FRESH WATER SYSTEM
1. Drain the water tanks
completely (just turn on all the faucets).
2. Drain water heater. Most have a drain petcock; follow manufacturer’s instructions to find it and use it. Remove both the inlet and outlet hoses, and if necessary use a shop vac to be sure of getting all the water out of it.
3.Do NOT put antifreeze
in the water heater. Connect water heater inlet and outlet hoses together to bypass it. Bypass kits for this purpose are available from boat stores and RV supply stores.
4. Add non-toxic antifreeze
("the pink stuff") and pump that through the system until all outlets--hot and cold in the galley
, head, shower
, and any deck wash--run only antifreeze. Leave all the faucets open to make sure there is no pressure in the system.
As an alternative to antifreeze, some owners prefer to use an air compressor
to blow all the water out of the plumbing
. This does require disconnecting some fittings in low places where water can pool.
Whether you use antifreeze or not, add "recommission fresh water system" to your spring recommissioning list.
1. Pump holding tank out, then rinse thoroughly by completely filling with fresh water and 1 gallon of white vinegar twice. Also run plenty of clean fresh water through any macerator or manual discharge pump.
2. Sea water toilet: Just flushing
antifreeze through the bowl will not protect the intake line, the toilet pump or the bowl...it'll only go out the discharge to the tank. To protect the whole system, it's necessary to close the toilet intake through-hull, disconnect inlet hose and stick it in a gallon of non-toxic ("the pink stuff") antifreeze (or, if your toilet intake is connected to your head sink drain line, just close the seacock and pour the antifreeze down the sink). Pump the whole gallon through the system into the holding tank. Do not reconnect head intake hose to the through-hull.
Turn the y-valve in the tank discharge line to let antifreeze run into any macerator or overboard discharge line. Operate the pump or macerator long enough to pull antifreeze through it.
If your toilet uses onboard pressurized water, all you need to do is flush antifreeze into the tank...winterizing the fresh water system took care of the rest.
3. After the boat comes out of the water, open all the sea cocks to drain any trapped water.
Do not use antifreeze in a Lectra/San or PuraSan. Follow manufacturers instructions to winterize all Type I and II MSDs.
Don't forget to purge the hand held shower
and the shower sump
and pump. If the sump has ANY water left in it, put some antifreeze in it and run it through the pump.