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Old 10-09-2013
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How to blow out fresh water tanks

Hi all,

This was my first year with a 2000 Beneteau 361, and subsequently my first winter "winterizing" it. The boat is actually being stored in indoor heated (50 degrees or so) storage, but I'd still like to try to "blow out" my fresh water tanks. The previous owner use compressed air, or some such method to get rid of all the water in his fresh water system (water heater included) so that he didn't have to use antifreeze. I've never had to do anything like that because this is my first boat with an actual plumbing system.

Is this "blowing out" process something that a person could easily explain?
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Old 10-09-2013
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Re: How to blow out fresh water tanks

We drain the system as much as we can. I then disconnect the in and out to the hot water tank and connect the two together and let the tank drain. Then we put in a couple of gallons of the pink stuff, run every tap until if flows pink and close it up.

Total cost - about $15.00

I also then know that the drains from the sinks are also winterized and no water is sitting in a low place where it can freeze and crack the drain lines.

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Re: How to blow out fresh water tanks

I also blow out the tanks and lines. I hate the residual taste from anti freeze. Some don't care or notice it, but I do.

We have a city water connection, which we never use for water, btw. I bought an adapter that converts the female hose connection to a bicycle tire stem. Then I clip a compressor line with a chock that has a grip to hold on to the stem. Open all taps and blow it all out. Done.
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How to blow out fresh water tanks

Empty the tanks and pour in several gallons of the cheapest vodka you can find. Kept everything fresh, freeze free and no worries about flushing out "non-toxic" antifreeze. I didn't believe it either but vodka works very well.

Josh
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Old 10-10-2013
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Re: How to blow out fresh water tanks

Thanks all.

Minnewaska, your winterization method is closest to what I'm hoping to do. Unfortunately, I do not have a water hook up on my boat. In my case, I have a deck fitting that unscrews forward of the starboard shrouds, and I just stick my potable water hose in to fill the tanks. To blow them out, would I take an air compressor, find a way to seal any air caps where the deck fitting is, open up the faucets and fire up the compressor? Would that take care of any water still in the water heater?
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Re: How to blow out fresh water tanks

I also prefer emptying the pipes and tanks rather than filling antifreeze (or vodka). What I did on my last boat was drain the tank, and then loosen a line as near to the water tank as possible--on that boat it was the line coming out of the freshwater pump. I fit my air source (for me just a squeeze air pump) to the pipe, opened the taps and pumped. I didn't have a bypass on the hot water so I drained and blew that side out separately.
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Re: How to blow out fresh water tanks

You could tee in an adapter to connect the compressor to just about anywhere in the fresh water system. Although, an end point makes most sense, such as under the furthest sink. Our city water adapter is part of the fresh water system, just after the transom shower nozzle.
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Re: How to blow out fresh water tanks

There are un-pressurized, usually 5/8", hoses that run from the water tank(s) to the pressure pump. Frequently, there is also a "Y" valve to select the draw from either pump.

To drain, and purge the system;
  1. run a cold water faucet to empty the tank(s) as much as possible. You'll hear the pump running continuously, and the sound it makes will change to a higher pitch. When one tank is dry, switch to the other.
  2. disconnect the hose at the tank that you drew from last.
  3. connect the compressor hose to this hose.
  4. open the drain valve on the hot water heater, and let it drain. Close the drain valve when the hot water heater is empty.
  5. set the pressure to NO MORE than 20PSI
  6. open a cold water faucet
  7. blow compressed air into the line, until air comes out of the faucet
  8. open the adjacent hot water faucet
  9. blow compressed air into the line, until air comes out of the hot water faucet.
  10. repeat steps 6 - 9 at every fixture (head, galley, etc.) until you have blown all the lines clear. Don't forget freshwater toilets (if you have them) and transom showers.

Be careful using ANY form of alcohol, as it will eat rubber seals in the system. If you have a "Y" valve, it will be among the first things that you have to replace (DAMHIK).
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Last edited by eherlihy; 10-10-2013 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 10-11-2013
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Re: How to blow out fresh water tanks

Thanks all; eherlihy, you're step by step explanation was very clear.
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Re: How to blow out fresh water tanks

Thinking about going this route.....

Does the water pump need to be by-passed?

Bruce
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