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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Sediment in plumbing - any way to clear it out and keep it out?

    Looking into the plumbing outlets for the washing machine, I can see that sediment build-up has cut the opening by about a third to one-half. I assume this is throughout the house and explains the low water flow at all the faucets.

    Can anything be done to clean out these pipes and what preventative measures can be taken to keep it from happening again?

    Not sure if it matters, but the property is in Oklahoma and the sediment is definitely from our lovely red dirt.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,663

    Default Re: Sediment in plumbing - any way to clear it out and keep it out?

    First, install a whole-house sediment filter on the incoming water line. The housing will set you back around $40-60, and the filter elements are less than $10 each. The cost of installation depends on the type of plumbing you have, whether or not you do it yourself, and bid from plumbers (which can vary widely even in a narrow geographic area).

    Depending on the amount of sediment in your water, you'll probably have to replace the element every 2 weeks to 2 months -- whenever you notice the water pressure dropping. Most brands of filter housings use an element of universal dimensions, so if you shop carefully for the housing you won't be locked into a particular brand of element.

    I use string-wound 10 micron filters I purchase from Amazon.com. It's the cheapest source available to me. Charcoal filter elements are also available if you have sulfur odors in your water, but if you don't have bad odors simple sediment filters will work just fine.

    As for clearing out the sediment, that will take time once you get the filter in place. After I installed a filter, it took nearly a year before I stopped seeing sediment flow through my faucets. You can speed this up by opening faucets (remove the aerators first) and banging on the pipes, especially at the fittings where the sediment will settle.

    HOWEVER... if you have old galvanized steel pipes, you may never get rid of the problem until you replace the pipes. These pipes are vulnerable to rust (specifically at fittings) and that rust can flake off and plug up your faucet screens and aerators.
    Last edited by Fencepost; 04-18-2014 at 12:48 PM.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Sediment in plumbing - any way to clear it out and keep it out?

    Cleaning the aerators at each faucet should help too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: Sediment in plumbing - any way to clear it out and keep it out?

    Corroded pipes which are half blocked with minerals, rust, and other stuff, have to be replaced. It's true to fresh water pipes and for drain pipes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Sediment in plumbing - any way to clear it out and keep it out?

    I installed a whole house filter to correct the same situation many years ago. It took a while for the sediment to clear the pipes. Used to use the 10 micron wound filters, but found 50 micron pleated paper filters worked as well and were a lot cheaper at wmart. Check the bottom of the toilet tanks, I bet there is a lot there, but it probably won't hurt anything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Sediment in plumbing - any way to clear it out and keep it out?

    If you have copper lines you can have a zeta rod installed. It will remove sediment out of lines over about a three month period can be pricey though.

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