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Old 06-29-2015, 09:23 PM   #1
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Barnacle Buster-Magic Elixir

I've always dreamed of a day working on the boat when everything goes right, or nearly so, and the results and costs are better than expected. Yesterday I had that dream come true!

I've been troubleshooting temp creep on my port engine from its normal 180* to its new 197* at cruise power 1800 RPM. Slowing to 1600 RPM resulted in 187-190*. Power settings above 1800 resulted in temps of 199 or higher before I'd back down the power. I also had some coolant in the pan from the overflow and steam in the exhaust at cruise. Temps were verified on both helm gauges and laser-point thermometer on the engine.

I replaced the coolant reservoir caps as the old ones looked very old and were on the boat when I purchased it in 2007. I confirmed with the Perkins service shop that switching from 7 lb to 13 lb caps would be fine. I still had the temp creep and steam, but no more coolant in the pan.

At the recommendation of Dswizzler who had good luck with the product on his Detroits, I bought a one gallon bottle of Barnacle Buster concentrate from the mfr through Amazon. I received it 2 days later via Fedex, even though I got the non-Prime membership free shipping.

I picked up a cheap 500 GPH bilge pump for $20 and connected it to 3/4 and 1 in hoses. I disconnected the raw water output from the RW pump and connected the hose from the pump. The return line was connected to the water ejection nipple at the aft end of the exhaust manifold just upstream of the mixing elbow. This return hose fed back into the bucket with the BB and the bilge pump. All zincs were removed and the water line to my PSS was disconnected.

I found a cracked flange on my water ejection nipple but found a spare from years ago when I purchased parts for the stbd engine. I left the old piece in place for the flush and replaced it after 4 hrs of flushing.

Here's a shot of the broken and encrusted elbow taken after the flush and the replacement part.







After 4 hrs, I stopped the flush, ran a bucket of fresh water through the cooling system to remove the Barnacle Buster, then reconnected the system to the engine. Then Giggitoni and I took the boat for a spin to test the system.

We ran for an hour and never saw temps over 170* at cruise power. At WOT, I saw a peak of 175*. This is a 25*F improvement in the operating temps with minimal disassembly and cost.

From start to finish, it was a 7 1/2 hr job not counting the joy ride. This includes the 4 hr flush which allowed me to accomplish other tasks on the boat.

The cost of the job: $20 bilge pump, $72 gallon of Barnacle Buster concentrate that dilutes to 5 gallons of flush, enough for 2 Perkins 4.236 engine flushes. All hoses, fittings, etc I already owned.

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Old 06-29-2015, 10:06 PM   #2
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Yep, I like that stuff too! Pretty ugly stuff coming out of the cooling system wasent it. What's best is its supposed to be non toxic and you can dump it over the side when done. Did ya make an adapter to hook up to your inlet pick-up and outlet? And you forgot to mention removing the impeller from the water pump.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:10 PM   #3
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Good stuff. I'm planning to flush my engine with it sometime in the next few months. Good for air conditioning systems as well.
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Old 06-30-2015, 12:25 AM   #4
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CC, I didn't pump it through the RW pump so there was no need to pull the impeller. I connected on the output hose from the pump and pumped through the oil/tranny coolers, heat exchanger and manifold.

The label said it's safe for disposal in a sewer system, but didn't mention dumping it in the waterways. I flushed with fresh water after the BB treatment to return the BB still in the engine to a bucket for proper disposal. It's clearly marked that this is not hazmat and is safe for the environment. The sediment in the bucket was thick, dark sludge.

The pump had a 3/4 barb so I used 3/4 in hose and I connected that to 1 inch hose for the engine connection. I came out of the manifold with 1 inch hose for the return line to the bucket.
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Old 06-30-2015, 12:38 AM   #5
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I never thought about tying it in after the RW pump, Great idea! Plus I'm pretty sure the outlet hose is smaller than the inlet hose. Removing the impeller on my Cummins is not an easy task. Your system sounds so much simpler, I did it with a 10 gal plastic bucket and put compression couplers through the bucket sides to hook up the hoses. Then when I did the fresh water flush, I changed the hose around and ran the fresh water backwards, even more stuff came out.
Not that I've ruined a perfectly good bucket with this set up, cuz that's were the pump and adapter fittings go afterwards, but your system is Sweet!
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:18 AM   #6
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FWIW, I just recently flushed our mains and the genset with Rydlyme, a similar product.


Made up fittings and did the recirculation thing on one main (through the sea strainer, with water pump impeller removed), but used the fill-wait-flush technique on the other.


No change in temps afterwards, but both engines ran at 174F/173F before, same afterwards.... so I deduce I didn't really need to flush anyway. Expect zincs to go south during the process, or remove first and replace afterwards. (A note for those with dripless shaft seals if you recirculate: ya gotta close those inlets off, or you're pump your product overboard.)


The story on the genset was different. Fill-wait-flush technique, using an adapter screwed into the zinc fitting, mostly because capturing the outflow wasn't doable. The heat exchanger had been working, but it was encrusted, and I was doing all my genset service at the time anyway. Afterwards, the inspection camera shows it clean.


I've used a similar product from Triton Marine on our AC systems in the past, with similar results.


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Old 06-30-2015, 08:30 AM   #7
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Barnacle Buster-Magic Elixir

Hmmmm. Before I bought my "repo boat" I knew it had a temperature creep issue from the sea trial. I was unavailable to do the procedure, so I had a Yanmar "pro" run barnacle buster through the coolant system. Still have the temp creep, only at RPMs I don't use, but it's still there. It could be another more complicated problem with the cooler alignment tubes, but this thread got me thinking.

