any time soon.


Get a central heating filter installed. These are magnetic filters that keep most of the debris from reaching the boiler, radiators and important valves that control your heating system. They are simple to use and can be cleaned out by anyone, so long as you follow the instructions. We recommend the Adey MagnaClean filters.


Keep the inhibitor levels topped up annually. This chemical is designed to stop Magnetite and other deposits forming. It prevents, it does not clean. So don't just pour some in and assume that the heating system is fixed. How much you use depends on the size of your central heating system, check out Adey's MC1+ protector as it also states how much should be used.

For more information on why you should regularly get your boiler service check out our article the importance of servicing your boiler.


To find out how to bring your homes central heating system up to standards read our guide on the new BS 7593:2019 to find our more.



If you'd like to know more, or would like to know how much it will cost to get a filter installed, your central heating system flushed or anything else please feel free to contact me via email hello@thebearededplumber.co.uk or call 07570 656198.

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The Bearded Plumber company address : The Wagon House, Holly Hill, Iron Acton, Bristol.  BS37 9XZ  -  Contact number 07570 656198