Vaporize brand of icemelt ok?

kinerson

New member
I went to Home Depot last night to pick up some ingredients for the two part alk/ca recipe and found some prestone driveway heat for $17/50 lbs. I then noticed a bag called Vaporize which was only $6/50 lbs. It is a white bag with blue writing on it and on the front it says it is 100% calcium chloride. Has anyone used this stuff before? I like the idea of saving $10 but I want to be sure.

Thanks,
Greg
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
The only bulk calcium chloride product that I have tested for purity is Dowflake. Prestone Driveway heat is likely to be dehydrated Dowflake (Dow Peladow), and is likely to be OK. Any other brands not related to these are a risk, and I don't recommend them.
 

kinerson

New member
O.K. Well, I certainly would rather spend the extra $10 and go with what we know is safe. I noticed you said that Prestone Driveway heat is "likely" to be ok. Are people using Prestone Driveway heat and experiencing trouble free dosing?

Thanks,
Greg
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
People are using it OK. I just haven't done a purity analysis specifically on it. We assume it is similar in purity to Dowflake, since it is likely made in a similar fashion from similar raw materials by the same bulk company (Dow). But Prestone could change suppliers, etc.

You'll see some reddish precipitate, but that is likely just iron oxide and is not a cause for concern.
 

kinerson

New member
So if you have a choice, Dowlflake would be perfered but Prestone will work if Dowflake isn't available. The only risk is that at some point the supplier of Prestone may become someone other then Dow which could mean that Prestone may not be suitable. Did I get it right?

Thanks,
Greg
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Yes, I'd use Dowflake over Prestone Driveway Heat. Changing suppliers is not the only risk, as I've not assayed Peladow (the material in Prestone Driveway heat), but many folks have used it and I've only seen one reported problem that may not have been actually related.

This may help:



An Improved Do-it-Yourself Two-Part Calcium and Alkalinity Supplement System
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php

from it:

Substitutes for Dowflake Calcium Chloride



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If Dowflake calcium chloride or a repackaged version (such as All-Clear) cannot be located, Peladow or Dow Mini-Pellets, which are dehydrated versions of Dowflake (that is, they have less water in the crystals), can be substituted. In addition to the Peladow brand name, Peladow also is sold as Prestone Driveway Heat and possibly as some other common brands. Kent Turbo Calcium is also suitable and is an anhydrous calcium chloride. Any FCC (food), USP (pharmaceutical) or BP (pharmaceutical) grades of calcium chloride should be suitable.

Peladow, Dow mini-Pellets, Prestone Driveway Heat, Kent Turbo Calcium and other dehydrated calcium chloride products are more potent than Dowflake. The dehydration makes them both more potent by weight, and more dense, so they are much more potent by volume. The problem is that it is rarely clear how much moisture they contain. Peladow specifies 90% calcium chloride minimum, but it may be higher in some cases. Dow Mini-Pellets say 94% minimum, but it actually has a lower bulk density than Peladow. The best guess for an amount to use is based on the hydration levels and bulk density provided by Dow for these products. Using these numbers, I suggest that aquarists use 20% less VOLUME of the dehydrated versions in the recipes than the Dowflake they call for. So a recipe calling for 5 cups of Dowflake would use 4 cups of Peladow, Prestone Driveway Heat, Kent Turbo Calcium, etc.

Choosing other unknown brands of any of the products may be fine, or not. I've not tested them for purity.
 

kinerson

New member
Thanks Randy,

I think I'll order Dowflake from a distributer.

So in the meantime I baked 2 1/4 cups of baking soda and added 1 gallon of RO water to it. I think I should of done the reverse and added the baking soda to the water because it formed a rather large solid clump on the bottom of the plastic container. In the process of trying to break it up I punctured the container (DOH!). The first time is always the hardest.

Greg
 
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