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Gurgling, whooshing in pipes: organic crud in F&E tank

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by GettingOnWithItAll, 3 Sep 2017.

  1. GettingOnWithItAll

    GettingOnWithItAll

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    The system
    Conventional open-vent indirect system in 1930s 3-bed semi fitted 10-15 years ago. Wall-mounted Potterton Suprima HE80 boiler downstairs in old coal/storage room, water & F&E tanks in roof space, immersion heater in upstairs hallway cupboard, Yonus Pico pump, Drayton 3-way valve, modern steel radiators in each room, Owl Intuition controller. After failure of the old pump 18 months ago, I fitted the Yunos and TRVs to the rads (except the hall one) and flushed the system. There are no air or crud separators.

    The issues

    1. Organic crud in F&E tank. The easy one first, mentioned more in case it's linked to the second issue rather than my needing advice (Aunty Google has found me plenty): My F&E tank has a horrible lightish-brown skin of crud on the top. It's like a light brown chocolate brownie with some white streaks in.
    This is on my first looking into the tank after the system was drained and refilled (with corrosion inhibiter) 18 months ago.
    I intend to remove the crud, use bleach to kill what I leave, add a biocide such as Fernox AF10 to the system and fit a proper sealed lid in place of the current lash-up.

    2. Gurgling, whooshing in pipes. There's always been the odd gurgling and whooshing noise from the boiler and pipes in the airing cupboard, before and after changing the pump, but nothing remarkable. Over the past 3 months whilst running only HW (ie the CH has been off) these have become loud and annoying; whilst the noise is predominantly from the airing cupboard pipes, the boiler is noisier and the rads noticeably whoosh and gurgle despite the CH's being off (I assume the noise is transferred rather than from the rads themselves).

    I can't identify a source for an air leak. Undoing the screw cap off the immersion tank coil pipes leads to clean fluid straight away with no apparent signs of air. The overflow to the F&E tank doesn't seem to be sucking on start-up or use. I've played with the pump's pressure settings without success (I'm working a bit in the dark, the Pico's instructions don't have much advice).

    The next thing that I'm going to try is switching on the CH and bleeding from the rads, in the hope that will capture air in the system.

    My main questions are:
    1. I'm assuming that the CH's being off means that the rads are not the source of an air leak, but is that true?
    2. If I can't find an air leak, will using a silicone sealant around the pump compression fittings ensure that there is no leak from there?
    3. If the noises persist and I go the whole hog of draining the system and fitting air and crud separators, what are the best ones/types (eg separate separators or a combined one - quality and value over cheap or snob-value) and what is the best location (I'm confused by what I've seen on the internet with most info is on completely different US layouts)?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Ian
     
  2. GettingOnWithItAll

    GettingOnWithItAll

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    Thank you to those that read this.

    I managed to find some advice in the best location for a separator - at the warmest point of the system, just after the boiler and before the pump. My installation is tight for space and fitting a separator on a horizontal pipe is impossible without re-siting the pump. There is though just enough vertical pipe to fit a vertical separator.

    I intended to spend a bit of time finding the best separator for me, but I ending up going straight for a Spirotec Spirocombi AC022V air and dirt separator as it was the last of batch on ebay substantially cheaper than I could find elsewhere.
     
  3. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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    3 Sep 2019
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