[Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Bilge maitenance


Bill & Judy Rouse <yahoogroups@...>
 

Bill,

You are correct, however some of the recommendations in this thread were much higher than I gave which was 1/2 cup to a gallon of water for 1 hour, then use a wet vac to suck it out...then add 8 liters of fresh water. Additionally, if they follow my method, the "bleach" never reaches the pumps.

It is a common recommendation in Europe to place a spa chlorine tablet in the bilge and the sea chest. I know because I have been told by some Europeans, and because I have read this on the French Amel Owners Group. Unfortunately, this is really bad advice and ruins lots of things. I saw more copper saltwater manifolds fail on European owned Amels than others. I assume it is because of this misinformation.

Again, you are correct, Bill, too much is really bad.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus

Amel School  http://amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550

+1(832) 380-4970

On Sat, Aug 26, 2017 at 8:39 PM, greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

I know bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is a great cleaning agent, but in the concentrations being talked about it is actually quite corrosive to copper.  It would be best to avoid its frequent use in the sump if you want you copper grounding strap to last.


Bill Kinney
SM160m Harmonie
Boston, Mass



greatketch@...
 

Bill,

I hear you, but anything over 50ppm free chorine is not recommended even for relatively short term contact with copper.  1/2 cup of bleach in a gallon is about 1,250ppm free chlorine. I don't worry about the pumps.  Contact there, if any, is really short.  The grounding strap is where I see the real problem soaking for an hour at a time every two months. 

It is certainly not as bad as dropping calcium hypochlorite tablets in and leaving them for long term (Ouch!), but is it still shortening the life of the copper grounding strap un-necessarily.  We can argue forever if the corrosion rate is enough to make a real world difference, but since bleach is not really needed, in my thinking, it is better avoided.

I am betting chlorine bleach is one of the reasons so many people have problems with the copper fittings in their holding tanks corroding, since adding bleach is a common (and bad!) recommendation there as well.  I had the hoses off one of my tanks today, and after 20 years of full time liveaboard service, the copper looks like new.  So we know that it is not the normal "stuff" in the holding tank that corrodes other boat's copper fittings...

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Boston, Mass




---In amelyachtowners@..., <yahoogroups@...> wrote :

Bill,

You are correct, however some of the recommendations in this thread were much higher than I gave which was 1/2 cup to a gallon of water for 1 hour, then use a wet vac to suck it out...then add 8 liters of fresh water. Additionally, if they follow my method, the "bleach" never reaches the pumps.

It is a common recommendation in Europe to place a spa chlorine tablet in the bilge and the sea chest. I know because I have been told by some Europeans, and because I have read this on the French Amel Owners Group. Unfortunately, this is really bad advice and ruins lots of things. I saw more copper saltwater manifolds fail on European owned Amels than others. I assume it is because of this misinformation.

Again, you are correct, Bill, too much is really bad.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus

Amel School  http://amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550

+1(832) 380-4970


Steve Morrison <steve_morrison@...>
 

Bill K.,

I wish my copper still looked like new.  Here is what I pulled out after discovering on my first passage as a new owner that the aft holding tank emptied into the access area below the shower pan.


Bleach was most likely the culprit as there was next to nothing left under the hose clamp that held the bonding wire.  I replaced the copper with a piece of fiberglass pipe as Mark from Creampuff suggested.  

All the best,
Steve Morrison
SM380 TouRai
Brunswick, GA


On 26 August 2017, at 11:19 PM, greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Bill,


I hear you, but anything over 50ppm free chorine is not recommended even for relatively short term contact with copper.  1/2 cup of bleach in a gallon is about 1,250ppm free chlorine. I don't worry about the pumps.  Contact there, if any, is really short.  The grounding strap is where I see the real problem soaking for an hour at a time every two months. 

It is certainly not as bad as dropping calcium hypochlorite tablets in and leaving them for long term (Ouch!), but is it still shortening the life of the copper grounding strap un-necessarily.  We can argue forever if the corrosion rate is enough to make a real world difference, but since bleach is not really needed, in my thinking, it is better avoided.

