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Old 10-06-2019, 05:29   #1
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Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

As a routine, I like to flush the a/c raw water system at the beginning of summer and the end of summer (Florida). In the past, phosphoric acid has done the job nicely. One gallon to four gallons of water and let it sit for 30-60 minutes then restart the pump to flush it through. Works dandy.

But now I have access to a few gallons of CLR Calcium, Lime, Rust remover. The ingredients say its mostly lactic acid and gluconic acid. Also says its biodegradable and won't harm nearby plant or aquatic life. Anyone ever used it to flush their raw water systems? What kind of ratio did you mix?

Thanks.

John
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:39   #2
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

"The Practical Sailor article tested eight descaling chemicals. CLR was their "Best Choice" for cleaning engine cooling systems containing aluminum. Their overall winner was a product named Sew Clean.

Their bottom line was that "The only really serious mistakes are muriatic acid on aluminum, leaving any solution in the plumbing or cooling passages longer than recommended, or using a higher concentration than recommended.""
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http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ng-190813.html


Marine Maintenance: Multi-purpose Cleaners Test - Practical Sailor ...

https://www.practical-sailor.com/issues/.../Multi-Purpose-Spray-Cleaners_5980-1.html
Practical Sailor tests 15 marine multi-purpose cleaners from Star brite, ... Krud Kutter Degreaser/Stain Remover and Marykate's Grease Away Engine Degreaser. .... Krazy Clean and Marine Spray Nine, Practical Sailor's Best Choice picks for ...
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:41   #3
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
"The Practical Sailor article tested eight descaling chemicals. CLR was their "Best Choice" for cleaning engine cooling systems containing aluminum. Their overall winner was a product named Sew Clean.

Their bottom line was that "The only really serious mistakes are muriatic acid on aluminum, leaving any solution in the plumbing or cooling passages longer than recommended, or using a higher concentration than recommended.""
.
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ng-190813.html


Marine Maintenance: Multi-purpose Cleaners Test - Practical Sailor ...

https://www.practical-sailor.com/issues/.../Multi-Purpose-Spray-Cleaners_5980-1.html
Practical Sailor tests 15 marine multi-purpose cleaners from Star brite, ... Krud Kutter Degreaser/Stain Remover and Marykate's Grease Away Engine Degreaser. .... Krazy Clean and Marine Spray Nine, Practical Sailor's Best Choice picks for ...
Good to know. Thanks for the link.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:46   #4
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

On my boat I use my Salt Away mixer. a jet sweep away nozzle and boat soap to clean the raw water circuit on the A/C.

The A/C is shut off, the nozzle is jammed into the hull side fitting and the soapy water turned on.

After cleaning the water shoots out in a nice stream. After cleaning there is zero dribble and zero hull staining.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:23   #5
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

My experience with CLR on other than boat uses is that they have changed their formula to the point that it is so weak that it does nothing. IMO it is a waste of time & money.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:59   #6
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

Use Barnacle Buster.
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Old 10-06-2019, 14:59   #7
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

I use a local product called "Metal Gleam" which is a combination of acids but mostly phosphoric mixed 1 to 5 with water. Before this I did a comparison test between this product and CLR and vinegar. I set up 3 glass jars with sea shells and watched to see which mixture dissolved the shells the best. The vinegar at full strength and the CLR at 1 to 1 with water were not even close. Metal Gleam at $35 for 4 litres I reckon has the same acid mixtures as barnacle buster which in this country sells for about $180 for 4 litres.
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:53   #8
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

Have not used CLR, but have used both Rydlyme and Barnacle Buster at various times with good results.

BB is Sew Clean with some added "marine growth" preventatives (per Trac), whereas Sew Clean is targeted at plumbing, as in sanitation lines. I can say I used BB once for a Sew Clean application -- because I had a plumbing clog (uric acid/struvites) and had some BB on hand -- following Trac's suggestion to dilute the BB to SC levels (5:1 instead of 4:1) and it worked like a champ.

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Old 11-06-2019, 06:09   #9
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

In my experience, CLR is OK for light buildup, but not even close to what the products like Rydlyme can do. I've used oxalic acid with good results. Inexpensive and available in the local hardware store. Comes as a box of crystals that you dissolve in water.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:28   #10
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

Thanks for the input, everyone. I've scrapped the idea and picked up some phosphoric acid from Home Depot.

John
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:10   #11
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

How about for the fresh water part of the engine cooling system in a raw water heat exchanger?
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:46   #12
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

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How about for the fresh water part of the engine cooling system in a raw water heat exchanger?
Yeah, that's a completely separate topic. There are plenty of products available to help flush the freshwater cooling side, some are more successful than others. That would be a great topic for a new thread.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:40   #13
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

I used CLR once, but I'm going back to phosphoric acid. It's better and cheaper - Home Depot etcher.
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Old 11-06-2019, 13:01   #14
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Re: Has anyone used CLR to flush raw water systems?

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Yeah, that's a completely separate topic. There are plenty of products available to help flush the freshwater cooling side, some are more successful than others. That would be a great topic for a new thread.
I would not use straight fresh water in a modern engine.

In the absence of better advice I flushed my raw water cooled engine with cleaning vinegar. I could not inspect inside the engine but it turned a very satisfying colour and kludgynes in the bucket I was circulating it through.
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