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Old 05-24-2015, 10:15 AM   #1
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Looking for recurring Heater core leaking fix

My 2002 Wiinebago ultimate advantage dash heater core was leaking. I replaced it and everything is now working well. Although it is the first time I change it, looking at the way it was setup, I know it was changed by the previous owner.
I have read that the leaking core is a recurring problem. I am wondering if someone has found a solution to fix the recurrence of the problem.
I have read, somewhere on this site, that the problem is caused by electrolysis due to an approximately 0.5 volt voltage in the heater core "coolant". The suggested solution to this problem is to ground the heater core.
I have also read on the following website: https://macsworldwide.wordpress.com/...-electrolysis/ that grounding the heater core might cause the core to become an anode and therefore promote electrolysis.
The webpage also suggest that the installation of a flow restrictor might solve the problem.
I am wondering if any member as found a lasting solution to this problem.
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Old 05-24-2015, 01:04 PM   #2
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You could put a sacrificial zinc in the coolant to perhaps allow the zinc to dissolve instead of the heater core. The zinc would have to be attached to ground to function.
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:20 AM   #3
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I replaced 2 cores on my 02 Journey. The last one was in 08 and was a new design that was made of copper tubing only and not inlet/outlet valves of different metals. I believe the new design will aid in the life of the core.


Good luck
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:14 PM   #4
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Thanks Charles, I have also noted that the replacement core was different, all copper tubing too. Great feedback from you. I hope it holds.

Raymond
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
You could put a sacrificial zinc in the coolant to perhaps allow the zinc to dissolve instead of the heater core. The zinc would have to be attached to ground to function.
I prefer trying a tested method. Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:20 PM   #6
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I prefer trying a tested method. Thanks for the input.
Sacrificial zincs have been used to protect the submersed metals on ships and boats for over 100 years. It is also used in water heaters, water tanks, and plumbing systems around the world.
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:25 AM   #7
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I would definatly ground the heater core. 90's chev PUs had a problem with cores and chev recommended grounding the cores. Take a digital voltmeter and place the neg test lead on the engine block then dip the pos lead in the coolant thru the radiator cap. If you read more than about .2 volts than a coolant flush and fill is needed as metal dissolved in the coolant causes the errent voltage that will corrode the heater core from inside out. This happened on my Discovery with a 330 cat.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:00 PM   #8
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Circulation is the key. Run the heater in the summer months every now and then.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mdmcvay View Post
Circulation is the key. Run the heater in the summer months every now and then.
It there is an electrical current in the coolant, occasionally allowing flow through the core will do nothing to stop or reduce electrolysis.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
You could put a sacrificial zinc in the coolant to perhaps allow the zinc to dissolve instead of the heater core. The zinc would have to be attached to ground to function.
Wouldn't the zinc have to be attached (electrically bonded) to the heater core and also be immersed in the coolant?
Not sure how you would physically accomplish installing a zinc that would provide cathodic protection on a heater core.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:52 PM   #11
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Good point KIX.

Also the original post by ford to ground the core has been removed in the newer version of the service bulletin:
See the following on the website mentioned above:
"At any rate, the recommendation (for a ground from the heater core inlet tube to the body) seems to have been a mistake that just got into print. Five years later, a Ford bulletin on basically the same subject was blunt, “Do Not Ground Heater Core. If the heater core is grounded, you have provided the electrolysis a path through the heater core. This would cause the heater core to become an anode or receiver, and it would promote the electrolysis, or any stray voltage, to use the coolant as the ground path.” So that should end the debate, although technicians have long memories."
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