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Old 11-05-2018, 17:23   #1
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Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

Did a search and can't believe that I have not found this.

What is the best practice for getting the anti freeze out of the lines. I have 2 40 gallon tanks that go into a manifold.

In the fall, I drain the water out of the tanks, then put a few gallons of anti freeze in the tanks. I then run the faucets until dark pink comes out. Before I do this, I bypass the hot water tank, I drain that into the bilge. No antifreeze goes in.

In the spring, there is always some residual anti freeze left in the tank, so what is the best way to clear the tank. If you put in 40 gallons of water, I need to drain all 40 gallons. It still tastes like anti freeze. If you put in just a few gallons and run a few times then I find it still has a residual.

So what is the best way to have clean non anti freeze tasking water?
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Old 11-05-2018, 17:56   #2
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

Recommission the tanks:

Although most people think only in terms of the tank, the plumbing is actually the source of most foul water, because the molds, mildew, fungi and bacteria which cause it thrive in damp dark places, not under water. There are all kinds of products sold that claim to keep onboard water fresh, but all thatís really necessary is an annual or in especially warm climates, semi-annual recommissioning of the entire systemótank and plumbing. The following recommendations conform to section 10.8 in the A-1 192 code covering electrical, plumbing, and heating of recreational vehicles. The solution is approved and recommended by competent health officials. It may be used in a new system a used one that has not been used for a period of time, or one that may have been contaminated.

Before beginning, turn off hot water heater at the breaker; do not turn it on again until the entire recommissioning is complete. Icemakers should be left running to allow cleaning out of the water feed line; however the first two buckets of iceóthe bucket generated during recommissioning and the first bucketful afterward--should be discardedÖbleach does absolutely nothing to improve the flavor of good Scotch!

1. Prepare a chlorine solution using one gallon of water and 1/4 cup (2 oz or 25 ml) Clorox or Purex household bleach (5% sodium Hypochlorite solution ). With tank empty, pour chlorine solution into tank. Use one gallon of solution for each 5 gallons of tank capacity. (Those are the ďofficialĒ directions. They work out to 1 quart or litre of bleach/50 gallons of water tank capacity , which is MUCH easier to calculate!)

2. Complete filling of tank with fresh water. Open each faucet and drain cock until air has been released and the entire system is filled. Do not turn off the pump; it must remain on to keep the system pressurized and the solution in the lines

3. Allow to stand for at least three hours, but no longer than 24 hours.

4. Drain through every faucet on the boat (and if you haven't done this in a while, it's a good idea to remove any diffusion screens from the faucets, because what's likely to come out will clog them). Fill the tank again with fresh water only, drain again through every faucet on the boat.

5. To remove excess chlorine taste or odor which might remain, prepare a solution of one quart white vinegar to five gallons water and allow this solution to agitate in tank for several days by vessel motion. This will also eliminate any residual antifreeze odor/taste.


6. Drain tank again through every faucet, and flush the lines again by filing the tank 1/4-1/2 full and again flushing with potable water.

People have expressed concern about using this method to recommission aluminum tanks. While bleach (chlorine) IS corrosive, its effects are cumulative. So the effect of an annual or semi-annual "shock treatment" is negligible compared to the cumulative effect of holding chlorinated city water in the tank for years. And itís that cumulative effect that makes it a VERY bad idea to add a little bleach to each fill. Not only does it damage the system, but unless you add enough to make your water taste and smell like a laundry, itís not enough to do any good. Even if it were, any ďpurifyingĒ properties in chlorine evaporate within 24 hours, leaving behind only the corrosive properties. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to mix the total amount of bleach needed for recommissioning in a few gallons of water before putting it into an empty stainless or aluminum tank.

An annual or semi-annual recommissioning according to the above directions is all that should be necessary to keep your water tasting and smelling as good as anything that comes out of any faucet on land. If you need to improve on that, install a water filter. Just remember that a filter is not a substitute for cleaning out the system, and that filters require regular inspection and cleaning or replacement.

To keep the water system cleaner longer, USE your fresh water...keep water flowing through system. The molds, fungi, and bacteria only start to grow in hoses that aren't being used. Before filling the tank each time, always let the dock water run for at least 15 minutes first...the same critters that like the lines on your boat LOVE the dock supply line and your hose that sit in the warm sun, and you certainly don't want to transfer water that's been sitting in the dock supply line to your boat's system. So let the water run long enough to flush out all the water that's been standing in them so that what goes into your boat is coming straight from the water main.



*The above is an excerpt from my latest book...see link in my signature to see what else is in that you might find useful.


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Old 11-05-2018, 18:31   #3
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

IMO, NEVER put glycol in the tanks. Drain the tanks, pump them bone dry with a shop vac, and then put glycol only in the pipes using valves installed for this purpose.

