Salt Away?

Ky Grady

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Ok guys, is Salt Away snake oil or worth it?

I bought my 100% saltwater used 2004 boat back in 2017 and have since been using it on freshwater here in Kentucky and Ohio and my trips to freshwater in South Carolina for catfishing. My time on salt is very minor now and flushed with freshwater after boat is home at the rental. Motor has not given me any indication of a heat problem, so not sure of the value or expense of Salt Away for my needs. When I've serviced my t-stats, I'm not seeing any major salt deposits in the housings, but that wasn't the case when I first bought it. Both the stats and anodes were in rough shape from lack of service in my opinion, but I service the whole motor each season so I have fresh parts each spring to start out with.

This late in the game with my motor at 1260 hours and primarily freshwater use, not sure I'll benefit any at all using Salt Away.

Here's what my stats and anodes looked like the first time I serviced my motor after purchase. That was 2 seasons ago, not seen that since.

Thoughts??

20170801_184832-1024x1365.jpg20170731_205929-1024x1365.jpg
 

Fishtales

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Interesting. They look pretty bad. Maybe the first owner was on a mooring or somewhere with no access to water to flush?
I don't use salt away and the only snake oil I use is ring free. I flush after every use though.
 
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Ky Grady

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Interesting. They look pretty bad. Maybe the first owner was on a mooring or somewhere with no access to water to flush?
I don't use salt away and the only snake oil I use is ring free. I flush after every use though.
I wish that was the case. All the pics I've seen of the boat before I purchased it, seem to have lived on a trailer.

Yep, Ring Free and Sta-Bil are my snake oil too.
 

SeanC

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Salt is highly water soluble. A good flush after use is all I do. Those thermostats look horrible. Maybe the PO didn’t flush.
 

wrxhoon

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In my opinion that motor wasn't flashed, if it was it wouldn't be with ear muffs, maybe the previous owner was flashing some times in the flashing port and for short time. I would go as far as to say the previous owner didn't take good care, probably never rinsed the tanks or the bilge thats why your tanks corroded . When I sold my old 228 she was 20 years old still original tank. ( she only had one)
I always flash my engines with ear muffs for 10 minutes to make sure the thermostats open. Never in my life have I seen stats or anodes like yours in any of my engines . I have had pitted anodes due to electrolysis witch is normal if you put enough hours on the engine . I usually change my anodes when I change the external ones, I must say I can'r remember the last time I changes a thermostat. I had a piece of soft reef in one of my stats in my previous 228, that kept the stat open do the engine was running cold. When I checked the stat was like brand new , at the time the 250 Merc had 500 hours .
I never use salt away on my engine or trailer and I don't know if it works. I have Kodiak S/S rotors, calipers and brackets, current trailer over 7 years old now , no problem at all but I rinse after use every time. I wash boat and motor after use with hot water and soap, takes about 1.5 hours 2 people.
KY looks like you take care of yours as well, she looks sparkling clean , especially for a 15 year old boat. Looks like your engine will have some corrosion inside but she should clean up since you mostly use it in fresh water.
 

Fishtales

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I wish that was the case. All the pics I've seen of the boat before I purchased it, seem to have lived on a trailer.

Yep, Ring Free and Sta-Bil are my snake oil too.
The owner still may have failed to flush. You come off the ramp and head home and then put the boat away. Just a guess.
 

Fishtales

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In my opinion that motor wasn't flashed, if it was it wouldn't be with ear muffs, maybe the previous owner was flashing some times in the flashing port and for short time. I would go as far as to say the previous owner didn't take good care, probably never rinsed the tanks or the bilge thats why your tanks corroded . When I sold my old 228 she was 20 years old still original tank. ( she only had one)
I always flash my engines with ear muffs for 10 minutes to make sure the thermostats open. Never in my life have I seen stats or anodes like yours in any of my engines . I have had pitted anodes due to electrolysis witch is normal if you put enough hours on the engine . I usually change my anodes when I change the external ones, I must say I can'r remember the last time I changes a thermostat. I had a piece of soft reef in one of my stats in my previous 228, that kept the stat open do the engine was running cold. When I checked the stat was like brand new , at the time the 250 Merc had 500 hours .
I never use salt away on my engine or trailer and I don't know if it works. I have Kodiak S/S rotors, calipers and brackets, current trailer over 7 years old now , no problem at all but I rinse after use every time. I wash boat and motor after use with hot water and soap, takes about 1.5 hours 2 people.
KY looks like you take care of yours as well, she looks sparkling clean , especially for a 15 year old boat. Looks like your engine will have some corrosion inside but she should clean up since you mostly use it in fresh water.
Maybe the original owner didn't change them per schedule. Some people wait for an issue or extend the service intervals to save money. Whatever the cause, the second owner is all over it.
 

