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Old 26-10-2011, 06:40   #16
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Re: Winterization Thread

I drain all tanks first then disconnect hose from potable water pump suction and pump nontoxic antifreeze through the system until I see red coming from all sinks through the hot water line. I pour about a quart into the tanks. I remove plastic inline filter from kitchen sink and lay aside for winter. As I am out of the water I run the engine for a few minutes and blow as much water out of the system. I then remove the heat exchanger zinc plug and drain the system.
I then pump the bilge as dry as I can and put a splash of either regular anti freeze or non toxic into bilge.
I also turn off all battery power to the system.
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Old 26-10-2011, 06:45   #17
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Re: Winterization Thread

I do the following for my pressure water system:

1. Disconnect the water pump input line from the tanks and tanks drain into bilge.
2. Open water faucets to eliminate water pressure (we have a hot water tank).
3. Disconnect input line to pump and stick it in fresh plumbers antifreeze and run through system.
4. Drain (and recover) as much of antifreeze/water mixture from all faucets.
5. Repeat step 3 and 4 using fresh (undiluted) antifreeze.
6. Disconnect pressure side of water line and let it drain in to bilge.
7. Reconnect all lines after they have drained (both on pressure and non-pressure sides)
8. Run manual and electric bilge pumps to remove remaining water from bilge.
9. Pour 1/2 of waste antifreeze into bilge and let pumps run antifreeze through bilge pumps.
10. Leave the remaining antifreeze in bilge to help dilute the remaining water.

This technique has worked for three years without any issues. I use more antifreeze than I need to (total about 19 litres/5usgal) but I am confident that it will do the job. I have not had any problems with the antifreeze and the rubber in the pumps. I try and leave all lines as dry as possible.

There may be a bit of water in the tanks but I believe it is insignificant to do any damage. On my previous boat I put the antifreeze in the water tank but it made the water undrinkable.
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Old 26-10-2011, 06:49   #18
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Re: Winterization Thread

The key thing with plumbers antifreeze is to make sure it replaces all water (and is not diluted).
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Old 26-10-2011, 07:07   #19
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Re: Winterization Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by lancelot9898 View Post
I didn't know that the non toxic AF would get funky? In fact I always thought that by using it that it would help clean the tank??

being an industrial water treater:

Any concentration less than 20% gylcol will get "funky".
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Old 26-10-2011, 07:20   #20
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Re: Winterization Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
being an industrial water treater:

Any concentration less than 20% gylcol will get "funky".
Oh yes. Being a double alcohol and related to sugar, it can ferment in a number of unplesant ways. The worst system I ever saw was at a printing company (used it to cool the rollers); it was so bad that I could smell it outside the building. And they asked if I though "something was wrong with the coolant?"

Cars don't do this because you sterilize them every time you drive, and because the concentration is too high. AC sytems do with some regularity. Additives and high pH can control it.
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Old 26-10-2011, 07:27   #21
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Re: Winterization Thread

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I presume that this is a joke, but lest anyone be misled - a fifth of vodka (40% ethyl alcohol) is not going to lower the freezing point of any reasonable sized water tank by much.

It takes 20% ethanol to lower the freezing point of water to -9C (15 degrees F). Ethanol Freeze Protected Water Solutions

Vodka is 40% ethanol. So one fifth of vodka will freeze protect another fifth of water, down to -9C. If you have fifty gallons of water in your tanks, you will need fifty gallons of vodka. Pretty 'spensive antifreeze.
Probably better to drink the Vodka. At the least, it will take longer before you realize that you are freezing to death.
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Old 26-10-2011, 07:32   #22
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Re: Winterization Thread

Another thing to remenber is that PG antifreeze varies all over the palce in concentration. See the table on this post:

Sail Delmarva: A Marine Winterizing, Antifreeze, and Engine Coolant Primer

(I tried to past the tables, but they came out garbled--please follow the link)


Since there is no law requiring them to disclose the content of the product on the lable, and so they are not above misleading labling.
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Old 26-10-2011, 08:03   #23
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Re: Winterization Thread

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The worst system I ever saw was at a printing company (used it to cool the rollers); it was so bad that I could smell it outside the building. And they asked if I though "something was wrong with the coolant?"

