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distilled water

Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
We've got our "ion" the ball.


  • Al Cipriani
    Al Cipriani Member Posts: 8
    distilled water

    In Chicago the tap water has a lot of minerals,sediment. I recently purchased a water distiller(for drinking water),I was amazed the amount of muck that is in one gallon of water. I filled my steam boiler(2 pipe) With distilled water and fired it. The water line is steadier than it ever has been,steam pressure came in record time. Is there a problem with ph of distilled water? Has anyone else tried this?
  • realolman
    realolman Member Posts: 513
    no I haven't

    but I have considered filling mine from a reverse osmosis filter.

    You think it made a big difference, huh?
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Distilled Water

    has a pH of 7.0. Tap water, at least here in Boston is about 8.0, a little on the alkaline side. Minerals tend toward the alkaline side of the scale.

    The effect of PH has to do with the kind of metals in your system, aluminum being more sensitive. Iron, copper, aluminum and even stainless all have their preferred ranges. In my own house system I keep it about 8.5. I have aluminum in the boiler (Monitor MZ), steel radiators, stainless steel (also in the boiler) and copper piping.

    In multi-metal systems you strive for the most common ideal and treat the water within that range. Rhomar has much better information than I can possibly provide here.
  • Boilerpro_5
    Boilerpro_5 Member Posts: 407
    A little known fact about Chicago water

    is that when it first comes in the intake cribs it is dead soft because soft water sits at the bottom of the lake. The city then adds minerals to make it safe for drinking...soft water can drain the body of its minerals.
    Pure water (soft) should boil real nice, however, it can turn acidic real easily. Every time I close the bypass for my watersoftner completely, I start getting a blue green stain on my sinks...thats the copper pipes dissolving.....yikes!


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  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    Distilled water

    would not be my first choice.

    Pure H2O has a great affinty for any minerals and for ferrous metals as well. Water does not cause rust. Disolved oxygen in the water - makes rust.

    Water's ability and affinity to disolve salts, iron and minerals is well known. When the water molecules are "loaded" beyond their ability to cling to anything that can disolve in it - we call it "dead" (which means it is already hyper saturated with things besides H2O) and less likely to eat your boiler, piping, etc.

    The complexity of boiler water and treatments is far too complicated to get into here but I urge you to re-think the benefits - because the negatives far outweigh them.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Well said, Ken

    You are right, old, dead water is black gold. I like to filter my fill water through a GE Smart Water filter just so as not to introduce chlorine, sediment and whatever minerals the two stages take out.

    Your point about the more pure water being more agressive is spot-on. As an illustration of that, having worked with RO and DI cooling systems for proton therapy centers, the piping is all 316L stainless steel and special plastics....
  • Al_19
    Al_19 Member Posts: 170

    I think it should be clarified that the "pure" water being referred to here is water that has had the minerals removed(DI,RO). One of the posts above refers to pure water as soft water, but softening the water doesn't remove the minerals, it simply exchanges one mineral(calcium & magnesium) for another(sodium or potassium) leaving the mineral load the same.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,835
    True distilled water

    is made by boiling and collecting the condensate. A fairly expensive process for large quantities of water.

    DI or DM is done with a softner tank type of process. Much less $$ and just fine for boiler or glycol mixing.

    From what I have seen even the gallons on the grocery shelves labeled distilled may just be DI water.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Drew_2
    Drew_2 Member Posts: 158

    Hot Rod is correct. If you are worried about either of these, please read the attacment. You'll find that lab grade distilled/deionized is very expensive and is not the water that you would find in the grocery or cearted by standard reverse osmosis.
  • Drew_2
    Drew_2 Member Posts: 158
    There is low mineral and pure water

    Take a look at the attached it may explain this subject to everyones satisfaction.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Distilled Water in Quantity

    If anyone has ever been to Curacao, (the middle island between Aruba and Bonaire just north of Venezuela), you may want to check out the islands water distilling plant.

    Curacao has a practically desert climate, cacti and funny looking little lizards selling car insurance, the whole bit.

    On the south coast, just west of Willemstaad, the main port, is a huge oil-fired distillery which takes seawater and makes much of the island's fresh water supply, continuously.

    This Dutch island also has a major Heineken brewery and contrary to what you might think of distilled water having an 'off' or flat taste, they say it actually makes their best beer.

    Navy ships do something similar with "flash" distilling; sea water is introduced to a chamber then subjected to immediate vacuum. The water flashes into cold steam, collects on condenser plates leaving the minerals behind. Saudi Arabia does distilling by oil (ya think???) and flash distilling.

    Just thought that was interesting..
  • John_102
    John_102 Member Posts: 119
    distilled water & beer

    I'm a fully-qualified, certifiably-ignorant (certifiable) homeowner, but I do know something about beer. Purely an academic/intellectual interest - I drink the stuff for my health only & only when I'm forced to do so; generally before, during or after a meal.

    Short, simple statement: good beer NEEDS mineral content.

    Yeast needs minerals, enzymes need minerals, all God's children need minerals. Distilled water, without the brewer's careful hand and the addition of various minerals, would be poor stuff to make beer. Beer style is deeply influenced by mineral profile. Distilled water would be useful in beer making 1.) to dilute undesirable water and/or 2.) to allow the brewer to adjust the mineral profile to desirable quality.

    I won't rant on.

    Gob fliuch!
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