Dirty F and E Tank

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by StotheC, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. StotheC

    StotheC New Member

    Hi All,

    Been doing some sorting round the house and have noticed that our f and e tank is really dirty also one of our radiators has a dry brown mark underneath it (not big just like a drop), our radiators all seem to heat up fine except one i have to bleed every so often. I've had a look on the forum/google for info around it and I don't think my radiators are full of sludge as they seem to be hot at the top and bottom but I was going to bleed some of the radiator water into a container and see what the colour of the water was before doing anything major.

    if the water I collect is clean should i just bale/syphon the dirty water from the f and e tank and then give it a good clean over? as I don't want to drain the system and then get the dirty water circulating.

    also should I add any inhibitor to the f and e tank after? suggestions?

    Many Thanks

    (sorry no photo of the tank as not at home)
  2. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Use wet n dry vac to clean out tank, stick bungs in outlet pipes in tanks will stop crud getting drawn into system.
  3. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    You will almost certainly have "dirty water" in the system due to expansion and contraction every-time your heating is on.

    As KIAB suggests, put a bung in the outlet, tie the ballcock up or turn off the isolator, bale out most of the water and then vacuum out the residue - or do it by hand.

    If your radiators are sludged up, I would guess you don't have a magnetic filter. So you may think about fitting one and given the time of year, you could drain down and then remove each radiator individually and hose through to remove the worst.
    KIAB likes this.
  4. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Can recommend Magnaclean Pro 2 magnetic filter.

    Suprising how much crud a filter can collect.
  5. Dave does Gas

    Dave does Gas Well-Known Member

    Decorators sponges are good for F&E cleaning if you dont have a wet and dry hoover
    KIAB likes this.
  6. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    Problem with that on a sludged up system, is you will be cleaning the filter every ten minutes as you vibrate each radiator.
  7. StotheC

    StotheC New Member

    Wet and vac dry is out of the question at the moment so i'll keep on the cheap side and get my arms dirty lol

    KIAB and Pollowick, regarding the bung is that just for when im cleaning it? would the system just not let anything down anyway? for the drain down and radiator clean i'll need to find time to do that as 11 radiators in the house :( i'll have to see about the magnetic filter.

    What about an inhibitor for after Ive done the clean out, any recommendations? and can i just put it into the tank after.

  8. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Well-Known Member

    Get a wet and dry and use it to vac out the pipes and each radiator on the system, flushing with clean water. Then re connect and run for a couple of weeks, drain and vac out again. Fit a filter, inhibitor and refill.
  9. StotheC

    StotheC New Member

    cheers Bob Rathbone but how do i do it on the pipes and Radiator as never used it before?
  10. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    It will not allow a flow, but you will stir up the muck and you just want to avoid any-more going into the system.
    KIAB likes this.
  11. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    And you can have so much grief when the crud get caught at a gate valve & builds up, & you end up having to cut out a section of pipe to clear the blockage.
    Pollowick likes this.
  12. Peter208

    Peter208 Active Member

    A simple syphon with a bit of hose and bucket with the ball valve held up will suck out the dirty water and a lot of the muck in the f&e tank, then clean with your sponge.
    I use a piece of garden hose with a valve at one end. Fill the hose with clean water then shut the valve. Now place the open end into the F&E tank then open the valve and drain into the bucket, remembering that the valve end needs to be lower then the open end for it to syphon, so this will only work if the F&E is raised off the floor level, luckily for me mine is.
    retiredsparks likes this.
  13. StotheC

    StotheC New Member

    Awesome thanks guys.

    Going to work on it tomorrow
  14. StotheC

    StotheC New Member


    So gave the F and E tank a good clean out (plugged the pipe with a carrot) made sure it had a good scrub all over and now fresh water is in it, the previous owners used a flimsy polystyrene lid wrapped in a black bag to cover the tank but its broke now, any thoughts on what to replace it with or just leave it?

    After that I got some inhibitor (store recommended a Fernox F1 Express) this was to go straight into the radiator, well the instructions on the can were ok but still not straight forward for a beginner but at least its in the system now. I did drain some water out the radiator first and found out its black but when testing the radiators afterwards they seemed fine, so maybe I just need to drain the system in a few weeks and get fresh water in.

    Thanks for all the help guys
  15. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    Those were the standard covers supplied with F&E tanks - not perfect but they do the job required.
  16. StotheC

    StotheC New Member

    looks like I need to find another lol
  17. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    You need some cover over it to keep out the crud, plus should be insulated.

    Can get replacement lids for tanks, if you know it's size or got model number, competitor sells 25 & 4 gallon lids.

    And they also sell Bylaw 30 kits which prevents contamination of drinking water.

    PM you a link.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  18. StotheC

    StotheC New Member

    Thanks KIAB

    I'll need to double check but i'm sure its insulated. With regards to the cover if I cut a plastic lid to size would that be ok?

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