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I have a 3 step pool ladder. The plastic steps are connected to 2 SS tubes on each side of the steps. Holes have been drilled thru the SS tubes and nuts and bolts attach the steps to the SS tubes.

 

The holes drilled thru the SS tubes also allow the salt water into the tubes and the inside is rusting causing rust marks aroung the step anchor points.

 

I want to stop the salt water leaking thru the holes drilled in the tubes where the bolts attach the steps to the tubes.

 

I was thinking of putting silicon around the holes and bolts, hoping to stop the water, but not sure if silicon will permantly stick to the SS.

 

Any ideas?

 

 

 

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Why is the inside rusting and not the outside? What bolts are you using.
More pics.

Now not sure what's happening.

Correction: Sika 295 also20190511_121356.jpg20190511_121406.jpg20190511_074709.jpg

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Rust leaking out from all holes drilled in ss.

I purchased the steps with other pool stuff from a recommended pool supplier.

I think the ss is not marine grade as well.

Can't trust anyone these days.20190511_124110.jpg20190511_124119.jpg20190511_124547.jpg

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No such thing as "marine grade". For salt water you need 316 but likely your steps are 304 as they don't show much. 

 

I'm still going with the dodgy washers. Notice one of the washers/bolts exhibits no sign of corrosion!

 

Are the steps sealed at the top or open? If sealed you can cut some bits of bicycle tube to suite the curve in the treads and coat the support side with silicone and reassemble. This will stop the air leaking out and hence the water getting in. 

Edited by VocalNeal
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Just remembered I have a friend in the UK who is a SS welder. He said it could be the pipe join and is sending me over some stuff.

Thanks for your interest and help.

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You will find most stainless steel in Thailand is 304. 316 is too expensive for the Thai's. 304 will rust especially in and around salt water, over 15 yrs in the pool industry in Thailand & I haven't seen one set without a waterline burn or rust!

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You will find most stainless steel in Thailand is 304. 316 is too expensive for the Thai's. 304 will rust especially in and around salt water, over 15 yrs in the pool industry in Thailand & I haven't seen one set without a waterline burn or rust!
I think you're probably correct, but I would have expected a recommended pool supplier to supply 316 grade when they supplied the stairs. I mean they charged enough and knew it was for a saltwater pool. Not to worry, know better now.

Just been to the local (211 km) shop who made our other SS stair rails and cleaned and polished the one from the pool shop. Came up OK as the pic shows.

The one the SS shop made seems to be preety good still, but I did ask for 316 grade.

Only been 2 years.20190514_125624.jpg

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Even for an "expert" it is impossible to tell grades of new SS apart. I worked in an industrial plant where we didn't allow 304 on site lest it get left lying around and... If the receiving dept. got anything 304 they wouldn't take it off the truck or put it back on and sent the truck on its way.

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My friend has a large factory that makes comercial Desalination & RO machines. He told me there is a test kit with a liquid (Acid of some sort) that you put on the steel & if it goes green it is 304. 

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@Bagwain Thank's for your many informative posts over the years.

I've still gotta get back to you about replacing the sand in my filter with what you recommended. Haven't forgotten.

The pic is of the other stairs from a stainless mob and they haven't shown the pitting and bursts like the other stairs and both been in the salt water for the same time.20190515_093151.jpg

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I believe there are liquids to tell 200 series from 304 I think the 304 stays green and the 200 series will discolour.

 

I have seem my share of "local" stainless steel wall spikes that pit and discolour on residences very near the coast. 

 

To test for 304 vs 316 one needs a bit more and kits cost around $500. 

 

For the OPs ladders just take them in for an annual polishing ? Or get them polished and then clear powder coat? 

Edited by VocalNeal
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I believe there are liquids to tell 200 series from 304 I think the 304 stays green and the 200 series will discolour.
 
I have seem my share of "local" stainless steel wall spikes that pit and discolour on residences very near the coast. 
 
To test for 304 vs 316 one needs a bit more and kits cost around $500. 
 
For the OPs ladders just take them in for an annual polishing ? Or get them polished and then clear powder coat? 
I got a block of that blue SS polish and some polish discs for the grinder, so will just polish like the guys did yesterday.
I will do one thing different than what they did yesterday and wear safety glasses and mask. :)

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  • 3 months later...
On 5/11/2019 at 1:10 PM, VocalNeal said:

No such thing as "marine grade". For salt water you need 316 but likely your steps are 304 as they don't show much. 

 

I'm still going with the dodgy washers. Notice one of the washers/bolts exhibits no sign of corrosion!

 

Are the steps sealed at the top or open? If sealed you can cut some bits of bicycle tube to suite the curve in the treads and coat the support side with silicone and reassemble. This will stop the air leaking out and hence the water getting in. 

This looks like an Emaux pool ladder....they are 304 grade SS....I'm guessing you have a salt water pool. 

Mine is a lot worse than that and I have to replace it...316gd ladders are almost non existent in Thailand. Best fix....replace each 5 years

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This looks like an Emaux pool ladder....they are 304 grade SS....I'm guessing you have a salt water pool. 
Mine is a lot worse than that and I have to replace it...316gd ladders are almost non existent in Thailand. Best fix....replace each 5 years
Yes I think you are correct.
Even though I asked for high grade SS I got 304 grade. Now with a bit more knowledge I know that no regular SS shop is going to carry marine grade SS.
Stairs came up good with polishing and buffing.
Now I use a scower (pot cleaner) and clean off the rust spots when I see them.

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10 minutes ago, carlyai said:

Yes I think you are correct.
Even though I asked for high grade SS I got 304 grade. Now with a bit more knowledge I know that no regular SS shop is going to carry marine grade SS.
Stairs came up good with polishing and buffing.
Now I use a scower (pot cleaner) and clean off the rust spots when I see them.

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That is about the only thing you can do to keep it at bay!!

316 SS is way too expensive and that is the main reason that it is not used or stocked!

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On 8/28/2019 at 8:49 AM, carlyai said:

Yes I think you are correct.
Even though I asked for high grade SS I got 304 grade. Now with a bit more knowledge I know that no regular SS shop is going to carry marine grade SS.
Stairs came up good with polishing and buffing.
Now I use a scower (pot cleaner) and clean off the rust spots when I see them.

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Emaux do sell marine grade ladders but what I have found in the past the screws to connect rungs do not appear to be 316

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On 8/29/2019 at 11:36 AM, sappersrest said:
Some interesting points, maybe misconceptions in this article. PVC touching stainless steel Probably relevant if you are build nuclear subs.
https://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=241305

sappersrest, you've just given me a headache reading all that.



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  • 1 year later...

The inside of the tube looks smooth to me, and it does not look to me like the tubing is corroding, it look like it is stained.

 

Drilling holes leaves carbon contamination around the holes (and on any chips) such that the carbon corrodes and stains the stainless. This is a common issue/complaint with products fabricated from stainless-steel using carbon steel tooling. 

 

You can clean the holes with rust-remover or pickling-past and it should stop. Do not clean it off with carbon steel-wool or a carbon steel brush as it will only exasperate the problem. Scotchbrite pads work well in conjunction with pickling-paste.

 

Chemical test kits to differentiate between 304 & 316 (or most any grade) are available, but the shelf life is limited so don't buy anything without a use-by date. 

 

Coil most always has the grade ink-jetted on it at the mill, so sheet-stock is most always marked. Because tubing is rolled from coil, you can sometimes find the marking inside the tubing. The larger the diameter, the more likely you are to find a mark.

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