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hawaiianstyln

High Alkalinity Lakes and what it does

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hawaiianstyln

by far one of the best answers and thought I would share.  I bought my boat last year and the previous owner told me his lake is a high alkalinity lake.  I didn't think much of it, because I ran two boats in Hawaii for 6 years and when I arrived in Phoenix, the Malibu dealer was completely amazed that my VLX was ever in a salt environment, in fact cleaner than some of their customers fresh water driven boats.  I religiously used salt away and had another method to build up water pressure and blow the water out of the exhaust (forgot what that system was that I bought, but it was awesome).  However, when I changed my Tstat last winter I was shocked at the white buildup and wasn't really sure what it was at the time.  I know now obviously!

 

Here is why
I have worked extensively in water treatment process heat rejection field for over 25 years. The temp and the change in temp, aka delta T, is one of the most significant catalysts in the scaling tendencies of the mineral scale fouling of heat exchangers. The function of heat uniquely effects saturation and precipitation of calcium carbonate differently than any other mineral on earth. Calcium carbonate which is the main ingredient of concrete has a inverse solubility. This means that you can dissolve more calcium carbonate in cold water than in hot. For example solubility is the opposite of sugar when making hot coffee or cold tea. High dissolved calcium carbonate in water is known as hardness which is a measure of the + side of the molecule. The measure of calcium carbonate on the - side is know as alkalinity.
What this means to us riders is that when you have very high hardness and high alkalinity lake water with at 70F and is recirculated across a heat exchanger that at 140-180F, the calcium carbonate will most likely precipitate out of solution and form a concrete like scale.
Closed cooling is very beneficial in our boats for this problem because lake water only changes from 70F to 80F then discharged. Whereas, typical lake water cooling is fully or partially brought up to at least 140F within the engine depending on the thermostat, then discharged. Every 10F degrees rise in temp 2x scaling tendency.
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justgary

Thanks for this information.  Yet another reason for a closed cooling system. 

But I am sure that the raw water still gets close to 160*F in your exchanger.  I have checked mine with an IR thermometer, and nothing is cool on it or the risers. 

That said, I would rather descale my exchanger than my whole engine. 

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shawndoggy

you might enjoy my video of vinegar flushing my block a couple of boats ago:

https://youtu.be/AILolX6OAZE

I now have closed cooling and flush the heat exchanger and exhaust manifolds with vinegar overnight once a year as part of the winterization process.

Edited by shawndoggy

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hawaiianstyln
1 hour ago, shawndoggy said:

you might enjoy my video of vinegar flushing my block a couple of boats ago:

https://youtu.be/AILolX6OAZE

I now have closed cooling and flush the heat exchanger and exhaust manifolds with vinegar overnight once a year as part of the winterization process.

Dude!  I was hunting for this earlier and couldnt remember who had done this.  I want to flush mine.  Currently waiting on a new etx cat riser as i have a cracked one, then wantto try this! Thx for that

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hawaiianstyln

@shawndoggy you just dumped that down in you tstat house and anywhere else?

also you left it in for 24 hours?  My worry would be all that build up could clog something maybe not?

my buildup looks nasty

Edited by hawaiianstyln

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shawndoggy
29 minutes ago, hawaiianstyln said:

@shawndoggy you just dumped that down in you tstat house and anywhere else?

also you left it in for 24 hours?  My worry would be all that build up could clog something maybe not?

my buildup looks nasty

I'm just some dude on the interwebs, so take this as anecdotal experience, not direction.  

Your lake's minerals might be different from my lake's.

If you pull your thermostat housing does it look like there is buildup inside the housing?  It's easy enough to do a proof of concept and put the thermo housing in a bucket of vinegar overnight.  That's what I did and that's what convinced me to try this.  The scale dissolved in the vinegar.  There weren't really any big chunks left.  Is that what happened inside my block?  Dunno.  Will yours react the same way?  Again, dunno.

FWIW, some shops around here will flush with CLR (the industrial stuff from home depot for removing shower scale).  There are also some acid treatments described on the interwebs (thehulltruth.com has quite a few).  My theory was that vinegar is pretty benign and I'm unlikely to hurt anything with it.  

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hawaiianstyln

Yah my tstat housing is NASTY so i prob need to do this and will soon

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carguy79ta

I think I will do that this year when I winterize

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hawaiianstyln

@shawndoggy what exactly was your process to get it into entire cooling system?  Obviously dump all water including the block.  Connect all hoses back including plugs.  Remove Tstat housing and dump Vinegar until it's almost flowing out?  Is that enough or do I need to manually fill up the block thru the ports on each side at the knock sensor?

Instead of dumping it all manually I don't see any harm to start the boat up on the fake-a-lake and cycle it out the back on the trailer for 5-10 minutes?

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shawndoggy
1 hour ago, hawaiianstyln said:

@shawndoggy what exactly was your process to get it into entire cooling system?  Obviously dump all water including the block.  Connect all hoses back including plugs.  Remove Tstat housing and dump Vinegar until it's almost flowing out?  Is that enough or do I need to manually fill up the block thru the ports on each side at the knock sensor?

Instead of dumping it all manually I don't see any harm to start the boat up on the fake-a-lake and cycle it out the back on the trailer for 5-10 minutes?

