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RE: lock freeze

>> When I was living in Maine (north of Bangor, for those who know...), I
>> used to keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol around.  Dipping my key in it,
>> and inserting it into the lock usually solved sticky locks.
>> It seems that the evaporating alcohol creates heat, which helps in freeing
>> up lock parts.  I guess it also disolves accumulated gunk in the lock.
>> Tested upto -30F.  For lower temperatures, heat up your key with a
>> lighter, insert into lock.  Tested upto -70F, unfortunatly...
>Um. Evaporating anything *takes* heat. As in, boiling water? Stick your
>in alcohol (or water) then wave it around in the air. Does your finger get 
>hotter or cooler? Now slight cleaning/very temporary lubrication of the
>of the lock, I might believe.

The alcohol will not create heat to melt the ice.  It will, however, lower
the melting point of the ice/alcohol mixture so that the melting point is
below the ambient temperature and the solid mixture becomes liquid thus
freeing the locking mechanism.  This works in exactly the same way the
adding antifreeze to the water in your radiator lowers the freezing point
of the coolant mixture so that the coolant remains liquid at very low

Remember the old "temporary antifreeze" of many years ago (sure you do
Bart, you old *art like me :-)?  It lowered the freezing point but tended
to boil off when the engine got good and hot.  This is essentially what you
are making when the rubbing alcohol is added to the water ice.

Your trick will work, but not for the reason given.

*  Robert L. Myers    rmyers@inetone.net      Home 304-574-2372 *
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