Open Forum

CLR in system

  • 1.  CLR in system

    Posted 07-06-2016 10:57

    First, please do read Erin's post about the MIT Climate Mitigation contest Campus Zero Carbon proposal and go vote for it -- this is a big opportunity for our industry! (short link:

    Second, we just gained a client with a 10 yr old 8Ton GHP that someone 2 months ago put in some CLR to attempt to "clean" the exchangers (dual coils).  Now, it appears one of them is leaking refrigerant, but it might have been already leaking before the CLR was added. 

    We presume we must pH correct the system, but what else does anyone know about CLR ... as in must it be cleaned another way?  Supposedly, some "flushing" has already occurred.  And, please suggest the easiest method for pH balancing a non-pressurized system with a pretty small "tank".

    Rick Clemenzi, PE, CGD
    Geothermal Design Center Inc.
    Asheville, NC

  • 2.  RE: CLR in system

    Posted 07-08-2016 19:58
      |   view attached

    Rich, regarding the CLR issue; I get the impression this is a closed loop system on an atmospheric flow center?  The attached article may provide some insights.  If the rubber connection hoses were crunchy when flexed its likely that the crunchy substance was iron deposition from the flow center pump bodies.  This stuff has an affinity for depositing on the interior of the rubber hoses and if they are flexed will give a a crunchy feel as though the hose were hardened and not flexible.  We care for a commercial system that had water and methanol as the original antifreeze where this occurred and lead to multiple system problems.  If this was your new customers case, I doubt if the CLR was doing much good but if the hoses were flexed its highly likely that the iron deposits that were dislodged from the hoses came back around to clog a heat exchanger or the first pump off the flow center.  If this action occurred during the winter it's possible the heat exchanger had multiple freeze-ups and the CLR was added as a means to improve flow.  

    At this point I suspect it needs a new flow center and if a test by stethoscope shows there is refrigerant escaping inside a heat exchanger its likely best to replace both and not take any chances.  That is provided that the system suction pressure has always been higher than the pressure in the loop and any loss of refrigerant is a one way issue.  If loop solution has gotten into the system as shown by an acid moisture test I suggest replacing the complete system rather than buying into a continuing problem.

    The loop will need to be flushed to clean up any residual solution and any debris left in the system and corrosion inhibitors added to protect the future flow center pumps particularly if you are not using deionized water and an inhibited antifreeze.  As for inhibitors its best to check with boiler / tower folks in your area to see what is available as a non-toxic inhibitor package and if the local water quality is applicable with the inhibitor.  I'll often use a patch of 0000 steel wool along with a sample of copper pipe in a sample of the source water to see if there is a corrosion issue.  The same test with an inhibited sample will prove if the inhibitor is effective or needs to be supplemented.  It takes more time but is worth the effort when we encounter a problem system.

    The attached pdf should provide more insights to my discussion and suspicions.

    Jeff Persons CGD

    Geo Source One Inc.

    Columbus, Ohio Geothermal Heating & Cooling | Geo Source One Inc.

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    Columbus, Ohio Geothermal Heating & Cooling | Geo Source One Inc.
    Here at Geo Source One Inc., we provide Columbus, Ohio geothermal products and solutions. We are proud to be the full service provider for WaterFurnace brand products in the Columbus, Ohio community. Our geothermal resource center has a lot of information on the benefits of what the Earth has to offer.
    View this on Geo Source One Inc. >
    Jeff Persons
    GeoSource One, Inc.
    Plain City OH


  • 3.  RE: CLR in system

    Posted 07-11-2016 10:03

    Rhomar Water offers a full line of cleaners and inhibitors for closed loop systems and a full line of inhibited glycol as well.

    Our Hydrosol 9100 is a very effective cleaner and can be followed up with our Protek 922 to protect the system if you are using water and yes D I water is recommended. 

    We can provide NSF certified glycol as well.

    Please visit our website.

    If you have any questions please feel free to call or email me.



    Thomas Jorn
    National Sales Manager
    Rhomar Water
    2103 E. Rockhurst Street, Suite 100
    Springfield, MO  65802

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