What is Sludge?
Sludge or Magnetite in scientific language is a for or rust created by an interaction of the iron in our radiator and oxygen
dissolved in the water of our central Heating system
Sludge is responsible for a list of boiler faults from jamming vales, breaking seals up to blocking heat exchangers, sensors and
pumps. Sludge damage is NOT covered by any standard boiler warranty, so it is essential for the boiler owner to take steps to remove it from their system prevent it developing
Sludge is also reducing the boiler and radiator efficiency. Sludge doesn't conduct heat very well and as it builds up over the
inner surface of the heat exchanger and radiators, it blocks some of the heat from getting through; the radiators don't get very hot so the boiler needs to work longer to heat up the room. That costs
you more gas
There are a number of ways to remove sludge from central heating systems:
- Mains Flush - Flushing the system with mains water. This method is a” budget flushing" it can get rid of large proportion of
sludge from each and every radiator in a fairly short time
- Powerflush - Flushing the system thoroughly using specialised equipment. This method bring ultimate results as each radiator is
safely being treated with hot water and chemicals pumped back and forth to remove sludge hidden in the centre folds of the radiator too. It is a time consuming procedure, better results are cost
There are ways of preventing the build up of sludge in heating systems. They are more known as Water Treatments and are down in two
ways. Chemical Water Treatment and Magnetic Filtration
- Chemical Water Treatment is done by adding to the water in the heating system a chemical that prevent the interaction of oxygen
with iron. It is recommended to check the level of these chemical from time to time in order to insure their effectiveness.
- Magnetic Filtration is done by adding to the central heating pipework a seal compartment with a strong magnet inside. The magnet
attracts the flakes of sludge (as can be seen above) including dissolved iron and rust and reduces the amount of free iron particles in the water. These filters need to be cleaned from time to time
and it can be done by a non skilled person too.