The actual cause of winter line funk is glycol that is under-strength due to dilution with water. If at full concentration (%25% as glycol) nothing can grow and it won't be funky. Leave a little water in the tank or lines, and it will ferment into a nasty soup.

I've spent 30 years formulation engine coolants and putting glycol in buildings. In buildings, too weak = bugs every time. Dow has studied this (the results are easy to find with Google), as have many others.

The ANSI sanitizing procedure is standard and works. But it's hardly needed if the system is laid up properly. The glycol does the sanitizing if strong enough.
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Old 11-05-2018, 19:10   #4
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

If you want to dilute the stuff in the tanks ....
So I learned this when I was working with large gas lasers and we needed to get rid of contaminated gas and replace it with a fresh mix of argon neon and fluorine. Bear with me.
Suppose you have 2 gallons of yucky stuff in your 40 gallon tank when your pump can empty it no more.

One scenario. Fill and empty the tank. When you do that you add 38 gallons of water and have 2/38 yucky in the tank. The remainder in the lines is that. 2/38 or about 2.5% yuck. I

Try this instead.
Add two gallons water and pump. Now 50% yuck.
Add two gallons and pump. Now 25%
Add two and pump. Now 12.5%
Again. 6%
Again. 3%
Again. 1.5%
Again.

After 10 times you are at 1/1000 yuck or .1% yucky and only 20 gallons added water.

The lesson is add pump add a little and pump. over and over. Much better than just once adding a lot.

It works surprisingly well for surgical lasers and really well for water tanks.

And yes counting ten cycles is more of a pain than doing it once. But! It if you did 19 cycles and used the same 38 gallons from the first scenario two gallons at a time you would have diluted the yuck by 500000 (yes half a million ) times compared to thirty eight.

I’ve tried both. Repetitive partial dilution is vastly more effective.
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Old 11-05-2018, 20:08   #5
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

I winterize with cheap vodka. Recommissioning consists of a lot of Bloody Maryís and some invited friends. Iím not joking. Vodka is cheaper than domestic water antifreeze and in my experience works just as well. And itís a hell of s brunch too
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Old 11-05-2018, 21:33   #6
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I winterize with cheap vodka. Recommissioning consists of a lot of Bloody Maryís and some invited friends. Iím not joking. Vodka is cheaper than domestic water antifreeze and in my experience works just as well. And itís a hell of s brunch too
The only problem is that this is not true. It would need to cost less than $4/gallon. It is not a very effective antifreeze agent. It's rough on hoses, it's corrosive, and if diluted much at all, gets even more foul than glycol. In fact, since liquor taxes must be paid, it doesn't make sense on the face of it (you can buy ethanol-based antifreeze, but few people would recommend it for a boat).

A popular urban legend, though.

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Old 12-05-2018, 06:14   #7
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

Best way is to install valves to drain the plumbing and tanks. I would never use anti-freeze in potable water systems.

While I live aboard, I can drain all my plumbing. It makes it easier when plumbing repairs/changes need to be made.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:37   #8
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
The only problem is that this is not true. It would need to cost less than $4/gallon. It is not a very effective antifreeze agent. It's rough on hoses, it's corrosive, and if diluted much at all, gets even more foul than glycol. In fact, since liquor taxes must be paid, it doesn't make sense on the face of it (you can buy ethanol-based antifreeze, but few people would recommend it for a boat).

A popular urban legend, though.



Well itís worked for me lol. Maybe itís anti freeze costs in Annapolis but the cost comparison works and I know a lot of old salts that do it. I think last time it took four handles of Popov for my boat. Nothing was the worse for wear.

Itís not urban legend. It works. Maybe not in Maine, but mid-Atlantic itís fine.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:05   #9
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

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Well it’s worked for me lol. Maybe it’s anti freeze costs in Annapolis but the cost comparison works and I know a lot of old salts that do it. I think last time it took four handles of Popov for my boat. Nothing was the worse for wear.

It’s not urban legend. It works. Maybe not in Maine, but mid-Atlantic it’s fine.
Those prices were from the Annapolis area. Popov is way more expensive that potable AF.

Old salts do a lot of things wrong and sort of get away with it, particularly when it sounds smart. I see a lot of CQRs; they work too, but that does not make them a good choice or a good value.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:26   #10
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

This probably doesn't help you now but I'll tell you how I do it. I used to use antifreeze and the taste took forever to get out. So we just never drank it but you could smell it in the showers and washing dishes. I wanted a better way.

My barn has a 3 BR apartment over it and to winterize I drain all the water from both potable and the boiler. I made up a simple fitting that connects to the drain for hot water tank. Then I connect my air compressor at 50PSI and blow out everything. Works awesome.

