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How To Clear Rusted Pipe

– To Restore Water Flow Using CLR

Clear rusted pipe. Alright so today on Repairs101 I’ve got this tap that just will not flow. And I looked into it and it’s because the pipe that’s feeding it is blocked solid with rust.

So I’ll just show you what I did with that. This tap gradually stopped flowing.


I traced the pipes and I figured it must be the mixer or the aerator. Since the toilet was on the same feed and worked just fine.

I removed the mixer with the intention of cleaning it since I had replaced it only a couple of years before. It was clean as a whistle — but it was as clean as a whistle.

So obviously the problem was further upstream somewhere. So I opened the valve and… nothing.

Then I shut off the water to the building and I removed the valve stem only to see that it was rusted solid inside. I tried digging at it with a seal pick but it was as hard as iron.

CLR – calcium lime & rust

So I put a sprayer nozzle on my bottle of CLR and I shot some into the pipe. Now this is a fairly safe product and you can have a look at their MSDS sheets. But I would recommend, strongly, that you do not use this in any water systems that are going to be used for drinking water or in food preparation or in any kind of kitchen application or in the production of food like watering gardens. Now you can see the CLR softened it right up. So I put a little more in.

I let it sit for a few minutes and then I washed it out with clean soapy water.

Then I just put the whole assembly back together again.

You know, then I put the stem valve back in. Turned the water back on. Opened up the valve and waited for it to clear itself.


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