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Old 23-09-2021, 13:16   #1
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What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

Found some pink fluid under the hot water tank. It had a distinctly sweet taste. Does pink antifreeze have a sweet taste? And, if so, which pink antofteeze… toxic engine coolant or non-toxic house water coolant? Based on location, I assume/hope it’s the latter, but it seemed a little viscous so I’m having doubts.
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Old 23-09-2021, 13:20   #2
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

Most toxic engine coolants produced in the last 10 - 15 years have stuff added to make them bitter, so it's probably not that (and doubly so if your engine coolant isn't pink). I think the propylene glycol non-toxic stuff does also taste somewhat sweet.
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Old 23-09-2021, 13:33   #3
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

Best guess is that it is from winterizing and it (pink antifreeze) came out of hot water tank relief valve. It is slightly sweet albeit not very tasty. While I have tasted it when I pumped fresh water into the system after winter, I would not normally taste any fluid loose in my bilge or found under appliances!
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Old 23-09-2021, 13:34   #4
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

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Originally Posted by Howler View Post
Found some pink fluid under the hot water tank. It had a distinctly sweet taste. Does pink antifreeze have a sweet taste? And, if so, which pink antofteeze… toxic engine coolant or non-toxic house water coolant? Based on location, I assume/hope it’s the latter, but it seemed a little viscous so I’m having doubts.

Both EG and PG taste sweet. Tasting unknown stuff is a really, really bad idea.


Adding Bitrex to EG is still voluntary in the US, so don't bet on it. It is common, however. (I designed formulations in a former life.)
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Old 23-09-2021, 14:16   #5
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

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Tasting unknown stuff is a really, really bad idea.

+1
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Old 23-09-2021, 14:58   #6
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

It's propylene glycol (non-toxic Marine/RV antifreeze). The -50F is usually pink in color.

As stated above. "Don't taste liquids in the bilge"

Many years ago I had a weird light blue water in my bilge. I tasted that. Shortly afterwards I realized my holding tank had ruptured at the fitting for the line in from the head. Yep, I was tasting water which had previously been in my holding tank.
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Old 23-09-2021, 16:27   #7
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

Thanks for the replies and the warnings against tasting stuff from one's bilge. I didn't swallow any... just touched my fingertip to the tip of my tongue which is a very cost-effective alternative to running lab analysis. But the warnings are legitimate. And I definitely agree not to taste anything blue!
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Old 23-09-2021, 17:51   #8
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

Its never crossed my mind to taste either propylene or ethylene glycol, but the Google search concensus appears to be that propylene has effectively no taste while ethylene is sweet (assuming no bittering agent added).
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Old 23-09-2021, 18:35   #9
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

I haven't tasted it as a test. However, it does take a few tanks full of fresh water each spring to fully eliminate it's subtle sweet flavor each spring after dewinterizing. My family will eagerly let me know that they can still taste it even after several flushing tanks full of water. Yes, I am using the proper stuff, and it does leave a lingering taste and aroma for a short time.
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Old 23-09-2021, 19:42   #10
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

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Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
It's propylene glycol (non-toxic Marine/RV antifreeze). The -50F is usually pink in color.

As stated above. "Don't taste liquids in the bilge"

Many years ago I had a weird light blue water in my bilge. I tasted that. Shortly afterwards I realized my holding tank had ruptured at the fitting for the line in from the head. Yep, I was tasting water which had previously been in my holding tank.

But you knew where the water came from.


Sometimes you just do not have a choice!
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Old 24-09-2021, 07:58   #11
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

Pink and sweet = fresh water system antifreeze. Made from sugar I think.
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Old 24-09-2021, 09:18   #12
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

Kids spilt pink orange juice
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Old 24-09-2021, 09:28   #13
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

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But you knew where the water came from.


Sometimes you just do not have a choice!
I didn't make the realization until after I had tasted it.

It's preposterous to say you "don't have a choice". Nobody is standing there with a gun to your head forcing you to taste mystery fluids in your bilge.

If you've stuck your finger in the liquid, then your finger in your mouth to taste test the liquid in an attempt to identify it, that is completely by choice.
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Old 24-09-2021, 09:49   #14
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

I use pink non-toxic antifreeze and blue toxic antifreeze... I thought it was common practice to do that for that very reason, you want to be able to visually distinguish them at all times (not just in the bilge, but most importantly to avoid grabbing the bottle of the toxic one and pour it in your fresh water tank by mistake...). :-)
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Old 24-09-2021, 09:57   #15
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Re: What Pink Fluid Tastes Sweet

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Originally Posted by Jebtrois View Post
However, it does take a few tanks full of fresh water each spring to fully eliminate it's sweet flavor each spring after dewinterizing. My family will eagerly let me know that they can still taste it even after several flushing tanks full of water. JEB
Why would you add that stuff to water tanks instead of just draining the tanks, lines, and pumps? Honest question.

When we winterize the travel trailer, the antifreeze is only added to pea traps and the water lines in case there are any low spots. Tanks are emptied.
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