How to Remove Rust From Inside Pipes

Getting the rust out of the surface of pipes is pretty straightforward. However, getting it out from inside the pipe can be cumbersome.

One way to do it is by going to the barbecue section in the store. Then pick out one of the wire brushes. 

Chop it down with some bolt cutters. Use pliers to bend it into the shape you desire.  Attach the brush to a drill and use it to clean the inside of the pipe.

Sometimes water will not flow through pipes because of rust blocking it. If it’s just one pipe and you can closely see the rust.

Put a sprayer nozzle on a bottle of CLR (calcium, lime, rust). Then shoot it into the pipe.

Even though the CLR is a fairly safe product, it is not recommendable to use in any water systems that are going into the kitchen, kids’ bathroom, or the garden. This way, you will avoid contaminating drinking water supplies.

The CLR will soften the rust after letting it sit for a while. After the rust is dissolved, clean the pipe with soapy water.

Another way to know if there is a blockage in the pipe is when you open two tap glasses of water simultaneously. Then one doesn’t work, or the water pressure is lower than usual.

In this case, you can clear rust from pipes using an air compressor. The compressor’s air pressure will cause the pipes’ rust to dislodge. 

You must pump the air compressor at intervals while letting out water. The water coming out will be brown in color. Repeat the process until the water clears.

If the blockage was around the kitchen, all the laundry room. Close all the taps while pumping into one of the spigots. To create pressure inside the pipes, preventing the pipes from rusting or any other garbage.

Galvanized pipes get eroded inside. Houses built in the 1960s tend to have galvanized pipes instead of PVC pipes.

These pipes made of steel or iron are typically coated in zinc, which prevents corrosion and rust on their surface.

However, they can rust when constantly exposed to water and humidity, even though the benefit of zinc is that it is slow to oxidize. 

Galvanized pipe rusting inside is caused by high levels of oxygen in the water.

The interior of pipes that carry hot water will rust faster than those carrying cold water because hot water has more suspended oxygen molecules that can easily attach to the pipe.

Instead of replacing them, you can line them with a real thin micro layer of epoxy. This layer will make the pipes as good as new, and the rust will disappear. Moreover, the water pressure will come back to normal.

This is the solution when the rust is extensive inside the pipe. You will need the services of a plumbing professional. 

Moreover, the method used to clean is also important because extensive scratching can create weak spots inside the pipes.

Since the rust is on both the inside and outside the pipe, using vinegar will not be as effective on the inside. The best solution is to remove the galvanization through sand ballasting.

Compared to mechanical grinding, sandblasting makes it easier to control the amount and location of removed galvanization. The goal is to remove enough rusted galvanization safely, making it easier to re-galvanize.

Removing rust from pipes depends on two main factors. Whether the pipe is ‘loose’ or if you must de rust it in place.

If loose, you can drop the rusty pipe into various liquids, such as white vinegar or baking soda, which will clean off all the rust.

With the vinegar, let it sit overnight once soaked. Then when you remove it, scrub the rust off. On the other hand, mix baking soda with water to create a thick paste. To apply it to the rusted areas.

If the pipe is in place, there is the option of wrapping the pipe with rags soaked in chemical solutions known to remove rust. Then wait for a while.

Keeping galvanized steel from rusting can be worth the effort. Since water is the number one enemy of galvanized pipes, try to keep them dry and clean.

Prevent scratches on the surface as well. Because once the outer layer of the galvanized pipes becomes scratched. The metal beneath the zinc layer becomes exposed to water and air. Making it more susceptible to rust.

Moreover, you can dip the galvanized piped into a sodium hydroxide solution, providing strong corrosion resistance.

Cleaning the inside of pipes every few years is a good preventive practice. It can extend the life of the pipes up to a decade.