How to clean the gas column: methods available for self-realization
If the house has a gas water heater, one day there will be a question about its maintenance. The heat exchanger of such a device is gradually overgrown with lime deposits, and particles of soot and soot settle on the burner.
It is better to immediately figure out how to clean the gas column, and not to wait for it to fail.
How it works
The geyser is rather simple device for heating of water. On top is a heat exchanger connected to the plumbing system. Under it there is a burner that is attached to the gas pipe.
In all modern models, the ignition of the burner is automated; only very old or faulty models are manually ignited. The latter should be repaired in order not to risk the health of the household and the integrity of the property.
The design is hidden by a protective casing, on the front panel of which a control unit is usually located.It regulates the maximum temperature of heating water, the amount of gas and other indicators of the instrument. Above there is a cap and a chimney pipe, through which combustion products are removed.
When water is opened in the house, the burner automatically turns on, the gas heats the water to the required temperature. Auto-ignition is set up so that the column is switched on only at a sufficiently high pressure of water in the system. Another important indicator is the presence of good traction.
The process of heating water is accompanied by the precipitation of a hard sediment, which gradually accumulates inside the heat exchanger. Tubes are clogged with sediment, as a result, the quality of heating deteriorates, the device becomes insufficiently effective. Regular cleaning of the column will help to avoid such problems. In addition to scale inside the device may be collected and other pollution, it all depends on the quality of water.
The fact that the column is time to clean, they say the following signs:
- hot water tap is significantly weaker than a cold tap jet;
- the head is good, but almost immediately after switching on the column goes out;
- the device has generally ceased to turn on regardless of the pressure;
- insufficient warming up of the flow compared with the previous state;
- water heats up to the right temperature, but too slowly.
Some malfunctions can also be observed in case of failure of the stopcock, which is installed at the entrance to the column. It does not hurt to first check it, and only after that start cleaning.
To flush the heat exchanger of a conventional gas column, you must first find valves that block the flow of gas and water to the device, and then turn them. At the same stage, it is recommended to get the instruction manual and refresh the device information as well as the manufacturer's recommendations in the memory. This will avoid errors during dismantling.
To disassemble the column, you will need the usual tools that are available to any experienced master:
- adjustable and pipe wrench;
- straight and cross-head screwdrivers;
- paronitic gaskets;
- hose length of at least half a meter;
- metal clamp to fix this hose.
The hose is attached to the outlet of the heat exchanger and is lowered into the sink so that the waste water with impurities can be drained into the sewer. If this is not possible, you will also have to stock up on a large enough container to drain the water. A protective cover is removed from the column. Be careful not to break the control panel.
Now you need to remove the water filter, which is usually fixed with a nut. Rinse the filter and reinstall it. If the deposits are too complicated, it is recommended to use chemical cleaners to remove contaminants from the mesh. During the flushing process, filter damage may be detected. In this case, it is better to replace it.
Now you need to disconnect the heat exchanger from the water pipes, usually in these places using the usual threaded connection, which should simply unwind. The heat exchanger is removed from the hinges and turned.Some masters advise at the time of cleaning to put it in a sufficiently spacious container so that aggressive chemicals do not leak onto the floor.
As a cleaner, you can use the appropriate means, for example, “Antinakipin”. A normal 9% solution of vinegar and other household formulas will also be suitable. You can make a solution of citric acid: 100 g per liter of water.
Some have a positive scaling experience with Pepsi-Cola or Sprite beverages that contain orthophosphoric acid. But you should not use vinegar essence for this purpose, it can corrode the walls of pipes, it is necessary to carry out serious repairs.
The heat exchanger is turned over and the cleaner is poured into it using a rubber bulb or a large syringe. Usually you need at least 500 ml of a substance, but not more than a liter. After that, vinegar or citric acid is left in for about a quarter of an hour. When using industrial cleaners it is recommended to follow the instructions.
At the end of cleaning, the solution is drained, and the pipes are washed away from accumulated dirt. For this purpose, the heat exchanger inlet is again connected to the water supply system, and a tank is placed at the outlet in order to collect dirty water. Washing is carried out before the appearance of a clean jet. In the presence of serious contamination of a single cleaning procedure may not be enough, it will have to be repeated again using a fresh portion of the cleaner.
At the end of the work it is necessary to assemble the column in the reverse order. The heat exchanger is connected to the water supply. At the same time threaded connections should be sealed and treated with graphite grease. All gaskets in the place of installation must be replaced immediately with new ones.
Now it is necessary to install the washed coarse filter in place, put a casing on the device and again supply gas and water to the column, having turned off the corresponding valves. It remains to perform a test run of water to make sure that the column is working normally.
Cleaning the heat exchanger without dismantling
There is also a way to clean the heat exchanger without dismantling it completely. To do this, you must first remove the casing from the device and disconnect the water supply pipe from the heat exchanger. The coil inlet copper tube should be slightly displaced to make it easier to work.
