Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 20th Sep 17, 2:49 PM
    • 805Posts
    • 2,395Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    Is an 800+ power flush the only option?
    • #1
    • 20th Sep 17, 2:49 PM
    Is an 800+ power flush the only option? 20th Sep 17 at 2:49 PM
    We have an open system oil-fired boiler (fitted we think in 1998 when the house was built) with a hot water tank in the airing cupboard and cold water tanks in the loft. Separate honeywell zone valves each for hot water and heating. We moved in last year, had the boiler serviced last year and so far it has been trouble-free.

    We turned the heating on Sunday and found that the odd radiator got warm but most were stone cold. I set the heating to come on morning and evening, and some radiator got a bit warm and others didn't. This morning one or two of the radiators were positively hot, but most were not. All the thermostatic valves were opened to maximum.

    I was having the heating engineer in today to service the boiler (which passed as far as possible, clean as a whistle) and he checked the system. No radiators heated up at all after he switched the boiler to constant and turned up the thermostat. There is hot water from the tank to the pipe underneath the first radiator, but nothing is getting through. He took off the thermostatic valve on that radiator, checked it worked (which it did) but nothing was going through into the radiator. He also said the boiler is shutting off too quickly, and the pump is working fine but had been turned down too low so he turned it up to what it should be.

    His view on the matter was the system was full of crud and needed a power flush, which would take two of them a full day and cost 600-800 plus extra for an inhibitor and possibly a magnaclean. He also recommended the system be switched from an open to a closed to stop this happening again. Presumably for more money. I didn't go too far in finding out the cost.

    Apart from the cost, I am concerned that pressure required to flush an unpressurised system plus switching to a closed pressurised system could cause leaks - most of the downstairs pipework is under tiles and I don't want to have them ripped up if something goes wrong.

    Also being female, I would hate to think his suggested course of action to be the result of flashing before his eyes.

    Probably made the situation worse, but hubby and I have manually opened the heating valve to check whether that was at fault, and now we have hot radiators in all but the master bedroom upstairs (although the pipes to the radiator are finally getting hot in there after an hour) but nothing yet downstairs. While slow, we think it is making its way around the system. The lever on the valve is also slack across the whole length of travel (it wasn't before we depressed it), so presumably we've done something to that keeping it in the manual position (unless there is something manual we have to press to get it to go back?)

    Valve is a Honeywell F3-9630 and we think is 'plumbed' in.
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 20-09-2017 at 3:17 PM.
    The 'Save 12k in 2017' #129
    Personal target 4,000.
    4169.36/4,000 (104%)

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself." Ermine to Cottage Economy, 2012
Page 1
    • Alex1983
    • By Alex1983 20th Sep 17, 3:00 PM
    • 514 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    Alex1983
    • #2
    • 20th Sep 17, 3:00 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Sep 17, 3:00 PM
    Don’t convert it to a sealed system, you are asking for trouble, if it leaks you’ll have to have it all repiped.

    Sounds like you should get the zone valve checked before you get it power flushed.
    • Wookey
    • By Wookey 20th Sep 17, 3:08 PM
    • 800 Posts
    • 403 Thanks
    Wookey
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 17, 3:08 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 17, 3:08 PM
    If you's are capable take a rad of and drain it to see what state the water inside it is like. If there is no gunge present then stick the rad back on and add some fernox inhibitor into the header tank and then bleed the rad, don't worry if the water is black coming out of the rad, it's only if it contains sludge that you need to worry.

    As your rads are now heating i think it's more likely to be stuck/seized valves which are common at this time of year as heating goes unused for 4-6 months and only gets noticed now when it gets colder approaching Autumn, maybe some balancing required and manually work the zone valves for a few mins so they operate freely.
    Norn Iron Club member No 353
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 20th Sep 17, 4:51 PM
    • 805 Posts
    • 2,395 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 17, 4:51 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 17, 4:51 PM
    If you's are capable take a rad of and drain it to see what state the water inside it is like. If there is no gunge present then stick the rad back on and add some fernox inhibitor into the header tank and then bleed the rad, don't worry if the water is black coming out of the rad, it's only if it contains sludge that you need to worry.
    Originally posted by Wookey
    I'll suggest this to my husband. The way the plumber presented it was there was no other solutions but to power flush.That's what made my nose twitch, there's always manual flushing.

    As your rads are now heating i think it's more likely to be stuck/seized valves which are common at this time of year as heating goes unused for 4-6 months and only gets noticed now when it gets colder approaching Autumn, maybe some balancing required and manually work the zone valves for a few mins so they operate freely.
    Originally posted by Wookey
    Well, a bit of an update. I can get the upstairs radiators almost fully working, but none of the downstairs. I have the tropics upstairs and Siberia downstairs. The thermostat, at the bottom of the stairs, is set to maximum and the boiler cuts in every now and then for about a minute or so, and then switches off.

