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Salt elliminator/inhibitor additive


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Hello to all you engine gurus... I have a Yanmar diesel with a heat exchanger cooling system. Can I do any harm to seals/alloys etc by flushing on a regular basis using an additive such as 'Salt Away' ... 'Salt Attack' .. etc.   Thoughts?.. Comments? 

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If you are on a marina. the best and cheapest solution [ pun not intended] is to fit a bypass on your intake. I  have one, and I simply run a bucket of fresh water through the engine before leaving it. Any residual salt can dissolve in the fresh water, and the heat exchanger doesn't get clogged.

For your question, I can't imaging that the commercial products could cause harm, they would be up for thousands if they did.


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Don't get fooled. There is no Chemical that will disolve Salt better than Clean fresh water. It is head and shoulders above any other Chemical. Forget the Chemical "Protectants" like Salt-away and all the rest. They are nothing but a detergent and actually do very little. Certainly nothing as good as plain ole fresh water. Those products are all a rip off because they are just simple cheap forms of a detergent that are sold as some special miracle Salt eliminator.

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It's not just salt you are trying to get rid of it's also all the other engine eating yummies in our sea water. 

Salt-away is mainly vinegar with some detergent.  Vinegar is mainly water. 

The absolute best way to dissolve salt is deionized water but that gets rediculously expensive. Our water isn't mineral free unless you happen to be on tank water. So you still get residue left over on surfaces which is where Salt-away makes a difference. 

Last time we were out on the hard I did engine flush with fresh water using a bucket and a pump. I was pleased to see that nothing came out, water was as clear as it went in ran it for about an hour. 

After that I used a product called barnacle buster, recommended by ovlov, which seems to be phosphoric acid. I could not believe the amount of crap that came out. The bucket was filthy. 

I am definitely making that part of my annual hard stand routine.

If you used salt away I reckon you'd still have to flush with water afterwards cause leaving vinegar in your engine sounds like a recipe for corrosion... I would not use it in my engine. 

My protocol is leave the sea water in the engine and once a year recirc barnacle buster for 4 hrs.

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I have never seen Acetic Acid in the info for Salt Away. I had looked for the make up of it some years ago but could not find anything apart from detergent. The detergent could well be simply Glycol. In thius case, detergents act mainly as a " wetting" agent. Reducing surface tension and allowing the Water to " attach"  to surfaces.
If acetic acid that is the case, I scratch my head as to how the "corrosion protectant" part is supposed to work.
Plus Acetic Acid is a poor choice for cleaning crud in Salt Envirnoments.
And in saying that, Phosphoric would work, but is not a lot better. Although there may well be other things helping it in Barnacle buster. Hydrochloric Acid is much the better choice. It is all about having spare Hydrogen Ions to break down Calcium deposits. Phosphoric, Oxalyic and Citric Acids are great for Iron deposits.
Correct that pure water is the best, but just tap water would have to be laden in minerals to not be effective. Water works in quite a unique way by the Chemistry of it. The charges of the Water Ions "pull apart" (disassociate) the Salt Ions. This is why so much Salt by volume can be dissolved into water by volume. The water is not dilluitng the Salt ions. This can be seen when you initially pour Salt into water, the water is cloudy for a short time. This is simple Dissolving. Then as you stir, the water clears. This is when the Salt ions have been disassociated from one another and bond to the Water ions. For Salt to come back out of water, the opposite has to occur. The Salt ions must have something with a stronger "charge" to associate with. This can occur with saturation of the water due to heat/time evaporating the water leaving the Salt behind. Once salt accumulates and hardens and maybe even associates with another mineral, it takes time to dissolve it again.


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