Sludge Removal from a Heater: What Are the Causes of this Accumulation?

Sludge removal involves cleaning the entire central heating system to eliminate any sludge that may have accumulated in the circuit of a building naturally over time. Sludge accumulation is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the oxygen contained in the heating system reacts with the metals and triggers a redox reaction.

What are the causes of sludge accumulation?

Because the central heating system uses water as a heat transfer liquid for the energy and water is a corrosive element, the metallic parts made of copper, steel, or aluminum are subject to corrosion. Sludge is formed and affects the pipes, radiators, and even boilers at a speed that depends in particular on the quality of the water in your water system. Sludge removal is therefore recommended when a sign of deterioration appears in your circuit – every 5 to 10 years for regular heaters, depending on the quality of the water in your circuit, and every 5 years maximum for heated floors. When replacing and installing a new boiler or new heaters in your home, sludge removal must also be systematically performed.

Recognizing sludge accumulation

  • Coloured purge water: When you go to purge or even replace your radiators, consider checking that the purge water isn’t red, orange-ish, or black in colour to recognize sludge accumulation and prevent the deterioration of your heating system, which can be very rapid in this case.
  • Increased energy consumption: Because sludge accumulation doesn’t allow your boiler to work at its maximum capacities, it will consume much more than usual and therefore increase your energy consumption and your bill!
  • Blocked heating system: If you notice a decrease in the heat level and significant difficulty reaching the same temperature as before, your boiler may be blocked by sludge. Sometimes, cold zones may also appear because of poor hot water circulation due to a sludge accumulation that is blocking an area.
  • A very noisy heating system: If your heaters and/or boiler are noisier than usual, the accumulation of sludge, like that of limescale, may be the source of this problem, which can only be solved after cleaning. Be careful: uneven deposits that cause targeted and considerable noises in certain places in the heating system can also cause cracks.

Sludge removal techniques

Often, people who want to remove the sludge from their heating system use water combined with a powerful cleaning solution to rinse the system, but this generally only eliminates the sludge and limescale in suspension. For deposits that are embedded in the system, the pipes, or the heated floor, the best cleaning solution involves using a mechanical machine with a forced air system. These devices use hydrodynamic sludge removal to create jets that will dislodge then propel the particles, which can then be removed by rinsing the entire circuit with clear water.

Rely on cleaning professionals who know how to remove sludge from specific systems such as heating systems for the fast and effective maintenance of your heating system.

Sludge removal is a maintenance and protection solution for your heating system and an effective way to reduce your bill by saving energy and reducing your impact on the environment. Finally, it’s a solution to have a heating system that performs at all times and to avoid finding yourself with breakdowns during the winter!

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