Water…hard v. soft. City v. ground
I have a question that is not meant to cause debate rather to seek folks thought on the concept.
At our house in Florida, like many other Floridians we have 3 sources of water available.
Non-potable ground water with dedicated outdoor spigots that are part of an on-demand irrigation system…city water (which is hard as can be out along the Gulf Sun-coast) and also avail by outdoor different spigots... and city water that has been made soft with resin, salt and a whole house carbon trash filter that does all of the inside, but has one spigot available in the garage laundry tub with hose threads.
The Hack is now there and has for all intents and purposes a new Bergs low radiator.
Which source would be best bearing in mind (I think) that the super soft water just might scavenge whatever mineral trash is already in the block over time and that might be good, yet just could be bad? Does it even matter? Am I overthinking this? Appreciate all inputs.
Use distilled water with rust inhibitor. The hard water will leave calcium and lime deposits which quickly clog things up. But straight soft or distilled water is a magnet for rust.
Pre mixed 50/50 antifreeze. But if your tight I'd stay away from the hard stuff on principle alone. It wrecks stuff without discrimination.
50/50 antifreeze. If you dont have any leaks why not? If theres a cold snap and youre not there, you dont have to worry about it crackin a water jacket or cylinder head
Distilled water (cheap at Wally World). Mix 50/50 with antifreeze to prevent rust. You don't want minerals.
Antifreeze is also anti-corrosion! It is the best way to preserve your engine block even if it doesn’t freeze where you live.
Condensate water from your household air conditioner or dehumidifier is free from minerals and great to use in cooling systems (mixed 50/50 with antifreeze, of course).
Ive heard some say distilled water is super corrosive. Something about ph yada yada yada. Not sure I believe it. I've pretty much filed that away in the same place as batteries going dead on concrete, detergent oil washing all the sludge off the walls of your engine, starting fluid washing all the oil off your cylinder walls, etc.
Thanks a bunch guys...I learned a few things here.
One of the things I had totally never thought of is a freeze....
Up north, I drain everything and have for years. Down south I would not have thought it (quickly) but with the mention of the possibility above, I recalled recent cold snap places but 40 miles north of me in Florida had burst pipes....
Hall: That's the 'hungry water' theory, but the freedom from minerals offsets the hungry water concerns by at least a million to one. The 'theory' goes something like this, distilled water being 'pure' has a capacity to hold a small amount of dissolved contaminants and will absorb those contaminants until equilibrium is achieved. In reality, the contaminants present in even a very clean cooling system are sufficiently abundant to 'satisfy' the hungry water as soon as it is put into the system. It's certainly not like you're adding an acid that will attack the base metal and proceed to eat holes in the block or radiator. Adding antifreeze to distilled water or dehumidifier condensate as Adam suggests will instantly satisfy the hungry water further protect the cooling system.
Distilled H2O was NO minerals in it( same as DI H2O or reverse osmosis H2O). This make it want to dissolve stuff. Once it touches something it will be satisfied. ( the same thing happens with condensate H2O in your AC unit). This why DI H2O piping is either SS or Plastic. So once the distilled H2O hits your block it is no longer corrosive. It fact it will dissolve a little of the stuff in the block. Can you see any removed, I do not think so. Bottom line just use Distilled water mixed with AF. Dan
I use a cooling system anti-corrosion additive called "Norosion" in my cars. Don't know if it's the perfect product, but so far so good over the past 20 years or so. I don't have any personal connection to the company other than several very friendly and informative phone conversations. http://www.norosion.com
The owner of the company is a chemical engineer and a serious car nut himself. And he's very accessible for questions like yours. I was concerned with what kind of water to use and got some good advice on the subject. One thing that was pointed out is that distilled water and deionized water are not the same thing.
As I recall, the bottom line was that I should go to the grocery store and buy jugs of distilled water -- but not deionized.
I use a 50:50 mix of supermarket-bought distilled water and antifreeze. -It cools very nicely and protects against freezing and corrosion. -Forget the rocket science; you don't need anything exotic or difficult.
I saw you comment about when up north you drained everything in the winter. This may not be such a good idea. The car I restored was drained when parked and sat for 40 years. The block was so badly cracked it had to be replaced. My theory is that an antifreeze mix may have some stabilization for temperature changes. Without the coolant the cast iron can change temperature rapidly which may have contributed to the block cracking.
John Z. I have been lucky so far and do think that I'll take the advice and anti-freeze all. whether North or South. I also use to live in Northern Illinois and made it through some deep freezes just by emptying early enough in the fall that any puddles evaporated. ...
The point there was back in the 70's, long before there was a forum or even a 'cheat' book the seemingly 'prevailing wisdom' of the time was to keep Anit-freeze out of a T system. I sort of fell into that as a newbie and never did otherwise.
George I use the water out of my DE-humidifier,and I filter it cheaper than buying distilled water and imho just as good..works in batteries too!
I am using rain water that we collect and filter in a tank. Anti-freeze is only added for the winter storage in an unheated garage - before beginning the drive season in April I change again to clear rain water.
During freezing weather be sure to always use brook water and never pond water because the pond will freeze but the brook never does.