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Old 19-08-2020, 02:36   #1
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A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

Hi all,

A Facebook group for Beta engine owners flagged a possible issue with the heat exchanger sacrificial anode depleting very quickly. I checked my anode, and yes, it was pretty much gone. This was only six or seven weeks after I had installed the engine, and with less than 20 hours run time.

Now, I am being fair here, this may all be a red herring (Get the joke? You will if you are a Beta owner.) but I am looking to see if anyone here has experienced the same thing.

And, before anyone goes there, please be reassured, my galvanic protection regime on this boat is well thought out and well tested (40 years). The previous engine with the same coupling, the same prop shaft and prop and the same engine beds barely touched its anodes. The boat is not connected to the mains, there are no boats near me to leak power and I am in the same marina I have been in for years, I haven't suddenly teleported to the Dead Sea.

The engine was purchased in April, and if this is a real issue, it seems to be related to newer Betas with a stainless steel pipe between the water pump">raw water pump and the heat exchanger. I would be very keen to hear from anyone with such an engine.

Thank you,

Matt
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Old 19-08-2020, 05:20   #2
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

This has been a problem with the Beta's for years. I purchased a new Beta 16 10 years ago and it had the same issue. It was almost a waste of time replacing the zincs. I even raised it with the dealer here when looking to buy the thirty earlier this year and he claimed it wasn't a problem and the zinc eating issue was resolved and they'd only ever sold two heat exchangers as spares. I'd have to be honest and say, I was concerned enough about it to stall me ponying up for the Beta long enough to actually end up buying something else.


Ironically, the something else also has a zinc anode in the heat exchanger, whereas the original didn't and didn't seem to have suffered for lack of it. Even so, based on my Beta ownership days the first thing I did was purchase some zinc rod of suitable diameter so I can fabricate my own anodes if this thing eats them like the Beta did.
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Old 19-08-2020, 05:32   #3
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

We donít have a beta, but do have a phasor (that beta got upset with for copying their heat exchanger). It also consumes anodes. Iíve been all over the engine and surrounding metals with a silver chloride Hal fm cell and the is no electrical reason for the depletion.

As near as I can tell the anode is just scoured away by the water flow through the heat exchanger.
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Old 19-08-2020, 14:58   #4
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

Matt, what are the materials involved in the HX? Ours is an aluminium casting with some sort of cupro based tube bundle. No anode in there at all, but as you may recall, the tube bundle failed after some 18 years of service. Not sure why...

So, if your anode failure is due to simple erosion, perhaps an Al anode might do the job better.

Jim
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Old 19-08-2020, 15:33   #5
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

Hi all,
Just for info my 2013 Beta 30 uses anodes pretty fast.
I've found replacement zincs which screw into the original plug at several chandlers on the east coast of OZ at a fraction of the price Beta want for them.
Just have to cut about 12mm off the length.

Rgds
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Old 20-08-2020, 01:13   #6
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Matt, what are the materials involved in the HX? Ours is an aluminium casting with some sort of cupro based tube bundle. No anode in there at all, but as you may recall, the tube bundle failed after some 18 years of service. Not sure why...

So, if your anode failure is due to simple erosion, perhaps an Al anode might do the job better.

Jim


Not sure what it is made of, havenít been inclined to pull it apart, what with everything else going on. I am of the opinion that I shouldnít have to worry about this with a new engine, but I may yet have to become knowledgeable if Beta canít figure out a solution.

One guy for the owners group has had some success from replacing the stainless pipe with silicone. I think I will follow his lead, once I have a better baseline to work from.

Certainly, from the comments here, it seems some Betas eat anodes a bit fast. Wish Iíd heard that before I purchased. There was no mention of it when I first asked about Beta vs Nanni.
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Old 20-08-2020, 03:47   #7
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

Don't know about 50hp but talking to a bloke with a H28 who bought a Beta 20hp maybe 3 years ago, he had corrosion trouble with his hx whilst under warranty. Had a bit of a struggle with local agent & got some kind of corrosion engineer & a lawyer involved.
Think his hx was aluminium alloy IIRC. He won with the threat of legal action eventually & they replaced his hx with one of a different material. He loved his engine apart from that.
I have posted this before.
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Old 20-08-2020, 04:15   #8
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

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Don't know about 50hp but talking to a bloke with a H28 who bought a Beta 20hp maybe 3 years ago, he had corrosion trouble with his hx whilst under warranty. Had a bit of a struggle with local agent & got some kind of corrosion engineer & a lawyer involved.
Think his hx was aluminium alloy IIRC. He won with the threat of legal action eventually & they replaced his hx with one of a different material. He loved his engine apart from that.
I have posted this before.


This is a bit of a worry, because, when you get down to it, I think the only ďBetaĒ bit IS the heat exchanger. I mean, itís a bobtail Kubota bolted to a gearbox from a handful of manufacturers., TMC in my case. As far as I can tell, the Beta bits are the HX, incorporating the exhaust manifold and some pipes. Iím not sure if even the raw water pump is made by Beta.

