Effect of vinegar on my impeller - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-28-2013 Thread Starter
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Effect of vinegar on my impeller

Hello,

I would like to flush out my RW heat exchanger with Vinegar once or twice a year. I have a solution that will allow the engine to draw water from a bucket for the RW intake. I would really like to take about 3-4 gallons of clear vinegar to flush my engine and let it set in the exchanger for a week or so.

I worry that the vinegar will play havoc with my rubber impeller. I was lousy at chemistry.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-28-2013
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Re: Effect of vinegar on my impeller

Vinegar (5% acetic acid) will have NO effect on the typical polymers (BUNA, Neoprene, etc.) used for such impellers. However 'soaking' a marine engine for long periods of time with 'vinegar' will accelerate corrosion/rusting of the engine's internal surfaces, slowly changing the protective 'black' rust inside the engine and exhaust manifold to destructive 'red' rust.

To 'descale' a marine engine its much better to use an 'inhibited' commercial boiler 'descaler' such as RydLyme™, etc. ......... and it will only take an hour or so to do and wont 'dissolve' a wee part of your engine in doing so. RYDLYME Marine: The Ultimate Biodegradable Marine Descaler! | RydLyme Marine

Use the vinegar on your salads instead. ;-)
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-28-2013
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Re: Effect of vinegar on my impeller

I used vinegar to clean my raw water pump and thought of running some through the engine. That Rydlyme product looks pretty good. Looks like that stuff can really clean up any deposits quicker.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Effect of vinegar on my impeller

Wow! That about says it all. I am soo glade I asked. Thank you!

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Vinegar (5% acetic acid) will have NO effect on the typical polymers (BUNA, Neoprene, etc.) used for such impellers. However 'soaking' a marine engine for long periods of time with 'vinegar' will accelerate corrosion/rusting of the engine's internal surfaces, slowly changing the protective 'black' rust inside the engine and exhaust manifold to destructive 'red' rust.

To 'descale' a marine engine its much better to use an 'inhibited' commercial boiler 'descaler' such as RydLyme™, etc. ......... and it will only take an hour or so to do and wont 'dissolve' a wee part of your engine in doing so. RYDLYME Marine: The Ultimate Biodegradable Marine Descaler! | RydLyme Marine

Use the vinegar on your salads instead. ;-)
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-29-2013
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Re: Effect of vinegar on my impeller

do it your fine

I like apple cider vinegar

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post #6 of 17 Old 12-29-2013
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Re: Effect of vinegar on my impeller

Hmmmm...wonder if CLR, Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover, would be a suitable substitute?
Jelmar | We Clean More Than You Think - Home

Disclosure: I have no financial interest in Jelmar, the maker of CLR. When I can find a suitable landlubber product that replaces a marine product I use it.

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post #7 of 17 Old 12-29-2013
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Re: Effect of vinegar on my impeller

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Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
Wow! That about says it all. I am soo glade I asked. Thank you!
I have been using Rydlyme in both our engine RW cooling system and Air Conditioning heat exchanger for several years to good advantage. It works. Regarding your raw water impeller, however, it is wise to replace the impeller no less often than annually or every 200 hours to avoid lost vanes/blades which can really ruin your day.

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Effect of vinegar on my impeller

MaineSail pointed me towards Rydlyme a while back. Oddly, it is really hard to find it in the PNW. My nearest dealer is selling it out of the Bremerton Yacht Club as a side business. It would also require an external pump to circulate it through the system. I was hoping for a somewhat simpler process using cheap house hold products and utilizing the impeller to drive the product through the engine. Oh well, thanks for the info, much appreciated.


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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
I have been using Rydlyme in both our engine RW cooling system and Air Conditioning heat exchanger for several years to good advantage. It works. Regarding your raw water impeller, however, it is wise to replace the impeller no less often than annually or every 200 hours to avoid lost vanes/blades which can really ruin your day.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-29-2013
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Re: Effect of vinegar on my impeller

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Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
MaineSail pointed me towards Rydlyme a while back. Oddly, it is really hard to find it in the PNW. My nearest dealer is selling it out of the Bremerton Yacht Club as a side business. It would also require an external pump to circulate it through the system. I was hoping for a somewhat simpler process using cheap house hold products and utilizing the impeller to drive the product through the engine. Oh well, thanks for the info, much appreciated.
A similar product that you may be able to find locally is (click on) "Barnacle Buster"

A method I use for the heat exchangers on our engine and AC system is a 5 gallon bucket coupled with a small inexpensive submersible bilge pump. One connects the discharge line from the pump to the injection nozzle on the discharge side of the heat exchanger (temporarily disconnecting the tube to the mixing elbow in the case of the engine) and a return hose from the input side of the heat exchanger back to the bucket (the reverse flow helps clear debris out of the tube bundles). The solution of RydLyme (or Barnacle Buster) and water is then circulated by the pump which can be run off the ship's batteries with jumper cables. One can test the efficacy of the solution by dropping a small piece of shell in the solution. If the solution "fizzes" up around the shell, it's still viable. While its difficult to know precisely how long one needs circulate the solution to completely remove scale, there are time guide lines on the web-sites for both solutions. In our case, I usually let the pump run for 4 or 5 hours with solution and then follow up with fresh water for awhile. One trick is to tie a ladies stocking over the end of the discharge hose to capture debris and suspend the pump several inches above the bottom of the bucket such that it does not suck up and recirculate any sand/debris that is washed out and escapes from the ladies stocking "filter". You may be surprised at the increased through-put in your systems once you've done this exercise.

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."

Last edited by svHyLyte; 12-29-2013 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Add addendum.
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-29-2013
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Re: Effect of vinegar on my impeller

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Originally Posted by Captainmeme View Post
Hmmmm...wonder if CLR, Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover, would be a suitable substitute?
Jelmar | We Clean More Than You Think - Home

Disclosure: I have no financial interest in Jelmar, the maker of CLR. When I can find a suitable landlubber product that replaces a marine product I use it.
The MSDS shows different ingredients for these products. CLR is considered an OSHA hazard but Ridlyme is not. I would not use CLR as it is really strong stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
MaineSail pointed me towards Rydlyme a while back. Oddly, it is really hard to find it in the PNW. My nearest dealer is selling it out of the Bremerton Yacht Club as a side business. It would also require an external pump to circulate it through the system. I was hoping for a somewhat simpler process using cheap house hold products and utilizing the impeller to drive the product through the engine. Oh well, thanks for the info, much appreciated.
I think he uses the pump so he can do it without the motor running, if you have a way to circulate it with the engine running without overheating I don't see why you could not use the it. Do be careful as it says not to over heat it, past 180 degrees, not sure what happens if it happens and remember there may be spots on a running cooling system well over that temp.
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