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Thread: Citric Acid Descaling

  1. #1
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    Citric Acid Descaling

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im Intending to descale a boiler this weekend. Dismantled and full immersion in a bucket of solution.
    What ratio of citric acid to water do I use, I have 2.25 kg of the stuff is that enough.
    Does temperature play a part I can drop in a aquarium heater to at least keep the chill off.
    What is the verdict on chrome, is it safe to immerse the group, I would like to descale the water passages but not at the risk damaging the chrome.
    Advice appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: Citric Acid Descaling

    For normal scale removal I use around 1TSP per QUART of warm/hot water. Room temperature should work fine, just think the warmer the better personally.

    I have seen warnings on some descalers regarding damage to chrome, etc. but not sure about 100% citric acid. Later!

  3. #3
    borat123
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    Re: Citric Acid Descaling

    Be very careful with the chrome. I would plug the holes on the boiler and fill it instead. Citric acid will pit the chrome quite easily.

    Depending on how much scale there is, be prepared to soak it for at least a few days. Better to do it slowly with a weaker solution. I forget what concentration I used when I did my boiler. If you do a search, there are lots of posts with the recipes of what concentration worked ok. And hot / warmer water seems to work better.

    Dont forget to show us the pics... :)

    cheers.

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Citric Acid Descaling

    To be very honest roamer....

    Why stuff about with Citric Acid when purpose designed products can be bought from many of our site sponsors for very reasonable cost. At least you know what concentrations to use as the required information is printed on the container.....

    Mal.

  5. #5
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    Re: Citric Acid Descaling

    Why stuff about with Citric Acid
    Theres good advice here and elsewhere on its use. People can have trouble sourcing a decent quantity of it but I do a bit of work for a company in the food industry, so I got a couple of kilos of the stuff, which I may as well make use of.

  6. #6
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    Re: Citric Acid Descaling

    Be very careful with the chrome
    The chrome wont be going in, though I would like to give the group water passages a descale. Maybe I can plug the holes with bluetack or something and fill the water passages that way.
    Would a commercial descaler be ok with chrome my understanding is they are all corrosive.

  7. #7
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    Re: Citric Acid Descaling

    It all went quite well heres a few before and after pictures.









  8. #8
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Citric Acid Descaling

    Quote Originally Posted by 564943524F414D4552200 link=1277328240/6#6 date=1278762535
    It all went quite well heres a few before and after pictures.
    Very interesting Vic, tell me what strength Citric solution did you use, did it dissolve the scale completely or did it leave a residue? :)

  9. #9
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    Re: Citric Acid Descaling

    I used 4 heaped tablspoons a litre or thereabouts maybe a bit more. I also dropped a aquarium heater in to keep the winter chill off. I did not immerse the studs, I coated them with grease and stood the boiler on its end then filled the bucket to the top of the boiler, leaving the studs clear of the solution. I did a twice daily top up to compensate for evaporation. I dont know if the citric would have corroded the studs but I didnt want to take the risk and I really didnt want to pull them out. I pulled it out after a few days, that didnt quite do it, so mixed up another batch, a bit weaker this time as I ran out of citric. Another few days did it. The element was suspended in the solution with a wire to prevent solution getting into the end, that only needed a day.
    I could have used a stronger solution but preferred to use a weaker solution and take a bit longer.
    The Citric leaves a pinkish surface which I rubbed off by hand with a light buffing of steel wool. Steel wool is a bit severe and probably not ideal, some other method would probably be better, but these finished surfaces will not be on show.
    I did start a similar thread to this on another forum, it could be worth a read Here


  10. #10
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Citric Acid Descaling

    Quote Originally Posted by 736C66776A64686077050 link=1277328240/8#8 date=1278833934
    I used 4 heaped tablspoons a litre or thereabouts maybe a bit more. I also dropped a aquarium heater in to keep the winter chill off. I did not immerse the studs, I coated them with grease and stood the boiler on its end then filled the bucket to the top of the boiler, leaving the studs clear of the solution. I did a twice daily top up to compensate for evaporation. I dont know if the citric would have corroded the studs but I didnt want to take the risk and I really didnt want to pull them out. I pulled it out after a few days, that didnt quite do it, so mixed up another batch, a bit weaker this time as I ran out of citric. Another few days did it. The element was suspended in the solution with a wire to prevent solution getting into the end, that only needed a day.
    I could have used a stronger solution but preferred to use a weaker solution and take a bit longer.
    The Citric leaves a pinkish surface which I rubbed off by hand with a light buffing of steel wool. Steel wool is a bit severe and probably not ideal, some other method would probably be better, but these finished surfaces will not be on show.
    I did start a similar thread to this on another forum, it could be worth a read Here
    Thanks Vic, did it leave a residue, i.e. powder, flakes , lumps, etc, if do how big were the particles? :)

  11. #11
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    Re: Citric Acid Descaling

    There is no residue, the parts were rinsed off under the tap afterwards, just dont leave any nuts screwed onto threads, residue will dry off making the nuts hard to undo.
    The process leaves a dull surface which needs to buffed up to restore the shine.
    I will leave it to others to describe the best method to do that.

  12. #12
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    Re: Citric Acid Descaling

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I should add
    If the boiler is finished with a nickel plating or similar, to preserve the finish it would be better to buy some plugs to screw on/in the holes and fill the boiler with solution.



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