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British Gas & Power Flush
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# 1
Pere Ubu
Old 21-02-2006, 10:38 PM
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Default British Gas & Power Flush

Have elec/gas/heating service/and plumbing with British Gas. last year called thme out to attend a radiator that always needed bleeding. The engineer said in less than 60 seconds that I needed a power flush. Asked BG for 2nd opinion. naother engineer said the same plus if I don't have it my system will rot from inside out. Had it doe cost of 400!! still radiator needed bleeding. Another engineer called aout and fitted a valve near to pump no cost as it was covered under my service contract. I have complained to BG about the power flush as I feel it was unecessary. I ave anewish house (1999) and have since found out that to have a power flush in anew property is unusual. I have complained to BG they have written back saying they are investiagting and will contact me in 10 days. That was up a wek ago. Is this covered by any ombudsman? How do I go about proving that I didn't need a power flush?
Thanks.
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# 2
ariba10
Old 21-02-2006, 10:46 PM
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I would not let British Gas anywhere near my system.
They are motovated by bonuses.
The number of people that have had unnecessary work done and systems condemned in this area is nothing short of a scandal.
I used to be indecisive but now I am not sure.
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# 3
mancitychick
Old 21-02-2006, 11:10 PM
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My mum has same cover as you and the same happened to her with the exception that her boiler was making a loud rattling noise and they blamed it on Limescale and said she need a powerflush. Noise continued after the flush so she called them out again and like you the 2nd engineer told her it was something to do with Pump (this was covered under the policy) and he said that she needn't of had the powerflush.

So she demanded her Money back and BG tried to palm her off by saying that a power flush is a good thing and it would be of benefit. My Mum told them that is all very well but as there was no actual need for it at the time the 400 would of been of more benefit to her! They then came back and offered to refund half, she stuck to her guns and they refunded all the money. So stick to your guns and insist on a full refund. Good Luck and don't accept anything less than 100% refunded.
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# 4
botmission
Old 23-02-2006, 8:57 PM
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Was your system heating up ok in the other radiators? A power flush is only for badly sludged up systems where there is little or no circulation.
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# 5
Pere Ubu
Old 23-02-2006, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botmission
Was your system heating up ok in the other radiators? A power flush is only for badly sludged up systems where there is little or no circulation.
It worked perfectly else where in the house. The 1st engineer said it was because the radiator in question was the first one on the system and that is why it needed constant bleeding and a power flush would put it right. The 2nd engineer said it was becuase the radiator in qn was the last fitted on the system therefore but a power flush would put it right!! As stated in my post the reason why we had it done is because BG said our system would rot from the inside and the thought of a new heataing system really worried us (the cost!)
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# 6
ilikepoints
Old 09-08-2006, 4:27 PM
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Just had British Gas come out - I have the central heating cover and they replaced a pump. Said there was sludge in the system and i needed a power flush.

The house is a reasonably size (4 or 5 bedrooms) but even so the quote of 750 is quite clearly a joke

Nice to see that others only paid 400 - what would a fair price be? Perhaps I'll get a 2nd opinion.

I did have the system flushed out when the boiler was installed (6 years ago), but not an actual power flush - and that plumber wasn't especially professional so no suprise that it wasn't done properly.

To be fair to Britsh Gas you do get a lifetime guarantee with the power flush, and they said the job takes 480 minutes, though surely they could just leave it going?

I read that the chemicals for the power flush cost 50 quid, so after labour the rest is obviously pure profit, just concerned that if I don't get it done (at least by someone) then they will refuse to fix the boiler next time it goes wrong.
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# 7
Pere Ubu
Old 09-08-2006, 7:01 PM
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who installe4d the boiler 6 years ago?
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# 8
ilikepoints
Old 09-08-2006, 9:51 PM
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It was installed by some plumber who was registered with every organisation under the sun - Corgi, Institute of plumbing etc. He was still very unprofessional though and didn't install it properly - took over a year until he had it working properly and I had to report him to various bodies to get that far.
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# 9
Pere Ubu
Old 09-08-2006, 10:36 PM
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My understanding is that when the system is worked on i.e. installing or taking out a radiator then an "inhibitor" (not sure of spelling) is supposed to be added to system to stop this sludge stuff building up which may result in rotting of radiators system. The plumber you used probably didn't add this therefore you have what you are dealing with now.
You should ask BG how they know you need a PF. What has led them to believe this? The price depends on how many radiators you have. I have 9 radiators in a 3 bed house my PF cost between 400 and 500 can't remember the exact figure.
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# 10
c_smith
Old 10-08-2006, 3:30 AM
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Tell them to get stuffed and flush the system yourself - it's not difficult. I done it myself and I didn't have any plumbing experience - there are plenty of websites on the internet where qualified plumbers will provide you with advice, such as www.diynot.com