.
That's funny because 1 of the worst I have ever seen was also at a printing company doing the same thing.
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Old 26-10-2011, 10:47   #24
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Re: Winterization Thread

I'm of the drain everything crowd. At the end of the season I empty the water tank by opening the faucet and just letting it run out the sink drain. Any remaining water in the tank is welcome to freeze. so far I've never had any problem that way. I disconnect the water lines at the lowest point and let the water drain back into a bucket. I have never put antifreeze into my water system.

Engine prep is as normal, Run the engine til the thermostat is open then shift the raw water intake line to a bucket of antifreeze or rather start to fill the bucket with antifreeze instead of water as I do this on the hard after lift out. Run til the pink stuff comes out the exhaust.

With my last boat, I had a lot of leakage into the hull because the boat sat nose down and my cockpit wouldn't drain out of the scuppers, so any rain getting in would accumulate in the cockpit til it got over the cockpit sole access (ungasketed) and drip into the bilge. There it would accumulate under the engine and I would go down and break up the ice every couple of months over the winter and toss it out the hatch.

Thankfully Sabre Dance is water tight, so once dried out I get no more water in the bilge. I also have a 5/16 bolt hole in the very bottom of the keel sump so any water in there can drip out at its leisure.
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Old 26-10-2011, 17:22   #25
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Re: Winterization Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I presume that this is a joke, but lest anyone be misled - a fifth of vodka (40% ethyl alcohol) is not going to lower the freezing point of any reasonable sized water tank by much.

It takes 20% ethanol to lower the freezing point of water to -9C (15 degrees F). Ethanol Freeze Protected Water Solutions

Vodka is 40% ethanol. So one fifth of vodka will freeze protect another fifth of water, down to -9C. If you have fifty gallons of water in your tanks, you will need fifty gallons of vodka. Pretty 'spensive antifreeze.
You have to drain the tank first. The vodka is there only to lower the freezing point of any residual bit of water in the tank and lines. There really shoudn't be more than a cup or so of water left. 1.75L of cheap vodka costs less than $10.
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Old 26-10-2011, 17:29   #26
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Re: Winterization Thread

Just a note, but diluted vodka will be as much a biological food source as diluted anti-freeze. But it may taste a little better (probably not).
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Old 26-10-2011, 17:45   #27
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Re: Winterization Thread

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Just a note, but diluted vodka will be as much a biological food source as diluted anti-freeze. But it may taste a little better (probably not).


Probably not. I've cleaned up old equipment at closed distilleries. Uck.
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Old 26-10-2011, 19:46   #28
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Re: Winterization Thread

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Just a note, but diluted vodka will be as much a biological food source as diluted anti-freeze. But it may taste a little better (probably not).
I haven't notice any biological growth in vodka over the winter (come to to think of it, I haven't noticed any in propylene glycol antifreeze either.)

When flushed with a little bit of fresh water in the spring, there is absolutely no detectable taste from the vodka.

I'm not suggesting that the other methods, like using compressed air or vacuum to clear all water out of the system are any worse, but for $5 more than a gallon of non-toxic antifreeze, a bottle of vodka is a pretty reliable and easy way to winterize your fresh water system without requiring extensive flushing in the spring.
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Old 27-10-2011, 04:36   #29
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Re: Winterization Thread

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I haven't notice any biological growth in vodka over the winter (come to to think of it, I haven't noticed any in propylene glycol antifreeze either.)

.
That's good, but notice I said diluted. It comes down to the alcohol concentration.
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Old 27-10-2011, 04:57   #30
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Re: Winterization Thread

FYI for those here in the U.S. my local ACE hardware store had a gallon of Camco -50 RV antifreeze for $1.99 ($2.99 + $1 rebate limit 3)
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