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Cleaning radiant tubing

radmixradmix Member Posts: 194
I have a project that was installed with non oxygen tubing some time ago. The system has some sludge in it from the reaction with the boiler. I'm going to install a heat exchanger to isolate the boiler system from radiant system. Is there a product I can use to clean out the pex tubing. It seems to have sediment in it.

Comments

  • Rich_49Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,546
    Caleffi

    flush and fill cart . You cannot beat this thing for cleaning terrible tubing . Easy to use and you collect the garbage in the lines which insures the customer they got cleaned up nice .  Really good investment for anyone performing hydronic operations / installs .  Get yourself one .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • radmixradmix Member Posts: 194
    flush and fill cart

    I like the cart but what solution should I be using.
  • Rich_49Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,546
    After

    You have flushed the individual loops a couple times to clear the fluid use just what Swei has linked to . Too expensive to just be pissing away though , take the time to use straight water first .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Water first for sure

    usually beginning with a street pressure flush (or crank up the Pressuretrol if they're on a well.)  Once you see clean water coming out of the drain(s) then move to the next step.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 14,384
    ppppressure

    what you probably have is iron ferrite sludge. it is common in non barrier tube systems. Depending on how long it has been running and how much O2 has been pulled in will determine how tough it will be to clean.



    In some extreme cases the tube can sludge so badly that it cannot be salvaged. The small diameter RadiantRoll and TwinTran tubes can be a bugger to get flowing.



    Determine if the loops flow at all. If so a good pressure flush can usually clear them out.



    You may want to isolate or disconnect the boiler from the piping, generally they do not handle pressure over 30 psi. Isolate the expansion tank also.



    All the rest of the components should be rated for 150 psi, and it may take all of that to free up some sludged loops.



    Once you get all the loops and piping flowing you could add a cleaner like the Rhomar.



    None of the hydronic (soap based) cleaners will dissolve the iron particles, if that is what you have in the system, pressure is what it takes and lots of water flow to move the heavy particles out.



    In some cases systems plug with lime and minerals from constant water make up due to a slab leak somewhere. To clean a limed up system you need a mild acid product like Hercules Sizzle or other brands.



    Once you get it flushed and flowing, isolate with a HX as you mentioned and still add a magnetic separator to catch and capture any remaining iron ferrite that may still linger.



    All non-ferrous components on the tube side, of course, when you repipe.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 9,530
    flushing technique

    It would seem to me with out actually knowing how much debris is in the loops you would want to start out with low pressure slowly increasing once good flow is established to avoid a blockage in the tubing from a right off the start high pressure flush. Never had to do one so just asking.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 14,384
    correct

    start with boiler fill pressure 12-15 psi, that way nothing needs to be isolated or taken out of the circuit. Disconnect one side of every loop at the manifolds, see if they all flow. If you have some that are not flowing I would use higher pressure. Start with house water pressure, still no flow, go with high pressure.



    I have had good sucess with this method, plenty of RadiantRoll and early Entran here in SW Missouri, home of Heatway :)



    There were several jobs that loops and entire zones had to be abandon, plugged solid.



    Heatmeister out in Colorado is the "meister" of radiant flushing, he has developed methods and tools just for this purpose.



    A pressure pump that pulsates might be a good method. I remember installing and servicing the old SoftSpray car washes with my dad. They used a single cylinder piston pump that would pulse the water spray. They did move the dirt along better, but those recriprocating pumps needed frequent repairs, and were crazy loud to work along side of.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • WeezboWeezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    Howdy Hot Rod.

    do you recall the pex line tube thawing lash up i made long time back? It had a thin line lashed to a hose connector? this works for more than getting ice out of a line...

    i think there is a picture of it in one of my earlier posts a couple a few years back.



    i noticed that i cleared stuff that looked like wet cement slurry out of some of the lines,

    so i think this tool is real tight to the real world application in this instance.



    it acts like a mini steam jet as it were. i will look for a link....

    Weezbo.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 14,384
    I remember

    A micro jetter is what we need to develop!



    Something with an 1/8" flexible line that could pull itself through several hundred feet of pex. Heck doctors push tubes through our veins and can take pictures and do some sampling even.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me

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