Sludge in rads! is it because of plastic pipes?


Postby kbrownie » Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:22 am

Hi everyone, (I POSTED THIS BEFORE BUT SEEMS NOT TO HAVE BEEN PROCESSED, SO I APPOLOGISE IF IT APPEARS UP TWICE)
I have had a new boiler fitted, the system is full of thick black sludge( not happy with plumber for not flushing system before lovely new expensive boiler was installed) This sludge is from previous boiler breakdown. I had some colds spots that was due to sludge.
So I have flushed system out had rads off, power hosed them out until all clear water but still some murky water coming from system when draining down, which I guess was in pipe work. I have now put a flush/cleaning fluid into system. Hoping all my hard work power hosing rads has paid off.
My plumber is coming to sign off boiler tomorrow, but he tells me the reason for the black sludge is because the central heating system was installed in plastis pipes (this was done about 6 years ago) and this allows oxygen in the system, which will cause water to oxidize and corrode system. I under stand the scientific bit, but is this true of plastic pipes and what is the best method to either stop this happening or reducing the effects.
Sorry for going on, nearly wrote a book.
Any help, suggestion greatly appreciated.
Many Thanks
KB
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Postby Paulo83 » Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:04 pm

Ok first of all, the plumber should have given the system a thorough flushout BEFORE fitting the new boiler. Now your new boiler will be full of sludge-not good! Demand that he flushes the system!!

The plumber is correct about the plastic pipes, they are terrible and 'breathe', allowing air into the system. Your long term options are 1.repipe in copper (too expensive) 3.keep the plastic pipes but powerflush system every 2years(expensive and a pain) 3.Install a magnaclean filter(cost £100) these attract all the sludge and are easy to clean out.

Go for option 3 , i would.
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Postby rosebery » Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:06 pm

It depends which plastic pipe is fitted. If it's barrier pipe then that's what the barrier is designed to do - keep out the air.

Please note that copper pipe and fittings can also let in air - it's called a micro leak.

It sounds as though he blaming his failure to flush the system properly on what he considers to be an "easy target".

Cheers
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Postby frogger » Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:34 pm

as Roseberry said, depends if the pipe is barrier, if not then it could well be the cause. If it is severe black sludge accumulated in just 6 years then you have a problem that you must sort out now !
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Postby kbrownie » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:26 pm

Hi all thank's for replies, some interesting stuff!
The boiler was installed whilst I was away on holiday and when I came back I noticed cold spots on rads, this is what alerted me to the sludge problem.
I contacted plumber who fitted new boiler and gave him a BOL******G (have I spelt that right?) As I was aware that old boiler should have been used to flush system out. (and he had not been paid yet!).
So I offered to flush system out as I did not want this to develope in to a big problem, ( and knocked money off bill for my trouble) but after draining system down a few times the cold spots did not really improve a great deal, even though water seemed to clear up.
So I thought best to remove all rads and power hose them out, which I did. It took some time but manage to get clean water in rads. Then run system for awhile before draining system down again and adding a flush.
But if the plastic pipes are going to be a long term problem. I think I will install the magnaclean filter as suggested by Paulo83, as it seems the most effective thing to do.
Can I install this myself or is it something that needs to be done by a qualified plumber.
Plus was it the right thing to do regarding the cleanig of rads.
Not sure if barrier pipe installed about 6 years ago it is micro pipe about 10mm in dia.
Again thank's for replies.
KB
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Postby bobplum » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:54 pm

just to add to the mix ive emailed hepworth this morning to get there view on the breathing problem as soon as i get a reply will let you know
bob
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Postby kbrownie » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:16 pm

Thanks bobplum,
I look forward to hearing the outcome.
Regards
KB
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Postby rosebery » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:53 pm

Air ingress via pipework (of whatever type) may be a contributory factor but I suspect that that's not the root cause.

If the boiler was old and the system badly sludged before the change then that's where the majority of the oxygenation of the water comes from leading to further corrosion leading to more sludge etc etc.

IMO it's seriously bad practice NOT to flush a system properly when fitting a new boiler not only to remove sludge but also the byproducts of fitting - flux, solder etc in the pipework.

The installer is at fault. Don't let him pass the buck.

Cheers
rosebery
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Postby kbrownie » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:09 pm

Hi rosebery, the old boiler (not the missus) has installed at the same time as the pipes about 6 years ago, it was a Vokera boiler that came with quite a good reputation as of then was supposed to be a really good make.
But had it repaired twice whilst under warranty, first time something trivial, like at wrong setting but made fuel bills high and then the fan was whistling.
Then the heat exchanger went after that and then went again, that's why decided to dump it for condensing boiler.
The system was cleaned out about 18 months ago that was when the heat exchanger went first time around.
I don't know if that was a contribuating factor to this most recent problem.
Regards
KB
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Postby frogger » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:29 pm

You can tell if the pipe is barrier by the markings on the exterior. The barrier is marked with blue ink and the non barrier with blue. However the original pipe that creates the problems is marked in blue ink (hot and cold services and for central heating). This pipe however does breathe air and is a major problem if fitted !
frogger
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