Ky Grady

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The owner still may have failed to flush. You come off the ramp and head home and then put the boat away. Just a guess.
That's my feelings as well. Even when on vacation in Florida, I'll at least flush on the port when I get it back to the rental for 15-20 minutes while I unload, then I'll rinse the boat off and spray the trailer and brakes, I do this after every outing while on vacation. I give it a quick bath with soap and water the last day I'm there before heading up the road for home. Once home, I giver her a full bath after getting everything off, to get all the salt and sand out of the nooks and crannies, and run the motor on muffs.
 

HMBJack

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"This late in the game with my motor at 1260 hours and primarily freshwater use, not sure I'll benefit any at all using Salt Away."
>>>> Agreed.
 
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magicalbill

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A tech told me a few years ago Salt Away is effective if you use it from the time the engine is new, but not otherwise.

He said flushing on a regular basis is the best way to stay ahead of problems.
 
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max366

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Some of the salts that deposit in the engine are calcium or magnesium salts. They're what is commonly called "hardness". They're weird salts - called inverse salts - because they get less soluble as the water temperature increases. So hot areas of the engine could have deposits of the inverse salts that are difficult to re-dissolve with just a fresh water flush since the area where they deposit are still relatively warm. That's where Salt-Away comes in.
It contains a mild acid (possibly sulfamic) that can remove the Ca/Mg salts. When the salts build up, chlorides can concentrate under the deposits, increasing the corrosion rate- a double whammy!
I flush with Salt Away every time since I'm 100% saltwater use and I had the unfortunate thermostat corrosion issue that necessitated a new powerhead. It seems the prior owner never flushed the engines.
Something to consider...
 
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seasick

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A tech told me a few years ago Salt Away is effective if you use it from the time the engine is new, but not otherwise.

He said flushing on a regular basis is the best way to stay ahead of problems.
I agree too.
 

max366

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Sorry, but I don't agree due to the science of deposits scaling on hot surfaces - only using it from the time it's new but not otherwise isn't logical. The scale will form new or old- it's totally temperature dependent. The hotter parts of the engine will scale as the cooling water heats up thru the engine and the inverse salts lose solubility, plating out on the surfaces- whether its new internally or old. Sure, an old engine will have more surface area due to some corrosion, so potentially more deposits, but flushing routinely with a mild acid (such as Salt Away) will react with and prevent the deposits from building up. Water just won't dissolve the scale- it might dislodge some just due to the flow, but that's way less effective than chemically removing the deposits.
Better living through chemistry!
 

HMBJack

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I make my own Salt Away (too expensive for my common sense budget). A fellow GW pal of mine turned me on to this. In a one gallon jug, I mix 25% White Distilled Vinegar with a cup of automobile soap and fill the rest with water. I make gallons of this for pennies on the dollar compared to Salt Away. It is not too acidic chemistry wise. Works great inside my engine (as evidenced by annual T-Stat inspections) and everywhere on the hull to remove salt.
 

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Salt-Away is supposed to contain corrosion inhibitors that are said to coat surfaces and provide protection. So there might be something to the suggestion to use it right away on new engines. Since the composition is proprietary, there is no way to make an informed decision on this.

max366 gave a good explanation of how salt deposits build up. I'll only add that most of the deposits are carbonate salts that form as the saltwater dries down on the surfaces after the engine drains. These are virtually insoluble in freshwater at neutral or alkaline pH. So flushing with an acid solution such as Salt-Away or vinegar is required to remove them. However, if a build-up is allowed to occur over time, weak acids are not sufficient and a commercial descaler needs to be used.
 

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I have done the blue barrel filled with water and 4 gallons of vinegar flush on a couple of new to me motors. Start and run the motor till the tell tale stream is really hot, around 15-20 minutes. Shut it down, let the water cool an hour and do it again.

After five or six idling periods in the barrel I drain it out then carefully pour out the rest but maybe a quart. Let it evaporate and if it's an older motor that's lived in salt you will be amazed at the amount of sediment you clean out of the motor.

I maintain my motors the same as HMBJack, vinegar and soap in a salt away type flush dispenser. Works great.
 

Topjimmy

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I bought a 6 hp yamaha kicker that would not pee very good so I opened up the thermostats and EVERYTHING was caked in salt so my buddy told me to use a mixture of 4 bottles of Lime- away in a garbage can half full of water run it for a half an hour or so I did that opened it back up again and what do ya know it was clean as a whistle and I put new thermostats in and she pees great and now all good
 

leeccoll

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Interesting thread.
I used Salt-Away after each use in a fresh water highly alkaline lake for a year. Then my check valve for the wash down system on my Honda BF200 got stuck from the alkaline deposits.
My mechanic told me to use vinegar instead.
When I ran the motor in a 100 gallon tub with 6 gallons of vinegar, I couldn't believe how much crud came out in the water.
After using only vinegar for a year then running in tub next season, there wasn't even a spec of a deposit, so at least I know that works for my situation.
 
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Fishtales

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interesting lee. must have been interesting carrying 6 gallons of vinegar out....
 

leeccoll

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interesting lee. must have been interesting carrying 6 gallons of vinegar out....
Luckily I did the yearly fluid changes at my house so no biggie. I keep the 100 gallon tub in my home garage.