Bugs in my system
Updated: May 9
If you have central heating, then there is a very good chance that you will have bugs in your system well actually there can be several types of bacteria and they can have a serious impact on your system ranging from blocked pipe work and radiators to corrosion and boiler noise, and ultimately, system failure. Bacteria can be found in most water supplies and if the conditions are right it can bloom into full contamination of the system, the bacteria feed on the oxygen present in the water and produces gasses and solid materials which will lead to constant venting of the system and a build-up of solid waste that becomes sludge-like. The Ph of the water will also change, causing corrosion around pipe joints and connections. In an ideal installation, this doesn’t happen so much if the system doesn’t leak, but here in Cyprus lots of them leak, and the fitters install automatic filling devices to cover this. When freshwater is being constantly added so is oxygen too, and this gives the bugs more to feed on so the situation gets worse.
When a central heating installation has been installed and filled, it will need flushing several times firstly a hot flush is carried out by firing up the boiler and getting the system up to working temperature this will remove any residue of flux used in soldering the copper fittings. Soldering flux is very acidic and will quickly corrode the system following this we will flush a further two times before adding a quality inhibitor such as Fernox or Sentinel. Now sadly not every installer does this and good quality additives are not readily available on the shelves in Cyprus we usually have to bring it over from the UK I have seen many times antifreeze being sold as an inhibitor this isn’t likely to work very well.
We have found that many of the installations we have attended need a little help, especially those that are over ten years old. We get the phone call that ‘My heating doesn’t seem to heat very well’ and that ‘some radiators are not working at all’. Recently we replaced a boiler for a gentleman in Souni and the complete first floor didn’t work. So what we can do about it? Well, in the UK there are many companies offering what they call ‘POWER- FLUSHING’ and what this does is to remove all the solids from the central heating and restore the system to a ‘like new’ status. Power-flushing is something that we now offer as a service we use Fernox products to clean the system during a heating cycle this will ‘loosen things up’ and then the next day we will use our Power-flush machine to remove all the sludge and contaminants from the system, you would be surprised at how black the water looks that is being extracted. Each radiator is flushed one at a time until it satisfies us it is clean. Once the system is clean, we will add our inhibitor which will prevent the further build-up of bacteria.
We have carried out many of these flushes now, including the one in Souni where we restored the whole of the upstairs heating for him. Many of our customers have remarked that their home seemed hotter and that they have saved money on heating fuel.
Written for Cyprus living magazine by Steve Holloway from Cyprus HomeCare