I am betting chlorine bleach is one of the reasons so many people have problems with the copper fittings in their holding tanks corroding, since adding bleach is a common (and bad!) recommendation there as well.  I had the hoses off one of my tanks today, and after 20 years of full time liveaboard service, the copper looks like new.  So we know that it is not the normal "stuff" in the holding tank that corrodes other boat's copper fittings...

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Boston, Mass




---In amelyachtowners@..., wrote :

Bill,

You are correct, however some of the recommendations in this thread were much higher than I gave which was 1/2 cup to a gallon of water for 1 hour, then use a wet vac to suck it out...then add 8 liters of fresh water. Additionally, if they follow my method, the "bleach" never reaches the pumps.

It is a common recommendation in Europe to place a spa chlorine tablet in the bilge and the sea chest. I know because I have been told by some Europeans, and because I have read this on the French Amel Owners Group. Unfortunately, this is really bad advice and ruins lots of things. I saw more copper saltwater manifolds fail on European owned Amels than others. I assume it is because of this misinformation.

Again, you are correct, Bill, too much is really bad.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus
Amel School  http://amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970



Alan Grayson
 

Hi All, so Bleach is bad. What is the best alternative to use to clean the showers and heads and anything else that goes into the bilge or will touch copper tubes?
Alan Grayson
Not an owner yet ( but hopefully soon) if everyone stops buying all the inventory


Bill & Judy Rouse <yahoogroups@...>
 

Alan, 

I stand by the use of bleach as I stated earlier which was a very diluted solution for a limited time and exposure only to the bilge and copper bonding strap. I think you need the bleach to kill the bad stuff in there. The only slight risk issue is the copper bonding strap which you will likely need to replace every 5-8 y,ears, anyway. So, maybe my suggestion will cause you to replace that copper X months earlier. 

Almost every decision that you will make requires weighing and mitigating risks. For instance, if you don't run your engine, or set your sails, they may never need replacing. Or, if you don't run your engine and keep your sails flogging, you'll hurt your sails and lower engine hours.   

Does this make sense?  


CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus
Amel School www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970

   

On Aug 27, 2017 9:05 AM, "bazgrayson@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Hi All, so Bleach is bad. What is the best alternative to use to clean the showers and heads and anything else that goes into the bilge or will touch copper tubes?

Alan Grayson
Not an owner yet ( but hopefully soon) if everyone stops buying all the inventory



greatketch@...
 


For most things, plain old vinegar is a good solution. It's cheap, and the only thing you need to keep it away from is nylon.

 For cleaning the bilge sump, and other places where the problem is grease, a little bit of Dawn dish soap, hot water, a brush and some elbow grease is the best solution.  It won't hurt anything, and is quite effective.

On our boat, those are the two cleaning products that get used 90% of the time. 

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Boston, Mass

---In amelyachtowners@..., <bazgrayson@...> wrote :

Hi All, so Bleach is bad. What is the best alternative to use to clean the showers and heads and anything else that goes into the bilge or will touch copper tubes?
Alan Grayson
Not an owner yet ( but hopefully soon) if everyone stops buying all the inventory


greatketch@...
 

Bill,

You wrote:
      I think you need the bleach to kill the bad stuff in there.

What bad stuff are you talking about? If you mean the bacteria and other microbes growing in there, two days after you sanitize it with bleach, it will once again be a thriving biological soup. No matter how much you limit your incoming materials, they will have all the food they need to grow, and grow rapidly.  Trying to keep the sump bacteriologically "clean" is a Sisyphean task. Not just impossible, but unnecessary.

Even if you do think sanitizing the sump is needed and a good idea, a standard "shock treatment" of chlorine to sanitize contaminated water and associated equipment is 50ppm of free chlorine.  (50ppm is about 4 ml--or a teaspoon--of standard bleach per gallon of water)  That's 25 times less chlorine than you recommend, and a level that would be safe for short term exposure to almost all materials.  This is my primary problem with your recommendation.  It is just too much chlorine--it is very corrosive for no added benefit. 

I would point out that copper pipes in sanitary drain service have a expected service life of at least 50 YEARS. In standard saltwater use, most copper alloys show corrosion rates of less than 0.02mm per year, close to unmeasurably low. Maybe the reason you see only 5 to 8 years of life on grounding straps is not in spite of the chlorine treatment, but because of it.