There are a multitude of products on the market, one of the best being Fernox DS-40:

http://www.fernox.com/?cccpage=DS40&sub=1

You can buy this from any good diy store or plumbing supplier for less than £20.

Last edited by c_smith; 10-08-2006 at 3:33 AM.
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# 11
Derek_A.
Old 10-08-2006, 2:42 PM
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C-smith is right it is easy to do it yourself, but dont forget to put in a Fernox Protecter when you have finishing the flushing etc.

Last edited by Derek_A.; 10-08-2006 at 2:44 PM.
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# 12
alanobrien
Old 10-08-2006, 3:01 PM
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Typical powerflush cost is around 250 however it is very rarely necessary to powerflush at all, IF your system is correctly flushed at comissioning.

In any event its easy to DIY and you can hire a powerflush from HSS etc for 50 plus chemicals if you really need to.
Link;

http://www.hss.com/g/51610/Central_Heating_Flusher.html

Tip; Its worth downloading the PDF file on the the page linked above as it gives some insight into the process
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# 13
c_smith
Old 10-08-2006, 8:09 PM
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I wouldn't go to the expense of hiring the powerflushing machine though to do my own. Running the system with the DS-40 in it for a week will do the job just as well, then simply flush it several times with fresh water from the mains supply, and add the inhibitor. The powerflusher merely speeds up the process.
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# 14
Panglagar
Old 21-10-2008, 7:25 PM
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Default British Gas -Home (Destroy) Care 400

I have moved in to this property years ago which is appx 15 years old. A week ago, our hot water on the loft started overflow. I called BG and the engineer checked and said the said system needs power flush and quoted 670. I called BG and the operator said Power flush is a regular maintenance and does not affect the radiator. So he sent the one more engineer who was rude and impatient. He informed that some our piping is not copper. He quoted 773 and said if I call BG withoug flushing they would charge 140 as call out charge.

I have been paying BG by direct debit every month. When I needed thier help, they tell me Power flush does not include the home care plan. After reading the forum, I am not sure if the problem is due to the sludge or something else. I am thinking of discontinuing BG's Home Care 400. Any expert advise?
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# 15
fjeer
Old 28-10-2008, 11:28 AM
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Default Powerflushing

I got the same thing from British Gas. Signed up for an expensive maintenance contract, and the first problem (blocked cold feed) requires a Powerflush (shock horror) costing 780.

So I called around for quotes from others and was told:

you can't powerflush an 8mm system, so you have to take all the radiators off and flush them independently, it's an expensive job, costing 580.

So 200 less than British Gas who would have just flushed it regardless. Idiots.

I'm going to sort the problem out myself, and tell British Gas where to shove their HomeCare contract.
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# 16
MrBG
Old 17-12-2008, 9:44 PM
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Central heating systems are quite simple really - you have a boiler (heats up the water) and a pump (circulates the water), and a sealed (combi) or unsealed gravity-fed (if you have a header tank) system of radiators. Both are really easy to drain down and service. (loads of advice on this on internet- just google it!). The main problem most people have is that they do no preventative maintenance themselves. Just before every winter I check my whole system (I have 18 double radiators) and open and close all valves (lockshield at one end of radiator, pliers are required) and check the thermostatic rad valves (TRVs) are working at other etc, and give them all a quick light tap to make sure they are free from obstruction (check them again an hour later to see if any have started to leak). Then every two years I drain down the system and refill, then drain down again and refill, then add furnox (other central heating corrosion inhibitors are available!) and bleed the rads and check pressure is within tolerance (not needed for gravity-fed system).

