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Got Sludge in Your Heating System

Got Sludge in Your Heating System? Causes and Remedies

If you have sludge in your heating system, it’s important to take action quickly. This can cause all sorts of problems, from decreased efficiency to complete system failure. In this article, we will discuss the causes of sludge build-up and some remedies that can help get rid of it.

What is Central Heating Sludge?

central heating sludge

Sludge is a sticky, black substance that can build up in your central heating system. It is made up of a variety of things, including dirt, soot, and debris. Sludge can cause all sorts of problems in your system, including decreased efficiency and complete system failure.

How Does Sludge Build Up?

There are a few ways that sludge can build up in your system. One way is through the use of dirty water. When water contains dirt and debris, it can become sludgy over time. This sludge can then build up in your system and cause problems.


Another way sludge can build up is through the use of poor-quality antifreeze. This can cause sludge to form and can clog up your system. Finally, sludge can also build up due to corrosion. When metal pipes corrode, they can release metal particles into the water. These particles can then combine with other substances and form sludge.

How Do I Know If My Boiler Has Sludge?

leak in boiler

If sludge is not removed, it can cause a leak in the boiler’s heat exchanger. This is one of the most serious problems that sludge can cause. A leak in the heat exchanger can lead to complete system failure, if you notice an issue like this best to call an engineer for a boiler repair. There are a few boiler heat exchanger leak symptoms that you can look for including:


  • Decreased efficiency
  • Strange noises coming from the boiler
  • Constantly breaking down
  • Leaks coming from the boiler
  • Radiator cold spots


If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to call a professional right away. A leak in the heat exchanger can be very dangerous and should be fixed as soon as possible.

How Can I Remove Sludge From My Heating System?

Now, you might think the best solution to get rid of this issue is to replace your old boiler and get a new boiler installation. If your boiler is old and acting up, you should certainly consider replacing the boiler. However, if your boiler is relatively new, you don’t need to replace it. Instead, you can fix your sludge problem with a MagnaCleanse.

What is a MagnaCleanse?


During a MagnaCleanse flush, chemically treated water is pumped through the pipes and radiators using a purpose-built machine. This chemical-treated water is meant to break down the sludge and sediment deposits in your boiler and radiators.  This process is referred to as a power flush. This process is effective in removing dirt and sludge built up.

How Much Does a MagnaCleanse Cost?

An average MagnaCleanse treatment costs about £300-£950. The costs also depend on the number of radiators you have in your home. At Senior Heating Services you can find our prices here, but if you are short on time we do a power flush at around £45 per radiator.

Consequences of ignoring the problem

If you neglect this sludge or sediment build-up, it can cause further problems in your system.


  • It will be expensive to run and maintain the boiler and radiator system.
  • The system will struggle to heat the home
  • ‘Wet’ parts of the boiler might get damaged by the loose debris
  • Due to heat exchanger blocks, the water will be warm instead of hot from your combi boiler
  • If your system is corroded, it might cause a leak
  • You might require a complete replacement of radiators and pipework.


Moreover, you may also need to replace your boiler and get a new boiler installation for your home. And this can be a hefty investment you might not be willing to make.

Alternative Options to MagnaCleanse


MagnaCleanse is certainly the best way to clean the sludge and sedimentation build-up in your boiler, radiators, and pipes. But the costs of MagnaCleanse might deter you from opting for this treatment.

If you don’t want to use MagnaCleanse as the treatment process, you can also go for a chemical cleanse or magnetic filter.


  • A chemical cleanse includes putting a chemical in the boiler or radiator and leaving it for a few hours or days. This removes any mild sludge or sediment build-up in the boiler. The remains can be washed out by putting water through the system. You can do such cleanse regularly to avoid excessive build-up.
  • A magnetic filter is also a great option to tackle loose or mild debris in the radiator. This is something we often insist on installing when completing an annual boiler service.


Yes, these two alternatives are cheap but are not as effective as MagnaCleanse in the long term. Though it is costly, it will help you keep your boiler or radiator clean and working efficiently.

Tackle Your Sludge Problem with a Professional MagnaCleanse

If you live near Poole or Bournemouth, you can get rid of your sludge problem with the help of our MagnaCleanse service in Poole or Bournemouth. Here at Senior Heating Services, we provide MagnaCleanse services during the boiler installation process to get rid of and prevent sludge build-up in your boiler and radiators.


Contact us today to find out more!


Do I need to Remove Radiator Sludge Before Installing a New Boiler?

If you’re installing a new boiler, it’s generally not necessary to remove sludge from your system. However, if you have an older system or a lot of sludge build-up, it’s best to have a professional clean your system before installing a new boiler.

How Do You Prevent a Heating Sludge Build up?

There are a few things that you can do to prevent sludge from building up in your system. One thing that you can do is use high-quality antifreeze. This will help to prevent sludge from forming. Another thing that you can do is have your system flushed every two years. This will help to remove any sludge that may have already built up. Finally, you can also use a sludge remover on a regular basis. This will help to keep your system clean and prevent sludge from forming.


If you follow these tips, you can help to prevent sludge from building up in your system. This will help to keep your system running smoothly and prevent major problems from occurring. Sludge can cause a lot of damage to your system, so it’s important to be proactive and prevent it from happening.

Can you Put Vinegar In Your Radiator?

You should never put vinegar in your radiator. Vinegar is an acidic substance and can damage the metal in your system. If you have sludge in your system, it’s best to use a sludge remover or have a professional come and clean your system.

Can You Flush Your Own Central Heating System?

You can flush your own central heating system, but it’s important to be very careful. This is a delicate process and if not done correctly, it can damage your system. It’s best to have a professional do this for you.

How Often Should I Flush My Heating System?

It’s generally recommended that you flush your system every two years. This will help to keep sludge from building up and causing problems.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Sludge From a Heating System?

The cost of removing sludge from a heating system can vary depending on the size of your system and the amount of sludge that needs to be removed.


Get in touch with us today to get a MagnaCleanse quote or any services relating boilers and heating!

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