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Removing hard water deposits?


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  #1  
Old 12-24-2016, 01:32:46 AM
con-rad con-rad is offline
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Default Removing hard water deposits?

Hey all,

I finally fought the head off of my 40HP boviard and seyfang model CP. the bottom hole of the water passage in the head is clogged solid with minerals, from hard water I assume. about 10 minutes with an air chisel removed the accessible stuff, but how do i clean out all the stuff inside the jacket where i can't get to it? There also is a huge amount of rust chips and flakes, but I imagine that can only be removed mechanically, with picks and such.

Any suggestions? thanks!

connor
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Old 12-24-2016, 01:55:23 AM
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Leonard Fausset Leonard Fausset is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

I use a 8" long solid carbide burr with a 1/4" shank in a air driven die grinder. I've been able to remove the waterstone deep in the head as well as in the water jacket of the jug. It's not too bad. A little dusty. Hold your wet-vac hose close. Didn't take too long. This is a 5 gal. bucket of rust and scale from one 15hp jug. The top ports were pretty well closed in both head and jug.
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:39:45 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

Is there any reason you couldn't put the head back on with a good gasket and simply circulate a mild solution of muriatic (hydrochloric) acid and monitor the crud that comes out until it's clear?
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:09:31 AM
JSWithers JSWithers is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

I had an engine friend tell me many years ago to pour about a gallon of kerosene in the water jacket of a 60hp engine then cap it off and let it sit for the winter. He said the kerosene and fumes would loosen up the crud and it would look like new cast iron. I never tried it but it couldn't hurt. It would take some patience. Otherwise your option is most likely to keep chipping away at it as you have been.
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Old 12-24-2016, 05:38:46 PM
Mitch Malcolm Mitch Malcolm is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

try soaking some of the larger chunks in vinegar see what it does... it might be a easy way out.
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Old 12-25-2016, 12:55:07 PM
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

Cider vinegar is higher in acid than distilled or white vinegar, also cheaper. If you have a local restaurant they can get it bulk cheaper.
Paul
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Old 12-25-2016, 09:04:52 PM
con-rad con-rad is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

If the acid in vinegar is what does the trick, how about muriatic acid or something similar? I would think it would act faster.
connor
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Old 12-26-2016, 12:20:09 AM
Archaeometrist Archaeometrist is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

Vinegar is acetic acid, which is an organic acid. It's not likely to attack metal like "Muriatic" acid, which is hydrochloric acid. HCl (hydrochloric acid) is vicious on metals - even the odor will make steel rust, and if you use it, it erodes metal almost as fast as it dissolves "lime" (or hardness) - calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Acetic acid (CH3COOH) doesn't attack metal like HCl (that I know having worked with them)... I'd have to do the calculations (and I'm rusty at them), but I think Iron would be relatively free of much erosion by an organic acid like acetic.

Acetic acid and calcium carbonate is a different thing altogether - Acetic eats that stuff like candy and the residue (Calcium Chloride plus Carbon Dioxide plus Water) is very water soluble. You use acetic acid, you rinse it off, and dry it - good to go. You use HCL, and you are liable to have rust pits that don't want to stop rusting (happened to some stuff of mine one time, just from the fumes).
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:43:33 AM
con-rad con-rad is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

Interesting. Good thing there's chemists out there, because I sure am not one! I have some cider vinegar that i'll try today.

connor
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Old 12-26-2016, 12:27:20 PM
Archaeometrist Archaeometrist is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

Any vinegar should do the trick. Cider may leave a residue which would 'hold' water, so make sure you flush it out really well.

If it needs something stronger, a cleaning supply place or (good) hardware store may be able to get you some strong acetic acid (the concentrated, distilled version of what you encounter in the stores). I wouldn't leave it alone however - check to make sure that the acid doesn't etch the metal. (Vinegar could be left alone for a while because it is so dilute.)

BTW - I'm an archaeometrist, an archaeologist who works more in the lab than in the field (I do both whenever I get the chance). We work with the stuff all the time and at least some background in physics and chemistry is pretty much de rigueur for our specialty.

---------- Post added at 11:27:20 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:23:40 AM ----------

BTW - my uncle takes some cider vinegar (a tablespoon) in water every day for many years. He's now 95, and still going strong - as hale and active as someone decades younger.

It might be good genes, but he credits the cider vinegar.
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Old 12-26-2016, 01:53:35 PM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

I have used straight muriatic acid many times on water jacket scale and have never had problems. Let it soak for 6 hours and then rinse with baking soda and water. The acid is not strong enough to affect the iron in that short of time.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:09:38 PM
uglyblue66 uglyblue66 is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

I don't mean to sound silly but go to the local dollar store and get a bottle of The Works toilet bowl cleaner. It removes hard water stains and removes globs built up inside stuff. I soak all the screens from our sinks in it and in 10 minutes the screen is clean.Shower heads,chunks fall out after being soaked. Just flush it out good with fresh water when clean.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:10:52 PM
John Kendrick John Kendrick is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

I will agree with Bill Hazzard. Some of our ranch wells were very bad for scale in the hopper, so we would use the acid in several IH LA and LBs a year. I never saw any harm to an engine. As to the inside of a steel building and all the tools, however, there is a different story-don't ask how we learned to do it outside!
Old Cowman
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:33:30 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

Try a plumbing supply. Products like CLR will remove rust and lime scale, and not harm the metal. Any good boiler de-scaling product should work. Just be sure to flush well after use!
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:50:41 PM
con-rad con-rad is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

Currently i have some cider vinegar sitting in there, we'll see what it does. If that doesn't work to my liking, i'll try some of the big guns suggested and i'll report back with results!

connor
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:02:26 PM
Archaeometrist Archaeometrist is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Mackey View Post
Try a plumbing supply. Products like CLR will remove rust and lime scale, and not harm the metal. Any good boiler de-scaling product should work. Just be sure to flush well after use!
I'd forgotten about CLR. It also uses organic acids (along with some other chemicals) - and it does work really well.
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:15:56 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is online now
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

Pickling vinegar is 9% acetic acid, whereas regular white vinegar is 5%, I use the pickling vinegar for de-rusting all the time, just remember to neutralize with baking soda or it WILL rust again. Concentrated acetic acid used to be available at photography suppliers, no idea where you'd find it today, maybe Amazon
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:20:35 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Removing hard water deposits?

As for cleaning out the water passages, a pressure washer will help flush out the passages in the head and cylinder, once the material is softened. Be sure to wear eye protection, gloves, and wear long sleeves.
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