The bit the guy loved is a Kubota really.

Itís early days (20 engine hours) and Iíve got a strategy to measure the effectiveness of replacing the stainless pipe with a synthetic pipe (I have it in writing from one of the UK Beta guys that I can do this) but Iím starting to worry if this thing will turn out to be a problem engine.
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Old 20-08-2020, 05:27   #9
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

The metal components of the Beta raw water cooling system that are exposed to salt water are comprised of a stainless steel raw water pump cover and shaft, a bronze raw water pump housing, a stainless steel water pipe and a Cupro nickel bronze heat exchanger core with a zinc held in with a bronze threaded plug.
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Old 20-08-2020, 06:39   #10
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

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The metal components of the Beta raw water cooling system that are exposed to salt water are comprised of a stainless steel raw water pump cover and shaft, a bronze raw water pump housing, a stainless steel water pipe and a Cupro nickel bronze heat exchanger core with a zinc held in with a bronze threaded plug.


It sounds like you know these engines well. Any ideas about why the anodes are dissolving so fast?

I mean specific to the engine, since I can pretty confidently rule out external sources of galvanic or electrical potential.
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Old 20-08-2020, 07:10   #11
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

Lest a oil cooler option all the engines would be built the same. Using the same components and assembly. The variable is in the multitude of vessels and installations and the environment the vessel is kept in. Zincs are consumed by a calendar rate not hours. When you see 6 months as a typical zinc life and some vessels get less than 2 months you have to look at the variables of installation and environment.
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Old 20-08-2020, 13:51   #12
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
This is a bit of a worry, because, when you get down to it, I think the only ďBetaĒ bit IS the heat exchanger. I mean, itís a bobtail Kubota bolted to a gearbox from a handful of manufacturers., TMC in my case. As far as I can tell, the Beta bits are the HX, incorporating the exhaust manifold and some pipes. Iím not sure if even the raw water pump is made by Beta.

The bit the guy loved is a Kubota really.

Itís early days (20 engine hours) and Iíve got a strategy to measure the effectiveness of replacing the stainless pipe with a synthetic pipe (I have it in writing from one of the UK Beta guys that I can do this) but Iím starting to worry if this thing will turn out to be a problem engine.
Na I wouldnt worry because as you say not many bits are Beta.
Even if you bought a nanni the different bits frm Beta might be the same things.I should have pointed out that it was 3 years ago that I talked to the Beta owner, not sure how long before that the issue arose. they may have changed hx supplier since then. The owner may have not got the alloy right but I don't know.
Also
If the hx is cupronickel it should be fine but yes I'd be concerned about the anode life but I'm not a corrosion engineer.
Good idea trying the synthetic pipe AFAIK, please report the results back
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Old 20-08-2020, 14:32   #13
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

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Lest a oil cooler option all the engines would be built the same. Using the same components and assembly. The variable is in the multitude of vessels and installations and the environment the vessel is kept in. Zincs are consumed by a calendar rate not hours. When you see 6 months as a typical zinc life and some vessels get less than 2 months you have to look at the variables of installation and environment.


Yes, I do know all that. But this seems to be something specific to this engine.

The Facebook group are reporting problems with this engine specifically, and the previous engine in exactly the same boat with exactly the same setup had no problem with its anodes.

I cannot see how it can be installation related.
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Old 20-08-2020, 14:35   #14
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

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Na I wouldnt worry because as you say not many bits are Beta.

Even if you bought a nanni the different bits frm Beta might be the same things.I should have pointed out that it was 3 years ago that I talked to the Beta owner, not sure how long before that the issue arose. they may have changed hx supplier since then. The owner may have not got the alloy right but I don't know.

Also

If the hx is cupronickel it should be fine but yes I'd be concerned about the anode life but I'm not a corrosion engineer.

Good idea trying the synthetic pipe AFAIK, please report the results back


Yes, true, the core engine should be fine. But the HX is not exactly cheap, I wouldnít want to be replacing it out of my own pocket.

Iím due to pull the current anode in about two weeks, to give me a consistent baseline. Then itís pipework time. Fingers crossed.
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Old 20-08-2020, 14:44   #15
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Re: A call out to Beta 50 owners, newer engines in particular.

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Yes, true, the core engine should be fine. But the HX is not exactly cheap, I wouldnít want to be replacing it out of my own pocket.

Iím due to pull the current anode in about two weeks, to give me a consistent baseline. Then itís pipework time. Fingers crossed.
Yes too right it should be up to the manufacturer to make sure the HX is fit for purpose & replace at their expense if it isnt.
I'd be urinating blood if I had to replace the HX on a new engine still under warranty. What does Beta say about it? Hope they are paying for the replacement pipe & install but I somehow doubt it.
Good luck that the syn pipe cures it appetite for anodes.
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