So now I do the same thing on my boat. I have a single tank under v berth. It feeds to a 1/2" hose to pump etc. I drain the tank (simple) then I disconnect the hose and insert my fitting (1/2" barbed fitting-> ball valve-> air hose quick connect. Then I bypass the pump and slowly pressurize the lines and start opening up faucets, shower etc both hot and cold. Doesn't take much pressure which is why I have ball valve to act as simple regulator. The whole thing is done in 3 minutes and no antifreeze. I only pump a little through head and pour some in bilge.

Been doing this for 3 years now and it works great. I have a large air compressor under my barn so it's simple to run the hose to boat. Even a tiny pancake compressor could get the job done though.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:07   #11
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Best way is to install valves to drain the plumbing and tanks. I would never use anti-freeze in potable water systems.

While I live aboard, I can drain all my plumbing. It makes it easier when plumbing repairs/changes need to be made.
Same here, I am based in Finland and just drain the water system, the fresh water pump and the boiler in the fall when the yacht is on the hard. Faucets and blenders I leave half open. Through hull valves I leave open. Anti-freeze I put in the engine and a splash also in the toilets. Have never had any freezing problems.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:11   #12
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Well itís worked for me lol. Maybe itís anti freeze costs in Annapolis but the cost comparison works and I know a lot of old salts that do it. I think last time it took four handles of Popov for my boat. Nothing was the worse for wear.

Itís not urban legend. It works. Maybe not in Maine, but mid-Atlantic itís fine.
4 handles is little short of 2 gallons. A gallon of the pink stuff costs $3. The cheapest vodka around me goes for about $9 a handle. That is $18 a gallon vs. 3. Even during the fall when west marine charges $5 for antifreeze, that is 18 vs. 5. And the freeze point of anti freeze is much lower. Granted in the mid atlantic you might not worry about a super low freeze point.

OTH, the price difference might be worth not having the crappy taste I am trying to get rid of all season. So spending $100 on vodka just might be worth it!
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:15   #13
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

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Originally Posted by dfelsent View Post
If you want to dilute the stuff in the tanks ....
So I learned this when I was working with large gas lasers and we needed to get rid of contaminated gas and replace it with a fresh mix of argon neon and fluorine. Bear with me.
Suppose you have 2 gallons of yucky stuff in your 40 gallon tank when your pump can empty it no more.

One scenario. Fill and empty the tank. When you do that you add 38 gallons of water and have 2/38 yucky in the tank. The remainder in the lines is that. 2/38 or about 2.5% yuck. I

Try this instead.
Add two gallons water and pump. Now 50% yuck.
Add two gallons and pump. Now 25%
Add two and pump. Now 12.5%
Again. 6%
Again. 3%
Again. 1.5%
Again.

After 10 times you are at 1/1000 yuck or .1% yucky and only 20 gallons added water.

The lesson is add pump add a little and pump. over and over. Much better than just once adding a lot.

It works surprisingly well for surgical lasers and really well for water tanks.

And yes counting ten cycles is more of a pain than doing it once. But! It if you did 19 cycles and used the same 38 gallons from the first scenario two gallons at a time you would have diluted the yuck by 500000 (yes half a million ) times compared to thirty eight.

Iíve tried both. Repetitive partial dilution is vastly more effective.
Thanks. Appreciate you and peg actually answering my question. I know others are trying to provide helpful advice, but this isn't a thread about 'what is the best way to winterize (air compressors, vodka, etc.), but rather, 'I have used the pink stuff, how do I get that taste out!'

I like your idea, which is what I have been debating. Peg's advice requires me to fill 2 40 gallon tanks and drain them 3x. That is lots of pump time. I was figuring that if I just filled a little bit to draw out what is in the bottom of the tank and the lines a few times, it might do the trick.

Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:43   #14
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Those prices were from the Annapolis area. Popov is way more expensive that potable AF.

Old salts do a lot of things wrong and sort of get away with it, particularly when it sounds smart. I see a lot of CQRs; they work too, but that does not make them a good choice or a good value.


Well anyone whoís paying $60/gallon of vodka is getting ripped off. I get that the $60/gallon relates to the alcohol or antifreeze agent aspect. Bottom line is it works, is cheap,no aftertaste, and is drinkable. And you can dismiss the people I know as wrong if you like, but itís prevalent practice here among people I trust and it has worked well for me. I used to use store bought antifreeze but no longer.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:50   #15
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Re: Cleaning out anti freeze from the lines in the spring

There are lots of great suggestions given to your question and there is little to add. The second last step I use is to add a box of baking soda to the tank flush it then do a final flush. It seems to eliminate the chlorine taste.
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