Originally Posted by mbianka
I'm not too concerned about the dilution issue since I start out with -50 antifreeze and the average winter temperture in my area is 33F and rarely goes into the single
digits. Plus I really only start collecting from the faucets when the pink propylene glycol starts flowing.
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The dilution in your area may not be a problem but folks reading your blog may be in considerably colder climates so you may want to make mention of it. -50 is the point at which the pipes will burst. Any water dilution raises the burst point and expansion properties dramatically..
In my area I suck through more than one gallon as the piping has considerable water in it. Another option if you are in a "warm" winter area is blowing out the lines with compressed air . This can be successful if you have a simple plumbing system but a nightmare of burst fittings in hidden areas on a complicated system.
My routine is similar though I include by-passing the hot water heater:
Winterizing a Fresh Water System (LINK)
Also, for those in sub freezing climes, don't forget the engine..
It is always best to run the engine long enough at full operating temp to burn off any start up condensation
. I usually winterize my engine while it is still in the water so I can run it long enough to burn off the condensation
Just a word of caution about the antifreeze:
Before you suck any antifreeze in through the sea water strainer or engine consider the following:
The -50f pink stuff (propylene glycol) is not intended to be diluted nor is the -60 or -100.
This quote is from Camco one of the largest producers of "RV" antifreeze.
Originally Posted by Camco
Q. How much water should I add to your -50 RV Antifreeze to achieve a -25 burst protection?
A. Camco -50 RV Antifreeze should not be diluted. It is a pre-diluted solution that is designed to be used full strength. Additional water dramatically alters the expansion properties of the solution, making an adequate burst protection difficult to achieve.
Your engine has a strainer (unless you by-pass it and drain it), hoses, HX and wet exhaust
system that will already be full of water. One or two gallons of -50 pink stuff may not sufficiently prevent a freeze up if diluted with the 1+/- gallon of fresh water probably already in the system.
If your vessel has engine driven refrigeration
, like a Sea Frost unit, be sure to drain the refrigeration
HX before sucking in the antifreeze as this alone contains at least a gallon of water.
Here in Maine
we can see -20f to -30f. Sometimes for up to a week at a time. It is critically important that the -50 antifreeze NOT be diluted and that it can withstand the temps in your region. You don't want to be buying
a new HX, Water Lift
or raw water pump
I actually drain all hoses, the wet exhaust
, sea strainer, engine HX and my Sea Frost HX before sucking any antifreeze through. This allows me to buy less antifreeze as it is not getting diluted. Up here in Maine
I use the -100 stuff for a couple bucks more but only because of our potentially really low temps.
Nearly every spring I hear of someone at the local yards who froze their engine, usually a DIY. Cha-ching $$$$$$$$.. Merely seeing pink out the exhaust
does not tell you what the freeze point is or how diluted it has become. Engines & parts
are expensive, antifreeze relatively cheap
. I would suggest either running more through, like four to five gallons, or drain the system before sucking it in or check the freeze point of what is coming out the wet exhaust by catching it with a cup.
Of course if you're in MD or NJ this might not be a concern but in areas where it gets to -20 below or colder it is a real concern as even antifreeze can freeze, especially stuff that has been diluted with fresh water..