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Old 08-02-2019, 06:12 PM   #1
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Thread sealant on engine/stabilizer zincs

Anyone know what sealant I should be using when reinstalling zincs as shown in the pict?
Thank you
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:32 PM   #2
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We donít have stabilizers but on our engine pencil anodes I donít use any thread sealant.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:22 PM   #3
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There are differing schools of thought on this subject. There is one that says any type of sealant will only serve to electrically insulate the zinc from the metal it's supposed to protect. That premise isn't completely valid since even though there may be some insulation from application of a sealant, the tapered thread provides enough metal - metal contact to provide electrical continuity. I don't think any conventional thread sealant inhibits that electrical connection to the extent that it need be a concern. That said, teflon tape seems to leave enough of a film of material that it may not be a good choice for zincs. Copper-based anti-seize compound is conductive, so it might be a good choice.
The other school says that since the thread of the zinc housing is brass, it deforms easily and will probably seal all by itself without any additional thread dope. Because they're typically changed out routinely, and they're brass, there's little likelihood that the threads will lock up.

I've done zincs both ways, can't say I've seen any difference.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:30 PM   #4
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If it seals without any sealant, why use it?
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:54 PM   #5
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I started a thread about this last March. Here is what the guru had to say:

Originally Posted by Russell Clifton View Post
Since it is much cheaper to buy just the anode and reuse the brass pipe plug, that is what I have been doing the past few years. But when they are removed from the heat exchanger, it is usually difficult to unscrew the anode from the plug. Sometimes I will need to drill the remaining anode and re-tap the threads. I have had to discard many plugs in the past and I am getting low on them.

So I am wondering if using anti seize on the anode threads would be acceptable. Here is some information I found on the internet:

Graphite is an excellent conductor of electricity and high temperature solid lubricant (up to 900 degrees F). It is therefore widely used in formulations of anti-seize. In assemblies with electrical current running through a fastened joint such as the threads of spark plugs, ground screws, and antennae connections, anti-seize can be used with minimal increase to resistance. Corrosion of a threaded joint increases the electrical resistance. The use of anti-seize on these types of connections will ensure current is transmitted reliably by preventing corrosion.

What is the general consensus on doing this?
Graphite-based anti-seize should not be used in marine application, it is extremely noble, i.e. every other metal, when in contact with it and and electrolyte (seawater) will corrode. If you were going to use an anti-seize I'd use a nickel or copper base. However, I'd run a test, before and after coating the threads and screwing the anode into the plug I'd check the continuity, anything over one ohm is too much, make certain the anti-seize is not increasing resistance. The fact is, I don't believe you need anti-seize per se, you could use a dielectric grease like Teflon Superlube, or a conductant paste like Koper Shield.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:54 PM   #6
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I believe the magazine Practical Sailor did a test a few months back and found that it did not matter using tape or compound or whatever. In all cases the sealant did not insulate and use whatever you like. That said, I like Steve's idea testing continuity to make sure.
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Old 08-03-2019, 12:44 AM   #7
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If I am using an older plug, I will sometimes use Rectorseal 5. I was recommended by Tony Athens at some point and it seems to work well. However, yesterday when I checked my anodes, I took them out, checked them and replaced them. I didnít bother with putting any sealant on them. Iíll check to be sure they arenít weeping on the next trip.
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:05 AM   #8
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I have never used a sealant and have never experienced a leak. Tapered threads and the fact that the pressre in the system really isn't all that much says a lot. I recently cross-threaded one and it didn't leak. As Comodave said, if it doesn't leak, why use a sealant. I guess fear that it might but think about it. If it were to begin leaking it would just be a dribble. Deal with it then IF it occurs.
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If it seals without any sealant, why use it?
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:17 AM   #9
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I've used sealant and not used sealant depending on whether the plug is new or not. Regardless, I use a multimeter to check for continuity. On my trawler, I now use aluminum anodes that have a stainless steel plug. For those I use a little multipurpose sealant and then check with the multimeter. In all the years of installing anodes, I've probably only had 2 or 3 that needed an additional tweak for proper continuity.

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Old 08-03-2019, 07:36 AM   #10
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Use whatever sealant you want, then take ohmeter reading from brass cap to the metal case of whatever its screwed on, it should be about zero ohms. Then you know its making electric contact.
I sometimes use marine grease, or teflon paste T plus 2 or nothing at all.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/RectorSe...3631/100201204

And that paste works great on rubber hose ends, prevents them from getting stuck.
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
I've used sealant and not used sealant depending on whether the plug is new or not. Regardless, I use a multimeter to check for continuity. On my trawler, I now use aluminum anodes that have a stainless steel plug. For those I use a little multipurpose sealant and then check with the multimeter. In all the years of installing anodes, I've probably only had 2 or 3 that needed an additional tweak for proper continuity.

Ted

Do you have a source for those AL pencil anodes?
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:41 AM   #12
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Boatzincs.com should have them.
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Boatzincs.com should have them.

Iíll check again, but last time I checked they didnít.
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Old 08-03-2019, 04:23 PM   #14
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FYI Cummins specifies Rectorseal T Plus2 or Hercules Pro Dope, I just use the Rectorseal, easy to find.
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:33 PM   #15
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Do you have a source for those AL pencil anodes?
I've had the best experience w Performance Metals Al pencils. I buy direct and found they have the widest selection of pencils and complete units. They also have the reinforcing rods in the center that help reduce break offs.
Some other suppliers had some but not all anodes I needed until I found the above.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:49 PM   #16
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I've had the best experience w Performance Metals Al pencils. I buy direct and found they have the widest selection of pencils and complete units. They also have the reinforcing rods in the center that help reduce break offs.
Some other suppliers had some but not all anodes I needed until I found the above.
Same here. Performance Metals pencil zincs are top quality and they have a lot of choices on aluminum pencils.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:55 PM   #17
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I use Tef-gel on all sealing fasteners and Alco grease on anything that is in contact with seawater. In and out twice
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:09 PM   #18
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I've had the best experience w Performance Metals Al pencils. I buy direct and found they have the widest selection of pencils and complete units. They also have the reinforcing rods in the center that help reduce break offs.
Some other suppliers had some but not all anodes I needed until I found the above.

Iíve tried calling them in the past with little luck. I sent them an email today. Maybe they will respond.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:36 PM   #19
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Dave, Iím guessing youíve already seen their page on aluminum pencil anodes. If not: https://performancemetals.com/collections/pencil-anodes
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Old 08-04-2019, 05:51 AM   #20
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I had no problem contacting them.
Apparently they sell through distributors but when I gave them my location they said they didnt have a dealer in my area and no problem if I ordered direct.
Other online didnt list all of the ones I wanted and suspect they only stock most popular and order odd ones as needed.
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Iíve tried calling them in the past with little luck. I sent them an email today. Maybe they will respond.
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