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Old 10-09-2015, 14:58   #1
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Engine Electrolysis Symptoms

Recently bought an older sailboat with a Westerbeke 30 diesel that had 175 hours on it. The owner said the zinc had been checked a few months ago and was good. Just changed the zinc and the old zinc was completely gone. The engine runs fine, but are there any symptoms of engine electrolysis I should be looking for?
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Old 10-09-2015, 16:25   #2
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Re: engine electrolysis symptoms

Betamarine says engine zincs may last only 4-5 months, so the zinc could have been fine a few months ago and be gone now, with nothing wrong. Replace and keep checking.

But if you want to be thorough, do some reading about grounding, and some investigation into how your boat is grounded. This can effect how quickly your engine zinc is consumed. I think this is a controversial subject, so be prepared for differing opinions
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Old 10-09-2015, 16:47   #3
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Re: engine electrolysis symptoms

Depends on what the PO thought was "fine".

Zincs deplete at a ratio of their surface area, smaller area, faster depletion.

When the zinc looks half depleted, the next half goes really fast.

Also, how many zincs are fitted to this engine, perhaps you checked one the PO did not know about .
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Old 10-09-2015, 18:06   #4
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Re: engine electrolysis symptoms

First thing is .... don't take any advice from any mechanic/electrician who uses the word "electrolysis" in relation to this issue, that is not what is occurring. No ABYC certified electrician or corrosion analyst will use that term.

That anode is designed to protect your engine from galvanic corrosion and depending on a whole slew of conditions including erosion corrosion may last five months or two years. Replace and monitor. Consult an ABYC Certified Corrosion Analyst if you think it's corroding too fast.
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Old 10-09-2015, 18:13   #5
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Re: engine electrolysis symptoms

I can't keep up with changing the little zinc in the heat exchanger. I grounded the heat exchanger to the main boat zink and still the little one dissolves. Maybe a Perkins is different but the only zinc is in the heat exchanger which has rubber hoses and a rubber mount cushion.
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Old 10-09-2015, 18:41   #6
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Re: Engine Electrolysis Symptoms

Perkins 4-108's do not have zincs, is this because they are made of cast iron?
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Old 10-09-2015, 19:16   #7
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Re: Engine Electrolysis Symptoms

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Originally Posted by andyft View Post
Perkins 4-108's do not have zincs, is this because they are made of cast iron?
Where does salt water come in contact with the engine?
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Old 10-09-2015, 19:28   #8
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Re: Engine Electrolysis Symptoms

I guess just in the heat exchanger
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Old 10-09-2015, 20:03   #9
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Re: Engine Electrolysis Symptoms

Sea water comes into contact with the engine at the water pump">raw water pump, heat exchanger and exhaust elbow and in some cases the exhaust manifold.
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Old 10-09-2015, 21:40   #10
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Re: Engine Electrolysis Symptoms

The pencil zinc on my old BetaMarine heat exchanger vanished regularily within 6 months (except the brass bung which stayed in good condition). My Sole marine engine's heat exchanger uses no zincs. Not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing.
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:08   #11
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Re: engine electrolysis symptoms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
I can't keep up with changing the little zinc in the heat exchanger. I grounded the heat exchanger to the main boat zink and still the little one dissolves.
.
You are creating your own problems by connecting the heat exchanger to the main zinc.


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