Water's Edge Plumbing - A guide to Powerflushing

What is a Powerflush? 

A Powerflush is a cleansing process which aims to remove deposits of sludge, rust and any other debris from your central heating system.

These contaminants, if left, can seriously affect the efficiency of a heating system and, in severe cases, a powerflush could be the only option available. Over time the water in your pipes, boiler and radiators deposits unwanted byproducts like rust. This rust (plus other dirt and debris) becomes an unpleasant, mud-like substance that professionals affectionately refer to as ‘sludge’.

Sludge in your heating system can cause to blockages and corrosion which will lead to both inefficiency and / or breakdown. In extreme cases it can be so damaging that a complete boiler replacement is needed.

How do I know if I need one? 

There are signs to look out for that suggest that all is not well in your central heating system

  • Cold areas on radiators e.g. at the bottom

  • Excessive noise from the boiler or the heating system pump

  • Discoloured water when you bleed the radiators

  • Heating is slow to warm up

  • Cloudy tap water (limescale in system)

  • Some radiators struggle to heat up as well as others

  • Radiators cold but pipes are hot

  • Boiler regularly shuts down and needs restarting

  • No water escapes when you bleed a radiator

  • Noisy radiators and or / boiler

  • Small leaks in radiators

If any of these problems sound familiar to you, it’s time to contact a professional engineer. While a Powerflush may be all that is required to get your heating back on track, unfortunately it’s not always that simple. A system may be so damaged that it is actually cheaper to replace rather than repair.


Whilst this guide will be helpful

to you, nothing is better than

the personalised advice of a professional engineer.

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What are the overall benefits to my heating system?

  • Radiators will heat up quicker

  • Radiators will get hotter

  • Quieter radiators / boiler

  • More energy efficient system = cheaper energy bills

  • Higher hot water temperatures

  • More reliable i.e. less chance of breakdown

  • Increase the life of your heating system

How does a Powerflush work?

An engineer will connect a pump to your central heating system. If it’s a Combi it will be connected at the pump head but if it’s a System boiler it will be connected at the circulation pump. This pump will push special chemicals through the pipes, boiler and radiators.

This includes a chemical that will remove sludge and rust, a descaler to remove limescale and corrosion inhibitor to help prevent future rust from forming. The engineer will collect and dispose of any contaminated water, debris or particles that they remove from the system.

The engineer may also use special tools on the exterior of the radiator to dislodge stubborn blockages. They should be able to measure the temperature of your radiators before they have started work and then show you the improvement after the Powerflush.

The whole process can last anything from 6 – 10 hours depending on the number of radiators in your home, the age of the system and the severity of the sludge in the system. The engineer may find more problems than originally anticipated such as needing new parts to replace those that have been damaged beyond repair. Most Powerflush jobs can be completed in one day but some of the more severe cases may require longer.

A qualified engineer will be able to perform repairs, replacements and carry out a Powerflush.