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How to clean a Plate Heat Exchanger

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by diyplumber1980, 25 Feb 2013.

  1. diyplumber1980

    diyplumber1980

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    Whats the best way to clear a blocked heat exchanger? I'm not sure if i should use chemicals such as domestic descaling solution that you can buy from the supermarket, or pressure washer etc. Would chemicals damage the component?
     
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  3. Whitespirit66

    Whitespirit66

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    I don't normally bother cleaning plate hexs, just replace, but recently when my father's Vaillant needed attention I cleaned it with excellent results. The hw performance was dire, even with hw dial on boiler on max and taps running slowly.

    When I removed the hex, there were rust flakes in it and undoubtably the hw side would be scaled as well due to hard water. I attached a hose to each connection in turn and flushed.

    I bought a small packet of citric acid from the chemist, and mixed it with about 1 pt of boiling water and poured into both sides of hex and left overnight. Poured away and flushed again.

    Next, I mixed about 1/2 cup of water with 3/4 pt of Spirit Of Salts (from ironmongers) and poured into both sides of hex. Left for just over 10 mins. Carefully tipped out and flushed hex again.

    Put it back in boiler, and it was good as new. Just make sure you wear goggles and mask with acid, especially the S O S. Mix acids in a Pyrex jug.

    Some people have used sonic cleaners that you can buy (ebay), but I haven't any experience of this or how effective it is.
     
  4. gas112

    gas112

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    Brick acid avialable from any builders merchants will clean it in about 15 mins then rinse thoroughly cost about 7 quid a litre
     
  5. mazperks

    mazperks

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    BE CAREFUL using brick cleaner. It is usually Hydrochloric acid based, and not reccomended even on stainless steel it will etch the surface.
    You can source Phosphoric acid on line, which is fine to use.
    DO Not use any acids on aluminium H/ exchangers.
     
  6. denso13

    denso13

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    I'm sure it's fixed by now, one way or another.
     
  7. gigz

    gigz

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    Hope so !!! Or its been blocked for 10 month ;)
     
  8. twgas

    twgas

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    Not so sure, was near birmingham the other day, there was a nasty pong :LOL: :LOL: :mrgreen:
     
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