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Washing/flushing with acidic water

Old 09-23-2020, 08:28 AM
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Default Washing/flushing with acidic water

I have a well on my property which dates back to the time when the house did not have municipal water. It's used as a source of water outdoors to hose things down, etc. In particular, I use it to wash the boat and flush the motors.

I tested the water from the well recently and two things stood out. It has a marginal amount of iron (0.4 ppm) and is quite acidic -- 4.3 pH.

Any ideas about the effects on boat hardware and on the outboards' cooling system from using this water? Nothing *sits* in this water -- it runs off / dries after washing and drains from the motors. I suspect that it flushes extra good because acidity should help fight scale in the cooling passages. But does it do anything to the aluminum? seals? anything else?
Old 09-23-2020, 08:39 AM
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Not that I can be of much help, but I went through a similar issue. Prior to moving to our current house, I used to keep my old boat in a storage lot and would flush the engine after every single use and the guy who did maintenance on it used to remark how clean all the passages were when he'd change the impeller. My house now, I live on the water and keep the boat on a jet dock. I still am meticulous about flushing, but after the next impeller change, he mentioned that the passages had some build-up and weren't as clean as before. Like you, I have a well that I use for landscaping and flushing the boat, so I chalked it up to the water in my well being harder than municipal water. I now use Salt-Away every 3rd flush or so and it appeared to clean it up. My new boat, it's the first season and I haven't had a chance to inspect the passages or anything, but I trust that Salt-Away is working similarly as on my old Yammy.

So, my only suggestion would be to occasionally run that through the port(s), if you haven't before.
Old 09-23-2020, 08:52 AM
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wow free barnacle buster ! haha

but yea, im interested in long-term effects...
Old 09-23-2020, 08:57 AM
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That’s fine. Won’t hurt a thing. Long term, not very good for your copper plumbing.
Old 09-23-2020, 09:00 AM
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From everything I've heard over the years, adding some "Vinegar" into your flushing process is actually good for the outboard. Vinegar Ph is around 4.5 and that's the only part of vinegar that would be making a difference. By no means am I giving you direct advice, but if it was my well I think I might use it flush. If if the ph is good enough for vinegar then it should be good enough for your well.

If you're really worried about you could always add a Brita filter right before the flushing tool.
Old 09-23-2020, 09:02 AM
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4.3 is very low pH for water, and if you had to have it tested by the health department they’d probably condemn the well or require pH adjustment so keep that in mind. That pH should not be overly damaging to internal aluminum, EPDM (rubber), or other engine parts. Will help with scaling inside too. I used to flush my engine with 2.5 pH water after ocean use, 4.3 isn’t nearly as corrosive. I have an extensive water treatment background, taking care of systems for Coke and Pepsi so I have some insight.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by eman6501 View Post
From everything I've heard over the years, adding some "Vinegar" into your flushing process is actually good for the outboard.
How to: Cleaning your cooling system with vinegar
Old 09-23-2020, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Dixie Highway View Post
4.3 is very low pH for water, and if you had to have it tested by the health department they’d probably condemn the well or require pH adjustment so keep that in mind. That pH should not be overly damaging to internal aluminum, EPDM (rubber), or other engine parts. Will help with scaling inside too. I used to flush my engine with 2.5 pH water after ocean use, 4.3 isn’t nearly as corrosive. I have an extensive water treatment background, taking care of systems for Coke and Pepsi so I have some insight.
Thank you. The well is disconnected from any faucets in the house, it's purely for outside use, and I don't think there's any copper plumbing anywhere near it except maybe for a couple of brass ball valves. The tubing is plastic. I also have no intention of getting the town involved.

Good to know I have free vinegar flushes :-)
Old 09-23-2020, 09:56 AM
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Invite people round to your place and charge for the flushing
Old 09-23-2020, 09:58 AM
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It's like having an endless supply of Salt Away. Enjoy!

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