Everyone is familiar with low boiler efficiency. This problem is very often caused by the build up of scale in the central heating system. But what does scale consist of? The term is used to refer to a substance which results from the deposition of either calcium carbonate or corrosion debris in the system.
Calcium carbonate is the major cause to boiler inefficiency as it is normally released by water as it circulates into the system. As the temperature rises into the system as a normal consequence of heating production, this substance become less soluble, so it tends to deposit over time forming the so-called limescale.
Limescale build up causes insulation in the central heating system. It means that once a layer of limescale is formed inside metal pipes, it prevents heating from being transferred from the metal to the water circulating into the pipes. The result is often an insufficient heating and energy waste.
Raising the boiler temperature means increasing energy consumption, so the most effective solution to restore your boiler efficiency is to get rid of scale. Sometimes, removing scale is also necessary to fix heating faults, which are very often caused by corrosion debris contained in the scale.
How can I get rid of scale?
You can remove scale from a central heating system in several ways. You might opt for a DIY internal boiler cleaning or have it professionally cleaned by an expert plumber. In any case, you can choose between two methods: acting directly on the pipes or opting for power flushing.
Water cleaners can be applied into the pipes to remove scale from the inside. In case you opt for this method, you might opt for one of the several water softening products on the market. These products, unlike toxic cleaners generally used to remove scale from fixtures, have the only function to dissolve mineral deposit and reduce water hardness in order to prevent limescale from forming inside the system.
Another efficient way to clean water pipes is to flush them with a home-made cleaner such as a vinegar solution. This solution can effectively dissolve mineral scale deposits and improve your boiler efficiency long-term. A regular flushing is recommendable to keep your boiler working properly.
A very effective way to thoroughly clean your heating system without acting directly on its components is power flushing. This professional cleaning technique allows to clean out scale build up from water pipes. To do that, high quality cleaners are pumped into the boiler through a cleaning machine so they can circulate into the system and clean the pipes. As the limescale and dangerous debris are dissolved, they are collected into the machine.