Boiler Sludge Problems Explained

Is your central heating system acting up? Around 20% of boilers face problems every year. The most common issue is sludge. Understanding and preventing central heating sludge could very well save you a lot of money and frustration by avoiding boiler replacement.

What Is Boiler Sludge?

boiler replacementSludge is a water-formed deposit which can include all solids carried by water. It reduces heat efficiency levels and can create scale formation in boilers.

How Does Sludge Form?

Sludge build-up forms when suspended materials found in the water stick onto the inner surfaces of hot boiler tubes. It can result in a combination of various solid materials such as corrosion matter, minerals, and oils. They find their way inside the boiler tubes through the hot water used to heat up radiators in your house. When the amount of sludge reaches a high level, it deposits on the boiler surface into layers preventing water from running through the tubes.

How Do You Know If You Have Central Heating Sludge?

The main symptom is the colour of the water when you release air out of the radiators. The darker the water, the more sludge your boiler might have. Because it occurs due to dirt and rust, if you don’t apply the right treatments to your boiler, sludge may spread into your radiators.

Sludge will increase the time it takes for the boiler to heat up water which is redirected to your radiators. Because of the poor quality circulation provided by the central heating pump, areas of your house may seem colder. This is caused by sludge reducing the flow of water through the boiler tubes and an increase of the required water pressure.

Higher Costs Caused By Sludge

Sludge causes water to move slower than clean water which results in the boiler taking longer to heat up. Because of the more heat required to warm up the water inside the boiler, you’ll be facing increased gas and electricity costs.

How Can Boiler Sludge Be Removed?

Sludge is difficult to remove mechanically, and different solvents have a minimum effect. The best way to get rid of sludge is to identify its origin, collect it and blow it out.

You can use magnetic power flushing equipment or an industrial power flushing machine to remove sludge from inside the boiler. Chemical solutions and magnetic filters can be used to prevent sludge build-up, but the only efficient way to get rid of it is by performing a power flush.

After Sludge Clean-Up is Done

After you’ve cleaned out the water you can install a magnetic filter or apply chemical inhibitors to avoid future sludge build-ups. Not only will you be saving time and money by avoiding the need for boiler replacement but you’ll also extend the life of your entire heating system.

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