Cleaning Heat Exchangers-

Discussion in 'Diesel Engines' started by crzhors, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. crzhors
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: panama

    crzhors Junior Member

    Greetings,The age old debate,out here in the jungle,What to use for cleaning Heat Exchangers? Muriatic Acid? Vinegar? What works well and fast?:cool:
     
  2. bilgeboy
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Boston

    bilgeboy Senior Member

    I think muriatic acid is the DIY standard. I glued up some PVC cylinders and end caps to accomodate the diameter of my bundles, soaked 1/2 hour in the bath tub, standing on end. Not sure of strength/molarity/molality...whatever you want to call it...just off-the-shelf Home Depot strength.

    Make sure the wife and kids aren't home...thats a "note-to-self" moment. I really stunk up the house and the fumes are deadly. Best done outside!

    This is not a brain surgery procedure, but vinegar will take forever, don't shy away from good ol' fashioned HCl.

    Mike
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Do yourself a favor and take them to a radiator shop and have them boiled. They'll come out much cleaner then what you can do with hardware store chemistry.
     
  4. crzhors
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: panama

    crzhors Junior Member

    Jungle fixes

    Good Morning, Out here in the wild,there is no Rad shop or Home Depot.
    But I have been using a 3-1 H2O/HCI mix for 30 min and it seems to work well.
    Anymore Ideas or suggestions. Some folks really frown when they hear about HCI...:confused:
     
  5. charmc
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    charmc Senior Member

    Acid as you described works for removing mineral scale. Any fouling from biological/organic sources will respond to warm caustic soda solution(chemical name: sodium hydroxide NAOH, also known as lye). You can use test strips from a pool chemical supply house to measure the pH of your solution. Add enough acid to water to lower the pH to between 2 and 2.5. The pH level will tell you when the solution is strong enough. Caustic sods is the opposite of acid, it is basic. Add caustic powder to water until the mixture has a pH of 12; that will be strong enough to dissolve any organic fouling.

    Treating with one, then with the other should get everything out. Be very sure to use rubber gloves and, most importantly, eye protection.

    Be sure to add a little acid or caustic at a time to a container of water. Never add water to acid or caustic. It will boil and foam violently.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  6. charmc
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    Location: FL, USA

    charmc Senior Member

    BTW, muriatic acid and hydrochloric acid are the same thing. Muriatic is a traditional name.
     
  7. crzhors
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: panama

    crzhors Junior Member

    Exchangers

    Thank you Charlie for the detailed explanation.I'll see whats available out here in a 'developing' area of Panama,lye should be available,I'll just have to work on the right mixture.:cool: JD
     

  8. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    What about tile cleaner from the supermarket. You got a little supermarket aint ya?

    You say you are in the jungle so what do you mean heat exchanger? water to water or a radiator?
     
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