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CompairHolman

The misuse of rust converters. The Vactan myth.

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I've watched a couple of blogs on YouTube where the narrow boat owners have wasted their time and money applying rust converters like Vactan when its not necessary, it seems to me that some boaters don't understand what it is designed for.

 

One blogger applied it to the inside of their water tank and the other applied it after wire brushing off rust and before priming with an oxide primer. 

 

As far as I understand it ( and I have consulted the manufacturers ) tannic acid / polymer based products like Vactan are designed to protect steel work that cannot be accessed for painting, its not a pre primer for any kind of paint system. Using it like this is at best a pointless waste of money and at worst preventing the primer bonding to the steel work and all further paint layers are dependent on the rust converter staying put, which if you have used these products you will know they are not in any way equal to a paint primer for longevity, Vactan will wash off steel work in one Autumn / winter in my experience. 

 

Vactan'ing everything is just the new fad for boaters that must have the latest chandlery product, because they saw someone else using it they must use it. 
 

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7 minutes ago, CompairHolman said:

I've watched a couple of blogs on YouTube where the narrow boat owners have wasted their time and money applying rust converters like Vactan when its not necessary, it seems to me that some boaters don't understand what it is designed for.

 

One blogger applied it to the inside of their water tank and the other applied it after wire brushing off rust and before priming with an oxide primer. 

 

As far as I understand it ( and I have consulted the manufacturers ) tannic acid / polymer based products like Vactan are designed to protect steel work that cannot be accessed for painting, its not a pre primer for any kind of paint system. Using it like this is at best a pointless waste of money and at worst preventing the primer bonding to the steel work and all further paint layers are dependent on the rust converter staying put, which if you have used these products you will know they are not in any way equal to a paint primer for longevity, Vactan will wash off steel work in one Autumn / winter in my experience. 

 

Vactan'ing everything is just the new fad for boaters that must have the latest chandlery product, because they saw someone else using it they must use it. 
 

Stop watching you tube, its full of peeps with zero experience telling people with less than zero experience what to do and how to do a whole multitude of things. Of course you may be right re Vactan whatever that is as Ive never used it but in general you tube is a joke but makes good entertainment sometimes.

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You show me which chandlery stocks Vactan and I might believe the rest of your grumpy gumph. 

Theres some absolute noodles on YouTube,  you've found another.

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9 minutes ago, matty40s said:

You show me which chandlery stocks Vactan and I might believe the rest of your grumpy gumph. 

Theres some absolute noodles on YouTube,  you've found another.

I always have to buy it on ebay, not found a "stockist" elsewhere.

 

My roof desperately needs attention, there are patches where all the paint and the many layers of non slip have come off completely. As a quick fix 2 years ago I Vactanned  ( new word ) them and never got a dry enough day last year. So they are still like that and it has neither washed off or got new rust breaking through.

Edited by Boater Sam
smellings & Added
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I have used Vactan quite a lot on the rusty decks of my old barge after getting as much scale off as possible. The company give the DBA a discount and they state that it is not necessary to prime over it. Overall the result was good on the decks but when I used it on the cabin sides where rust had developed under the d section covering the joint between sides and roof it ran down and left black streaks which took a lot of rubbing out before a top coat could be applied especially as the cabin sides where white. 

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I think the OP's post goes against many (most?) people's experience.

In particular many people have reported considerable success in it's use on badly corroded integral fresh water tanks.  I have used it effectively for tackling that on a previous boat.

What he is saying goes firmly against much of what the company say about the product.  It is certainly possible to paint over it with a great deal of success.

 

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The point is that you don't need to use it in the first place not that some people have used it and think its great,  in most areas you can easily remove the rust before painting, if you're using it on bare steel you have wire brushed there are no oxides there to "convert ". The only reason to use it is to stabilise an area of rust you can't remove and prep for painting. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, CompairHolman said:

The only reason to use it is to stabilise an area of rust you can't remove and prep for painting. 

 

Which is surely exactly what you are likely to have in an integral water tank with poor access, awkward corners and pitting of the steelwork.

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15 minutes ago, CompairHolman said:

The point is that you don't need to use it in the first place not that some people have used it and think its great,  in most areas you can easily remove the rust before painting, if you're using it on bare steel you have wire brushed there are no oxides there to "convert ". The only reason to use it is to stabilise an area of rust you can't remove and prep for painting. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's not quite what you said in your OP and Daily Mail style headline

 

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18 minutes ago, CompairHolman said:

The point is that you don't need to use it in the first place not that some people have used it and think its great,  in most areas you can easily remove the rust before painting,

 

 

And of course this is the exact time where Vactan comes in most useful. The areas were you can't "easily remove the rust before painting"

 

I'll add my voice too to those who find Vactan extremely effective, and who have never seen it for sale in a chandler. 

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, CompairHolman said:

The point is that you don't need to use it in the first place not that some people have used it and think its great,  in most areas you can easily remove the rust before painting, if you're using it on bare steel you have wire brushed there are no oxides there to "convert ". The only reason to use it is to stabilise an area of rust you can't remove and prep for painting. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I agree in that rust converters are a sort of last resort/second best when its not possible to remove rust, but "easily remove rust"?   in my experience  its always hard work and tedious, and if there is pitting then its very difficult to remove 100% of the rust.  Painting rust converter onto 100% good steel "just in case" is daft

 

..............Dave

3 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

And of course this is the exact time where Vactan comes in most useful. The areas were you can't "easily remove the rust before painting"

 

I'll add my voice too to those who find Vactan extremely effective, and who have never seen it for sale in a chandler. 

 

 

 

 

Stone Chandlery sold it.....and it must be good  because it had 0% discount in the closing down sale.

