Distilled water and red rot?

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bbocaner
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Distilled water and red rot?

Post by bbocaner » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:48 am

Hi all. I have a yellow brass slide from a well-respected custom maker that is just under two years old. I recently took it out to find that the bottom several inches of both outer slide tubes is just covered in red rot! I keep my slides very clean and have played this particular slide very little since I got it. I’m shocked.

I have been using distilled water on my slides because I have well water at my house with lots of iron in it. Several instrument makers suggest distilled water also. I was wondering if perhaps the mineral-free distilled water has a tendency to leach the zinc out of the brass? I did some googling on this and most of the results were in the same category of crank pseudoscience as anti-vaccination and astrology, but I wonder if there might be something to it? I’ve got many other trombones with yellow brass slides and have never had a problem like this before, so I wonder if I just got some tubes that were made with a poor quality alloy or what.
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BGuttman
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by BGuttman » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:54 am

There is something to it. Distilled water is very slightly acidic and will extract some zinc from the alloy. But enough to be visible red rot? Not likely. At least not in the time period you mention. I'd look for another reason.

Are you sure it's red rot and not something else? Have you tried polishing the "red rot"? If it polishes off it's not red rot. Red rot would go through the slide metal so that as you polish the spot remains. Some copper oxides are dark red and if your slide is not lacquered it could be from that.
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bbocaner
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by bbocaner » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:10 am

It's definitely under the lacquer so it won't polish off. In a few of the spots the lacquer has kind of bubbled off where it's happened, but in many I could not reach it to polish. I guess I'd have to look at it from the inside with a bore-scope to be sure? And it extends about 4 inches from the ferrule at the crook so I don't think it'd be acid bleed from the assembly.
Posaunus
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by Posaunus » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:32 am

VERY unlikely this has anything to do with the distilled water, which should be effectively neutral. (If so, all the rest of us who use distilled water would be facing this problem.) I've never seen anything like this on any of my trombones whose slides are always sprayed with distilled water. Distilled water is widely used in laboratory and commercial applications where contamination and corrosion must be avoided.

Perhaps you should contact Shires (or whoever made your slide) to see if they can shine any light on the issue. (Speaking of shining a light, a borescope sounds like a good idea.)
timothy42b
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by timothy42b » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:46 pm

Red rot, on a two year old custom slide, lightly played?

Maybe if you filled it with ammonia. Otherwise this makes no sense. What might make more sense is a lacquer bleed caused by a surface preparation problem. If so your custom maker will probably take care of it. I can't imagine any that don't stand behind their product, if they were at fault.
Doug Elliott
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by Doug Elliott » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:02 pm

Distilled or reverse osmosis water does tend to absorb metals easily if it's in constant contact. But it's not...
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greenbean
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by greenbean » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:21 pm

I also wonder if it is acid bleed. You should contact them. If it is acid bleed they may so "sorry!" But if it is red rot I bet they will replace it.
bbocaner
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by bbocaner » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:09 am

I have contacted them. They asked for photos which I provided, and now I'm waiting to hear something back.

Image
AndrewMeronek
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by AndrewMeronek » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:58 am

That looks a lot like a slide getting hit by something. I also think I see a dent about 1/3 down from the top of the pic.
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bbocaner
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by bbocaner » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:13 am

There's no dent. And that's on the inside and under the lacquer. It wasn't hit by anything.

Also, the spots are on BOTH outers and go all the way around the tubes. That spot is just the most concentrated.
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by AndrewMeronek » Wed May 01, 2019 11:42 am

When you get a strongly biased pattern like that, a mechanical cause is most likely. I'm not suggesting one 'bang' event - but many, perhaps hundreds. I remember having a terrible trombone case in high school where the slide was loose enough and positioned such that it was gouging a huge hole in the bell as I stored the horn.
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paulyg
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by paulyg » Wed May 01, 2019 9:12 pm

The picture is a little blurry to tell, but that doesn't look like red rot.
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Bart
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by Bart » Thu May 02, 2019 3:13 am

It's hard to tell from the picture, but I've seen slides under two years old (even from respectable custom makers) with red rot. In those cases I suspect something went wrong in the manufacturing, either by a fault in the brass or in the drawing of the tubes. I do not believe that distilled water is the cause of this at all. In most cases, the maker replaced the slide.
bbocaner
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by bbocaner » Fri May 17, 2019 8:24 am

Well, I sat down with a cheap USB borescope this morning and the slide tubes do have spots on the inside that correspond with the marks on the outside. I'm going to polish with brass polish and then see if I can still see them.
bbocaner
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by bbocaner » Fri May 17, 2019 9:23 am

Yep, they were dark spots before polishing and now after having cleaned up the slide with wright's and a cleaning rod the inside is a bright yellow mirror finish except for down at the bottom corresponding with these spots where it's very pink.
brassmedic
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by brassmedic » Fri May 17, 2019 2:37 pm

Sure sounds like red rot to me. I don't know why several people here are saying it doesn't. :idk: Red rot that I've seen always manifests as small round red marks, as in your picture. What did the manufacturer say?
Posaunus
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by Posaunus » Fri May 17, 2019 2:41 pm

"Red rot": Possibly / probably

Distilled water as a causative factor: Unlikely :idk:
bbocaner
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Re: Distilled water and red rot?

Post by bbocaner » Fri May 17, 2019 2:50 pm

no word back from the manufacturer, although they did recently have a big event which may have been diverting their attention. I'm going to send a screen shot from the borescope.
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