Rust buildup in pipes

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Mad Plumber

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My sister's home has copper water lines. It was on a well for a very long time but about 2 years ago was switched over to city water. The pressure has dropped steadily ever since. Hot and Cold are both very low on pressure. The lines are closing up with rust so that only a tiny hole is available in the center of the lines to carry water. Can this be flushed out with something like bleach? Can they be snaked somehow? They don't want to replace all the lines if there is another solution. When my Brother-in-law increased the pressure slightly at the regulator valve, lots and lots of rusty looking water ran from all fauctes for a long time.
Thank you for your help with ideas!

Copper pipes do not "rust" so it has to either be in the water itself or there are sections of steel pipes that are rusting. They cannot be snaked, bleach is a disinfectant not a solvent, if it is calcium buildup, muratic acid would dissolve it but then you could not drink or use the water for until all traces were gone. In any case getting rid of the rust is not the problem. You have to find out where it is coming from otherwise it will just keep returning.Or as Ahkmid would say, "The camel chased away from the tent will always return."

I agree, the camel that was chased away "will" return! I know this because I had a customer that wanted his camel chased away, and dang! if that camel just kept coming and coming back. We chased that camel around his yard and threw all kinds of solid objects like rocks and pine cones and it still kept coming back.

Well we fixed that old rascal camel by replacing that crummy ol rusty pipe with new stuff. Rip, rip, rip out that old pipe and get the new better stuff in thar!
Mad Plumber
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