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Cleaning out Hard Water Deposits


AidanT
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Hi  Following on from

 

http://forum.tssc.org.uk/index.php?/topic/625-gt6-mk1-coolant-capacity/

 

I have now possibly found the reason for not being able to get coolant from, my block. On taking the thermostat housing off I have found loads of white deposit like that you find in kettles in hard water areas I scraped the majority of it out in lumps (yes it was that bad)

 

I think this is the ressaon I cannot clear the blockage from my block drain

 

Can anyone provide solutions on how to remove hard water scale? All my hoses are new and the radiator is refurbished so I guess I can use something pretty strong to dissolve

 

Thx 

 

Aidan

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Have you tried wire coathangers, or better throttle cable outer? they are effective poker-abouters for that plug.

 

Stronger than washing soda is sodium hydroxide (drain cleaner) which are alkali (nasty stuff to humans) or alternatively and do not allow to mix this alkali, something like Brick Cleaner (which is hydrochloric acid) will attack most scale and rust deposits, but don't leave it too long.

 

Of course normal rad flush stuff will do a fair job, but I think that is just a strongish alkali.

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Hi - Given a good long run with Radiator flush in the system yesterday. I will warm up the engine once more tonight and flush out - I will check and see if that has made any difference to the block drain - If not then on to Soda crystals!!

 

Aidan

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beechams pills .... shift most obstructions   .................very moving my dad took loads of them.........dont go there.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

just read the bottle i bought from heck knows where  was it BQ ??

   clean solutions ... liquid plumbers....  sulphuric acid  96%    1ltr was about £5   lots of do's and donts   

 

Wickes sell brick acid , cant read the bottle its tipping down stair rods and its right down the garden  

 

 

Pete

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Unfortunately still no joy!  qlthough the engine is running about 8 degrees cooler!  

 

Tried digging around and got some black gunk out but still no water flow  Not a drip Might hav a go with some differnt cable etc before the weekend but then..

 

On to Drain cleaner UGG!   Any thoughts on the mix? and how long I should leave it in? :unsure:

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strong and long,         then the cars a pool of liguid gunge on the drive . problem solved      the whole cars dissolved     Hmmm!!!

 

most of the block and fittings are pretty butch . think youre fairly safe what ever you use a week wont wreck it

     ..so's the blockage  how about a few tabs of senokote ?????  bit milder that beechams pills    Ha   

 

 keep at it ,, you will win  ............ soon  

 

Pete

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YAYYYYYYYYYY !!!

 

 

At Last success!   yesterday before I stuck the plug back in I squirted some neat drain un-blocker in the hole and put the bolt back in

 

 

This evening took it out and gave my various tools a good wiggle in the hole (to say the least)….  and then..... a drip then another until suddenly a rush !! - Only damage was the washer and a wet garage floor but I bought two washers so for 50p who cares!

 

 

I was able to back flush through the hole with a hose pushing the water back through the block and out through the bottom hose. A good blast of about 10 litres

 

 

OK so now for some final advice please - I have half a bottle of drain un-blocker and half a kilo of soda crystals left - Which should I use for a final clean out???

 

 

 

Thanks for all the help so far

 

 

Aidan 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

 To remove lime scale. Forget washing soda. It will not remove lime scale. I feel it will do no harm and even remove any grease/oil in your system.

Dilute phosphoric will dissolve lime scale and loves eating aluminium stuff.

Sulphuric acid loves to eat copper.

Formic acid as used in kettle descalers might be ok.

Hydrochloric acid is used to descale commercially. Will eat ferrous. 

 

I would use very dilute phosphoric acid and leave it for a few days, if it was my car..

 

I would then use good quality water to top up. Do you live in Kent or an area with high chalk water (for want of a better description). Drive to the NW where the water has a very low TDS, and top up here.

 

Reference: O-Level chemistry 35 years ago.

Cheers,

Iain.

 

 

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A "weak" acid, one tht is les likely to attack metals vigorously would be better than "strong" acids like sulphuric or hydrochloric.

Most organic acids, like phosphoric, are 'weak' acids, but there is another weak. organic acid that is cheaper than most - acetic acid, vinegar!

Shop vinegar is between 5 and 10% acetic acid, has a pH of 2.4, so don't leave it in there for days!

And don't leave it in there with the radiator cap on - remember in school?  Acid + chalk(calcium carbonate, kettle scale) = calcium acetate + water + CARBON DIOXIDE!

Champagne time!

 

John

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Hi all 

 

Well the cooling system has definitely benefited from thje soda crystal clean however I am 100% sure there will be limescale in the system as I found quite a build up in the thermostat housing I have now washed out the soda crystals after a week and some long runs (300 miles) so now considering the Vinegar treatment - I can get 5 liters of white vinegar from Costco pretty easily so will add in top up with water and rune the engine up to temp

 

Any thoughts on how long to leave this in ?

 

I was thinking of adding on Saturday next and removing on Sunday bringing the car to temperature each time  Will of course do a thorough wash out afterward

 

 

Aidan

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Chuck the whole lot of vinegar in, it is weak and quite dilute. Run with rad cap off would be my advice, you may well get a fair amount of CO2 generated.

 

Yep, run up to temp, and then leave it. Reactions are twice as fast for every 10degree rise in temp. So going from 20 to 80 will be about 64x faster. We like speed!

Leave overnight if you wish, I can't see vinegar doing any harm in that timescale. And yes, a simple flush after, ideally hose pressed against the block drain plug. 

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I'm concerned that you left washing soda in the cooling system for a WEEK!

 

Soda is Sodium hydroxide, and a strong solution will destroy aluminium parts.    Not many in an OE Triumph engine, except I think for the thermostat housing - unless of course you have gone for an aluminium radiator???

I presume not, but check that housing!  |It might be very thin walled now,

John

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