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noel shelley30/12/2021 10:34:13
1284 forum posts
21 photos

Living in a hard water area and being the proud owner of a 5" loco that came from near London I observed that where there had been small leaks there were deposits of scale ! The boiler is sound but has the previous owner used tap water to feed ? If so then there may be deposits of scale - can these be removed by the use of a descaler of some sort ? My club uses rain water, I seem to remember being told that it was slightly acidic, Carbonic ! Any advice on descaling and feed water. Noel.

Circlip30/12/2021 10:47:04
1500 forum posts

Scale would indicate Calcium, A hot soak of Citric acid may help.

Regards Ian.

Brian Wood30/12/2021 11:07:46
2549 forum posts
39 photos

Might I suggest using demin water after the boiler is flushed through? We have an arrangement with our window cleaner for occasional suppliers which are used domestically for steam ironing.

Rinsing the windows with these modern pressure fed brushes uses water of that quality to dry streak free



Bazyle30/12/2021 11:20:37
6297 forum posts
222 photos

Since you shoud have a dehumidifier in your workshop that will give you a reasonable supply of good water. 'Demineralised' is not the same as distilled and has been reported probably on this forum to be a sort of ion substitute which may introduce worse things that the original chalk. Can't remember the details now. I'm sure we have a chemist in our wonderfully diverse readership.

duncan webster30/12/2021 11:52:13
3928 forum posts
61 photos

Kettle descaler

Samsaranda30/12/2021 12:01:25
1401 forum posts
5 photos

Surprising how in our modern technological society how difficult it is to get “pure water” what defines it as pure, I think that the nearest that I have found is the water that comes from the filtering that window cleaners use for streak free. I realise that the filtering process unless carried out to extremes will not remove all dissolved elements but it seems to be the best we can achieve without paying exorbitant amounts of money. Dave W

Brian Baker 130/12/2021 12:31:54
194 forum posts
36 photos

Greetings Noel, and best wishes for the New Year.

You are right, Norfolk Water is some of the worst in the country for boiler feed. It has a very high Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), and these dissolved materials are left behind in our boilers when we boil off the water. typically Norfolk has TDS levels of 250 to 350 ppm, whereas the Power stations aim for about 0.2 ppm.

Rainwater is about the best thing to use, water softeners are not much use, since they could introduce chloride ions into copper boilers, nota good idea.

Low concentration hot citric acid solution, is best for boiler cleaning, together with copious water washing afterwards.

ME published a very interesting article, "Water Water, every where" a while ago, dealing with this item.


Brian B

Martin Connelly30/12/2021 14:42:38
2123 forum posts
222 photos

We installed an RO (reverse osmosis) system at work to demineralise (as opposed to de-ionise) water for pressure testing stainless steel pipes. You can get small RO systems for filling and topping up aquariums where you only want to replace the water that is evaporating from the tank. I guess one of these would do for boiler water.

Martin C

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