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How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

These are various style condensers for many different applications.

How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby Dave49 » Thu May 18, 2017 7:27 am

I've been using an 80 litre (21 us gal) trash bin for my cooling water since I started last year, and it serves me well. My pot is about 4 gallons to the top (4.8 us) so I only run about 3 gallons of wash at a time, and the water, although it gets quite warm, never gets above about 35 deg C or 95F However, as the bin is sitting inside my still shed, it's taking up precious real estate, so I've acquired a water butt that is twice the size, which will mean cooler runnings, and am going to sit it outside, which will free up a lot of room in my shed!
Now, the question I have is this, how can I keep the water from becoming stagnant/gunky? I threw some bleach and white vinegar in the trash bin last year, but it isn't looking very fresh after a few months. I remember reading that bleach only has a limited lifespan, and after a while, loses its strength. Is there anything that you guys know of, that I can add to the water that will keep it from going off for an indefinite period? I'm going to do my best to seal the water butt, to minimise the ingress of any foreign matter/insects, etc. Bear in mind, also, that it needs to be kind to copper (my liebig). :8)
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby dutchmancreek » Thu May 18, 2017 9:01 am

The cooling water is just that...for cooling. It doesn't come in contact with the vapor itself. Put a lid on it to keep out critters and don't worry about it. I clean out my water reservoir about once a year, and don't worry about it, other than topping it off occasionally, and keeping a lid on it. It usually looks pretty crappy.
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby sugarcreek » Thu May 18, 2017 10:55 am

Just periodically freshen up the bleach as it breaks down.
What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? ~Jack Handey
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri May 19, 2017 4:41 am

I've also heard that Oxy Clean will keep it happy. Haven't tried it myself. I think it was Woodshed on HD who I first saw mention it.
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby Dave49 » Fri May 19, 2017 6:44 am

Cheers, guys! :8)
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby punkin » Fri May 19, 2017 1:55 pm

I connected mine to the downpipe on the shed roof. Tank was flushed with new water everytime it rained.
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby sugarcreek » Fri May 19, 2017 3:05 pm

punkin wrote:I connected mine to the downpipe on the shed roof. Tank was flushed with new water everytime it rained.



Brilliant.
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Fri May 19, 2017 10:34 pm

Hmmm...disappeared my first reply.

Anyway, we cool with a (20%?) glycol solution that's starting to get a bit funky, and bleach is my first thought. Because we cool with an aluminum-core radiator, I'm not sure bleach would be safe. Someone with better chemistry than mine - is a bit of bleach safe in aluminum?
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby Dave49 » Sat May 20, 2017 7:51 am

Zymurgy Bob wrote:Hmmm...disappeared my first reply.

Anyway, we cool with a (20%?) glycol solution that's starting to get a bit funky, and bleach is my first thought. Because we cool with an aluminum-core radiator, I'm not sure bleach would be safe. Someone with better chemistry than mine - is a bit of bleach safe in aluminum?


Bleach, in any appreciable quantity will eat away the aluminum and cause corrosion. Iodine seems to be safe with it tho. I'm finding it practically impossible to find out anything to do with how to keep water from stagnating for our purposes (non-drinking) on the net, without fail, whatever search criteria I enter, it always assumes I asking about sanitizing potable, or drinking water! :x :x

P.S. Why not just use a corrosion inhibitor meant for auto use, or for central heating use? They last for several years!
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sat May 20, 2017 9:18 am

We're actually using Dowfrost, which does have corrosion inhibitors. It's the microbial action I'm trying to inhibit. The reservoir is getting to look kinda iffy for microbial action, but it's not really bad yet.
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby sasquatch » Sat May 20, 2017 12:14 pm

Colloidal silver.
Super easy to make yourself.
Just put two pure silver rods into the water then put a 9 volt battery and clip one rod to the negative and the other to the positive and away you go. Suspend them in the water not touching each other.
You could drill two tiny holes in a peace of wood and float it on top.
Silver travels from positive to negative leaving nano particles caught in the water which sterilizes the water. Human friendly. You can put it on cuts, mouth wash even drink it in small amounts.
It should be distilled water if consuming yourself but doesn't need to be for your purpose. If the water is not distilled and has minerals in it the silver will make it go cloudy. Sometimes a blue colour. But that wouldn't effect anything in your situation. Use rain water if you want it clear.
The smaller the volts applied yields better colloidal silver because it makes a smaller nano particle.
Smaller is better then more.
For a gallon I let it charge for 20 minutes with one battery.

People are using it in hot tubs and pools as a natural sterilizer.
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby sugarcreek » Sat May 20, 2017 5:15 pm

Uncertain of your budget but how about a UV pond clarifier.
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sun May 21, 2017 5:06 pm

Thanks for both of those solutions. I'll be exploring.
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Re: How to keep cooling water from getting stagnant?

Postby just sayin' » Sun May 21, 2017 7:09 pm

A simple algaecide might be worth investigated. Many good suggestions!
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