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Puget Sound Pounder
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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Daniel - Norsea 27
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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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Puget Sound Pounder
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Discussion Starter #4
Wow! That about says it all. I am soo glade I asked. Thank you!

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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Corsair 24
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do it your fine

I like apple cider vinegar
 

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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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Old as Dirt!
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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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Puget Sound Pounder
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Discussion Starter #8
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 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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Old as Dirt!
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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...
 
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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.

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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Puget Sound Pounder
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Discussion Starter #11
If I used Rydlyme I would use an external pump in a closed loop system and let it circulate for an hour or so. Barnacle Buster looks interesting also, still a bit $$$$.

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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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.
You really dont need a fancy recirculation technique to do this with a small marine engine.
Put it in a bucket.
Disconnect the hose from your inlet through-hull and add (using a straight hose barb connector) enough extra hose to reach to the 'bucket'.
Disconnect the hose that feeds your water injection elbow and add (using a straight hose barb connector) enough extra hose to reach to the 'bucket'.
Suck up the contents of the bucket until the recirculation discharge (from the extended hose from the injection hose) begins to flow.
Shut down and wait 15 min. or so; then, run engine 'briefly' (15 seconds or so) to recirculate; etc.
Usually an hour 'soak', will be sufficient unless your engine is 'really' fouled.

In a pinch you can simply ignore recirculation, just suck up the chemicals into your raw water pump until 'gone', then after a time (30 min or so) just 'push' the slug of chemicals through to the next section by reconnecting the pump inlet hose to its throughhull, etc. .... ..... when the water from the exhaust outlet begins to turn brown, youre done; so turn on the engine to stop the chemical reaction and flush the engine with raw water, etc.


Note: When finished recirculating, pour the residual from the bucket down your head (but not enough to come in contact with the porcelain bowl), let soak - to clean off all the calcium deposits from the head's check valve, joker valve ... and the 'overboard' hose which usually becomes totally blocked by calcium deposits over time when flushing with seawater.

Other: CLR and other 'household' chemicals are usually mixtures of hydrochloric, etc. acids, are not 'inhibited' and vs. cast iron will rapidly begin to 'attack' an engine's internal metal components.

Other: After you 'descale' an engine, you 'should' then 'heat soak' the engine for several HOURS by running at near full open 'throttle' and under near full load to re-form the protective 'black' rust (ferrous oxide). This applies with the usage of raw non-inhibited acids such as muriatic, hydrochloric AND 'inhibited' boiler descalers, etc.
 

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...Other: CLR and other 'household' chemicals are usually mixtures of hydrochloric, etc. acids, are not 'inhibited' and vs. cast iron will rapidly begin to 'attack' an engine's internal metal components....
CLR is actually inhibited lactic acid and has tested very will both in industry and marine heads. I did not specifically test it on aluminum (simply never had that application). Easier on elastomers, specifically nitrile (Raitan and Groco), than vinegar.

Rydlyme contains inhibited HCl (MSDS). Good product, though.

Really, the MSDS characteristics are very similar; mostly differences in interpretation and writing style. Both have low pH and will not readily burn unbroken skin, but will cause irritation.

I absolutely agree with Rich unknown hydrochloric acid mixtures are a great risk; far too easy to tear things up. Unless the clogging is bad, this is a time for caution. Side-by-side corrosion testing would be interesting. I may have to do that.
 

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Puget Sound Pounder
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Discussion Starter #14
When taking a close look at the costs, CLR, Rydlyme, and Barnacle Buster are fairly close in price. I need two to three gallons so I just need to suck it up and cough over the $80 - $90 bucks a year. Add in the $25 for the impeller and call it good for RW annual maintenance.

Thank you all for the great information! Much appreciated.
 

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vinegar is like 10% of that cost and does maybe 90 percent the same in results...really

in any case whatever you do its the maintenance routine that keeps and engine going forever so use whatever you like, other stuff that helps is to close petcocks or suck in freshwater and or a mild cleaning solution when not in use for a while...cleaning the exhaust elbows, greasing water pumps, cleaning impellers, etc...

lime juice and water works too

you can even use pinesol!

good luck
 

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Old as Dirt!
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When taking a close look at the costs, CLR, Rydlyme, and Barnacle Buster are fairly close in price. I need two to three gallons so I just need to suck it up and cough over the $80 - $90 bucks a year. Add in the $25 for the impeller and call it good for RW annual maintenance.

Thank you all for the great information! Much appreciated.
See preceding Post #9 for a relatively simple approach to this maintenance evolution.
 
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