An Electrical Current Flowing Through A Wire Creates What Preventive Tips Against Marine Electrolysis

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Preventive Tips Against Marine Electrolysis

Let’s skip the technical aspects of marine electrolysis generation and focus on how to avoid it. Of course it’s important to understand this phenomenon, but our intent is to provide benchmarks that will ensure success toward preserving the boat’s metal parts.

Marine electrolysis can be avoided in most cases by combining practical techniques, but most importantly by monitoring. Underwater monitoring and anode replacement is not enough; A supplemental exterior and interior boat inspection is essential to cover all your bases.

To do so it is necessary to separate the action into two components: “marine electrolysis prevention above deck” and “marine electrolysis prevention below deck.”

Marine Electrolysis Prevention Tips – Above Deck

Ensure that internal bonding wire bonded through-hulls, underwater lights, trim tabs and other parts of the boat are properly attached and that the wires are in good condition. Check carefully and regularly. Look for power cords that are exposed to water around your boat and make sure to unplug them if so.

meet your neighbors; Find out if their boat’s metal parts are electrolysis-free and if they are a well-maintained vessel.

Using galvanic isolators is a great way to isolate your ship from others; Blocking low voltage DC currents to your boat through the shore power ground wire. Make sure only the equipment selected meets ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) specifications.

Marine Electrolysis Prevention Tips – Below Deck

Electrolysis It is important to understand that different marinas, docks and slips create specific electrolysis environments and boat metal parts are affected differently. Establishing a sample is almost impossible when measuring marine electrolysis. Each case should be taken on an individual basis.

When it comes to electrolysis prevention, underwater zinc monitoring is king.

Zinc monitoring involves microscopic evaluation of each zinc: mass, formation and electrolysis reaction.

Zinc replacement at 50% is recommended.

Zinc brushing should be done during hull cleaning visits to determine how much zinc life is left.

Contact between metals (zinc/bar metal part) must be spotlessly clean.

Retain the original manufacturer zinc configuration, do not overload the system.

Make sure your diver understands the basics of the procedure.

Technical Aspects of Corrosion:

“The destruction of a metal or alloy by chemical or electrochemical reaction with its environment.”

It is very difficult to look at a failed metal boat part and immediately tell the cause of that particular failure. Failure is likely due to a combination of factors, including wrong choice of alloy by the manufacturer, manufacturing errors, such as overheating, contamination or incorrect coating, boat builder’s usage errors, water velocity, impurity or pollution in the electrolyte (seawater), temperature, vibration , stress, pit, galvanic or stray current corrosion.

Galvanic Corrosion:

A natural phenomenon is that two dissimilarly connected metals, or electrolytes, immersed in seawater develop voltages and currents. The most electrically active (more positive) metal will corrode while protecting the less positive metal. If both of these metals are important to us, we can add another metal, which is more positive than the other two, which will corrode first and protect the more important metals. This sacrificial metal will wear down, protecting the boat metal that is attached to it and contacting the same body of water.

Stray current corrosion (commonly called electrolysis):

Stray current corrosion is similar to galvanic corrosion except that the voltage and current are generated by an external electrical source rather than spontaneous in nature, usually with greater force than galvanic action and can corrode your precious boat metal in a much shorter period of time. .

Mechanical Corrosion:

Turbid water, high-velocity water (especially at bends in cooler tubes), and silt-laden water all corrode metals. Erosion is also caused by uneven velocities in tidal water or inside a drift tube or on the metal surface of a boat. Propellers have a number of special problems, including that they have large uneven surfaces exposed to tidal currents that cause temperature and electrical differences on different parts of the surface, and also voltage differences due to the different velocities between the hub and the blades. In addition to balancing the shaft and propellers, the use of bonding, shaft straps, and anode systems generally minimizes the voltage across the entire surface of the propeller by evening.

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