Discuss Cleaning rads without power flushing in the Central Heating Forum area at PlumbersForums.net

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Evening all

My rads are quite old (30 yearsish) they are the standard single panel rads. The ones downstairs have large cold patches at the bottom when the heating is on. I want to keep them as I do not want anything deeper to block vital space and because I do not want to change the pipe work for different sizes.

I am thinking of cleaning them out but I do not want them power flushed as the system is old and I am anxious it could cause a significant leak. I also think taking them off and running a pressure hose through them will be much better in shifting the muck, what do you think?

How agreeable do you think a plumber would be to doing this? and how much do you think it would be to clean 2 large and 2 small rads and put them back on again and adding sentinel? I don't plan to do the ones upstairs

Thanks

Betty
 
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Harvest Fields

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I would get someone in for a second opinion. Ideally they will need to see the whole system.
 

Jerry

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If some rads are full of much then EVERYTHING is full of muck.

Powerflush them and the entire system.

It's unlikely to cause a leak.

If it does cause a leak, then they were on their (very) last legs. Better to have a plumber there (when it finally happens).

If its more for finaincial reasons, then washing out the worst offending rads will be a short term solution.
 
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Bettyboo
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Hmm.. but what if there is a leak under my floorboards?! Or several leaks!
Also I’m not convinced powerflushing properly cleans all the muck out and also don’t plumbers prefer power flushing cause it’s easier for them?
 

Harvest Fields

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If there is a leak the engineer will repair it.
Powerflushing if done correctly is the best type of flush you can have completed.
Powerflushing is anything but easy.
 
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Bettyboo
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I suspect taking off old rads lugging them out to garden and washing out one by one is harder.

I’m afraid I can be quite unlucky with work I have done and often end up with contractors avoiding correcting their mistakes and damages.

If I get leaks under floorboards would be a massive issue lifting carpets, locating the leak and trying to fix it/them
 

Harvest Fields

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I suspect taking off old rads lugging them out to garden and washing out one by one is harder.

I’m afraid I can be quite unlucky with work I have done and often end up with contractors avoiding correcting their mistakes and damages.

If I get leaks under floorboards would be a massive issue lifting carpets, locating the leak and trying to fix it/them
I think that you have already made your decision. Not sure what we advise will change your mind.
 
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I think taking them off the walls, flushing them outside in the garden and then fixing them again is more likely to cause a leak/crack on the rad than powerflushing simply because you're disturbing something metal thats very old and set in one position.

Powerflushing the rads in situ would be better I think.
 

Riley

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firemant

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If I get leaks under floorboards would be a massive issue lifting carpets, locating the leak and trying to fix it/them
You are wrong.

You clearly don’t understand powerflushing

Please read this

http://www.kamco.co.uk/data-sheets/power-flushing-misc/Disclaimer guidance document.pdf

Riley is correct. Excerpt from above:
Whilst it is rare for a heating system to experience leaks after the power flushing process, it is not possible to inspect a system internally beforehand, and the need to use a flushing and dispersing chemical (see Part L of the Building regulations) for effective cleansing means that occasionally we may find a leak. The advanced stage of corrosion required for such a situation means that the leak would occur imminently even without a power flush. We believe that it is better that it occurs whilst we are present to remedy the problem, rather than for it to arise over a weekend or whilst the house is unoccupied

I have done (properly) literally hundreds of powerflushes. From memory I have had 2 jobs reveal a leak. The first on one rad, which started to squirt while I was standing beside it and getting paid. The other, 2 rads, revealed immediately on the final fill. Those would have been a problem later, anyway.

One thing I would agree with the OP on, though: trying to find someone that you can trust is a challenge. There are many good guys, but too many useless ones. A big company is no more likely to be trustworthy, IMO. The challenge is being able to identify which are which.
 

Riley

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What system do you have currently OP
 
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All the information you have been given is spot on.
I rarely have issues with powerflushing and I do at least 2 a week.
You want someone who knows what they are doing. If a leak occurs it would have done any how. The operator will know if there is a leak under the floor as the water level will not hold in the machine. Sometimes a leak is what sludges the system up.
If you clean out the radiators this will not clean out the f&e tank or the h piece or air separator setup, pipe work or boiler.
I’m assuming it is open vent as you mentioned the age of the system.
Pump could be blocked with debris etc. Get an experienced engineer in and have it done correctly first time round. The company I work for guarantee them.
If it is a money saving exercise you could be wasting money. I would say do it right first time round.
 

Marc Bowers

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The guy who trained me could never understand how shooting water through a 5-6mm hole in a radiator valve from a 15mm pipe in to the relatively massive volume of a radiator and then drawing the water out of a similarly small hole could effectively clean the radiator. Even with agitation. His (and as a result my) preferred method is to take every rad out, flush repeatedly from both ways, turning upside down and agitating until the water is clean. It gives you an opportunity to inspect the radiator and valves fully and remake all old joints. You can then go on to chem clean the system, vac out f&e etc. I get that it's slightly more labour intensive but I've never been priced out against guys with expensive flush gear to run. I'm happy to hear people's ideas on pro's and cons of both methods.
 
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