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Old 30-12-2019, 14:57   #1
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Descaling the raw water system

Advice please. I need to clean out my system, and especially the heat exchanger. Plenty of YouTube videos are available on how to do it, provided by helpful US engineers.
All recommend Barnacle Buster (not easy to obtain in the UK), but some prefer Ridlyme (impossible to obtain in the UK!). We can get Starbrite's Engine descaler - but is it as good?

Any advice please?
(Engine is a Yanmar 3GM30F)
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Old 30-12-2019, 15:29   #2
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

We used HCl, sometimes called muriatic acid, or hydrochloric acid or swimming pool acid Not full strength. I would think a laboratory supply place would have it, if, in the UK, you do not have swimming pool supply stores. I'd look at any big box store, really, can't hurt to check.

Or, if you have a friend coming from the States to the UK, maybe they'd bring you the product you want.

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Old 30-12-2019, 15:35   #3
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

Rydlyme is on amazon.co.uk and probably on eBay.co.uk.
I use rydlyme and like the results. If you can heat it, it works faster and better. It's biodegradable and most places can be dumped overboard.
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Old 30-12-2019, 15:49   #4
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
We used HCl, sometimes called muriatic acid, or hydrochloric acid or swimming pool acid Not full strength. I would think a laboratory supply place would have it, if, in the UK, you do not have swimming pool supply stores. I'd look at any big box store, really, can't hurt to check.

Or, if you have a friend coming from the States to the UK, maybe they'd bring you the product you want.

Ann
To add to Anns' helpful advice, HCl (hydrochloric acid) is sold in the UK as a brick cleaner.

And yes, it is very useful in removing calcium deposits, scale and other salts in raw water systems.

Check the bottle for strength as I have seen it in Australia from anywhere between 10 and 30 percent. I have only used it at about 15 to 20 percent but stronger is faster!
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Old 30-12-2019, 17:17   #5
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

Barnacle Buster is a name-brand product specifically designed for this purpose.

It's apparently primarily phosphoric acid, with some "secret" ingredients added.

I've had good luck just buying food-grade phosphoric acid by the gallon on Amazon. Far cheaper than BB. Somewhere there's a thread listing the dilution percentages.
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Old 30-12-2019, 20:19   #6
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

If the OP wants to go down the phosphoric acid path, then it also readily available in many rust convertors. It is a relatively mild acid to work it IMO.

Deoxidine, de.ox.it and bonderite c-ic624 are some of the trade names and are available in 20 litre (~5 US gallons) or smaller pack sizes.

I have found HCl to be the fastest though.
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Old 31-12-2019, 11:13   #7
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

We used a product called "Salt-Away" last year, for the first time. Seemed OK/easy to use, and so far this season I've not seen any negative results from our using it, and (so far) no overheating issues. May be worth a try....it comes with its own applicator.
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Old 31-12-2019, 12:18   #8
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMRea View Post
Advice please. I need to clean out my system, and especially the heat exchanger. Plenty of YouTube videos are available on how to do it, provided by helpful US engineers.
All recommend Barnacle Buster (not easy to obtain in the UK), but some prefer Ridlyme (impossible to obtain in the UK!). We can get Starbrite's Engine descaler - but is it as good?

Any advice please?
(Engine is a Yanmar 3GM30F)
I have used Barnacle Buster Concentrate (diluted as required) once, last year, and even bought the overpriced Sea Flush device that did make the treatment easier to accomplish. Beforehand, I spoke with a company tech about leaving it in the engine overnight and he said NOT to as it may eat into some of the thinner metal. He advised to flush it out after six hours which is what I did.

Frankly, I did not see any difference after the treatment. I was hoping someone would do a before and after test video but that would be a lot of work; tearing components apart to photo before, reassemble, treatment, tear down again, photo, then publish. Just looking at the company photos doesn't convince me that it makes a difference when applied IAW the directions...again, I didn't see a difference. Maybe my engine didn't really need it to begin with. Maybe some before use instructions to determine IF you need/should use it.

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Old 31-12-2019, 12:55   #9
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

We use phosphoric acid from the paint department at a Home Depot (home supply store). We mix it 2.5 or 3 gallons to one gallon, pump it into the system, and leave it overnight. Next day, all kinds of she’ll fragments come blasting out. No harm to the inner metals. Phosphoric acid eats organics, not metal. Muriatic acid will eat thinner metals. Barnacle Buster sells for $75, US. Phosphoric acid eat Home Depot sells for $18, US.
This is what works for us. Your mileage may very.
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Old 31-12-2019, 13:20   #10
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMRea View Post
some prefer Ridlyme (impossible to obtain in the UK!)
I've not had any trouble getting hold of Rydlyme - I've used it and was very happy with how it worked. You can order it on the internet from a few places, but if you want it from a physical shop try Weir Quay Boatyard which should be close to you.

Rydlyme Marine Descaler
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Old 31-12-2019, 14:14   #11
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

Just a quick follow up, there is Barnacle Buster and then there is Barnacle Buster Concentrate. The containers look exactly the same except for the "Concentrate" printed in the upper right RED star. You mix the Concentrate 1:5 with water before use. Yes, the Concentrate is higher priced but it makes more.


It is very easy to get it confused because of the container similarities...even the dealers get it screwed up.


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Old 31-12-2019, 14:19   #12
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

In Australia I use a product called Metal Gleam. It's a product made in Nowra and is basically Phosphoric acid and other ingredients! Label reads just like barnacle buster but it's 1/5th the price. I use it 5:1 and it works exceptional well. I also ran some tests with seashells in glass jars with a variety of descaling products and the Metal Gleam was easily the best. Also I have left it in cast iron engine castings for a couple of days with no ill effects. It will etch aluminium.
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Old 31-12-2019, 19:15   #13
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

while cleaning descaling the raw water side do not neglect to check and if necessary clean the fresh water side.
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Old 31-12-2019, 19:30   #14
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Re: Descaling the raw water system

Word of warning re Muriatic Acid: Even in a sealed container the fumes from it dissolved metal container & handle stored next to it. Not a good idea to store it - buy only a what you'll need & then dilute with soapy water & dispose of it properly.
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