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Old 29-11-2013, 10:49   #1
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Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

So we've been pouring about a liter of vinegar per week into the head to prevent calcium deposits. No joy.

For some details about our travails ...

Noisy night in Los Candeleros & The Twirly Thing

More work on The Twirly Problem (Sven)

I'd originally thought that the clog was from paper and waste but it was definitely lime deposits, the rocks that came out when we snaked the line were impressive !

At this point I can't see any solution other than maybe flushing concentrated CLR through the system once a month or carrying a spare hose to replace the clogged one when the time comes. Oh, no more Fosamax or calcium supplements needed, that's obvious

Any other suggestions ?

Thanks,



-Sven
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Old 29-11-2013, 10:55   #2
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

my repair guy used muriatic acid in mine and cleared it right out. let it sit in bowl a few minuets then slooowwwly flush it thru the hoses... should help. you may need to remove hoses to clean em, or replace em.
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Old 29-11-2013, 10:59   #3
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

Fresh water flush for the Heads....
Once you make the change you will be amazed at the amount of Head Troubles that simply vanish and go away, never to be smelled again!
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Old 29-11-2013, 11:04   #4
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

I dont know how your using the vinegar, but the way ive been doing it has seemed to work out pretty well. Whenever Im going to be away from the boat for more than usual or i have access to a nearby shore head, I dump a whole gallon of white vinegar in and give a couple of pumps to fill the hoses then leave it sit for a couple of days or a week or whatever. It leaves the inside shiny clean, even where you see down into the pipe where it makes its right angle turn. When I started doing this I stopped having to do the annual joker and flapper replacements. I think the jokers that I replaced were simply calcified in the mouth open position. Make sure the whatever you do isnt damaging to things like the macerator impeller and head workings.
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Old 29-11-2013, 11:09   #5
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
my repair guy used muriatic acid in mine and cleared it right out.
I suspect that's like using CLR and sure seems to work. It just seems drastic. I'll look up the differences, if there are any.

Thanks !

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Fresh water flush for the Heads....
Once you make the change you will be amazed at the amount of Head Troubles that simply vanish and go away, never to be smelled again!
We've been flushing with salt water the last eight months to conserve our watermaker water, otherwise we're plumber to flush with fresh. We have absolutely no odor problems because we use Odorlos but if salt water increases calcium deposits we'd go back to fresh water flushing again in no-time. Do you happen to have a pointer to a source that explains how salt water would increase the deposits ?

Many thanks !



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Old 29-11-2013, 11:13   #6
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

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I dont know how your using the vinegar,

<snip>

Make sure the whatever you do isnt damaging to things like the macerator impeller and head workings.
We'd put in a few spoon-fulls of vinegar after each use.

Damage to other components is what worries me about using CLR or muriatic acid and why I'd like to avoid it.

Thanks,



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Old 29-11-2013, 11:18   #7
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

Pee and salt water will do it. Every so often I remove the hose, lash it to the lifelines (ends up) and fill with weak muriatic acid solution. Leave overnight, flush clean in the morning.
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Old 29-11-2013, 11:27   #8
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
We'd put in a few spoon-fulls of vinegar after each use.
-Sven
If you get a chance try letting a gallon soak for a while, It eats the lime slowly but surely. Ive taken peoples heads that were absolutely nasty that seemingly wouldnt scrub away with vinegar and put an old towel in, soaked it with vinegar and let it sit, when removing the towel a day or two later the deposits are gone down to the shine. In a nutshell give the vinegar some time to do its thing in a pure undiluted form and the results will surprise you.
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Old 29-11-2013, 11:44   #9
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

The problem is in the hose not the owl.
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Old 29-11-2013, 11:45   #10
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muratic acid is swimming pool acid, also used to clean concrete, it's serious stuff, calcium wouldn't stand a chance, but I wouldn't want it in a macerator either
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Old 29-11-2013, 11:51   #11
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

Quote:
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The problem is in the hose not the owl.
thats why I said pump it a few strokes to fill the system with vinegar. Been full time liveaboard for nearly a decade now. Been thru the banging hose out,rebuild head, replace hose, redesign system, replace system thing for quite a few cycles now. who who
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Old 29-11-2013, 11:52   #12
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
if salt water increases calcium deposits we'd go back to fresh water flushing again in no-time. Do you happen to have a pointer to a source that explains how salt water would increase the deposits ?
The urine and sea water react and chemically precipitate out calcium deposits in your head and plumbing...take away the sea water (Calcium source) and you can eliminate the deposits down to almost nothing. Chemically it's like how Kidney stones form in your bladder with salts and urine.
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Old 29-11-2013, 12:15   #13
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
The urine and sea water react and chemically precipitate out calcium deposits in your head and plumbing...take away the sea water (Calcium source) and you can eliminate the deposits down to almost nothing. Chemically it's like how Kidney stones form in your bladder with salts and urine.
So, we'll be back to fresh water flushing ... that's a bummer energy budget wise since we make just about all our own fresh water, but it sure beats fighting a calcified hose clogging a head !!

Thanks.



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Old 29-11-2013, 12:18   #14
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

If you can find the higher strength "cleaning vinegar" that is likely to work better. Whenever I go away for a week or more I fill my toilet bowl with this, pump a few times to get it into the hoses and let sit. I haven't done this but wacking the hoses a few times before pumping it all out might flush out loosened deposits. Regarding urine and salt water not being a good mix, I always pump the head 10 times to make sure all the urine has been flushed out. Last time I changed out my hoses I saved a bag of the calcium deposits. I have been meaning to test several different types of cleaning solution on the stuff to see what works best. Holdup is that I need to weigh out equal amounts to make the tests comparable but don't have a balance. Maybe a used kitchen scale now that I think about it.
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Old 29-11-2013, 13:00   #15
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Re: Preventing lime/calcium deposits ?

You may want to check out Vinegar In The Head..? Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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