How to Clean a Boiler

Posted by on May 31, 2021 in Cleaning Tips

Boilers and cleaning are an important part of home maintenance and hygiene. Your boiler is, after all, a crucial element of your property, keeping it, you, and your loved ones warm, especially in the winter months, and it also makes sure that you have hot water whenever you need it. 

It is also a complicated piece of equipment with numerous parts, heath sensitive elements, and water running through it. 

Boiler pipes in your bathroom - hot and cold water

At Go Cleaners we receive a lot of questions on cleaning boilers as part of your routine bathroom cleaning, thus we shed more light on it. It’s not a professional service we do, and that’s why you need to put some effort into keeping it well-maintained. And one of those jobs is keeping your boiler clean.

Why Clean Your Boiler

Just like any other object in your home, your boiler will collect, mould, mildew, dust and limescale. These build up throughout all intricate parts and electrical elements in a boiler, which can cause it to fail. So it is absolutely crucial to keep it clean and dismantle once in a while, or when onto ending with a year-long tenancy clean.

This is a job that you can do yourself, but if you have any doubts about your abilities, always call in a Gas Safe heating engineer to do it for you, says professional Ben Race. Causing unintended damage to your boiler could cause it to stop working and, rarely, could cause a gas leak.

Tools You Need

You need little to clean your boiler and as easy as following a deep cleaning checklist for the rest of your home:

  • A set of screwdrivers;
  • A wrench or few;
  • A vacuum cleaner;
  • A few rags;
  • Brushes;
  • Detergents. 

Cleaning the Boiler Itself

  • Turn off the boiler;
  • Remove front and top covers;
  • Clean tubes in the heat exchanger;
  • Clean back of heater and vent stack;
  • Wash burner tubes;
  • Vacuum the bottom and outside of the boiler;
  • Restart boiler.

Turn OFF the Boiler

Your boiler runs hotly, so before you clean, you need to make sure that it is turned off and that you have given it enough time to cool down.

Remove Front & Top Covers

You will probably need a screwdriver to remove the boiler’s covers so that you can access the boiler itself.

Clean Heat Exchanger Tubes

Use cleaning brushes to clean the tubes in the heat exchanger and remove any soot, dust, and carbon that has become trapped inside.

Clean the Back of Heater & Vent Stack

Use the same method to clean the back of the heater and the vent stack. It is very easy for dust and soot to collect here.

Wash Burner Tubes

Use clean water to wash your boiler’s burner tubes. You will need to make sure that you give them enough time to dry before you attempt to turn your boiler back on.

Vacuum the Bottom & Outside 

This job is messy. 

So, you find that you have created quite the dust storm in and around the boiler casing. You can easily remove this using a regular vacuum cleaner (thankfully!).

Restart Your Boiler

First, re-attach the front and top covers and then turn your boiler system back on, with the thermostat on a high heat level. The experts in free boiler grants Boiler Grants alarm to check that the blue flame appears so that you know the boiler is working. 

How Often Should You Clean the Boiler?

Ideally, clean your boiler annually. It is also a good idea to have it serviced at around the same frequency. Engineers can pick up on any problems early enough that they may be less costly to fix.

Cleaning Pipes & Radiators

The boiler itself isn’t the only part of your heating system that should be cleaned. The pipes and radiators that snake around your home will also need to be cleaned, and not cleaning them can cause damage to the boiler itself. 

Rather than dust being the key problem, in this case, the build-up will be sludge, rust, germs, and other debris. Deposits can stop your boiler and heating system from working as it should and, if left untreated for too long, can even cause the pipes to corrode.

Signs of a Clogged Heating System

  • Water and radiators taking longer to heat (making the system less efficient overall);
  • Some parts not heating at all;
  • Metal tubes bulge and eventually fail;
  • Leaky joints;
  • Heating control servo valve damage;
  • Obstructions throughout the vent system;
  • Erosion of tubes and pipes.

These are all signs that the water is being blocked from moving around the system as it should, potentially through a build-up of sludge and debris. It also means that the water inside the pipes is being insulated from the heat by the sludge and debris, preventing the water from getting as hot as it should, comments the Go Cleaners end of tenancy cleaning team.

So if you notice that:

  • Radiators are cold at the bottom and hot at the top;
  • Radiators don’t heat to maximum;
  • Odd noises when the boiler is on.

A good sign that you will need to clean out your heating system.

Power Flushing

The most effective way of cleaning your heating system is through power flushing, comment members of the Go Cleaners patio cleaning experts who specialise in the field. Use a mixture of chemicals that lift and break down the sludge and water to push through at a high velocity to flush out any blockages in your pipes. 

There are two major benefits of power flushing heating systems:

  1. Keeps your boiler working efficiently. If your boiler needs to work harder to heat the water in your heating system, this uses more fuel and will cost you more money (it’s also worse for the environment).
  2. Prevents corrosion. If parts of your heating system corrode, that really is an expensive and time-consuming fix. Power Flushing your heating system is a proactive way of preventing this from happening.

Can You Power flush a Heating System Yourself?

It is usually best to call in an engineer to do the actual power flushing for you. The case isn’t alike cleaning your deck without a power washer. You need specialised equipment to do the flushing and a mixture of chemicals that your engineer will know inside and out. It is still more cost effective in the long run to hire someone to come in and power flush the boiler system for you than leaving it blocked with sludge and having a potential catastrophic failure later on down the line. If the size and scope of work is too high, 

Cleaning Boilers, Final words

Cleaning the boiler itself is important because it prevents the build-up of dust and soot that can interfere with the boiler’s functioning. If there are signs that the rest of the boiler system has become blocked with sludge and debris, bringing someone into power flush it for you can prevent corrosion of the pipes and your boiler system from failing. It will also help it work more efficiently.