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Richard Pettifer setting up a central heating powerflush machine

What is a Central Heating Powerflush?

Published by : Georgina on 17 December 2021

Overtime your central heating system becomes clogged with rust, debris and black sludge. This build-up will cause your central heating system to run less efficiently and if not maintained, you could end up having to pay for costly parts or higher energy bills. Here at Pettifer Plumbing we are often asked about our Powerflush service. If you central heating system is not running as it should or you think this is a service you may need, read on to understand what exactly a Powerflush is, if it worth it and if it could save you money in the long run.

What is a Central Heating Powerflush? 

A Powerflush is a cleaning process that removes all the rust and debris which contributes to the black sludge build up inside the central heating system. It involves removing all dirt and blockages with in the pipework and radiators by gently flushing out the system. This helps ensure your heating system continues to run at an optimum level when heating your home.  

What are the signs that my central heating system may need a Powerflush?

Here is a list of the key tell-tale signs that your central heating system may need a Powerflush:

  • When you touch your radiators, they will be cold at the bottom and lukewarm nearer to the top
  • Your central heating system takes a long time to heat up
  • Your boiler needs to be restarted often
  • Your radiators may leak 
  • Noisy radiators and boiler 
  • Constantly having to bleed your radiators

Can I do a Powerflush myself?

You can certainly try to clean out the system yourself however, it is a very big and messy job and best left to the experts. Here at Pettifer Plumbing, we use a combination of water and cleaning chemicals. This solution works its way around the central heating system, breaking down the debris so that it may flow into a tank and be disposed of safely.  

What included in a Powerflush? 

We connect a powerflushing machine to your central heating system which then pumps water and specialist cleaning chemicals through the pipe work and radiators. The solution works its way round the central heating system breaking down the black sludge which is drained into a tank and the contents is taken away and disposed of safely by our heating engineers. We may need to repeat the process depending on how bad the build-up of sludge is. It should be noted that a Powerflush might not be recommended under certain circumstances. For example, if you have old rusty pipes or radiators etc. If in doubt talk to a member of our team.  

How long does a Powerflush take?

It all depends on the size of your property. Typically, a Powerflush can take up to 4 hours to perform (this includes the set-up of equipment) though if you have a very large property or a complicated central heating system it could take a couple of days. 

How often should I Powerflush my central heating system?

You do not need to do a Powerflush your central heating every year as it is a very powerful process. Though it does depend on the age and the health of your central heating system. We recommend every six years, though if your system is in good shape, you could get away with leaving it a little longer. If in doubt give us a call and we would be happy to advice. 

Do I need to Powerflush with a new boiler?

In a nutshell, yes. However, you may need a Chemical Flush, as building regulations recommend central heating systems are cleansed prior to being installed. Talk to our team who can advise you whether you should do a simple flush with clean water or if a Powerflush or Chemical Flush would be more suitable. 

What is a Chemical Flush?

Some call this process a Chemical Flush while others call it a chemical cleanse. It is usually done when you have a new boiler installed. A Chemical Flush flushes loose debris out of the radiators. First a cleaning chemical will be used to flush the system and then a protection fluid will be used to safeguard your new boiler.

How much does it cost to Powerflush a central heating system? 

How much you will pay for a Powerflush depends on factors such as how many radiators your property has and when you last had a Powerflush. 

Is a Powerflush worth it?

A powerflush is certainly a very good idea if your central heating system is in reasonable condition and if you are experiencing any of the tell-tale signs we have detailed above. 

What will happen if I do not power flush my central heating system?

Take the following scenario: If you have replaced an old boiler with a new one, but you have not ‘flushed your radiators’ you will find the new boiler will have to work harder to heat your home. This in turn could cause your utility bills to increase. 

If you would like further details about our Powerflush service give us a call or fill out the form below.