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Confusing problems with heating system

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by vegasgo, 29 Mar 2012.

  1. vegasgo

    vegasgo

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    Just wondered if any can offer some help with our problem.

    We own a house, lived in til 2009, then rented out. In 2005 we had a complete new heating system installed - Gloworm combi boiler and Acove column radiators from B&Q.

    Over the years we've had several pressure issues, but always got working again. Then before Christmas the real problems started.

    Our tenents told us the boiler was losing pressure again. Plumber came out, replaced the filling loop, pressure relief vale and divertor valve assembly, cleaned pump and heat exchanger. But it was still losing pressure.

    After taking up the floorboards and pressure testing the whole system, a leak was detected in the pipe work leading to a rad in the kitchen. As the pipework was under concrete, we decided to cap this one off under the floorboards and the kitchen would have to make so with one remaining rad.

    Plumber suggested a power flush and magnetic filter be fitted to give the system a proper clean, so we did, finished off with inhibitor. Result - whole system working better than ever.

    Last month, just a few weeks after all this work, the system packed up again. Back came the plumber - the magnetic filter and heat exchanger were blocked again, full of tiny particles. It was all cleaned and once again all run smoothly.

    So to today. The system has packed up again, and our plumber is lost for words. He can only think the rads are rusting inside and the debri is blocking up the filter and heat exchanger. A new boiler wouldn't go amiss either.

    I cannot believe rads that are only 7 years old are failing already. Is that unheard of? Or are we looking at something else? Really don't like the prospect of having a whole new system installed. Any advice appreciated, thanks.
     
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  3. D_Hailsham

    D_Hailsham

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    How long did the power flush take?

    Did you witness the power flush, if so can you give a brief description of what was done?

    Were any cleaning chemicals used during the power flush? If so, which?

    Was an inhibitor added to the system when it was refilled after the power flush? If so which?
     
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  4. vegasgo

    vegasgo

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    I will try to get this info together.
     
  5. dcawkwell

    dcawkwell

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    More than likely your plumber has done a bad job of the flush.

    Left loads of chemical cleaner in the system.

    This has worked wonders over the next few weeks brought all the dirt out
    of the radiators and blocked up your boiler.

    I suggest you give him a good kicking next time you see him.

    System and boiler need flushing again. I suggest just flushing
    the system out with mains cold pressure.
     
  6. mysteryman

    mysteryman

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    Aren't they aluminium radiators? A magnetic cleaner is not useful for that, and special inhibitors are needed. Also, check the pre-charge pressure in the expansion vessel when the system pressure is zero.
     
  7. vegasgo

    vegasgo

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    I suspect the power flush has something to do with it.

    My tenent said he was there all day flushing the system, opening and closing the rads to flush them through, then shutting them all off to do the boiler.

    When he came over last time it packed up, he said the secondary heat exchanger was blocked from the primary heat exchanger.

    I will talk to him after he's visited again and ask about the chemicals he used and whether magnetic cleaner is not useful for aluminium rads.
     
  8. Nige F

    Nige F

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    Acova rads are steel ;)
     
  9. Nige F

    Nige F

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    Unless he`s Gas Safe :LOL:
     
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  11. vegasgo

    vegasgo

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    OK, spoke to my engineer.

    The chemicals used in the power flush were SX2 (FX2?), with nutralising crystals.
    The inhibitor used was X100.

    He said he's done loads of powerflushes before and never had this problem. Completely denied that any chemicals are left in the system.

    He went back to the propertly earlier and said rust is coming out of the rads and they are shot. Also said he won't do anymore work without being paid, inc a second power flush using just water.

    As I see it, the initial problem with the boiler was it was losing pressure. That was cured. I took his advice on getting a power flush and since then all this has started.

    Overall, it cost £1200 for the work to be done, the first £500 of which was paid by our insurer. The powerflush comes with a 12 month guarantee, though that seems of little use.

    Where do I go from here?
     
  12. dcawkwell

    dcawkwell

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    Not a fan of powerflushing myself.

    I put in a whole new boiler for less than £1200 around here. East Yorkshire :)
    Anyway what I suggest not knowing your system is.
    Boiler off. Drain system down using central heating drain cock and hose pipe.
    Remove all radiators from the walls and flush out with a hose pipe. Take your time.
    Put them all back and fill up and hope for the best.
    A competent DIYer should be able to handle that.

    As per other comment if system was installed with non barrier pipe it
    would rust quickly without a strong dose of inhibitor. The plastic piping should say BARRIER along the side.
     
  13. hansthebear

    hansthebear

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    is it piped in non-barrier plastic?
     
  14. vegasgo

    vegasgo

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    The pipe work is all copper.

    Would simply draining the system, cleaning the filter and heat exchanger, then re-filling - be of any use?

    Don't really want to take all the rads off the wall!
     
  15. dcawkwell

    dcawkwell

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    No radiators. Go for it.
    You might be ok with just the downstairs radiators off.
     
  16. vegasgo

    vegasgo

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    If there are chemicals still in the system, would a simple drain get rid of most of them along with the debris?
     
  17. doitall

    doitall

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    What chemicals are in the system.

    Was any electrical work done prior to all the problems.
     
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