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PLUMBING PROBLEM. THE H.W.SUPPLY PIPE TO MY BATHROOM SINK HAS RUSTED INTERNALLY RESULTING IN DECREASED WATER FLOW. IT IS G.I. X 3/8" d., ABOUT 2' 0" ABOVE THE FLOOR AND IS WITHIN THE SINK WALL. IT IS TOPPED WITH A ELBOW AND A 6" NIPPLE PROJECTS THRU THE WALL AND CONNECTS TO THE SINK WITH A RIGHT ANGLE SHUT-OFF VALVE. I REMOVED THE VALVE AND TRIED TO **** THE PIPE OUT WITH A COAT HANGER, BUT THE WIRE COULD NOT MAKE THE TURN IN THE ELBOW. HELP! I DO NOT WANT TO DAMAGE THE EXISTING WALL OR FLOOR TILE, AND I DO NOT WANT TO INSTALL AN EXPOSED PIPE

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  • ray5208 Sep 24, 2009

    THANX FOR THE INPUT.

    FURTHER INFO: I HAVE PREVIOUSLY REPLACED THE HORIZONTAL PIPING TO THE 3/8" SUPPLY

    LINE SO THAT THIS SECTION IS ABOUT 2'6" IN LENGTH. BEFORE I GO THRU CHILD-BIRTH PAIN WITH NEW PIPE, I WILL TRY A LIQUID. I CAN REMOVE THE TURN-OFF VALVE UNDER THE SINK, ATTACH A HOSE AND FUNNEL TO THE NIPPLE AND POUR FROM THERE. DO KNOW OF ANY STRONGER LIQUID/CHEMICAL I COULD USE?

    THANX AGAIN, RAY ADLER

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You could try using muriatic acid, (very powerful) and a spray bottle to try to force some acid into the pipe. Let it sit in there for a while then put a bucket under the 6" nipple and let some water flow, bringing out some of the rust. Then put things back together. You won't get it all but it may help open things up a bit.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009

  • Craig Butler
    Craig Butler Sep 25, 2009

    Listen, that muriatic acid is as strong as you can get. Anything stronger would dissolve the pipe! Be careful with it and don't breath the fumes they are powerful.

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If you're using 3/8" galv and it's corroded to the point, that you need to run a wire through it to get water flow, just cleaning out the last 2 feet won't help that much. The only way to fix it is to uninstall the pipe, starting at the top and go down. This will give you the holes needed to run new pipe. You can run copper but since you can't put any holes or access panels in for soldering access, you will have to solder threaded ends onto the pipe. Thread the pipe through the old path and tighten it up. My house was built in 1925 and I had to do the same thing about 10 years ago. I used 3/4" copper for strength while tightening. Put 2 SMOOTH layers of teflon tape on the male threads before you push the pipe through. A real thin layer of sealant on top of the tape will help, since you won't be able to get right at the joints to hold both pieces with a wrench.
The only other POSSIBILITY to get more water through the line is to fill it with vinegar and let it soak overnight. To do this, you will have to remove the pipe at the heater and the top, drain it, plug the bottom and pour vinegar into it from the top. After 24 hours, drain it, reconnect it and flush it out without the aerator on your spigot.

Posted on Sep 23, 2009

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