DIY powerflushing

Central Heating systems can suffer from a build up of sludge, which can prevent efficient circulation of water around the system as well as cause potential damage and premature failure of the Boiler.

The best way to remove the sludge without dismantling the system is to carry out a Powerflush. This requires specialist equipment, but as long as your system has a removable filter fitted, it is possible to carry out a "DIY Powerflush" which, while not as effective as a proper Powerflush, can remove a reasonable amount of sludge and improve the systems efficiency.

The following is an example of how to carry out a "DIY Powerflush"

The system in question has a MagnaClean Filter fitted, which attracts any magnetic particles suspended in the system water and stops them circulating. The black sludge in heating systems contains metal particles from steel and iron radiators that can cause restrictions. These particles are attracted to the magnet in the centre of the MagnaClean, adhere to the spindle in the filter and are hence prevented from circulating around the system further.

Step 1: Check the amount of sludge filtered by the MagnaClean before the DIY Flush



The filter was last checked and cleaned two months prior to this clean, following a couple of drain downs for new pipework, valves and radiator fittings. There was a total of 6 grams of sludge adhering to the filter from 2 months CH usage.

Step 2: Clean the Filter and refit

Step 3: Start the DIY Powerflush To do a basic DIY Powerflush, follow these simple steps:

  1. Turn off all radiators except one – set that one on full
  2. Put on heating to high enough that it will not go off during test – setting the room stat to maximum should be enough.
  3. Leave like this for 15 minutes – this will make the Central Heating system work just through this single radiator and no other, thereby concentrating all the energy through it
  4. After 15 minutes, turn off fully the radiator that is on, and turn on the next radiator to full
  5. Repeat this process in turn for each radiator until all radiators in the system have had 15 minutes of dedicated time each from the Central Heating system
  6. Turn off the heating

Step 4: Check the Filter again to determine how much sludge has been collected.

Magnaclean cleaned

The MagnaClean has collected another 6 grams of sludge during the DIY Powerflush. While this does not sound like a great deal, it should be remembered that in the case of the Central Heating system being flushed, the same amount of sludge was collected in 2 hours of flushing as was collected in 2 months of standard CH use. If the same process was carried out on a system that has not been flushed for years and also not drained, a lot more sludge is likely to be collected. This process will not provide all the benefits of a professional Powerflush, but as a method of minimising sludge (in conjunction with system inhibitor additives, of course), it is a simple, low-cost process.