I'm now realizing that he only ran the BB through the closed, freshwater side and not the raw water side. I guess I didn't realize the raw side could be flushed. Am I understanding this correctly now? The raw side also needs to be flushed?
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:39 AM   #8
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Dude, he ripped you off if he did the coolant loop. I've never heard of flushing that side, only the raw water side.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:46 AM   #9
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Dude, he ripped you off if he did the coolant loop. I've never heard of flushing that side, only the raw water side.

Huh. I gotta call them. Maybe it was the raw side and I was just assuming it was the fresh side. I'm used to working on auto cooling systems where we would sometimes need to flush out the radiators so I guess that's why I assumed that.
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Old 06-30-2015, 09:22 AM   #10
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While you are rolling with the closed loop raw water flush with Barnacle Buster may as well stir up another batch for your air conditioner(s). They need it too, or they will. The rule is, it will shoot craps on the years hottest day. Count on it.
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:33 AM   #11
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Before flushing the raw water system I would make absolutely certain that the aftercooler if you have one has no leaks. The only way to do this is to remove, disassemble, clean, grease and reassemble with new o-rings and pressure test it.


Aftercoolers need servicing like this every 2-3 years for Cummins B engines, 3-5 for Yanmar 6 cylinders and maybe double that with rigorous fresh water flushing after every use. After servicing is a great time to do a system wide acid flush.


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Old 06-30-2015, 11:05 AM   #12
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Barnacle Buster is 85% phosphoric acid, concentrated to up to 20%. Make your own and save some dosh. Dump it overboard? Sure, fish love acid.

The 90% scallop die-off in the Gulf of Georgia has been attributed to a rise in seawater acidity.
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:16 AM   #13
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While you are rolling with the closed loop raw water flush with Barnacle Buster may as well stir up another batch for your air conditioner(s). They need it too, or they will. The rule is, it will shoot craps on the years hottest day. Count on it.
Five seasons in brackish water with my AC system. This is what came out with Barnacle Buster. I hate to think what the it would have looked like if I were in "real" saltwater.
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:30 AM   #14
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Dude, he ripped you off if he did the coolant loop. I've never heard of flushing that side, only the raw water side.
Not necessarily. If the fresh water side coolant has not been changed in years and has allowed the system to start corroding, flushing with something like Barnacle Buster can be necessary.

But if that was the case flushing both the fresh and raw systems would more than likely be called for.
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:56 AM   #15
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Not necessarily. If the fresh water side coolant has not been changed in years and has allowed the system to start corroding, flushing with something like Barnacle Buster can be necessary.



But if that was the case flushing both the fresh and raw systems would more than likely be called for.

Oh ok, thanks for the correction.
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:56 AM   #16
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Hmmmm. Before I bought my "repo boat" I knew it had a temperature creep issue from the sea trial. I was unavailable to do the procedure, so I had a Yanmar "pro" run barnacle buster through the coolant system. Still have the temp creep, only at RPMs I don't use, but it's still there. It could be another more complicated problem with the cooler alignment tubes, but this thread got me thinking.

I'm now realizing that he only ran the BB through the closed, freshwater side and not the raw water side. I guess I didn't realize the raw side could be flushed. Am I understanding this correctly now? The raw side also needs to be flushed?
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Dude, he ripped you off if he did the coolant loop. I've never heard of flushing that side, only the raw water side.
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Huh. I gotta call them. Maybe it was the raw side and I was just assuming it was the fresh side. I'm used to working on auto cooling systems where we would sometimes need to flush out the radiators so I guess that's why I assumed that.

Our engine maker recommends periodic flushing of the closed/freshwater side with a product called Restore, after having drained the old antifreeze and before refilling with new.

Our raw water side is slightly more complicated than just the heat exchanger. When we used the "recirculate" approach, we injected solution into the flush adapters before our sea strainers, and from there it travels through the raw water pump (impeller removed), fuel cooler, aftercooler, gear cooler, the heat exchanger... in that order... and then out through the mixing elbow. I suspect the fuel cooler and gear cooler doesn't get much scale build-up, but perhaps the raw water side of the aftercooler could.

Flushing won't solve broken-off impeller vanes that may have become trapped in the system.

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Old 06-30-2015, 01:06 PM   #17
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I have been using Barnacle buster for a couple years now but from what your saying this is the same thing?

1 Gallon Phosphoric Acid [FGphosg] | DudaDiesel Biodiesel Supplies
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:53 PM   #18
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Yes, except what you have posted is too concentrated, it is very hazardous at 85% for non-industrial users. BB uses it up to 20%, according to their MDSS, which makes it easier to handle.

I haven't looked recently but I believe it is available at pool supply places at better prices.

BB's MDSS is too large to copy to this site but it's readily available on their website.
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:05 PM   #19
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Isn't it easier to just buy the product labelled for the job that works and follow their instructions? Why reinvent the wheel? At $72 for 5 gallons of flush, it's not expensive and very effective. IMO, sometimes the marketed and tested product that is labelled, effective, affordable and easy to work with is the best one for the job.
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:08 PM   #20
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Isn't it easier to just buy the product labelled for the job that works and follow their instructions? Why reinvent the wheel? At $72 for 5 gallons of flush, it's not expensive and very effective. IMO, sometimes the marketed and tested product that is labelled, effective, affordable and easy to work with is the best one for the job.

What we used to flush our genny.
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