Register now to get rid of these ads!

Distilled water a no-no???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 41woodie, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. 41woodie
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 1,097


    I was reading the Amsoil website a couple of days ago and saw them mention that if you run straight water with a corrosion fighter you should use softened water but NEVER distilled water. I can't think of any negatives about distilled water. Any idea why they would make that suggestion or heard from a different source.
  2. hombres ruin
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,303

    hombres ruin

    I have been running distilled water in my aluminum radiator in my flathead with water wetter for years and never had a problem at all it's a pure form of water but the nay Sayers talk about it extracting metals from the block I spoke to an engineer and they said that's a myth and not to listen to bullshit... So I don't anymore

    Sent from my iPhone using TJJ
  3. do a search - this was just talked about in the last month or so, with no real resolution. My opinion is straight from the garden hose because I could not name one dealer/repair shop that kept a stock of distilled water on hand for radiators.
  4. unkledaddy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,865


    I use distilled water but that's because I'm on well water and it's full of minerals.

    Joined: Dec 14, 2007
    Posts: 97


    I work at a Ford dealership and we DO keep several gallons of distilled water on the shelf for diesel engines. Ford actually says to use distilled water and not hose water in their new diesel engines.
  6. distilled water is devoid of minerals, water does not like to be devoid of minerals- that makes it very corrosive and will attempt to leach minerals from its enviroment.. a neuteral ph would be better for corrosion. to much min. and you'll get build up in the passages, to little and you'll get leaching
  7. xlr8
    Joined: Jun 26, 2006
    Posts: 698

    from Idaho

    I think that some additives actually work by utilizing the minerals in the water as sort of a carrier. No minerals, additive no work.
    Born-2-Late likes this.
  8. ddawg16
    Joined: Apr 10, 2011
    Posts: 60

    from So CA

    Another option is DI water. But for the most part, I think it's a lot of BS....

    Here is a link from Wikipedia that says distilled water is better....and if you do a search on DI water, you see pretty much the same thing. Basically, DI water is just a cheaper version of distilled water.

    Something to also one should be running just water in their cooling system....I would assume that there should be 'some' antifreeze.....with that said....I'm sure it has some additives that will 'stabilize' the PH of the water.
  9. racer32
    Joined: Sep 22, 2007
    Posts: 745


    Pure distilled water has a pH of 7, so it HAS neutral pH. Pure water is neither alkaline nor acidic. It won't leave deposits, because it has no dissolved solids, and it won't corrode anything because it's pH neutral.
  10. yes, I mistyped about the PH-- however, after 20 yrs of boiler and r.o. , d.i. and distilled water experiance.. pure demineralized water will eat the shit outa piping.. pure water is an unnatural state.. distilled works good in batterys- will eat the shit outa yer block.. better off with river water. but run whatcha like
  11. ewob53
    Joined: Jul 3, 2010
    Posts: 34

    from Minnesota

    Don't confuse DI water and distilled water. DI is much more corrosive than distilled water. Deionized water will try to replace its missing ions by eating your cooling components.

    They both have low conductivity properties but are very different when it comes to corrosiveness.
  12. racer32
    Joined: Sep 22, 2007
    Posts: 745


    I'll just keep runnin' the same crap that comes outta the hose. Been working fine for me. :)
  13. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    Been working for me for years.
  14. SlmLrd
    Joined: Oct 27, 2007
    Posts: 988

    from DAGO

    I run distilled water in mine. Have been for years, stays cool.
  15. UncleJoey
    Joined: Apr 2, 2009
    Posts: 91


    Living in the country we're on well water. It's real hard and full of iron. The amount of salt needed to soften it makes it about as salty as the roads around here through the winter. I can't imagine anyone recommending putting salted (softened) water into a system. I use spring water from the grocery store in my 50/50 mix and never had any issues.
  16. lol, ok- now we go the other way, just make sure its not 2 hard and scales you up.. and use a antifreeze with additives
  17. 41fred207
    Joined: Feb 7, 2011
    Posts: 103


    have to use anti-freeze up here. i was told it also helps lube water pump?
  18. ddawg16
    Joined: Apr 10, 2011
    Posts: 60

    from So CA

    I'm inclined to disagree........

    From one source...
    In other will typically see DI water used for hot steam systems.