    Not a single pipe into the thermostatic valves is warm in any of the downstairs radiators, which would suggest something going on between the upstairs and downstairs.

    Pump? He was adamant the pump was working and he had turned it up.
    Sludge blockage? Can it be so cut and dried between upstairs and downstairs?
    Can unbalanced radiators produce this effect?
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 20-09-2017 at 4:54 PM.
    The 'Save 12k in 2017' #129
    Personal target 4,000.
    4169.36/4,000 (104%)

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself." Ermine to Cottage Economy, 2012
    • Alex1983
    • By Alex1983 20th Sep 17, 4:54 PM
    • 514 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    Alex1983
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 17, 4:54 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 17, 4:54 PM
    I’d turn all upstairs off and see if do stairs works, if not then possibly pump or blockage most likely around cold feed.
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 20th Sep 17, 4:56 PM
    • 805 Posts
    • 2,395 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 17, 4:56 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 17, 4:56 PM
    Don’t convert it to a sealed system, you are asking for trouble, if it leaks you’ll have to have it all repiped.

    Sounds like you should get the zone valve checked before you get it power flushed.
    Originally posted by Alex1983
    This is what frightens me. Don't have that kind of money to sort that out.
    The 'Save 12k in 2017' #129
    Personal target 4,000.
    4169.36/4,000 (104%)

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself." Ermine to Cottage Economy, 2012
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 20th Sep 17, 4:57 PM
    • 805 Posts
    • 2,395 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    • #7
    • 20th Sep 17, 4:57 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Sep 17, 4:57 PM
    Id turn all upstairs off and see if do stairs works, if not then possibly pump or blockage most likely around cold feed.
    Originally posted by Alex1983
    Ok, will have a go and report back later to see what has happened.
    The 'Save 12k in 2017' #129
    Personal target 4,000.
    4169.36/4,000 (104%)

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself." Ermine to Cottage Economy, 2012
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 20th Sep 17, 8:20 PM
    • 11,053 Posts
    • 7,406 Thanks
    theonlywayisup
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 17, 8:20 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 17, 8:20 PM
    Hi,

    I'm a plumber in South East London and that does sound really steep for a days work..



    Richard
    Originally posted by multispammer
    Advertising your own business. What a great idea.

    Two posts, two spams. Brilliant.
    Last edited by theonlywayisup; 20-09-2017 at 8:23 PM.
    • worried jim
    • By worried jim 20th Sep 17, 8:31 PM
    • 8,627 Posts
    • 13,153 Thanks
    worried jim
    • #9
    • 20th Sep 17, 8:31 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Sep 17, 8:31 PM
    Spammer reported.
    "Only two things are infinite-the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the universe"
    Albert Einstein
    • Warwick Hunt
    • By Warwick Hunt 20th Sep 17, 8:32 PM
    • 365 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    Warwick Hunt
    Advertising your own business. What a great idea.

    Two posts, two spams. Brilliant.
    Originally posted by theonlywayisup
    So why quote him?
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 21st Sep 17, 6:17 AM
    • 805 Posts
    • 2,395 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    Ok, bit more of an update.

    Only four of the smallest radiators got hot, none of the three large ones, and we could not figure out the order that things were coming in on either. Radiators on different sides of the house were heating up, when logic said it should be in order. I think the house was too warm for everything to heat up properly. In the end at 10pm I put the boiler programmer onto HW and CH twice a day to see what would happen this morning.

    One hour after coming on this morning, all the radiators downstairs are now roaring hot.

    So, presumably I now turn on the upstairs radiators and see if they all come on simultaneously tonight? I won't do it now, as the house is too warm and I think the thermostat will cause me to struggle like it did last night. I'll wait until tonight when the house is cooler.

    After that I think I need to test the zone valve to make sure that comes on independently to the hot water. That is slack at the moment and I thought it should have some tension in the bottom two thirds of it?

    Also, would it be a good idea to put some inhibitor in the tank in the loft anyway as a preventative measure? I know the previous owner had in the past - I've found some of it in one of the outhouses along with some kind of system cleaner?
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 21-09-2017 at 6:27 AM.
    The 'Save 12k in 2017' #129
    Personal target 4,000.
    4169.36/4,000 (104%)

