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Thread: Open discussion on the quality of water used in your radiator

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2008-08-04 01:32:06
Open discussion on the quality of water used in your radiator
Background on me, some of the work I do is for a water treatment company; think water softeners, etc.

Here's my thinking. Using a distilled, reverse osmosis, or de-ionized water for your radiator versus the tap/hose water. The above mentioned water is a MUCH more pure water than what comes out of your tap/hose. There are contaminants in both well and city water that I would think would not be ideal for cooling.

With a water softener, a hot water heater can increase its efficiency up to 29% because it doesn't have the TDS (total dissolved solids - a conductive measure of anything that is in water that isn't water, measured in ppm) to heat through.

I would imagine that this could be true also of a radiator and a cooling system.

2008-08-04 01:35:47
I used distilled water in my red car when I swapped it two years ago. After the radiator was full I took some swigs and put it in the fridge. Someone told me it was a good idea a while back and I figured why not.
2008-08-04 01:37:41
I use either Prestone 50/50, or Prestone 50/50 with a little distilled water (takes it to maybe 60/40 or 65/35). I also use Water Wetter, regardless of the coolant/water mix. I wouldn't put tap/hose water in the car - I know folks that do, but they drain and refill so often that I suppose there's a good chance buildup wouldn't have a chance to occur.
2008-08-04 01:40:01
i use distilled water too...
2008-08-04 02:04:25
My younger brother had a beater of the beaters Mazda Protege, that he put tap water in because it leaked. The inside of the radiator looked like some kind of funky coral reef or something. Eventually the head gasket blew because the cooling system was so clogged up.

Cuyahoga Falls has very heavy water compared to other places so maybe that had something to do with it.

Distilled and water wetter summer and 50\50 coolant in the winter for my cars
2008-08-04 02:29:28
distilled only for every car I have owned.
2008-08-04 02:53:09
from wikipedia...

Purified water is water from any source that is physically processed to remove impurities. Distilled water and deionized water have been the most common forms of purified water, but water can also be purified by other processes including reverse osmosis, carbon filtration, microporous filtration, ultrafiltration, ultraviolet oxidation, or electrodialysis.

Distilled or deionized water is preferable to tap water for use in automotive cooling systems. The minerals and ions typically found in tap water can be corrosive to internal engine components, and can cause a more rapid depletion of the anti-corrosion additives found in most antifreeze formulations.[citation needed] Distilled or deionized water is especially important in automotive hybrid system component cooling systems, mixed with hybrid system coolant, to prevent corrosion and/or electrolysis of hybrid components.

The boiling point depends on the pressure and the boiling points of water at pressures ranging from 0.5 psia to 1000 psia can be found in the diagram and table below.
2008-08-04 03:23:10
In my opinion, it doesn't matter what kind of water you put in your car for coolant. Whether it is tap water or distilled water, it works. I would really like someone to prove to me that tap water has caused some sort of problem in their cooling system with regular 30k mile recommended coolant changes. You can't.
2008-08-04 12:47:41
With a hot water heater or boiler, you are continually introducing fresh water as you use the hot water or steam. This greatly increases the amount of solids that you introduce to the system. In a closed system, such as your auto cooling system, the amount of water and the amount of TDS stays constant, provided you don't need to add. I'd be more concerned about pH than TDS as far as causing corrosion. And heat transfer can be increased by using Water Wetter as some have suggested.
2008-08-04 15:27:36
extremely pure waters are actually corrosive and can dissolve aluminum when a little heat is added. i think once mixed 50/50 with a good collant the corrosivity of the pure water would be negated. i work in a Lab. i could do a little experiment and check the pH of tap VS. type I water (extremely pure RO and micron filtered with a sustained conductivity less than .2 micro semens) the experiment will have to wait till the end of the week when im not busy with real work.
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