Can I use Lime-A-Way to clean calcium deposit on condenser coil.

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Old 09-05-09, 07:45 PM
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Can I use Lime-A-Way to clean calcium deposit on condenser coil.

I noticed that my condenser coil has a lot of white color hard water calcium/lime deposit. must be caused by the sprinkler system. I tried A/C condenser coil cleaner, that did not work. Just wonder if I can use House cleaning product 'Lime-A-Way' to get rid of those hard water deposits.
 
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Old 09-06-09, 08:34 AM
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I'm not familiar with that product. Does the label say that it is suitable for both aluminum and copper?
Doug
 
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Old 09-06-09, 10:26 AM
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I used on all of my faucets, bathrooms hardwares, and kitchen pan, pots, etc stuff,. but it did say do not use on polished and anodized aluminum. Not sure what is polished/anodized aluminum?
 
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Old 09-06-09, 10:44 AM
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Polished aluminum has been polished to a shiny chrome like finish.anodized usually means it has been tinted or otherwise altered or plated with another metal etc. to give it a look different than untreated aluminum.What the product is saying is it may damage the finish of aluminum like that.

If I were going to try something on the coils I'd try CLR not Lime Away as CLR is more liquified than LimeAway but only if the bottle says nothing against it.A liquid would probably penetrate into the coils better though it would tend to run off.That said I'm not entirely sure having it cling to the coils is the best idea.

Ultimately this is an experiment and you probably want to run this by a professional before trying it.
 
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Old 09-06-09, 11:02 AM
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It will "etch" or discolor the finish on polished aluminum...thats why they say don't use it on something like shower doors with a polished aluminum frame. CLR and Limeaway will dissolve some mineral deposits..but not all...keep reading

And are you sure what you see on your coil is mineral deposits? There should be some areas with no deposits I would think..the part facing away from the spray? Oh, and you need to adjust your sprinkler heads to avoid that...not good for the unit.

It may just be that the aluminum has oxidized and corroded. I think some guys used to call it "white rust", common on small engines, carbs and motorcycle parts (almost any un-coated aluminum) that are exposed to the elements

When my unit back in VA got pretty old and rough looking, I asked my A/C guy if I could use the spray on mag wheel cleaner. Not the "safe for all wheels" stuff...but the stuff that says it will damage painted, clear coated or polished aluminum wheels. I think its called an etching style cleaner. It has a very mild acid of some sort that helps remove the oxidation. He said he didn't see how it could hurt as long as it wasn't left on too long. If a tube or joint was that thin it would have blown even w/o the cleaner.

Anyway, so I straightened all the fins I could with a fin comb, then sprayed the cleaner on..let it sit for 5 min or so then hosed it off from the inside. It really cleaned the coils up nicely and the unit continued to work fine til I sold the place about 5 yrs later.
 
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Old 09-06-09, 08:43 PM
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There is an acidic coil cleaner/brightener that you may be able to get at a HVAC parts dealer.
 
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Old 09-07-09, 09:33 AM
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Thanks to all of you. With all the information I gathered here, I decided to go ahead and try it out. So, with a bottle of LimeAway, I sprayed whole side of the coil (sprinkler side), waited for 6 minutes, and then rinse it out. (I did not wait for too long because I was worry it may damage the fin or pipe.) After that I noticed that I got rid of at least 50-60 % of the deposits, most deposits on the fin are now gone, but there are still deposits on the copper pipe, may be deposits were thicker on the pipe to begin with. I guess I'll wait for a couple of weeks, if nothing goes wrong, I'll do it again. Just like some of my badly deposited faucets/pots, I had to do this several times to clean it all out. Not sure if this really help my A/C performance, but at least the unit looks much better from outside.
 
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