Beware of Vinegar - The Pump Killer

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redfishbluefish

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Does anyone know if bleach has any similar adverse effects? I’m using an L2 to treat some live rock and hoping it won’t have a negative effect on the pump.
Two comments in reply to your query....dissociation and oxidation.

1. Dissociation. Unlike vinegar, which poorly dissociates into charged ions, bleach (predominately sodium hypochlorite) at the high pH, completely dissociates, and it's components are charged ions. So because of their charge, they would have greater difficulty permeating the plastic.

2. Oxidation. Bleach in water produces hydrochloric acid and oxygen which will oxidize the plastic. With extended exposure, you'll eventually start to see the plastic most likely become more brittle.
 

Hollywood Corals

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Two comments in reply to your query....dissociation and oxidation.

1. Dissociation. Unlike vinegar, which poorly dissociates into charged ions, bleach (predominately sodium hypochlorite) at the high pH, completely dissociates, and it's components are charged ions. So because of their charge, they would have greater difficulty permeating the plastic.

2. Oxidation. Bleach in water produces hydrochloric acid and oxygen which will oxidize the plastic. With extended exposure, you'll eventually start to see the plastic most likely become more brittle.
Thank you for the detailed and scientific response. I’ll make sure not to keep prolonged exposure.
 

ScottB

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Yep, the darn stuff is an excellent carbon source for those little buggers to grow. If you wish, add 0.1% sodium benzoate to the jug, and that should hold off any bacterial growth.
Thanks again for this. Works like a charm!
 
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MikeO5422

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I think this scenario is one of those "no reason not to do it" scenarios because:

1) Cleaning with vinegar hurts some pumps (strong evidence)
2) Cleaning with properly mixed citric acid hurts no pumps (no contradicting evidence yet?)

I also wonder....because this is happening to "high end" pumps, we change the way we clean. I wonder what qualify of material is going into these "high end" pumps.
 
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ThRoewer

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I never used vinegar simply because it takes way too long and I usually want the pumps back up and running quickly.
I've always used HCl (hydrochloric acid, aka. Muriatic acid) because it dissolves the calcifications in minutes or even seconds, not hours as vinegar.
I also use bleach to clean off algae and other organic deposits - so far with no ill effects.

In the past, I read an article of a Tunze engineer who stated that you shouldn't use any acids at all because the plastics they use don't tolerate that well. Instead, you should just wipe the pumps down regularly to prevent the build-up in the first place (they got to be kidding, right?). My opinion of that is, that if they use plastics that cannot be cleaned with acids they haven't done a good enough job in picking a suitable material for their pumps. There are plastics (HDPE for example) that can handle acids just fine and not using them is lazy and cheap. From a maker of expensive pumps, I expect more consideration and better material choices.
 

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At the risk of repeating myself. I have 2- XF230s in my tank now running continuously for roughly 2.5 years. Nothing has touched them except saltwater, freshwater (to rinse), CITRIC ACID, air and the occasional errant bristleworm getting ground up. They have never been disassembled for any reason. You can't beat that.
 

Tuffloud1

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Besides what to soak Vortech wetsides in, what is the consensus on the need to actually disassemble the wet side to clean them?

I am amazed at the lack of information out there regarding not only how to disassemble the wet sides but whether it needs to be done or not. Maybe I missed all the threads regarding this?
 

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Besides what to soak Vortech wetsides in, what is the consensus on the need to actually disassemble the wet side to clean them?

I am amazed at the lack of information out there regarding not only how to disassemble the wet sides but whether it needs to be done or not. Maybe I missed all the threads regarding this?
I disassemble and clean mine every 3 months just to make sure my magnets are ok and quick inspection of other parts. I get worried about possible rust from magnets. Knock on wood, but no issues for me yet.
 

Tuffloud1

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I disassemble and clean mine every 3 months just to make sure my magnets are ok and quick inspection of other parts. I get worried about possible rust from magnets. Knock on wood, but no issues for me yet.
Do you know of any videos on how to disassemble the current version wetside?
 

dwest

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Do you know of any videos on how to disassemble the current version wetside?
No. But if I remember, I unscrew the outer cage. Then, use a flathead screwdriver to push the 3 tabs up. Then pull the unit apart. That’s pretty much it.
 
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redfishbluefish

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I don't clean mine as often as I should, but when I do, I pull it apart. I will soak all together, put pull it apart to rinse and get the "snot" rinsed off around the magnet.
 

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