Yeah that would totally work.  I'm not really sure if cycling it would be an advantage or disadvantage tho.  You'd need more (a couple of extra gallons in the bucket), and I'm not sure whether there's any advantage to cycling.... once you are "full" you are full. 

In my mind, the real advantage of the fake a lake method would be that it's fast (no pulling hoses and pouring).  But I think you could shut down as soon as you get vinegar from the exhaust.  Then just wait.  Let the vinegar do its job (I don't know if overnight is really necessary, but probably a few hours at least).  Then flush with clean water.

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hawaiianstyln

sorry I mean by cycling it - instead of dumping hoses and drain plugs manually to get the vinegar out, I meant I would just start the boat on fake-a-lake to flush the vinegar out. 

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Michigan boarder

Can you post pics of the scaling?

 

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shawndoggy
34 minutes ago, hawaiianstyln said:

sorry I mean by cycling it - instead of dumping hoses and drain plugs manually to get the vinegar out, I meant I would just start the boat on fake-a-lake to flush the vinegar out. 

Oh yes, just flush with water running on the hose. 

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justgary

It seems like warming the engine first might make the vinegar work a little better.  This might be a good time for the bucket and pump method of collecting the exhausted vinegar and recirculating it into the intake. 

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shawndoggy
14 hours ago, justgary said:

It seems like warming the engine first might make the vinegar work a little better.  This might be a good time for the bucket and pump method of collecting the exhausted vinegar and recirculating it into the intake. 

Why so?  The reason the minerals calcify or scale seems to be that they are in a warmed up solution (of alkaline lake water).  How will warming help?

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justgary
1 hour ago, shawndoggy said:

Why so?  The reason the minerals calcify or scale seems to be that they are in a warmed up solution (of alkaline lake water).  How will warming help?

Chemistry.  I'm assuming it will excite the reaction between the acid and the base, just like the original reaction that put the calcium onto the iron in the first place. 

And the engine *would* calcify at room temperature, it would just take a lot longer. 

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UWSkier

Great... now you guys are going to force me into another crazy project...

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hawaiianstyln
45 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

Great... now you guys are going to force me into another crazy project...

What lake are you running yours in?  Saguaro/Pleasant/Roosevelt?  Or are you in that private ski lake community in Chandler?  Arent all those lakes normal percentages of hard water?  I cant remember when i was running mine in those lakes for years and looked up the stats but dont rmember lf there is a concern.  If i pop off my tstat its pretty bad and white crap for sure.  Mine is a must flush no doubt.  I even thought about a CLR flush

Edited by hawaiianstyln

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UWSkier

Actually just looked up the stats for the Salt River Basin after reading this thread and it's not all that alkaline.  Mostly right around PH 7 or 8 which is only slightly alkaline.  I tend to mostly run on Saguaro.

The private ski communities tend to get hard and salty here over time.  Same with our pools.

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hawaiianstyln
23 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

Actually just looked up the stats for the Salt River Basin after reading this thread and it's not all that alkaline.  Mostly right around PH 7 or 8 which is only slightly alkaline.  I tend to mostly run on Saguaro.

The private ski communities tend to get hard and salty here over time.  Same with our pools.

Yep Saguaro was my stomping ground unless i was helping drive or ride in the AWSA.  Almost pancaked myself into the side of a boat house doing a raley in a contest at San Tan priv lake.  

Abyways it prob wouldnt hurtto flush yours for piece of mind.  What i havearound here is muddy maume river that runs thru Toledo. I worry about mud or silt buildup thru my intake and cooling system

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hawaiianstyln
On ‎10‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 12:23 PM, Michigan boarder said:

Can you post pics of the scaling?

 

@Michigan boarder just now got around to a pic.  This was taken in March when I was replacing the tstat.  Back then I was confused and didn't know what this was.  Now I know

thermHousing_jpg_0bcf8aec644b58cfd41fc0c605010070.jpg

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hawaiianstyln

FYI that Tstat housing did not look like that when I pulled it off and it was wet.  That only began to look like that and the white buildup showed up after it began to air dry

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shawndoggy

Yeah man throw that bad boy in a bucket of vinegar overnight and see how it looks. 

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hawaiianstyln
1 hour ago, shawndoggy said:

Yeah man throw that bad boy in a bucket of vinegar overnight and see how it looks. 

I think I will go remove it now and report back.  Need to take it off anyway because while I'm working on my ETX CAT cracked riser I'm going to do the intake manifold gasket job as well.

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Cazan

I just replaced my tstat a month ago.  Here is a pic of mine for comparison.  I had none of the white stuff.

1491DF71-34B7-456C-A1BD-F32697DEFDB5.thumb.jpeg.dae9a83203dec3654be58b146539e8a7.jpeg74EFC833-D35D-43D9-B84B-004F3D637853.thumb.jpeg.632f298276715ced4aa186123bfeb289.jpeg9599F7EA-21A1-4AC9-BE53-326A54BC8995.thumb.jpeg.46c5f9c0c8051fba0f688fff08766ef6.jpeg8290FF30-E7EF-47E3-B514-A0479DA6E72A.thumb.jpeg.4257aff70fbbc93ffd75528b9d86ee37.jpeg

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