My house is heated by an oil furnace which also heats our water.
Recently our shower's hot water began to cycle to luke warm every 5-10
minutes - with the luke warm water lasting 5-10 minutes depending on if
the heat was on at the time. We called a technician to clean the
coils, which really increased our hot water temperature - but only for
a week and the temperature was still cycling. We've always had an
issue with hardwater (190 ppm or 11 grain) and we have to clean our
shower heads often. We also have many drain problems with soap sludge
for any drain that carries hot water. I would not be surprised if the
the temperature cycling of our hot water was caused by pipes being
caked with deposits - even inside of our radiator pipes, but I can't
seem to find any methods online for descaling pipes. There are many
sites for the magnetic or electromagnetic descalers - but I can't find
a single study showing quantifiable results using this method.
My question is: what is the normal method of descaling pipes? Does a
plumber replace every hot water pipe in the house? Can a chemical be
cycled through the pipes/radiators that dissolves the scale?
I know one guy who periodically pumps a vinegar solution out of a drum
under a basement drainpipe up through the whole hot water system, out
of the spigots and showerheads, and back into the drum.
The magnetic are just money magnets for the guys selling them. Unless of
course you have a cyclotron running at over 1000 amps. Then maybe.
If your water is that hard you need professional help. I would not tell you
about the chemical I use at work for this cause they are seriously
dangerous. Besides if the situation has gone on for this long with out
treatment you may be needed a re-pipe job.... I am sure you did not want to
Our chilled water system uses about $100 k of chemicals a month to keep the
scale reduced. Not remove it. We still tear everything down once a year and
clean it manually.
Side note. Most of the major rotohammer manufactures make hardened steel 3
inch wide chisels for this job inside of commercial boilers and chillers.
Call several companies and have them investigate. Then make a decision.
<Sigh>. I was afraid of that. Unfortunately I don't know of a good
way to investigate the extent of scale.
I guess we'll have the plumber investigate when he's installing the
Thanks for your suggestions.
there are chemicals to remove hard water scale but they can be
dangerous and may ruin your pipes.
I just used this in a toilet to remove hard water scale that had
plugged the bowl rim where the water enters. its like a super
worked great, but wouldnt recommend it inside pipes
you need a plumber to clean out your drains.
there may be problems of mineral accumulations at the various shutoff
water valves. and/or pipes.
you want to know what the shower flow is when the showerhead is
removed. your water pressure is part of this equation from the city or
your well pump. if the water pressure is good in the basement but bad
at the upstairs showerhead, let your plumber figure it out.
you may need your annual tuneup for your oil system. ask him to make
repairs and temperature adjustments to your system.
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