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  #1  
Old 12-22-2012
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Winterizing With Brine

I've been running down facts and doing some materials testing relating to winterizing with glycols. There are some down sides, principally that certain plastics don't relate well to PG; Some harden, some crack. I believe this is a more common contributor to deterioration than most realize.

What about brine? Commonly used to winterize certain equipment and wooden boat bilges from what I hear (no personal expereince) and benign to all elastomers and hard plastics that I can think of, what are the down sides for the head, for example? Harmless to the environment and POTW. Certainly corrosion to metals, even stainless, may be enough to make this a non-starter, but real world experiences would be interesting.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Winterizing With Brine

OK I'lll bite - what the f*#k are you talking about!
sam :-)
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Winterizing With Brine

He wants to run pickle juice through his fresh waster system to winterize

Seriously though. Brine solutions which are increased concentrations of salts in water.

Increasing the salt level can be corrosive to metals such as hot water tanks, maybe metal components of pumps, impeller shaft. I think Ill stay with the pink stuff.

Dave
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Winterizing With Brine

You would have to dissolve a serious amount of salt to make much difference. Sea water, for example, will freeze at 28 F. Saturated salt water, where it won't dissolve any more solids, will protect below 0 F, if I'm not mistaken. That's approx 1 part salt to 2 parts water, but I don't think it will do as well as the basic -50 F anti-freeze.

I will admit that I like the thought of a product you might put in your fresh water system that has no chemicals. I'm wondering how long it would take to flush out, since adding more water will just continually dillute the salt water. Of course, the corrosive affect could be very bad on fixtures.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Winterizing With Brine

I have seen it done in bilges before but nowhere else. It was incredible how well it showed all of the little component that were not made of a corrosion proof material. In the spring, there were a lot of salt crystals in the bottom of the bilge which I would not want to try to send through the bilge pump. It may have been that the solution was not properly mixed, I did not see it put in. The one problem that I noticed is that the boats doing it seemed to eat through bilge pumps really fast. Purely guessing, I would think that the shaft seals were being compromised either by the salt or corrosion on the shaft allowing salt water into the motors.

If you concern is putting non toxic antifreeze in your fresh water, a lot of people put very high proof alcohol in their water systems. I have no first hand experience with this because I have always been able to drain water systems and leave them dry. It would be worth looking into what temperature this would protect to.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Winterizing With Brine

Let me be clear; I think brine is generally a really bad idea for most folks. I just felt like a discussion.

The main reason it would make sense in certain wooden boat hulls is that while the corrosion is bad, the rot that freshwater and PG or EG would trigger could be fatal. The practice started before boats even had engines to rust. Better to keep the wood pickled with salt. This logic means nothing to FRP boat owners.

Freeze point is easy to google. More than likely, they just poured in some rock salt and let leaks do the rest.
http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpu...ubs/h99002.pdf

Ethanol is not good for nitrile, urethane or pvc (including soft vinyl tubing). In the case of a head, if you are using white sanitation hose I promise that ethanol will cause odor permeation to begin within 1 year (I did the testing) making this a terrible idea. If the head has nitrile joker valve and flapper (Raritan and Groco), they will get hard and crack after a few years. I wouldn't be too surprised if the alcohol evaporated out of the bowl, leaving only frozen water. While people do the darnedest things and often get away with them, that is not a general solution either. The manual also warns them not to.
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 12-23-2012 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Winterizing With Brine

Make up an adaptor to connect the outlet of your ShopVac to your fresh water system Blow the system clear with air. This is how I used to winterize swimming pools up here in the Great White North. Never had a problem. When I replumbed my boat, I made it so I could drain the system. BTW, I would avoid brine or glycol in the FW system.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Winterizing With Brine

Seawater is only 3-4% salt.

The max. freezing point depression with ~20% salt (saturated solution, adding any more wont 'dissolve') added would be -21°C/ -6°F

100 proof vodka (-50% ethanol) will get you to -25°F. Only problem with 100 proof vodka is its 'flash point' is near 75°F and therefore starts 'delivering' an easily combustible gas phase.

Last edited by RichH; 12-23-2012 at 10:45 AM.
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Re: Winterizing With Brine

I have a city water hose inlet on the boat, which is at the end of the fresh water system. I just screw in a brass coupler that changes it to a stem fitting, like an inner tube. Then I attach a small compressor with a locking tire chock that can deliver a continuous 35psi. Open all the faucets one at a time and blow it all out. Easy peasy.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: Winterizing With Brine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I have a city water hose inlet on the boat, which is at the end of the fresh water system. I just screw in a brass coupler that changes it to a stem fitting, like an inner tube. Then I attach a small compressor with a locking tire chock that can deliver a continuous 35psi. Open all the faucets one at a time and blow it all out. Easy peasy.
Howzat work on the head?

Sorry, just had to say it, the metal image was powerful. Yes, it is a good method for the potable system, but I did start the thread talking about the head.
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"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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