Boilers and Plumbing

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Technical Advice

Power flushing.

Before a new boiler is fitted, the warranty requires that the heating system be power flushed to remove sludge and metal particles. Sealed systems rarely need a power flush but we have our own professional equipment on hand if required. It takes a day to flush 10 radiators.

What heating system do you have?

Here is a basic guide. If you have a header tank in the loft which tops up your central heating system then it's called a vented system. This set up produces low hot water pressure and sludge can build up in your radiators because air can get in causing oxidation (rust). An inhibitor should be used every time the system is filled following draining for maintenance. The inhibitor is a liquid which will protect your pipes, boiler and radiators from corrosion.

If you don’t have a header tank in the loft, but you do have an insulated tank, you may have a mains pressure tank and a system boiler. If your boiler fires every time you open a hot water tap then you have a combi boiler. In both cases corrosion is much less likely. Whether you have a system or combi boiler, limescale can build up inside your main heat exchanger if you have hard water. In a combi, the hot water heat exchanger can block up as well. Soak in a de-scaling solution for several hours (you should be Gas Safe registered to work on a boiler).

Noisy pipes and radiators.

This is a tricky area because in many cases it cannot be treated. Pipes located in tight channels through joists will creak when expanding and contracting. If you have knocking sounds it is possible that a magnetic filter could help. It removes metallic particles which can make a racket when they go round corners. We believe that all new boiler installations should include a magnetic filter. Not only do they grab metals, but the vortex generated inside is efficient at trapping sludge, and twin isolating valves make emptying quick and easy.

Filtering your drinking water.

Drinking bottled water is expensive and it is an environmental burden with billions of plastic bottles littering the planet. Consider fitting a point of use filter with a convenient tap mounted on your sink. Tap water is safe to drink but doesn't always taste great. Activated carbon will remove chlorine, taste and odour and if you live in a hard water area the addition of a phosphate medium will help a lot. For almost pure water a multi stage reverse osmosis (RO) system is required. These remove more than 93% of heavy metals, pesticides and all other contaminants, but RO systems waste water through cross flushing to prevent blockage of the membrane (3 litres for each litre of pure drinking water). Clean and plentiful water is incredibly important.