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Need to clean coils

I just need to spray/clean out the coils on our RUDD unit. Can I use a power washer, or will that just pack dirt into coils? Thank you

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A power (pressure) washer generates too much pressure. It will bend the fins on the tubes.
Always isolate the power from the unit prior to opening the unit to perform any work. Remember that there can be both 220 and 110 volts present (main and thermostat), so be sure that you have it off.
For the outside unit, appliance parts supply stores sell a chemical that you can spray on with a garden sprayer, and then hose with a garden hose and spray nozzle from the inside.
For the inside coils, you can get good results with coil cleaner from one of the "home hardware" stores, or from an appliance parts supply store. It is in an aerosol can. This is sprayed on the coils and also hosed off.
One must be very cautious when using these chemicals, taking precautions to protect your eyes and exposed skin, as these chemicals are caustic or acid in nature and can easily burn your eyes. They also foam up in between the tubes/fins and on the surface, displacing the dirt.
For inside coils, you can remove the outside layer of debris with a medium brush and then spray. Fin brushes and combs are also made for this purpose. I usually follow this with another brushing and spray again, then wash down from the inside. Here again you need to be careful. The aim is to remove the build up, and flush off the chemical residue, without damaging your coils. It usually takes me at least two cans of cleaner for an inside coil. I drag a garden hose in the house and wash the coil down in bursts, to avoid running the collection tray over onto the floor. Outside coils are usually clean enough after one mixed container in the garden sprayer. Some aerosol sprays are deemed OK for both the inside and outside coils, and I have used them satisfactorily. Again, about two cans is what I usually need. The key, in my mind, is to apply and flush thoroughly from the inside towards the outside.
Hope that this was helpful,


Posted on Jul 23, 2009


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