    Additionally.....the additives in antifreeze pretty much take care of the rest.
  19. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,926


    "Drive' magazine also had a similar article - distilled water will cause corrosion. You can buy a name brand coolant (water based) that has the proper PH. I went from distilled to a good filtered water - available from water vendors that have better filtration units than the home units. The filtering gets the calcium and rocks out but is not as 'pure/corrosive' as distilled. With the addition of water pump lube/cooling system conditioner, it works in a non freezing environment. Water is a better cooler than antifreeze if you don't have to worry about freezing. And, being cheeper than an antifreeze mix, you can change it out on a more regular basis - those sacrificial anodes under the radiator cap are cheap insurance too.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  20. Chevy Gasser
    Joined: Jan 23, 2007
    Posts: 712

    Chevy Gasser

    Somebodys wires are crossed. O.K. I'm a farmer and use John Deere coolant, you know, the kind in $250,000 tractors. You can get their coolant two ways. One, pre-mix, ready to go. The other way, concentrate, mix 50/50 with distilled water. Next to distilled water, as I have heard since the 50's is rain water, the same as distilled. I've never heard any knowledgeable mechanic or antifreeze maker recommend well water or softened water.
  21. Chevy Gasser
    Joined: Jan 23, 2007
    Posts: 712

    Chevy Gasser

    By the way. It was recommended the change coolant every 4 years or so. Not anymore. They recommend testing yearly and add conditioner if needed. John Deere dealers sell a test strip that has 3 readings. 1 freeze protection level 2 phoshphates and I believe the 3 is ph. Oh, almost forgot, tractors with coolant filters should be changed at scheduled intervals. This is recommended for systems with aluminum, copper, and steel components.
  22. I'm sure your coolants been formulated with anticorrosives additives for use with distilled water.. right now(and I do mean rite now) I'm running a big ole distiller called a 850 hp dorr-oliver boiler. and water chemistry is a constant battle
  23. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,302


    The main reason for running distilled water in the radiator as tap water in a lot of places has way too many minerals in it. It's those same minerals that get hard in your water heater and plug it up after a while and plain tap water will do the same thing in an engine in a lot of areas of the country.

    We have to run a 50/50 mix of antifreeze or risk loosing a block of we forget to drain it and I have never personally seen a rig running straight water run cooler than one running with a proper antifreeze mix. I'd like to see a documented controlled test on that with real results rather than all the urban legends floating around about it.
  24. hombres ruin
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,303

    hombres ruin

    sorry bud thats not true I don't need antifreeze in san Diego to run my engine maybe on the east coast
  25. Jerryinok
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 38

    from Oklahoma

    Actually its still good to run it as a antiboil, raises the boil temp from 212* helps in blow off and water pump lube.
  26. speakfordadead
    Joined: Mar 17, 2011
    Posts: 79


    Okay guys.... I agree with Racer32. If you are that concerned about corrosive properties of water consider one thing.... Hydrogen is neutral.... Oxygen is neutral.... HOWEVER Oxygen is a catalyst for a little know process called.... wait for it..... OXIDATION. You just can't stop the corrosive nature of water.... for pity's sake.... it made the Grand Canyon!!!!

    Adding antifreeze is essential in most climates. I'm not convinced about the lubrication properties as it is made mostly of "astringents". Meaning it dries things out.

    The real answer is..... frequent coolant/water changes..... using a flush type system is best.


    Humble Newby
  27. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    from Central Ca

    :DI use the 50/50 mix anti-freeze and drive the hell out of it with no issues
  28. I live on the big island in Hawaii .Most homes collect water from the roof .Meanwhile the volcano has been going off for 20 plus years. The "vog" is very corrosive so is the rain.When I buy a new rad. It comes with a free gallon of distilled water,The counter man told me the mfrg. won't honor the warranty if you don't use it. Seems they had a lot fail with the catchment water.
  29. racer32
    Joined: Sep 22, 2007
    Posts: 745


    FWIW, the Grand Canyon was caused by erosion...totally different process than corrosion. Corrosion involves a chemical change where electrons get swapped around and new chemical compounds are formed. Erosion is where particles are worn away by abrasion. BOTH can occur inside an engine's coolant passages.

    Water, distilled or otherwise, isn't going to make much difference in a car motor as long as it's clean (no solids in suspension) and pH-neutral. If you're worried about it that much, buy a test kit and check the pH of whatever you put in the radiator. If the pH is neutral (near 7) it isn't going to corrode anything. If it's acidic (pH<7), add some baking soda to adjust pH. If it's alkaline (pH>7), add vinegar.

    Or, could just buy antifreeze/coolant that's already mixed and change it every year or so.
  30. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 10,122

    Johnny Gee
    from Downey, Ca

    DI water will knock out a boiler fast than a hot a knife thru butter. So what do you think is going to that engine block. As said before, DI water makes for corrosive envirment. Soft water is the ticket and used in boiler systems.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.