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What is a Power Flush?

What is a Power Flush and What you need to know?

A power flush is a process of removing the contaminants like rust and sludge from your central heating system to improve the performance of the radiators.

When it comes to your home central heating system, chances are you are aware that it won’t last forever. Part of the reason for this is because deposits of rust, hard water, and other pollutants can develop a sludge which can eventually not only wear down the system but can cause a total boiler breakdown.

At times, the damage from this sludge being present in your home heating system can be so prevalent that only a complete central heating system replacement can fix it. However, there are some cases where your system can be fixed in another way, through a process called a power flush.

When is a Power flush Needed?

A power flush isn’t always needed, but it is important to know what clues can indicate that it is time for a power flush. Generally, if you have a regular boiler maintenance schedule for your central heating system whereby you have it serviced yearly by a heating professional, a power flush will only be needed once every five or six years.
Of course, it also depends on the type of heating system you have. Boilers with copper heat exchanger will rust more quickly than a stainless-steel heat exchanger and require a power flush more often.

Signs You Need a Power flush

Of course, you should thoroughly examine your system to check for any red flags.

  • If your system has radiators that need to be bled frequently, this could be a bad sign.
  • If the system makes frequent noises from either the pump, boilers, or radiators, that is a red flag.
  • If you encounter cloudy tap water or have a radiator that is taking longer than usual to warm up, again you might need a power flush.
  • Finally, if you are feeling cold spots on the radiator, that will usually mean a power flush is warranted.
  • If you notice any of these red flags, it is time to consult with a professional heating engineer. They can help you decide whether your system can be fixed with a power flush or not. There are times where a system has been neglected for so long that is more economical to replace it rather than performing a power flush on it.


a white radiator under the window


A Power Flush is Beneficial for the Health of Your Central Heating System

Let’s forget all of the red flags for a moment. There are a lot of good reasons to give your system a power flush even if your boiler is operating efficiently.

First of all, a power flush will give your system a reduction in boiler noise.

Secondly, you will have the benefit of lower energy bills. You will also notice a reduction in boiler noise and less vibration as well.

Finally, when you contract with an engineer to give your system a regular power flush schedule, it will often result in a system that runs smoothly much longer than a neglected one.

A Power Flush can bring many benefits to your central heating issues

Your radiators will heat up more quickly, both boiler and pump will run more efficiently and more quietly, due to the reduced pressure on them and you will have a record that can be used if needed in any heating system insurance claims.

The Process of performing a Power flush

Now that you understand just how important a power flush is, you should also understand how the actual process of this important task works. First of all, the heating engineer will start by attaching a pump to your heating system. It is usually attached to the pump head in a Combi Unit and to the circulation head if they are working with a System Boiler.

The engineer will then use this pump to introduce specific chemicals into your system. These chemicals are used to remove sludge, rust, limestone and any other corrosion that are present in your system. The engineers can often use special tools for blockages that are resistant to the chemicals. This process can usually take one day but there are some cases where it can take longer.

Can Performing a Power flush Be a Do-it-Yourself Job?

In most cases, the answer to this question is no! Unless you know exactly what you are doing, this is a job that can get very messy and upsetting in a hurry! Moreover, if you cannot complete the job correctly, you run the risk of invalidating any manufacturer’s warranty.

This could add even more difficulties to your boiler problem, and you could find yourself needing to replace your central heating system entirely! All things being equal, it is better to let a professional such as a Gas Safe registered heating engineer to handle this job.


Family warm their hands on the radiator


The Cost of a Power Flush

The cost of carrying out a power flush will depend on how many radiators you have in your home. Generally, the price starts from £350 to £600, depending upon how many radiators are attached to your system.
Bear in mind that this is only a guide, you may get various prices from various companies.

A power flush quote from a well-known national company could cost up to £800, however, it is around 30 % cheaper from a local heating company. So, it’s worth getting a price from your local gas engineer, just make sure they are Gas Safe registered for peace of mind and quality assurance.

Is Power Flushing the Best Solution?

Having a power flush can be very beneficial to your system, however, as the process of power flushing uses a flushing machine to force water through the system at a higher flow rate than your boiler normally uses, some problems can be caused within some of the internal heating components – for example, the heat exchanger – so In some cases, power flushing may not be the best solution, especially for an older central heating system.

In older heating systems, the radiators and pipework can often have deteriorated and generated particles which as they flow through the system can put more pressure on the soldered joints which in turn can cause the boiler to leak. This can be a costly fix!

The alternative option is to replace the radiators, which could well be more expensive than a power flush, but it would be more cost and energy-efficient in the long run.

Get professional advice!

If you are currently thinking of a power flush, get some advice from your local experienced heating engineer before making up your mind. Here at Harman Heating, we are Gas Safe registered heating engineers, who have been helping customers in Northampton and nearby areas for many years.

If you have any enquiries with your boiler and heating problems, please contact us on 07771 956641 today and our friendly team will be more than happy to help you. You can also send us a message via our online contact form here.