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Thread: I need help cleaning the hot water coil in my oil fired furnace.

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    Questions from readers Guest's Avatar
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    Default I need help cleaning the hot water coil in my oil fired furnace.

    Please send me a link on DYI to clean this coil. Is there a kit? Where can I get it? Is it a difficult process? Our hot water pressure has rapidly decreased over the past 6 months and we were told it is the residue build up on the coil to the fault of our water company however we cannot find anyone to clean it....our furnace is only 5 years old!!! I am not prepared to settle for the lack of pressure.

    Thanks so much,

    Doreen

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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    If it has scaled up in under 5 years that's usually an indication of water-hardness. An acid flush may solve it temporarily, but it's likely to scale up even more quickly the second time around. A better investment (but more money, for sure) would be to spend the money on an indirect-fired tank HW heater and a water softening system. An indirect will run higher efficiency too, since you can let the boiler cold-start, and the tank has far better insulation & capacity, and you can run it at lower temp than the boiler for lower standby loss. (Oil is expensive, and embedded coils are about the least-efficient legal way to heat hot water when it's not an active heating season.)

    An acid flush requires a small acid-proof pump & tubing, breaking the system open, recirculating the acid solution through the coil for some period of time (which will vary with scale thickness & type) then rinsing it for a half hour or so running fresh water through it with the pump. Sometimes white-vinegar is adequate, but otherwise buy a gallon of purpose-designed descalers, which are sligthtly more acidic. Don't try mixing your own out of muriatic acid, or suphuric acic etc (unless you have a degree in chemistry and can live with the results of an error.)

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