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself." Ermine to Cottage Economy, 2012
    • Alex1983
    • By Alex1983 21st Sep 17, 7:49 AM
    • 514 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    Alex1983
    Water is lazy and will go the easiest route which is why it just worked upstairs and first, when you shut upstairs off it had nowhere to go but downstairs. My fear will be with all open again it will just take the easy route and heat upstairs, if it does I think you’ll be looking at pump or restriction/ blockage. If it works fine then it could of been an airlock.
    • Wookey
    • By Wookey 21st Sep 17, 9:02 AM
    • 800 Posts
    • 403 Thanks
    Wookey
    Is there a valve/stat/timer that controls upstairs and downstairs rads separately or are they either all on or all off? If it's a case of all on or all off then read up on balancing rads, if they are on separate timers/switches etc then you need to find the one that is controlling the downstairs and work out what it is or isn't doing. As all the rads do heat it is unlikely to need a system clean and it never does any harm to add some inhibitor now and again, more so if rads have been taken off for decorating.
    Norn Iron Club member No 353
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 21st Sep 17, 9:13 AM
    • 805 Posts
    • 2,395 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    Water is lazy and will go the easiest route which is why it just worked upstairs and first, when you shut upstairs off it had nowhere to go but downstairs. My fear will be with all open again it will just take the easy route and heat upstairs, if it does I think you’ll be looking at pump or restriction/ blockage. If it works fine then it could of been an airlock.
    Originally posted by Alex1983
    Ok. Will open all the radiators this afternoon, see what we get and report back tonight.

    Is there a valve/stat/timer that controls upstairs and downstairs rads separately or are they either all on or all off? If it's a case of all on or all off then read up on balancing rads, if they are on separate timers/switches etc then you need to find the one that is controlling the downstairs and work out what it is or isn't doing. As all the rads do heat it is unlikely to need a system clean and it never does any harm to add some inhibitor now and again, more so if rads have been taken off for decorating.
    Originally posted by Wookey
    They are either all on or all off, however, they each have thermostatic controls. I'll open all of them up this afternoon ready for the heating to come on at 6pm and see what happens.

    I'm sure we can balance them if that is needed.

    We haven't taken the radiators off for decorating. I prefer to squish a tiny roller down behind them.
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 21-09-2017 at 9:26 AM.
    The 'Save 12k in 2017' #129
    Personal target 4,000.
    4169.36/4,000 (104%)

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself." Ermine to Cottage Economy, 2012
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 21st Sep 17, 5:19 PM
    • 1,158 Posts
    • 177 Thanks
    littlerock
    I used to have a system like this - does yours have relay valves for Ch and hot water circuits - have you checked them? can fail or get stuck
    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 21st Sep 17, 6:27 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 692 Thanks
    Apodemus
    You mention that you manually opened a valve? Our system has manual valves on the feed and return from the two separate zones and these need to be balanced, otherwise most of the water goes to the shorter leg (3 rads) and very little to the longer leg (5 rads) - this shows itself as a single cold rad. You may need to open all the thermostatic rad valves and then adjust the zone valves to get heat across to all of the rads.
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 22nd Sep 17, 7:06 AM
    • 805 Posts
    • 2,395 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    Well, another update.

    Adjusted the thermostatic valves open on all of the radiators and they all came on in the evening, upstairs and downstairs, so I'm cautiously optimistic that everything is ok at the moment.

    I just need to make sure I can switch to just hot water and the CH turns off. I can't switch between manual and auto anymore on the heating zone valve, it is on manual and permanently slack, so I might need that looked at so I don't end up with the heating only able to come on with the hot water.

    I don't believe the heating engineer didn't know what was wrong so that's the last time he comes here to do any work.
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 22-09-2017 at 7:11 AM.
    The 'Save 12k in 2017' #129
    Personal target 4,000.
    4169.36/4,000 (104%)

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself." Ermine to Cottage Economy, 2012
    • J B
    • By J B 22nd Sep 17, 8:47 PM
    • 2,305 Posts
    • 743 Thanks
    J B
    I don't believe the heating engineer didn't know what was wrong so that's the last time he comes here to do any work.
    Originally posted by Cottage Economy
    I'm sure you didn't mean to put a 'double negative' in there did you?


    <<I don't believe the heating engineer knew what was wrong>>
    or
    <<I believe the heating engineer didn't know what was wrong>>

    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 22nd Sep 17, 8:52 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 692 Thanks
    Apodemus
    I'm sure you didn't mean to put a 'double negative' in there did you?


    <<I don't believe the heating engineer knew what was wrong>>
    or
    <<I believe the heating engineer didn't know what was wrong>>

    Originally posted by J B
    Eh? I think the suggestion was that the heating engineer knew exactly what was wrong, but saw the chance to charge for a power flush!
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 3rd Oct 17, 9:42 AM
    • 805 Posts
    • 2,395 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    Eh? I think the suggestion was that the heating engineer knew exactly what was wrong, but saw the chance to charge for a power flush!
    Originally posted by Apodemus
    Yes, that is exactly what I meant!

    Finger's crossed, touch wood, etc., the heating is working ok now.

    So, the answer to the title of my post "Is an 800+power flush the only option?" is ...no, it flipping well isn't. A little bit of research on the internet, discussions and suggestions from you great people, and some logical testing has saved us a lot of money.

    Thanks to everyone who responded to my posts. It was much appreciated.
    The 'Save 12k in 2017' #129
    Personal target 4,000.
    4169.36/4,000 (104%)

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself." Ermine to Cottage Economy, 2012
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,578Posts Today

8,761Users online

Martin's Twitter