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Old 02-16-2010, 02:40 PM   #1
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Default Removing zinc plating from a water heater element

Over a year ago I bought the parts to build two heat sticks, and I finally got around to putting them together. I bought two of these low watt density 1500W elements.

I used them to brew, and they worked beautifully! After the brew, however, I noticed that the elements were now a dull, darker grey. I also went back and looked at the link that I posted above, and saw that they are zinc plated.



I figured that it's probably not good to have that happen, so I found a post on another beverage hobbyist forum explaining how to remove the zinc.

An overnight soak in a citric acid solution, and a couple minutes with a green scrubby, and the elements are down to the copper.



It's all shiny copper, the darkness, especially near the base, is just shadow. I didn't have time to set up proper lighting this morning.


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Old 02-16-2010, 07:56 PM   #2
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Nice. Would you elaborate on the "citric acid solution"?


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Old 02-16-2010, 08:14 PM   #3
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Nice. Would you elaborate on the "citric acid solution"?

I dissolved somewhere between 1 and 2 oz of citric acid powder in somewhere between 1.5 and 2 quarts of hot water. Not too scientific, I'm sorry.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:33 PM   #4
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I dissolved somewhere between 1 and 2 oz of citric acid powder in somewhere between 1.5 and 2 quarts of hot water. Not too scientific, I'm sorry.
Sorry, I'm thick. What is citric acid powder? Do I need to visit Hogwarts to get it?
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:44 PM   #5
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Sorry, I'm thick. What is citric acid powder? Do I need to visit Hogwarts to get it?
It's powdered Citric Acid. As opposed to liquid. White. Fluffy. Looks like talcum. derived from the acid in citrus.



HBS's have it.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:10 PM   #6
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Sorry, I'm thick. What is citric acid powder? Do I need to visit Hogwarts to get it?
Gila is right. I had a 2 oz bottle that I had bought at my LHBS for a buck and change.

You could probably use diluted lemon juice concentrate from the grocery store.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:18 PM   #7
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Great! I have a lemon tree that is currently full of useless lemons. [reminds me of an old Peter Paul & Mary tune]
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:40 AM   #8
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Great. Thanks for this info, Lustreking.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
It's powdered Citric Acid. As opposed to liquid. White. Fluffy. Looks like talcum. derived from the acid in citrus.



HBS's have it.
Wal-Mart has it, a lot of grocery stores have it. It is used when canning fruit. If you dip fruit in a mild citric acid solution, the fruit won't turn brown.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:37 PM   #10
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Wal-Mart has it, a lot of grocery stores have it. It is used when canning fruit. If you dip fruit in a mild citric acid solution, the fruit won't turn brown.
Yeah. It is common. Except in my Walmart.


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