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Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 21554
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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We have a calcium buildup in our in floor water heating system,

Customer Question

we have a calcium buildup in our in floor water heating system, what is the best solution in removing these buildup.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
You have hot water radiant floor heat? how do you know you have calcium build up? in the radiant tubing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Because if we bent the lines a bit, you can hear/feel the cracking!
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
Calcium build up never happens in radiant hot water heating systems because the same water is used all the time. They are closed systems. Calcium build up does occur in systems where new water is constantly flowing through the system particularly a coil or heat exchanger. These are open systems. Calcium build up is flushed out of these systems by pumping acid through the coil or heat exchanger. Now perhaps you have one of those systems that uses a water heater instead of a boiler as a heat source which would mean you have an open system. But pumping acid through the amount of piping that would be in a typical radiant system would be a daunting task and require an awful lot of acid. What do you have for piping? PEX?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We have Entran tubing for in floor.
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
Then the cracking probably has nothing to do with calcium build up particularly if you use a boiler not a water heater as a heat source as I outlined above.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is an open system, the woodboiler and propane are in serie for heating source. Also the valve is open for keeping the water pressure constant. When we start to use the boiler in the fall, for some unknown reason there can be some air in the system and we have to "air" this out.
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
Entran tubing has a history of becoming brittle over time. That's probably the source of the cracking. Since you don't have a water heater as a heat source you don't have an open system
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
Adding water once a year to purge the air out doesn't make your system an open system