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  • flushing plate exchangers?

    I was workin on a place today that has an EK-2 providing domestic hot water through a plate heat exchanger.

    After adding a couple valves and a hose bibb in order to check the flow through the exchanger; the flow was about 0.75 GPM on the domestic side.

    I wanted to flush it with sizzle, but da boss said no. He said that being a single wall exchanger, and the walls of plate exchangers being thin anyway, that it was a risk he was not willing to take.

    I did not flush it, as it's not my business or liability.

    I thought i'd ask what you guys think.

  • #2
    Re: flushing plate exchangers?

    We Acid coils all the time, but agree with your boss that you have to be careful when using acid. You can only acid a coil so many times before it needs to be changed. But coils have thin tubes (not overly thick) as well, so it can have an acid washing.

    Now I'm not sure what you mean by plate exchangers...never heard that term before.

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    • #3
      Re: flushing plate exchangers?

      Added plates to a couple of these. A pain in the rear to get them to seal if you don't clean the existing plates before reassembly.

      James

      http://www.muel.com/productdivisions...eatExchangers/

      Ours wasn't for dairy use.
      Last edited by James P; 09-07-2010, 07:57 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: flushing plate exchangers?

        Originally posted by Flux View Post
        We Acid coils all the time, but agree with your boss that you have to be careful when using acid. You can only acid a coil so many times before it needs to be changed. But coils have thin tubes (not overly thick) as well, so it can have an acid washing.

        Now I'm not sure what you mean by plate exchangers...never heard that term before.
        I never, never, use an acid base cleaner on A/C coils. I want them clean, but could care less if they shine like a new penny.

        James

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        • #5
          Re: flushing plate exchangers?

          Originally posted by James P View Post
          I never, never, use an acid base cleaner on A/C coils. I want them clean, but could care less if they shine like a new penny.

          James
          We have never used acid on A/C coils either, and never would.

          I had no idea what these plates were that the OP was talking about, but acid domestic coils on boilers all the time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: flushing plate exchangers?

            With isolation valves it's quicker to swap out a plate heat exchanger than to clean one. Yeah they pretty pricey though. 0.75 GPM is pretty low and not worth cleaning at this point. In the future you can put them on a regular service plan to flush the new one with a less acidic solution to extend it's lifespan.

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            • #7
              Re: flushing plate exchangers?

              i've recommended changing to an indirect hot water heater

              a new plate exchanger is about $500, and we can install an indirect for about $2200.

              The plate exchanger is only 2 years old.

              If you're familar with System 2000, that's what it's on.

              I've worked on several, and helped install a few, but i've never seen one plug up an exchanger in only 2 years.

              The passages and walls of a plate exchanger are way smaller and thinner than a domestic coil from a boiler.

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              • #8
                Re: flushing plate exchangers?

                Definitely out of my realm.

                But learnt something new in this thread that's for sure. Didn't know there were other types of units you could use Acid on for domestic water.

                I'm assuming that this is for a commercial application?

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                • #9
                  Re: flushing plate exchangers?

                  it's in a 6-plex

                  System 2000 uses plate exchangers to make the domestic water.

                  They aren't terrible, but a indirect is alot better in my opinion.... also more expensive.

                  The building owner asked me to install a new plate exchanger, and that he would acid flush it himself

                  According to the local dealer for them here, they can be flushed multiple times before a failure can be expected.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: flushing plate exchangers?

                    Originally posted by radar_40 View Post
                    it's in a 6-plex

                    System 2000 uses plate exchangers to make the domestic water.

                    They aren't terrible, but a indirect is alot better in my opinion.... also more expensive.

                    The building owner asked me to install a new plate exchanger, and that he would acid flush it himself

                    According to the local dealer for them here, they can be flushed multiple times before a failure can be expected.
                    Kind of the same philosophy for boiler coils as far as acid goes.

                    I'm not sure of the name of the product, but Ferguson's now carries some type of powder for limed up coils, that isn't acid. I saw the demonstration a few weeks ago, and it's for Tankless water heaters. This stuff literally dissolved the scale within seconds upon contact.

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                    • #11
                      Re: flushing plate exchangers?

                      If you aren't comfortable using acid try Rydlyme (sp). I cleaned dozens of them with a very mild mix of Sizzle with good results but heard from other techs that Rydlyme and CLR (a delimer) also work well. I pumped the acid through with a drill pump starting with plain water first to verify flow then gradually added acid.

                      If the water at that particular installation is hard then install a Scale Stopper. Replace the cartridge once a year and you'll never have that problem again. You can buy a lot of cartridges for the price of one PE.

                      BTW, a properly maintained plate exchanger will out produce any indirect available.

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                      • #12
                        Re: flushing plate exchangers?

                        Interesting you mention a scale stopper, as I did install one.

                        I'm not uncomfortable using acid at all, but was ordered not to do it.

                        Any chance you work for EK? I have some questions for you if you do.

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                        • #13
                          Re: flushing plate exchangers?

                          You got me. What questions do you have?

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                          • #14
                            Re: flushing plate exchangers?

                            i've been running my rear end off and can't think of what I was going to ask about.

                            I will post in the forum when I think of them though, so that everyone can benefit.

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                            • #15
                              Re: flushing plate exchangers?

                              OK, I'll check this topic from time to time and reply ASAP.

                              Comment

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