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Old 09-09-2021, 06:09   #1
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Location: me US, CO. boat Sweden
Boat: Malö 42, 43.1ft
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protecting water maker from freezing?

Aaargh, poking around under the water maker installation I noticed a big filter housing with a wide crack. This boat lived in the W Indies before we bought it and shipped it to colder waters in Sweden. Sailing here I always put my boat on the hard during winter and I am very particular winterizing everything with water in it. I am pretty sure that left over water, or pickling fluid froze in the system during winter, maybe even ruining its HP and low pressure pumps
Alas, I did not think of the water maker since I have not needed to use it (we have large water tanks and very good water is available in marinas).

Now, it is an old Sea Recovery system, and eg. all instruments are broken and not working and the installation is a rats nest, so I was considering a new one anyway. But, before getting a new one....

My question to you cold water sailors: How do you protect your water maker from freezing and cracking during winter?? Antifreeze? Vacuuming?
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Old 09-09-2021, 06:18   #2
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Re: protecting water maker from freezing?

We’re not in cold water, but I’ve taken to pickling our watermaker with this.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-...48?recordNum=1

So long as the mixture is alcohol free other brands will work as well.
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Old 09-09-2021, 06:32   #3
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Re: protecting water maker from freezing?

Spectra has a procedure for using propylene glycol antifreeze for pickling. You may need to think about materials compatibility a little, but for keeping growth out of the membrane and ice from forming it is nice and easy. After my last round of buying antifreeze and finding it contained alcohol (not in SDS but easy to smell and confirmed with a phone call) I have gone back to buying pure propylene glycol and mixing my own.

https://www.spectrawatermakers.com/d...s-ae052616.pdf
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:34   #4
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Location: me US, CO. boat Sweden
Boat: Malö 42, 43.1ft
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Re: protecting water maker from freezing?

Dsanduril and Sailmonkey, thanks a lot for these tips! I have been a bit reluctant to put any type of glycol in the potable water systems up until now. Just the word glycol gives me a bad taste in the mouth. So, for instance I emptied the water RF tanks and for good measure poured in some lesser quality gin (I know....horrible waste!) to finish.

All pumps in the drinking water systems are taken out and sleeps in warm quarters during winter. I drain the rest of the system with a strong wet vacuum cleaner.

I guess that it is easier to effectively flush a water maker free of any glycol residual tastes, than the rest of the drinking water system including the hot water tank of 40 liters and lots of plastic hoses?
So, do I (or the Admiral!) need to worry about any residual taste from the propylene glycol? What are your experiencies??
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Old 09-09-2021, 22:36   #5
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Re: protecting water maker from freezing?

There is an option instead of propylene glycol.

You use a standard pickling solution, and add glycerin to lower its freezing point. You can't use glycerin alone because is is not enough of a biostat to keep things from growing.

Of course the best bet is to follow the recommendations of the system manufacturer to ensure compatibility with all the bits and pieces.
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Old 15-09-2021, 04:28   #6
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Location: Ozefridge, Yarroweyah Australia
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Re: protecting water maker from freezing?

Have you thought about giving Rich Boren a call? (Technautics 619-609-3432) He may be able to advise you.
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