Power flushing is a procedure done to clean the inside of a clogged drains and radiant heating system. It is done with chemicals and high water pressure that ensure that the cleaning is thorough. When the cleaning is done, a chemical known as an inhibitor is added.
Is it necessary?
If your radiant heating system is acting up and you suspect that sludge may be causing the problem, it is worth it to have power flushing done. The only way to know if it needs to be done is to have a professional plumber come around and look at the water in your system.
Sludge refers to the debris and rust that is found in the radiant heating system water and drains. A system may have sludge flake or normal sludge. Normal sludge resembles mud and it does not easily cause blockage. Sludge flake is normal sludge that has taken the form of flakes of various sizes. The flakes are rigid and they easily block different parts of a system and cause it to stop working.
Sludge flake is difficult to get rid of and standard power flushing has to be done well to remove it. This is why it is best to leave power flushing to the professionals who will get it all out.
The flushing procedure depends on the site of the blockage and the precise type of radiant heating system. Some systems and types of drains are easier to clean, while others cannot be flushed clean at all.
Professionals will do the procedure in the following steps;
- Adding cleaner or sludge remover to the system so that the sludge loosens up. This is done hours or days ahead depending on the chemical used.
- Every radiator is individually flushed while the others are turned off.
- Frequent flow reversal is done while flushing in order to get as much sludge out as possible.
- A magnetic filter is used with the power flush machine so that sludge is removed faster and more effectively.
- The boiler, radiators, and the pipes are flushed until the water runs clear.
- An inhibitor in the form of a chemical is added to prevent sludge from accumulating again.
- The system is re-balanced one radiator at a time.
The power flush machine
Professionals have the machinery for this type of job. These machines come in various types and sizes; some are too weak or small to effectively flush large size heaters. Professionals will know the best brands and will have large machines that can be effectively used to clean out any type of central heating system.
Another reason to use professionals is that should power flushing fail to work, they would know what to do. The procedure may fail to work if the problem is sludge flake rather than normal sludge, and if there accumulation of sludge flake is quite heavy, in which case powder flushing would be needed. It can also fail to work if there are other parts of the system that have a problem and need to be repaired or replaced.
How much time?
The amount of time needed to complete a power flushing service depends on how much sludge is in the system and how large the system is. On average, it takes half a day for a small system and a full day for a large one.