 

...............Dave

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5 minutes ago, dmr said:

 if there is pitting then its very difficult to remove 100% of the rust.  Painting rust converter onto 100% good steel "just in case" is daft

 

..............Dave

 

Grit blasting is the only way I know of how to do it

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4 minutes ago, dmr said:

I agree in that rust converters are a sort of last resort/second best when its not possible to remove rust, but "easily remove rust"?   in my experience  its always hard work and tedious, and if there is pitting then its very difficult to remove 100% of the rust.  Painting rust converter onto 100% good steel "just in case" is daft

 

..............Dave

 

I think this gets to the heart of the issue. A heavily corroded surface cannot have all the rust removed as the surface is heavily pitted. Vactan does an excellent job in such cases. 

 

Sometimes I think the OP doesn't actually have much boating experience at all.

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

I'll add my voice too to those who find Vactan extremely effective, and who have never seen it for sale in a chandler. 

And another. 
 

I’ve been using Vactan for years and my experience directly contradicts the assertions made by the OP and some muppet on YouTube. 

14 hours ago, CompairHolman said:

if you're using it on bare steel you have wire brushed there are no oxides there to "convert ".

However, if you’re using it on rusted steel then even after wire brushing there will be plenty of oxides (in all the pits) to convert. And that’s its intended purpose. 
 

 

Edited by WotEver
Remove errant apostrophe

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14 hours ago, CompairHolman said:

The point is that you don't need to use it in the first place not that some people have used it and think its great,  in most areas you can easily remove the rust before painting, if you're using it on bare steel you have wire brushed there are no oxides there to "convert ". The only reason to use it is to stabilise an area of rust you can't remove and prep for painting. 

 

What on earth does “don’t need” have to do with it. As long as Vactan continues to convert rust into “not rust”, I’m using it! I could wire brush, manually or electrically but, having done that over the years, not a chance! In fact, using your “need” argument, you would probably say that I couldn’t do it electrically?

 

In your OP you said you had spoken to the manufacturers. I find it hard to believe that they all told you that their product was only for use in hard to get to places? Like I asked above, what exactly did Vactan say to you when you spoke to them?

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14 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I think this gets to the heart of the issue. A heavily corroded surface cannot have all the rust removed as the surface is heavily pitted. Vactan does an excellent job in such cases. 

 

Sometimes I think the OP doesn't actually have much boating experience at all.

 

 

 

I am always sceptical when a forum member uses a trade name.  It's never clear if it is a company (director or owner) stating its official position on the issue, or just a bloke who works for them giving his own opinion.

 

PS: has the forum started using English (US) as the default language?  Today it doesn't like the way I spell sceptical or humour.

Edited by Murflynn

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14 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

The areas were you can't "easily remove the rust before painting"

 

Spot on. Mike. Before reading your post it did occur to me to wonder how you can remove "all" the rust. Wire brushing and grinding, however energetic and thorough, always leaves tiny little pits, and who can possibly say there is no iron oxide hiding in them?

 

I used Vactan two years ago on the inaccessible bits of my engine 'ole (1 coat Vactan, two top coats), and it has worked very well. Nobody can reasonably expect mild steel to stop oxidising altogether in a marine environnent.

 

ETA: Wotever obviously had the same thoughts.

Edited by Machpoint005
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2 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

I am always sceptical when a forum member uses a trade name.  It's never clear if it is a company (director or owner) stating its official position on the issue, or just a bloke who works for them giving his own opinion.

 

PS: has the forum started using English (US) as the default language?  Today it doesn't like the way I spell sceptical or humour.

 

I formed the opinion fairly early on he was only here to yank our chains.

 

This thread seems to be a good example and reminds me of my earlier conclusion. It started with that long thread about running gennys after 8pm.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I formed the opinion fairly early on he was only here to yank our chains.

 

This thread seems to be a good example and reminds me of my earlier conclusion. It started with that long thread about running gennys after 8pm.

Bit of a troll then...... 

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16 hours ago, David Mack said:

 

Which is surely exactly what you are likely to have in an integral water tank with poor access, awkward corners and pitting of the steelwork.

Pretty sure that tannic acid rust converters are not safe for drinking water. 

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3 minutes ago, CompairHolman said:

Pretty sure that tannic acid rust converters are not safe for drinking water. 

Are you pretty sure or are you just guessing.

 

Whatever you use, should be allowed to work, dry out fully and then be coated over with tank blacking/ epoxy/ or other coating so it is never going to be in contact with tannic acid in it's original format.

 

But dont mind us, keep plugging away.

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1 hour ago, Machpoint005 said:

 

Spot on. Mike. Before reading your post it did occur to me to wonder how you can remove "all" the rust. Wire brushing and grinding, however energetic and thorough, always leaves tiny little pits, and who can possibly say there is no iron oxide hiding in them?

 

I used Vactan two years ago on the inaccessible bits of my engine 'ole (1 coat Vactan, two top coats), and it has worked very well. Nobody can reasonably expect mild steel to stop oxidising altogether in a marine environnent.

 

ETA: Wotever obviously had the same thoughts.

Microscopic oxides left over from wire brushing pitted steel don't need to be converted, the paint system excludes the oxygen and stops any further rusting. 

 

When you say it worked very well what do you mean , what did it actually do that just painting didn't ?

3 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Are you pretty sure or are you just guessing.

 

Whatever you use, should be allowed to work, dry out fully and then be coated over with tank blacking/ epoxy/ or other coating so it is never going to be in contact with tannic acid in it's original format.

 

But dont mind us, keep plugging away.

Is Rust Converter Harmful If Ingested?

Yes, Rust Converter contains tannic acid. You should immediately get medical attention.

 

https://www.promain.co.uk/blog/rust-converter-faqs/

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