Softened tap water for cooling system?

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I'm flushing a cooling system tomorrow, and was researching whether distilled water or softened tap water would be better to use. I came across this link and was intrigued. http://www.no-rosion.com/technical.htm "Many people have heard that distilled water is best to use in a cooling system. This is wrong, unless a mix of 50/50 antifreeze is used. While it certainly is true that distilled water’s purity prevents electrolysis and scale/deposit formation, it unfortunately comes with a potentially very damaging side effect. During the distillation process, water is vaporized into it’s gaseous phase, so all impurities are left behind. These impurities include a number of minerals, including calcium and magnesium – the two components of “hardness.” The water is then condensed back into it’s liquid phase, so the resulting liquid is pure water – in fact, some of the purest water on earth. The problem is that when water is distilled, or “stripped” of impurities, the resulting solution is composed of chemically imbalanced “ions.” This leaves distilled water “electrochemically hungry,” so it will actually strip electrons from the metals in a cooling system as it attempts to chemically re-balance itself. As it chemically removes electrons from the cooling system metals, it does damage that will eventually lead to leaks and system failure. Using distilled water in combination with 50% antifreeze is no problem, because the distilled water will seek and find electrochemical balance from the various chemical ingredients in the antifreeze mixture. The best type of water to use as coolant is softened water – especially if you run straight water coolant, without antifreeze. During the water softening process, the same impurities and minerals are removed from water as the distillation process – but with one very important distinction. Rather than STRIPPING the impurities from water, softening EXCHANGES the impurities with a sodium ion. The resulting solution is electrochemically stable and ionically balanced, making softened water very stable, pure, and non-threatening to cooling system metals. It should be added, there seems to be a perceptual issue with regard to usage of softened water. Many mistakenly believe that because SALT is added to water softeners, softened water must contain salt, a substance known to be very corrosive. Nothing could be further from the truth. The salt that’s added to a water softener is NaCl, or sodium chloride. During the softening process, only the sodium ion is exchanged into the water, whereas chloride ions are removed when the softener is regenerated. Therefore, softened water does NOT contain corrosive salt."
 
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electrochemical hunger for electrons means an acid. but distilled water is an extremely weak acid - it's natural pH is 7 without any buffers, so it is equally hungry and full, meaning that no reaction will take place. It looks like they want you to buy some snake oil. You can buy jugs of deionised water for $1 a gallon. that is best. distilled is next best. tap water is better when it is soft, meaning very little is dissolved in it. I would not used softened water, it looks like they say it is not bad, but if your water is so extremely hard to start with, just buy some deionised or distilled.
 
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This is news to me. Someone needs to inform the manufacturers that are now recommending only distilled water added to antifreeze for refills. Distilled water is easy to find and inexpensive, I'd have no idea where to find softened water. I'd also never buy 50% mix for a flush, half water. What is "straight water coolant" without antifreeze??? I don't run that, I run antifreeze and add distilled to it. Why wouldn't the distilled water balance with the chemical ingredients in full strength coolant? No offense intended but I'll follow my manual.
 

Samilcar

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 Originally Posted By: sayjac
Distilled water is easy to find and inexpensive, I'd have no idea where to find softened water.
I have softened water coming out of my tap, so finding it is not a problem. This also makes it easier to use as a flushing source, as it's under pressure. I was just interested that this guy is claiming that softened tap water is BETTER than distilled. However, he also says that they are, for all practical purposes, both equal when mixed with the slightest amount of antifreeze.
 

Samilcar

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[quote=sayjac] What is "straight water coolant" without antifreeze??? I don't run that, I run antifreeze and add distilled to it. [quote] This guy sells his product mainly to owners of antique cars that run straight water as coolant. [quote=sayjac] Why wouldn't the distilled water balance with the chemical ingredients in full strength coolant? [quote] I don't think he ever claimed that it wouldn't. In fact he says just the opposite. He says that if either softened tap water OR distilled water are mixed with the slightest bit of antifreeze, they behave practically identically. The only situation in which softened tap water is better than distilled is if only straight water is used (again according to him).
 
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 Originally Posted By: Eddie
Gads. manufactures of coolant have been recommending the wrong water for years? I think NOT.
+1 They just don't know anything! I couldn't care less what they do in antique cars. The title is softened water or distilled. Doesn't say the choice is for antique cars.
 Quote:
Why wouldn't the distilled water balance with the chemical ingredients in full strength coolant? I don't think he ever claimed that it wouldn't. In fact he says just the opposite. He says that if either softened tap water OR distilled water are mixed with the slightest bit of antifreeze, they behave practically identically.
Really? Show me where it says in the blurb you posted it says "slightest bit of antifreeze". Guess I need to learn how to read. It's says 50/50. And, why would I add distilled to a 50/50 mix? And, though some tap water may be technically "soft" some may be "softer" than other's. Unless you have an analysis done you don't really know how soft your tap water is, or the concentration of minerals. Glad your's is perfect and this internet "expert" knows more the manufacturers. Me, I'll believe my owners manual.
 
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I have used softened water in the past without any ill effects, but I now buy Distilled water because it's cheap and I sleep easy at night!
 
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 Originally Posted By: StevieC
I have used softened water in the past without any ill effects, but I now buy Distilled water because it's cheap and I sleep easy at night!
Sure. And, before the manufacturers started recommending distilled water, I used to use a flushing T and tap water.
 

Samilcar

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Sayjac, I think you're a bit confused. When the author is talking about a 50/50 mix, he's not talking about adding water to a 50/50 PREMIX. He's talking about adding your own water to concentrated (100%) antifreeze to MAKE a 50/50 mix.
 
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I'm not confused about anything. A mix of 50/50 could be a 50/50 premix which is how it is normally stated on the containers. Or, it could be full strength cut to 50% with distilled. Like much else in this anecdotal blurb, it's unclear. Samilcar, you still didn't answer my question about where it says "slightest bit of water"? That might have made it clearer. Still, it doesn't change the supposition that soft tap water is better than distilled. Manufacturers think not. Good luck with your flush.
 
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 Originally Posted By: rszappa1
Here in KY we just use straight bourbon.....
Is that why people can't drive in KY? I have seen some serious crazy drivers while down there...
 

Samilcar

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 Originally Posted By: sayjac
Samilcar, you still didn't answer my question about where it says "slightest bit of water"? That might have made it clearer.
Last sentence of the second paragraph: "Using distilled water in combination with 50% antifreeze is no problem, because the distilled water will seek and find electrochemical balance from the various chemical ingredients in the antifreeze mixture." This makes it clear, to me, that the author believes any corrosive effects from running pure distilled water are negated once antifreeze is added to it. Geez, the only reason I posted this was because I thought it was interesting that distilled water and softened water MIGHT be equally as effective when mixed with coolant. I didn't realize people held such violently opposed opinions on the subject.
 

JHZR2

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 Originally Posted By: Captain_Klink
You can buy jugs of deionised water for $1 a gallon. that is best. distilled is next best.
DI water, by the time it goes to a store and gerts to you isnt really "DI" anymore. You can make research grade, true 18 Megohm DI water, and within about five minutes of being exposed to air, will start gaining real levels of conductivity. DI water strips CO2 from the air, and isnt really DI anymore...
 
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I think your topic was good. One good think about softened water in your home is that it takes all of the junk that builds up on your pipes and the bottom of your hot water tank. That has to be good for a cooling system....
 
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