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Old 06-17-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
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Has anyone ever acid washed their water lines?

Just curious? Has anyone ever used an acid wash to clean mineral buildup in the water lines within your coach? In the dairy industry, this is called Milk Stone, which is just the mineral buildup in the lines and tanks at the dairy. They regularly use an acid wash (usually daily) to remove any mineral buildup. This is very common and very safe to use. If you drink milk, you've been exposed to it! Again, just curious if anyone has ever used this method to clean any mineral buildup in your water lines and faucets (orifices, etc) and what it does to water heater or hydronic heat system units?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:11 AM   #2
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Interesting. I'm subscribed.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:36 PM   #3
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Have you found evidence that the lines are full of deposits? While a dairy's plumbing might be designed for this, I'm not sure all the components of an RV's plumbing would be acid resistant. Folks have used vinegar, I'm not familiar with the pH of Milk Stone, how strong is it?
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:44 PM   #4
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We don't have 316 stainless steel lines in our rvs.




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Old 06-17-2013, 12:56 PM   #5
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Unless you have copper or iron pipes, acid will be no problem! I would bypass the water heater. The other real consideration is O-ring material. Viton holds up well, others do not.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:36 PM   #6
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Haven't done this in an RV, but I have a pretty hard water supply at home.

We use lime-away on faucets, as necessary. It's acidic.
I built our home. The plumbing is largely PEX with some exceptions for rubber gaskets and near plumbing outlets. I don't think I'd pump it though the house unless I had a pretty good reason. Acid would be hard on stainless, brass, any rubber gaskets.

Anodes should attract minerals at the hot water tank.

I understand, however, that if you've got mineral build up IN the lines, you don't have great alternatives... If I didn't have line build-up, I'm not gonna do it.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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I'm guessing that those who run bleach thru their system to sanitize are marginally decreasing pH. What's the pH of the "acid wash" I've been exposed to while drinking milk? i.e. the pH in use in the dairy line flush?
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:13 PM   #8
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I can see a Dairy being concerned but they run 1000's of gallons of water where as a RV doesn't. I think it's overkill myself.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:30 PM   #9
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I did a little research. milk stone is the name given to the calcium and magnesium deposits that form in dairy plumbing when milk is heated. The Milk stone cleaner I found was 56% phosphoric acid at a 75% solution! That would be WAY to strong for my plumbing unless I decided to rebuild all the components damaged by the 'cleaning.'

Since I don't pump hot milk through my plumbing, I think I'll pass.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:32 PM   #10
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Vinegar. Enough of an acid.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:36 PM   #11
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Vinegar!
X2
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:46 PM   #12
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Been RV'ing since 1956, have never used vinegar, let alone a fairly strong acid in any of my RV's.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:55 PM   #13
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We use full strength vinegar (5 gal) thru the winterizing line and all faucets/sprayers, clothes washer, toilet and the balance to partially fill the turned off hot water heater.

We let it sit overnight, then drain the water heater, then flush the lines, and heater with water into the 2 empty holding tanks. We leave it in the holding tanks along with normally filling them up thru use and drain when full.

We do this once per year prior to going on a trip and have not had any problems. Small chips/pebbles of minerals remain in the heater tank even after power flushing so about every 2 years I remove the electric heating element for larger hole access (vs drain plug) and vacume out the stuff with a small hose.

We also have a whole house filter and are anal about keeping our baby clean and working. Not sure if it's needed but makes us feel good.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:57 AM   #14
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Looks like a bad idea! Thanks to all for your comments.
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