Boiler - Power Flash


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Old 12-31-09, 02:45 AM
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Boiler - Power Flash

I would like to know how can I descale the system (boiler and raditors) from scale.
What is the chemical that I can use?
An engineer told me it cost me over 400 to do this job.
Do you know anybody in London area who can do it much cheaper or I wonder if I can do it by myself.
Are you able to help me?
Thanks
 
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Old 12-31-09, 06:16 AM
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Do you have an open or closed system.
If it's closed there should be no need to de-scale it unless you talking about an indirect DHW heater.
 
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Old 01-03-10, 05:16 AM
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@ TOHeating
I am not sure what you mean open or close system.
As far as I know, there is an Ariston boiler with 5 radiators in different small rooms.
What is indirect DHW heater?
Thank you
 
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Old 01-03-10, 07:39 AM
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Is this a steam or hot-water boiler? A hot-water system is clear full of water with a pump that circulates water to the various radiators - and it operates at, say, 15 psi pressure. And there will be air-removal devices that eliminate air from the system. Such "closed" systems should not need descaling and don't need any water treatment.
 
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Old 01-03-10, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Speed 30 View Post
Is this a steam or hot-water boiler? A hot-water system is clear full of water with a pump that circulates water to the various radiators - and it operates at, say, 15 psi pressure. And there will be air-removal devices that eliminate air from the system. Such "closed" systems should not need descaling and don't need any water treatment.
Thank you for better explanation.
Yes, It is a hot water boiler with clear water in it.
Now back to my question, how can I descale the system?
What chemicals and tools do I need.
Thanks
 
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Old 01-03-10, 03:23 PM
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About 8 years ago, in my old house with a 30 yr old Weil_McClain boiler, I was getting alot of noise. Almost sounded like a percolating, light banging noise. I called a service company out, and they told me I had scale build-up in the boiler and that there was nothing I could do about it. The quoted me some crazy price for a new boiler though.

The boiler developed scale because of too much fresh water. There was a leak in the system when we moved into the house...I fixed the leak, but we always had some noise. Later, the whole system was drained to remove a radiator during a kitchen remodel....and after a re-fill was when things got pretty noisy.

Anyhow....I ended up putting a gallon or two of vinegar in the boiler...let it sit for a few hours...and then I flushed it out. The boiler was quiet as could be for the next few years that I lived in that house.

Now....I have no idea if adding vinegar to a boiler is a good idea...but it worked for me.

I just isolated the boiler from the zones by closing the valves. And I think I removed the TPV to pour the vinegar in.
 
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Old 01-03-10, 04:45 PM
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Guys, remember that this boiler is over across the pond... and doubtful that any of us colonists have ever seen one... and they do things different over there... but the bit about 'de-scaling' sounds like hogwash to me.

George, what has led you to thinking that you need to do this? Is there some problem with the system?
 
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Old 01-03-10, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
Guys, remember that this boiler is over across the pond... and doubtful that any of us colonists have ever seen one... and they do things different over there... but the bit about 'de-scaling' sounds like hogwash to me.

George, what has led you to thinking that you need to do this? Is there some problem with the system?
There is not hot water consistantly. It makes the showering a nightmare. I asked a technician to look at it. He told me it cost me 400 + VAT for using POWER FLUSH the system.

Also I think the answer would not be vinegar as Redhouse suggested.
I am looking for the professional suggestion for the problem.
Thanks
 
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Old 01-04-10, 04:29 AM
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There are a number of different companies that make flushing and descaling products. In the U.S., two common ones are

Hercules Chemical Heating Products

and

Residential Hydronic Radiant | Rhomar Water Management, Inc.

In the UK, they would likely be different.

Poor-performing domestic hot water can have many causes, including but certainly not limited to scaling.

We'd need more description of how your system works to provide advice on the best approach to dealing with the problem.
 
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Old 01-04-10, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by xiphias View Post
There are a number of different companies that make flushing and descaling products. In the U.S., two common ones are

Hercules Chemical Heating Products

and

Residential Hydronic Radiant | Rhomar Water Management, Inc.

In the UK, they would likely be different.

Poor-performing domestic hot water can have many causes, including but certainly not limited to scaling.

We'd need more description of how your system works to provide advice on the best approach to dealing with the problem.

Thank you for info, but it is NOT very useful for me as I live in London, England!
 
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Old 01-04-10, 01:01 PM
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I understand that. The point of providing them was:

- to make you aware that there are things other than vinegar for flushing. Although vinegar can be pretty good.

- to point you to some resources that also list MSDS information on ingredients, should you start looking for UK-locale similar products.

Of course, you could have just used the UK localized google to get things like this:

http://www.kamco.co.uk/GuidanceNotes...ingBoilers.pdf

http://www.miketheboilerman.com/descaling.htm

which should point you in the right direction about chemicals and process.

And I would reiterate that there are a number of other things than scale that can affect domestic hot water performance, ranging from type of heating appliance to control strategy to several other things.

Good luck!
 

Last edited by xiphias; 01-04-10 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 01-04-10, 03:03 PM
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It seems that in the U.K., hot-water boiler manufacturers advocate routine flushing and chemical cleaning: Glow-worm Boiler system cleansing

In the U.S., the generally accepted practice is to NOT routinely drain, flush, or chemically clean closed, hot-water heating boiler systems. Thus, most of us on this forum are probably unable to provide much guidance.

I can't explain why there is such a difference in philosophy. The prevailing opinion in the U.S. is that disolved or entrained oxygen in the circulating water is the major evil, causing water-side corrosion - and that whenever the system is drained and refilled, the make-up from the city water supply introduces air that, until it is eliminated by automatic air removal devices, will cause accelerated corrosion.

