Clear all

Rusty Appliances

Posts: 65
Trusted Member
Topic starter

My husband and I were just down on St. Croix this weekend looking at vacant lots (Hi Alexandra!) We have narrowed it down to 3 lots with one being on the water. We met a lady scuba diving who told us that we should absolutely not live on the water - she said that in four years, she had gone through 3 refrigerators, 2 computers, and 6 TVs among other things due to the rust from the salt spray. Is it really this bad, and is there anything at all that can be done to prevent this damage?


Posted : July 18, 2006 3:11 pm
Posts: 2552
Famed Member

We are being tol the same thing. When we are on island, we leave our doors open all the time to get the sea breeze ( our main reason for buying on the water. The folks who toild us said the things you were told. Later in the conversation, they said that their power bill for A/C was $400 to $500 per month. Ours without turning on our A/C in less than $100. For $300 per month and the nice sea breeze, I can afford to buy a new TV once a year, and a new fridge every two or three years.
It also makes a difference on where on island you are living. we have a place at ST C, where the salt spray is probably the worst. Some places are not as bad, I am told.
If we wanted our appliances to last forever, we would not be plannig to split our time or move down after retirement. we would just stay in AZ.
If the places you are looking at face the East or South East, you will almost always have the nice breeze. If you live inland where appliances are safe, you will need A/C much of the time.
For Computers, when not in use,you might try what welders do to keep their welding rod dry. Put it in an old fridge or a box with a light on inside all of the time. That keeps the humitidy down.
The fridge can be waxed with a good car wax to help keep the outside from rusting. The TV, I don't know what to do there.

Didn't you just love dealing with Alexandra? She was great to us.

Posted : July 18, 2006 5:35 pm
Posts: 65
Trusted Member
Topic starter

I agree - one of the reasons that we like this property is that it faces east and has great breezes. If I wanted to stay inside with the A/C on all day, I'd stay in Texas. It was 107 today with outrageous humidity. As I type this, it is still 99. So we will be saving on our A/C bills when we move down for sure!

And yes, Alexandra was great and very helpful. I'm glad I found her here.

Posted : July 19, 2006 2:58 am
Posts: 29
Eminent Member

WAPA is more likely to zap the appliance before rust make them inoperable. Based on 20+ years of rental properties etc, we just figure if we get more than 5 years out of any given appliance, TV, etc, we're ahead.
We have whole house and individual surge protectors on most eerything, too.
You learn to sand and paint doors of refrigerators etc, regardless of where on the island you live, unless you A/C full time.

Posted : July 19, 2006 1:25 pm
(@Peter Z)
Posts: 11
Active Member

It is not only the appliances like TV and computer, refrigerator, etc., it is also all the steel wiring conduit that is inside your concrete walls, rebar for the concrete, fasteners....any ferrous material. I have found that if you actually live west, like also facing the western sun, there is less rusting of the house hold stuff. A lot of the older houses have cast iron for drain lines and plumbing from the toilet to the septic.

We have live in 3 different places on the island, one was right on the water, very limited life time for non-[protected electronics and appliances. Then we were in a house, east of Christiansted, that faced east into those wonderful breezes...this is where I found that the conduit in older homes no longer was there or could be considered as "ground" for a 3 wire electrical circuit. Same for the toilet plumbing and bath tub.

My last house that now faces west, is below a tall hill, and is very protected from the wonderful easterly breezes, has great wiring, while this house is more than twice the age of our last house, my appliances have no signs of rust and the computer and TV have been on the porch (almost outside) for more than 6 years.

Of course I have protected most everything that I own with a spay material that is used in the marine industry to slow if not stop salt corrosion, it is called Boeshield. It sprays on like a wax, very light in color, and around those steel screws, bolts and window shutters...nothing corrodes. You can purchase any electronic equipment and have it sprayed, usually this cost a few bucks more, but I know that any commercial electrical items, monitors, computers, refrigerators, etc, can be ordered with "conformal coating". You could even find and purchase the Boeshield and do it yourself. This stuff works great. If you use WD40, it will work for short periods of time, but it is designed as a water displacement, not as a rust preventative.

Most of the salt is airborne and with the tropical breezes, so if you can stay out of the direct flow, scoop in what has already gone past, rust almost becomes acceptable!

Leave you car on the beach for a night and see how it will be more of a shade of white in the morning!

I have one of those fancy type gas stoves with the keypads and digital gauges and runs on the little home office style computer UPS with battery back up. It is great, since the clock is most of the power consumption, except when the gas burners or broiler or oven are on, even when WAPA goes on its normal path, I don't even have to reset the flashing clock, it always stays on. The UPS cost about $35-40 at any office depot in the US, and can be carried on the airplanes since it is not a wet cell battery. Prior to the UPS, WAPA had attacked two circuit boards for that same stove @ $400 each..ouch. It been on the UPS for a long time now, and no problems. Going to add another unit right behind the television.

Another item that most people don't know about is the "brown" power that WAPA sends out...this will change your clocks and other simple time devices, like micro wave ovens. This I knew about long before living in the power grid supplied by WAPA. When I came to STX, my microwave oven only have the turn or crank style timer, no fancy membrane or keypad systems...they only die in WAPA's hands. The twist timer will last longer that the housing on the unit to rust!

Living on the island has its advantages, but with a little common sense, appliances will also live along with you.

Posted : July 19, 2006 7:01 pm
Posts: 1
New Member

I don't know if you have moved to St. Croix, or if you still have contacts on the island, but I have a small company in the states that deals with the problem of corrosion on appliances. I have been refinishing appliances for nearly three years now without any complaints. I have been visiting the virgin islands every year for the past three years, and I've finally made up my mind to relocate. I'll be there in January of 2011. I've already shipped most of my equipment, and I'll be in business soon after I arrive. Hope you or anyone you know will find my services useful.

Posted : November 30, 2010 3:05 am
Posts: 539
Honorable Member

Hi Texas girl,
We live on the water on the N. shore.
We bought a nice stainless steel fridge about 4 years ago, we have no rust on it. We do have an old microwave and oven that has a little rust but not bad. I put covers over top of my toaster and toaster oven.
I think it also depends where you are located if you get alot of salt spray from the ocean, we don't get as much as some parts of Judith's Fancy does.
We have small fridges in our rental units that have a little rust on them but they have been working fine for 6 years. We do paint over the rust.
We keep our doors closed in the office so this helps with our computers.
I think TVs are the worst thing that go up and it is probably due to WAPA. Plan on having a whole house surge protector plus surge strips for everything.

Posted : November 30, 2010 11:37 am
Search this website Type then hit enter to search
Close Menu