Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 31-08-2016, 03:22   #1
Senior Cruiser
 
Mainstreet's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Currently in Ladys Island South Carolina waiting out the Hurricane Season
Boat: Morgan 462 ketch
Posts: 64
Continuous heat exchanger cleaning?

Like most folks, I have at least four heat exchangers on Odissea; Two for the AC units, one for the fridge/freezer, one for the main engine and one for the generator. Guess that adds up o five!

My mooring for the last three months and the next three months is a very biologically active South Carolina creek. Cleaning raw water strainers is a weekly headache. I've heard of putting hot tub bromide pellets in the strainers but am loathe to do so until I hear of that process being neutral to the metals associated with the equipment.

Are there other methods for continuous cleaning of heat exchangers out there that are proven and effective?
__________________

__________________
My mind is writing cheques my body can't cash!
Mainstreet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-08-2016, 06:17   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Ellenton Florida
Boat: Lagoon 38
Posts: 35
Re: Continuous heat exchanger cleaning?

I purchased our cat in st Augustine and live on the west coast. While in St. Augustine I had a A/C guy to come check out our two systems. He suggested using chunks of clorine tablets in the strainer baskets that are normally used for swimming pools. He was a nice guy had his own business took a lot of time answering my questions. I wish I had his info because I would recommend him. He knew I was taking the boat to the west cost so he had no reason to give me information that would shorten the life of my A/c system. Having said all of that I have read varying opinions on using clorine. It's been working for me for over two years.
__________________

__________________
Greg H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-08-2016, 10:09   #3
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Carrabelle, Florida
Boat: Self-built 44' steel trawler
Posts: 785
Re: Continuous heat exchanger cleaning?

I hope that someone who knows about this topic will post. I really want to know the answer.
__________________
tkeithlu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-08-2016, 11:08   #4
Registered User
 
ranger42c's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland, USA
Boat: 42' Sportfish
Posts: 2,429
Re: Continuous heat exchanger cleaning?

I have read chlorine may be corrosive whereas bromine may be less so, or even not corrosive. (Conflicting info, on that last.) A boat neighbor uses bromine, and still has to clean out his strainers periodically.


I have read a piece of copper in the strainer will discourage critter growth. Sounds plausible, given copper was a traditional anti-fouling ingredient. I have a small copper elbow in our AC intake strainer, but can't tell if it's useful or not. No marine growth, but that might be coincidental. And it doesn't do anything about the mud or jellyfish (sea nettles).


It is possible to add an easy-flush mechanism to a raw water intake system. Google Groco's safety seacock conversion (SSC) and flush adapter for an example of an already-made-up system of fittings that could be useful for the job. OTOH, dock water pressure may or may not be sufficient to clean out mud, and I know it probably won't clear a sea nettle from the strainer (too gooey)... and you'd probably not want jellyfish being forced through your AC or similar system, anyway.


Our SSCs are immediately after the seacock and before the strainer, so attaching a garden hose is easy and fresh water through the strainer and follow-on system helps a bit. OTOH, I still have to clean mud -- and the occasional jelly, sometimes -- from the strainer manually.


I have used the flush adapter to clean the system with "product" -- in this case, Rydlyme -- and that's much more effective than plain pressurized fresh water. OTOH, when I did it, I still removed the strainer baskets and cleaned those manually... so not sure whether Rydlyme (or Barnacle Buster, or similar) would have done that or not. And the cost of "product" can mount up a bit... so I haven't used that more often than about once/year.


In my AC system, I used a small electric transfer pump to fill the AC plumbing with the stuff... then let it sit... then flushed. Worked like a champ. For the main engines and genset, I did it slightly differently, using a recirculating approach... which also worked like a champ, possibly even better. But even for mains and genny, I removed the strainer baskets and cleaned them separately.


Doesn't hurt to have spare strainer baskets, especially for the AC system in hot climates. That can at least make part of the process faster. Out with the old, in with the new, clean the old one at your leisure.


-Chris
__________________
Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-08-2016, 11:12   #5
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,146
Images: 25
Re: Continuous heat exchanger cleaning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainstreet View Post
Like most folks, I have at least four heat exchangers on Odissea; Two for the AC units, one for the fridge/freezer, one for the main engine and one for the generator. Guess that adds up o five!

My mooring for the last three months and the next three months is a very biologically active South Carolina creek. Cleaning raw water strainers is a weekly headache. I've heard of putting hot tub bromide pellets in the strainers but am loathe to do so until I hear of that process being neutral to the metals associated with the equipment.

Are there other methods for continuous cleaning of heat exchangers out there that are proven and effective?
If your strainer basket is of the plastic type, you can cut a small length of copper foil of the type sometimes used for grounding on SSB's; roll it loosely around a pencil and then drop the roll in the filter basket. The copper will dissolve over time but prevent "growies" from taking hold in your water lines. For easier flushing, either with fresh water or recirculating something like "Barnacle Buster" to dissolve scale and barnacle shell build-up, if you have a Groco strainer, you can fit a Trac FLUSHcap to your unit to make it easier to clean/flush.

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."
svHyLyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-08-2016, 11:36   #6
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 12,928
Re: Continuous heat exchanger cleaning?

Both chlorine and I believe Bromine are very active in oxidizing metals, I can't link to a source that proves that though.

OK a quick Google resulted in this

the effect of having chlorine and oxygen in the same solution is to incease the corrosion rate or velocity of corrosion. the corrosion rate of steel in water is a function of the concentration of oxygen. if chlorine is present then the corrosion rate will be a function of the total concentration of oxygen + chlorine.
in the paper below you can find graph that show the relationship between oxygen content and corrosion rate and also the effect of the conc of NaCl.
In simple terms the effect of the NaCl is to increase the electrical conducibility of water that increase the corrosion rate.

V
Source(s):
http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=...
http://www.corrosionist.com
http://www.corrosionist.com/Corrosion_Co...
__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 18:52   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Oregon to Alaska
Boat: Wheeler Shipyard 83' ex USCG
Posts: 1,207
Re: Continuous heat exchanger cleaning?

I have used both chlorine and bromine for controlling organisms in the tropics, but not at the same time. There are chlorine or bromine dispensers that are used in industries with tanks using raw water.
I have a wood boat with a copper plated bottom. I still have to paint it.
__________________
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2016, 06:38   #8
Registered User
 
CaptTom's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Southern Maine
Boat: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Posts: 650
Re: Continuous heat exchanger cleaning?

We had a spa (hot tub) with all kinds of different metals in the pumps and fittings. The manufacturer recommended bromine tablets. There's a test kit you use to keep the bromine levels up all the time. So, at least in that application, it's considered non-corrosive. They also recommended keeping the water in a narrow pH range (another test kit), so that may be part of the equation.

I did try the copper penny in the AC strainer once. Corroded into a black mess. I was worried it might be from electrolysis. We're not in an area that supports a lot of growth, and we don't use the AC much, so I can't say if it was effective.
__________________

__________________
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cleaning, heat exchanger

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which Heat Conductive Material to Boost My Exhaust Heat Exchanger? Exhaust Shanaly Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 4 05-07-2013 04:58
Cleaning Perkins Heat Exchanger Trekka Engines and Propulsion Systems 8 04-09-2012 14:33
Cleaning A/C Raw Water / Heat Exchanger Lines svHyLyte Construction, Maintenance & Refit 0 25-01-2010 10:59
Cleaning A Heat Exchanger stormsurf Engines and Propulsion Systems 3 18-06-2009 08:41
cleaning heat exchanger AnotherSailorman Engines and Propulsion Systems 10 24-05-2005 19:30


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:05.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.