FIXED Green (copper color) to vinegar when descaling unit.

cwatkin

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
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41
Location
MO
I installed an EcoSmart Eco 18 tankless water heater a little under a year ago. I could tell that the response time of the unit as well as the temp stability was decreasing so decided to descale the unit using white vinegar as suggested.

It definitely needed to be descaled but one thing that concerned me is that the vinegar had a nice copper color green to it when I was done. I know the elements in this thing are made of copper. Is this normal or signs of trouble? The circuit breakers were turned off before starting on the process of course. I figure that needed clarification based on the things I see people do when dealing with the general public.

Any concerns or is the copper color to the vinegar normal and OK?

Conor
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Jul 11, 2006
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Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Vinegar is an acid that reacts with copper to dissolve the mineral malachite. That's the greenish blue you see on pennies that have been in water for a long time. Vinegar won't dissolve copper but it will react to the zinc in solder. Once water goes through it there's no more chemical reaction happening.
 

cwatkin

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
41
Location
MO
OK, that is good to know. I figure trace amounts can make a lot of color in the water.

The interesting thing is all the lime scale this dislodged. Over the following few weeks all my faucets and the water valve in my washing machine had to be cleared of lime scale particles. My shower head completely clogged up and was just tricking. The same happened to several faucets. The last thing to stop up was my washing machine. Luckily I was able to use the same pump that I used to descale the water heater and get enough vinegar into the washing machine to descale the water valves.

The directions say to do this about once per year. It had probably been 9 months. The directions also say that descaling frequently can shorten the life of the unit. I plan to do this again in 4-5 months and see how it goes. I will probably remove the shower head and just let the hot water flow freely for a while as well to blow out any residual scale and not clog everything up.

The pump was a cheap $16 pond pump from Harbor Freight. IT worked great but is low pressure so won't blow out the loose scale that might remain.

Conor
 
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