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cleaning pipe and fittings to remove cutting oils

leonzleonz Member Posts: 100
To the fine membership of the board I am just throwing this out there to help and not hinder steam piping as a possible suggestion;


Has anyone used Arm And Hammer washing soda and dawn dish soap and soaked the threaded pipe fittings in warm water and washed out the pipe before threading it together?
The Arm And Hammer Washing Soda is a great multipurpose cleaner and the use of the Dawn Dish Soap would help cut the oils to let them dissolve and be flushed out before installing the threaded pipe.
I know its one extra step but perhaps it would be worth the effort to help in skimming the boilers?

Comments

  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 3,272
    There have been people in the past post on here that they actually washed the pipe in the parking lot at the supply house.

    I doubt I could ever find the thread, but I am pretty sure this has been discussed before.
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  • MilanDMilanD Member Posts: 983
    I read somewhere old timers used to have their apprentices do this very thing.

    Whenever repiping rads I wash all the new fittings threads with dish soap and a rag. This summer I replaced a 4ft section of a 2-1/2 inch riser that rusted on the horizontal run around the king valve and did just that. It's a great way to cut down on oils and eliminate the need for prolonged skimming and boiler cleaning.

    Great tip!

  • leonzleonz Member Posts: 100
    I forgot to add this earlier; if you have a garden hose sprayer hooked up to a laundry sink tap you can use the garden hose sprayer to wash the threads and inside diameter of any size steam or hot water threaded pipe with a mix of dawn dish soap and washing soda and just let it drain out.

    I use a garden sprayer with an integral shut off valve ment only for use with dawn dish soap and a little bleach to wash out the radiator coil in my living room window air conditioner every year; and that gets rid of the moldy smell by leaving the air conditioner upright resting on a plastic folding table with the grill and fine dust screen off and I just let the hot water, soap and bleach work through the coil to clean it.

    I wonder how well this would work when cleaning furnace hot water heat exchanger coils by laying a thick layer of plastic sheeting under the coil/in duct and making a form filled tub and and using a shop vac with a puddle sucker attachment to draw the water out as you wash the coil?

    I hope this helps and I apologize for forgetting to put it in my first post.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 3,489
    I have done this for an old boiler that has no skim port and no easy way to add one. Changed out dry/wet returns and drips.
    Garden hose to the drain port of the electric water heater. 5 gallon bucket with Dawn. Soft 3' long brush, rinse off in sump pit.
    Convenient and flushes the bottom of WH also.
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,943
    bucket of dawn mixed with water for fittings and lengths of pipe i cut and thread on site. cuts down on skimming immensely. That along with @Hatterasguy 's horizontal slit on a cap on the skim port moves things along quickly during skimming.
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 7,215
    Would a small pressure washer work, they do a lot of cleaning with not much water. You can add detergents also.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • leonzleonz Member Posts: 100
    Hello Bob,

    A pressure washer would work too when cleaning the threads. Perhaps if you had a scrub brush head for the wand it would well too. A little inconvenience when preparing the pipe joints and the fittings would be worth it.

    you would want to secure the fittings in pipe vice so that they do not blown away by the water pressure though.

    Hydrogen peroxide as well as isopropyl rubbing alcohol are both good for cleaning all sorts of parts too.
  • Dave0176Dave0176 Member Posts: 694
    Good ole brake clean works good too. Expensive though.
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  • FredFred Member Posts: 5,573
    These all seem like good cleaning techniques but none of them will eliminate the need to skim a new boiler. In my opinion, the oils on the threads of any new pipe/fittings will just be a fraction of what's in that new cast iron boiler. If it has to be skimmed several times, anyway, why add that labor onto the installer? Skimming isn't a painful task, IMHO. Let the installer spend his time plumbing the system correctly. Reading is easier than either of these tasks. I'm just say'in.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 3,489
    True, Fred, that is good logic for new install, skim it as needed all at one time(s).
    If as in my case, I never get to install a new steam boiler, and only do repairs around the piping, then I will do the extra washing.
    Also on most of these old girls a skimming port is not available.
    Nor adding an effective one usually even an option.
    Most are 40 plus years old.
  • FredFred Member Posts: 5,573
    JUGHNE said:

    True, Fred, that is good logic for new install, skim it as needed all at one time(s).
    If as in my case, I never get to install a new steam boiler, and only do repairs around the piping, then I will do the extra washing.
    Also on most of these old girls a skimming port is not available.
    Nor adding an effective one usually even an option.
    Most are 40 plus years old.

    Point well taken!
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