Do you need a power flush?

Power Flushing seems to be one of the main buzzwords in the heating industry at the moment, in the domestic market anyway.

I often get called to look at boilers which still have issues after a power flush has been done to fix the problem. In most cases a dirty system is not the cause and effect of issues a customer may be having with their boiler or system. Most of the time the issues are with combination boilers.

Modern combi boilers have intricate heat exchangers – especially the one responsible for heating up the domestic hot water, which is a water to water heat exchanger referred to as a plate to plate heat exchanger. These are intricate as they are designed for efficiency and they can get blocked very easily by a dirty system. The only problem is that a power flush will not fix a blocked plate heat exchanger. These have to be removed and replaced or flushed out with acid – which is one such service I provide.

Now having said that your system may be very dirty and clogged up and in need of a power flush. However it is not very often that a dirty system in need of a power flush will stop a boiler from working completely, with the only solution being to flush the system.

Breakdowns are usually caused by components failing. Modern circulating pumps for example use special carbon composite bearings that are lubricated by the central heating water. Dirty systems can and usually do take their toll on components like pumps and valves. Dirty systems often cause the impellers on pumps to get blocked or partially blocked which reduces the rate at which they can circulate for example.

So your pump on your boiler may have failed due to a dirty system for example, but power flushing a system because of this doesn’t resolve the primary problem – replacing the pump will.

Because I specialise in repairs i have a lot of experience in being able to identify faults with boilers and central heating systems.

The point I am trying to make is that if your boiler or central heating system has stopped working altogether, then it is more than likely due to the failing of a component on the system or boiler itself – especially if it has stopped suddenly.

Dirty systems in need of a power flush usually give warning signs very early on. You will usually have several warning signs as opposed to just one, examples of these warning signs include but are not limited to the following;

One or more radiators stop working.
Radiators cold on the bottom and warm on the top.
Your boiler may lockout with an overheat fault code at times, although this in itself may not be a true indication of a dirty system.
Radiators downstairs may be a lot cooler than the ones upstairs as the pump struggles to circulate the heat around the system.

So if you think you may need a power flush or have been told that you do need one, then you should look for several warning signs and not just one. If your system has stopped working altogether suddenly this is generally not going to be due to a dirty system. A dirty system will get worse gradually and not happen overnight.

If you have been told that you need a power flush and you would like a second opinion, then please get in touch.