When opened for maintenance, I have not noticed scale forming on the water-sides of my system. When I have had to drain my system for maintenace, I have not noticed any sludge, such as indicated in the Glow Worm link above. I'm unsure where sludge would come from in a closed system. (With steel or iron components, the circulating water will appear black in color - but that is harmless.)

Probably best to check with the manufacturer of your boiler there in the U.K. for their suggestions.

You said that somebody quoted over 400 (= US$645) to clean your system. Based on the cleaning procedure described in the above Glow Worm link, it sounds to me like maybe a few hours' job, at most. Not sure what plumbers charge, per hour, in London, but....

The Glow Worm cleaning procedure seems well within the capability of many experienced DIYers with a few wrenches and tools. So, I would ask your boiler's manufacturer what type of chemical (and dilution) they recommend. If you don't feel sufficiently handy to do it yourself, I would get another quote or two, and ask them exactly what they propose to do. Or maybe even forget the whole idea.

Based on the Glow Worm website, the claim seems to be that without chemical cleaning, the boiler efficiency will drop, maybe 25%. Do you routinely have somebody check and tune-up your boiler? They may perform a combustion analysis. If so, they should give you a written report that includes the efficiency. By looking at that, and tracking from year to year, you could discern any reduction in efficiency. Personally, I tend to think that improving typical hot-water boilers' efficiency by 25% by chemical cleaning is unlikely.
 

Last edited by Mike Speed 30; 01-04-10 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 01-05-10, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by xiphias View Post
I understand that. The point of providing them was:

- to make you aware that there are things other than vinegar for flushing. Although vinegar can be pretty good.

- to point you to some resources that also list MSDS information on ingredients, should you start looking for UK-locale similar products.

Of course, you could have just used the UK localized google to get things like this:

http://www.kamco.co.uk/GuidanceNotes...ingBoilers.pdf

Avoiding rogue traders

which should point you in the right direction about chemicals and process.

And I would reiterate that there are a number of other things than scale that can affect domestic hot water performance, ranging from type of heating appliance to control strategy to several other things.

Good luck!
Thank you for the info which is very useful for me.

NOW, my second part of question is how I have to use this liquid, as the boiler is connected to the water pipe and we do not have water tank.
Do I need to open the boiler anf pour the liquid into pipe.
Do I need special tools?
 
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Old 01-06-10, 03:31 PM
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UK advice

Hello GeorgeKay

I had to post.

Firstly, the advice from Mike the boiler man is spot on. Kudos to xiphias. Excellent research.

Secondly, reading between the lines, you have an Ariston combi boiler. Yes?

You don't mention ( I think) the exact problem with the water.

In my experience, if you have hot water that is constantly not very hot or has a reduced flow, then the 'clean' side of the plate heat exchanger is scaled up. A particular problem if you live in a hard water area and do not have any limescale protection on the incoming mains water to the boiler. (Which you do need.)

If you have hot water that fluctuates between hot and cold - or trips the boiler stat out - then you have a problem with rust (in any of the three common forms) in the 'dirty' side of the plate heat exchanger.

The first problem you can generally sort out by removing the heat exchanger from the boiler (the installation manual should tell you how to do that) and soaking it in a diluted acid until bubbles stop coming out (this is not a scientific explanation and everything you do is at you own risk). Do this at least three times with fresh acid and shake the thing about when you flush it out under the ktichen tap (be careful about what material your sink is made from). Vinegar would work with enough time and a lot more immersions. Kamco FX2 is the one I use for most heat exchangers.

The second problem you can fix in the short term bu doing the above. There is no guarantee to this though. And the acid will take a LOT longer to work on the rust in the dirty side. And you will need to do many more than three immersions. Shake the thing around and flush water though from both 'ends' ( you'll see what I mean when you take the exchanger out.)

In the long run though, that issue is VERY likely to hapen again unless you have the system powerflushed to remove the dirt from the rads. The water from the rads is shared with the dirty side of the exchanger in a combi boiler.

Incidentally, why are you posting on a mainly US forum? Just interested.

For any US readers seeing this... I would LOVE to know why powerflushing has not shown up over the pond. It works wonders (when done correctly and for the right symptoms) over here. I;ve saved some of my customers thousands of pounds and massive upheaval by powerflushing their system instead of replacing the pipework.

Happy new Year to one and all, and especially to you George.

Best wishes

Ian Pritchard

P.S. Kamco's site is pretty good. I;ve no idea where you live, but take a look at Bob Jones site in Leicester [send PM for website] or you can look at mine in Wiltshire [send PM for website]
 

Last edited by NJT; 01-06-10 at 03:57 PM. Reason: sorry about the rulz!
  #15  
Old 01-06-10, 03:55 PM
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For any US readers seeing this... I would LOVE to know why powerflushing has not shown up over the pond. It works wonders (when done correctly and for the right symptoms) over here. I;ve saved some of my customers thousands of pounds and massive upheaval by powerflushing their system instead of replacing the pipework.
The 'symptoms' just don't seem to rear their ugly heads! I suppose it could be the design... maybe we are somewhat backward in some ways in adopting the 'tight' water passages that it seems many of the European designs seem to lean toward? You mentioned a 'heat exchanger', and I assume that means a brazed flat plate unit? Yes, I can see where they would tend to get limed up over time...

I've had to remove your 'advertising' web sites... I understand that they are purely informational, and your intent was only to inform, but the rulz iz da rulz ya know!

George, if you didn't get a chance to copy the website, feel free to send a private message to Ian to get that information.
 
 

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