At the outlet put on the hose. Then you need to open the tap and drain some water, about a liter, to free the coil from the liquid. If it is possible to clarify the capacity of the heat exchanger in the technical passport, then it is recommended to drain this amount of water or a little more from the system.
To clean the column using this method, it is better to take “Antinakipin” powder, which is diluted with hot water before use. It does not hurt to take care of protecting the skin and eyes from accidental exposure to the composition, because it contains hydrochloric acid.
Now you need to insert a funnel into the inlet pipe and pour it into the “Antinakipin” heat exchanger. It should be remembered that with a quick fill inside a reaction may begin, which will lead to the ejection of a dangerous solution in the opposite direction.Therefore, the composition should be poured in small portions and a thin stream.
The heat exchanger filled with the solution should be left for about two hours. In order to speed up the cleaning process, it is possible to turn on the igniter (it is not necessary to shut off the gas for this cleaning method). When the process is over, you should open the tap and drain the water from the column with the sludge dissolved in it.
If there is a lot of pollution, and the jet shows a good pressure, the cleaning can be considered satisfactory. If not - you need to carry out the procedure again, but with the use of “Antinucipine” this need usually does not arise.
This cleaning method is recommended using just such a cleaner. The use of vinegar or citric acid in this case may reflect badly on the condition of the aluminum gearbox.
Removal of pollution from products of combustion
Soot, soot and other solid products of combustion, although formed in such devices in small quantities, can still cause serious damage.If you need to clean this part of the device, you need to recall the manufacturer's instructions, especially if the warranty period has not yet expired. Some manufacturers require that such work be carried out only by professional gas technicians.
It is easiest to clean the column radiator from the products of combustion. To do this, turn off the gas and remove the protective cover from the device. After that, the surface of the element is treated with a conventional household vacuum cleaner. If the gas in the column does not light up, or it burns unevenly and weakly, it is possible that the nozzles are clogged. To clean them from the accumulated layers of soot using a thin wire or a brush with a pile of metal.
Of course, in this case, you should turn off the gas and remove the cover. Cleaning must be done carefully so as not to damage the elements of the device. When soot accumulates too quickly, it makes sense to think about the presence of other faults that provoke this situation. A common cause of this phenomenon is a leak at the junction of the gas tubes inside the column.
The gap can be so small that it is not possible to determine the leakage by smell. If you suspect a malfunction of this type, you need to apply a soap solution to the joints, and then apply gas to the device. If the solution began to bubble, stop working, turn off the gas, and immediately call an experienced gasman. Self-activity at this stage can be fatal.
The water pressure is normal, soot is removed, but the column still does not turn on? It's time to check the traction. In modern models, there are usually special sensors that detect the absence of thrust and do not allow switching on the device, blocking the flow of gas to the ignition device. To check it is better to use strips of thin paper. The flame of a candle or lighter can be dangerous if problems arise due to a gas leak.
Finding weak traction, it is necessary to identify the cause of the situation.It is usually sufficient to clean the chimney to restore normal operation of the appliance. If this does not help, it is worth consulting a gas equipment engineer, there may be flaws that were made during the installation of the chimney structure.
Prevention of scale formation
Hard water is not the only cause of scaling inside the heat exchanger tubes. Its appearance requires not only salts, which are contained in water, but also a high heating temperature. The stronger the gas burns, the more intense the solid precipitates inside the device. A temperature of 80 degrees or higher is considered critical.
Obviously, such a strong heat for domestic use is not needed. 40-42 degrees are enough for a shower, 45 degrees are enough for washing even the dirtiest dishes. An automatic washing machine will heat the water to 95 degrees, if necessary, but the geyser does not participate in this process.
Therefore, if you constantly have to dilute hot water with cold, you should reconsider the settings of the gas column for the heating temperature.Some amateur craftsmen ream the igniter gas column. This is done in order to increase the rate of heating of the water flow.
In older models, this modification eliminates the need to rekindle and adjust the device each time it is turned on. Finally, an ignited igniter is needed so that the gas will catch fire even at very low head of water flow.
In this case, a very dangerous situation may arise when a small amount of water in the heat exchanger boils and turns into a gaseous form. As a result, the pressure in the heat exchanger will rise sharply and it will simply break.
Of course, gas engineers consider such intervention dangerous, and manufacturers refuse to fulfill warranty obligations for devices with similar alterations. To improve the pressure in the system, you can pick up and put a normal circulation or step-up pump. And the quality of water supply will improve, and the devices will not be affected.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
An interesting variant of washing the gas column can be found in this material:
The procedure for cleaning the heat exchanger without dismounting is demonstrated here:
This video shows an interesting experiment on the dissolution of scale in electrolyte, citric acid and vinegar. Although it is necessary to consider not only the effect of chemistry on hard sediment, but also on the material from which the heat exchanger is made:
Any gas column needs periodic cleaning. If maintenance is performed correctly, the device will work long and efficiently.