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Magnaclean Filter leaking brown sludge

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by guitarbloke, 6 Dec 2020.

  1. guitarbloke

    guitarbloke

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    I had an annual service on my boiler early last month under my British Gas Homecare policy. Immediately after the engineer left, I noticed water leaving from the Magnaclean filter (about 18 months old).

    I text the engineer right away but it took him a few days to reply as it was the weekend, and by the time he came back to me the leak seemed to have slowed right down/stopped. However, it looks like it's been leaking a brownish sludge ever since then - Photo attached.

    Is this something I can fix myself (bearing in mind I'm an absolute novice with zero DIY skills and boiler/magnaclean knowledge)?

    I have notified British Gas about this today, but even if they bother to reply (they've been truly awful to date) I'm not expecting them to send someone until the New Year, and even then I expect they will try to charge me for the callout :(
     

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  3. cross thread

    cross thread

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    Clean it off and tighten the lid slightly with the spanner
     
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  4. guitarbloke

    guitarbloke

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    Oh really? Is it as simple as that? :D I automatically assumed something must be broken, or a maybe seal got damaged - or something else beyond my remit lol
     
  5. endecotp

    endecotp

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    If simply tightening it a bit doesn’t stop the leaking it’s possible that the seal is covered in gunk or damaged. (Don’t over-tighten.)

    It’s not difficult to open it up - turn off the two isolation valves where the pipes join, and unscrew top and/or bottom of the filter with the special spanner.

    I don’t like the look of the brown gunge though. What do others think?

    Really you should get them back to deal with it, they shouldn’t have left it like that.
     
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  6. Madrab

    Madrab

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    I'd be taking a look at the system water if that's what's coming out of the filter. If the engineer had the cap off, which it sounds like it if it's just started leaking, then he should have seen that and notified you. Could he have nicked a seal or not set it back on properly, if the system water is like that then very possibly.

    I'd hazard a guess that it will be black and your CH system will need cleaned.
     
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  7. Not good at all.
     
  8. guitarbloke

    guitarbloke

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    I reached out to the engineer who visited to do the service last month - he had left me his mobile number. To his credit, he turned up at 8am today.

    He had a look at it and he believes it may be "some sort of lubricant that was in the top to protect the O ring", because it's the consistency of grease.

    He tightened up the filter and he feels it should be ok now, however your comments have got me a little worried... :eek:
     
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  10. Madrab

    Madrab

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    I'm sorry but that's Ball0cks, there isn't any sort of lubricant that would be used for the O ring in that cap, that would end up looking like that.

    Did he not take off the top and have a look at the seal to be sure? He also could have taken a sample of the system water at the same time to show you what colour it was. TBH it doesn't sound like he's very effective, if he didn't do that just as a matter of course but that can be certain engineers for you sometimes.
     
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  11. guitarbloke

    guitarbloke

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    Ah cr@p... I was afraid you might say that!

    He was only in here for maybe 5mins max, and definitely didn't open it up. He looked at it, wiped it down and tightened the cap and reckoned that it should be ok... :( I'll get back onto British Gas (shudder..) and see if they can come back before the New Year, maybe with a different engineer.
     
  12. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    If it was just a boiler service, rather than an heating system service, then he perhaps would not have seen that or disturbed it - unless it was near the boiler. It looks as if it has been weeping, for a very long time and undisturbed for an equally long time. Idea of the filter is to collect the magnatite (rust) to prevent it choking up your boiler, but the filter ought to be checked and cleaned out at every service - so really he ought to have checked it and cleaned it. It only takes a couple of minutes.

    What has collected on the outside of the filter due to it weeping, isn't really that much of a clue as to the state of the water in the system. His just tightening it, without checking it, does not fill me with confidence. Were it me, I would isolate the filter, take it off, give it proper clean out and refit it properly - you should be able to do that yourself.
     
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  13. Madrab

    Madrab

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    If your BG contract covers the boiler and system then that filter should have checked and cleaned, again, as a matter of course.

    That would indicate how well the system was fairing. How long has the contract been with BG?

    Even just as a plain professional approach I would want to investigate that but these guys have only a certain amount of minutes to do each job so the pressure's on from the start.
     
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  14. guitarbloke

    guitarbloke

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    Thanks Harry, I know for a fact it was clean as a whistle on the day of the service because I checked it and that when I discovered it was leaking (clean) water. That leak dried up after a couple of days - the engineer said it was normal for some residual water to leak out following a filter check (which he says he did as part of the boiler service). That was on 3rd November. The next time I looked in that cupboard was 4 weeks later when I noticed the gunge coming out of it. BG have said they will come back on the 29th and take a look but they say this is not an after effect of the service or down to anything their engineer has done (it never is, is it!:rolleyes:)

    I like the idea of taking the filter off and refitting it, but you're talking to a guy to took 4 days to fit a window blind and then had to call in a tradesman because I couldn't get it right... The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak haha!
     
  15. guitarbloke

    guitarbloke

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    My BG Homecare 400 contract covers the full heating system, but this was just an annual boiler service. The engineer noted on the paperwork that he had checked the filter, which I guess is why it started leaking water immediately after his visit. BG have reluctantly agreed to come back on the 29th so I'm just hoping the filter isn't being somehow damaged in the meantime.
     
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