It's not a difficult project to keep the sump clean enough that it keeps working as it should. We can certainly agree it is not rocket science. 

Suck out as much gunk as possible with a shopvac, scrub with some detergent and a long hand brush. Suck out again. Clean the hoses.  Reassemble. Done. If it is REALLY hard to clean, you waited too long to do it.

You think soaking with a very strong bleach solution is useful.

Based on corrosion data and experience in the chemical industry, I think the good it does is dubious, and the harm is likely.

There is no reason we can't agree to disagree on this. 

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Boston, Mass





---In amelyachtowners@..., <yahoogroups@...> wrote :

Alan, 

I stand by the use of bleach as I stated earlier which was a very diluted solution for a limited time and exposure only to the bilge and copper bonding strap. I think you need the bleach to kill the bad stuff in there. The only slight risk issue is the copper bonding strap which you will likely need to replace every 5-8 y,ears, anyway. So, maybe my suggestion will cause you to replace that copper X months earlier. 

Almost every decision that you will make requires weighing and mitigating risks. For instance, if you don't run your engine, or set your sails, they may never need replacing. Or, if you don't run your engine and keep your sails flogging, you'll hurt your sails and lower engine hours.   

Does this make sense?  


CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus
Amel School www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970

  


karkauai
 

I have a small Ryobi pressure washer that does a great job of cleaning the walls of the sump.  

The only time I use bleach is when the aft head area starts to smell bad.  After putting a bung in the hoses where they drain into the sump, I put an ounce of bleach in a full sink, and run it down the hoses.  After a couple hours, I drain it into the sump and  empty the sump with the bilge pump, then run another sink full of fresh water down and drain it again.  That takes care of any odor.
After 9 years my copper strap looks like new.  When I bought Kristy (10 y old), the strap was corroded completely thru.  I'm betting the prior owner used bleach regularly.

Kent Robertson
S/V Kristy SM243


Bill & Judy Rouse <yahoogroups@...>
 

Bill Kinney,

I am absolutely certain that you are correct, at least about some things.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus

Amel School  http://amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550

+1(832) 380-4970

On Sun, Aug 27, 2017 at 8:25 PM, Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

I have a small Ryobi pressure washer that does a great job of cleaning the walls of the sump.  

The only time I use bleach is when the aft head area starts to smell bad.  After putting a bung in the hoses where they drain into the sump, I put an ounce of bleach in a full sink, and run it down the hoses.  After a couple hours, I drain it into the sump and  empty the sump with the bilge pump, then run another sink full of fresh water down and drain it again.  That takes care of any odor.
After 9 years my copper strap looks like new.  When I bought Kristy (10 y old), the strap was corroded completely thru.  I'm betting the prior owner used bleach regularly.

Kent Robertson
S/V Kristy SM243



greatketch@...
 

The only thing I know for certain is that I am not right about everything...

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Boston, Mass


James Alton
 

Kent and others,

   I have been following the discussion about whether to use bleach or not in the sump.  I have to agree with the corrosion concerns of using bleach.  I will use something like Comet to scrub the fiberglass surfaces in the engine area but then immediately rinse the surfaces and flush the bilge afterwards.  I think that if one is using bleach in a confined space such as the engine area that it would be wise to ventilate the compartment until the fumes have been removed.  The fumes are corrosive as well and  hard on any vented electronics.   

Best,
James Alton
SV Sueno,  Maramu #220
La Caletta, Sardinia



Sent from Samsung tablet.

-------- Original message --------
From: "Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
Date: 8/28/17 03:25 (GMT+01:00)
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Bilge maitenance

 

I have a small Ryobi pressure washer that does a great job of cleaning the walls of the sump.  

The only time I use bleach is when the aft head area starts to smell bad.  After putting a bung in the hoses where they drain into the sump, I put an ounce of bleach in a full sink, and run it down the hoses.  After a couple hours, I drain it into the sump and  empty the sump with the bilge pump, then run another sink full of fresh water down and drain it again.  That takes care of any odor.
After 9 years my copper strap looks like new.  When I bought Kristy (10 y old), the strap was corroded completely thru.  I'm betting the prior owner used bleach regularly.

Kent Robertson
S/V Kristy SM243