Bleed the rads and fire up the boiler, then balance the radiators starting with the ones nearest the boiler (lockshield valve nearly closed) incrementally to the furthest away (lockshield valve fully open) though is there is a huge difference in temperature between the pipes at each end of any individual radiator I balance it out a bit more. Whilst you are doing this, you can check for leaks as you go. Set all your valves to about 3 and then adjust to suit each room

Black water and a bit of sludge is quite normal. Radiators are made of steel, pipes are (mainly) made of copper and water of course contains many minerals. Bits of air in the system react with the metals and the water is stale, so hardly surprising it doesn't look like Perrier (other poncy overpriced mineral waters are available).

Have a go, become empowered and free yourself from the money-grabbing companies that prey on uncertainty. If it was so difficult, they'd have doctorates in heating system science wouldn't they, instead of some hairy-reared commission-grabbing chancers in shiny coats with embroidered logos. The people I really feel sorry for are good honest plumbers, decent tradespeople (there are many of these about - you just need to ask friends and colleagues for recommendations) who are happy to get their hands dirty and work hard for a living.
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# 17
MrBG
Old 17-12-2008, 9:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjeer View Post
ISo I called around for quotes from others and was told:
you can't powerflush an 8mm system, so you have to take all the radiators off and flush them independently, it's an expensive job, costing 580.
You could have all the radiators replaced in your house for less than that!

Probably enough left over to have gold leaf applied to your boiler as well!
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# 18
Pssst
Old 17-12-2008, 10:13 PM
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I have no comment to make as to whether the OPs system needs powerflushing. I would add though that its quite possible for a relatively new system to need flushing rescuing and the usual cause is the use of self cleaning fluxes on installation coupled with improper cleansing/flushing of the system on first install. I have seen systems last only a couple of months before they are in big trouble.
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# 19
GinnyT
Old 22-12-2008, 9:38 PM
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Hi there. We have been having a gradual problem with just one radiator downstairs for the past couple of years. The other rads downstairs don't get as hot as the upstairs, but they are sufficiently warm, however the main lounge rad has good heat in the in pipe, warm rad and a cold out pipe. We've been told and quoted for a powerflush by British Gas (robbers) at 695, which i begrudge paying as they cannot guarantee it will work. If we don't have the powerflush, I am told our heating syustem will not be covered under our insurance. We drained our system ourseoves and added a cleaner from a DIY store in the autumn, the water flows freely through the system and is pretty clear (similar to weak orange squash in colour). We've been looking into using Fernox and I'm informed that the best to use is DS-40. I can't seem to find it on websites for the usual DIY stores. Is this something I have to order from the internet or could it have a different code? The rad was changed this weekend and its made no difference, so the problem must be in the pipework, I assume, though it can't be a huge problem, surely???

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# 20
MrBG
Old 27-12-2008, 11:43 AM
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Have you tried blasting your system?:

Turn off all the other radiators and leave the one you have the problem with to circulate for a while (turn this one up to maximum). This will increase the pressure in your system around the problem area as you won't be circulating water through the other radiators. This may help clear any airlocks or small blockages.

Depending on how your radiators were installed, you may need to ensure that every radiator from the boiler to the problem one are also turned on, but turn these down if required.

Then switch the boiler off, bleed the system, switch back on and try to balance the system to get each radiator heating up equally (just google this a few times and try to find an example that best matches your system).

Not knowing what type of sytem you have, sealed (combi) or gravity fed (with header tank) and how the radiators are piped its difficult to advise appropriately, but I would try the above.

Also, get to know whether your system has been balanced - are the lockshield valves all wide open (not balanced) or are some of them partly open (has been previously balanced but may not be optimal performance).

One word of warning - you have added a cleaner (very good) which will break down deposits etc, you do need to make sure you drain this out as it is corrosive so shouldn't be left in permanently, and replace with an inhibitor (like Furnox or DS-40) to protect your system. Go to a specialist plumbing supplier (small independant retailers that plumbers go to, or the bigger ones like Curzon (www.curzoncare.co.uk), and ring them or go to the counter and talk to the experts.
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