Descaling home plumbing

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by muser3, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. muser3

    muser3 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Texas
    Good Morning all,
    I want to share and hopefully get feedback on a recent experiment.
    Our home was built in the mid sixties and has copper plumbing throughout the supply side. Because of mineral? deposits inside the hot water pipes we have very little water pressure and flow in the part of the house farthest from the water heater. I recently replaced our tankless water heater and while the old heater was out I descaled the hot water side of our system. Using a 1/3 hp sump pump, a 5 gallon bucket with 3 gal white vinegar and one gal CLR I attached a garden hose from the pump output to the hot water supply faucet in the utility room which is the farthest point from the water heater. The pump flushed the pipes with reverse flow from that faucet to the hot water pipe and bucket with pump in the water heater closet. After four hours the bucket had about an inch of white "bb and larger" sized chunks in it. I shut the pump off for the night, leaving the solution in the pipes and resumed the next morning.
    By then all the chunks had dissolved. During the first flush, I opened each bathroom hot faucet and let the descaling solution flow though. Repeated that again the next morning and flushed for another hour. After finishing the descaling I connected the cold water supply to the hot and left the hose connected to the washer faucet and put the hose outdoors so that it released the rinse water into the storm drain nearby.
    Our city water department had no problem with my releasing the rinse solution into the drain.
    After thoroughly flushing the pipes and inside faucets I closed the faucet and removed the hose and installed the new tankless heater. ( a Noritz double vent condensing unit that uses PVC venting.)
    We now have good hot water pressure and flow through out the house. We moved into the house in 1987 and have not had good hot water pressure until now. Before doing this I asked several plumbers about it and most thought it was too much trouble with little to be gained. What do you think? It's been over 30 days since I did it and so far I have seen no adverse effects, only greatly improved hot water flow and pressure to the kitchen and laundry.
    Lee
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,066
    Location:
    IL
  3. muser3

    muser3 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Texas
  4. SHR

    SHR Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I do not think flushing your system was the answer to your pressure problem. I bet the old water heater had so much build-up in the connections it was obstructing water flow. That said, it probably did not hurt anything as long as you disinfected the insides of your pipes after using a sump pump to pump the water in. I am glad your new heater is in and the water pressure is better.
  5. FarrellMackennon

    FarrellMackennon Man of pipes

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Bromley
    I think it's great that you managed to solve the problem in the end. At the end of the day, what you want is to see results right? But you might actually want to get a plumber or someone who can provide electrical plumbing services to come have a look at it, just in case. Not to fix it or fiddle around with it mind. Just some diagnostics to see if they can find any weak points in the system that may need a little paying attention to.
  6. muser3

    muser3 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Texas
    Scaling

    Since the old heater was tankless and was scaled regularly I found no build-up at all in its connections.
  7. muser3

    muser3 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Texas
    A plumber was here yesterday. All is well.

    Thanks to all for input.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    In my 60 years in the trade, I have NEVER seen a copper water system "clog up" with scale.
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