Going to have some winterizing questions. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 38 Old 09-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Going to have some winterizing questions.

I am reading up for my first winterization. When running antifreeze through hose's do I want to just flush with antifreeze or do I want to close seacocks and fill the hose with anti freeze?
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post #2 of 38 Old 09-14-2013
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Re: Going to have some winterizing questions.

Close off your seacocks so the system fills.

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post #3 of 38 Old 09-14-2013
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Re: Going to have some winterizing questions.

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Originally Posted by MarioG View Post
Close off your seacocks so the system fills.
Ooops, I never do that. At some temp it does freeze, surprisingly high temps!
- yes, it does depend on mix, but even with optimum the freezing point is only just below -30 centigrade.

I usually go for a 50/50 mix (~optimum), and while on the hard let it go through the system. Blow out all the rests with some few seconds dry run.

The seacocks are very sensitive. Should be nearly full open (depends on model, but ...)

/J
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post #4 of 38 Old 09-14-2013
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Re: Going to have some winterizing questions.

Hey,

This is going to be long.....

Winterizing a typical cruising boat is pretty easy. It will take some time, especially the first time you do it, but nothing is (or should be) that complicated.

There are 4 things you need to worry about: Engine, domestic cold water, domestic hot water, Head and holding tank. First note there is BIG difference between ANTIFREEZE and COOLANT. COOLANT is what is inside your car engine (and your boat engine too if it is fresh water cooled [not raw water cooled]). ANTIFREEZE is what you use in an RV, Boat, or cbin to prevent the domestic water system from freezing and bursting lines. On a boat, antifreeze is used to winterize the raw water side of the engine. COOLANT may be diluted 50/50, ANTIFREEZE never is (at least none I have ever seen).

For the engine, assuming it is fresh water cooled with a heat exchanger, you need to run antifreeze through the raw water system. If the boat is hauled, you open the seacock, remove the hose from the raw water pump OR seacock (whichever is easier) and then run antifreeze through the engine. On MY boat, I remove the sea water hose from the raw water input side of the pump and drain it by hold it up. Any seatwater just runs out the through hull. I take a gallon jug of antfreeze, place a hose in it, and connect the hose to the raw water input side of the sea water pump. I start the engine and let is suck the antifreeze through the pump, then heat exchanger, then water lift muffler, then out the back of the boat. Since the hose from the through hull to the engine has nothing but air in it, I reconnect it to the water pump.

Assuming your engine coolant is in good shape, the engine is now winterized.

For the domestic water system, I drain the water tanks (disconnect output hose and let water drain into the bilge). I used to run antifreeze through the lines, pressure pump and faucets. Now I just use compressed air to blow the lines out. I drain the water heater, disconnect the output hose and use air to blow all the water out of the lines. If you don't have access to compressed air, then you can pour antifreeze into the water tank and pump it through all the plumbing lines and out the faucets. Be sure to do both hot and cold. Note that if you don't disconnect and bypass the water heater, you will need many gallons of antifreeze to completely fill the water heater. And then in the spring you need to get all that antifreeze out of the heater. That's why I drain my water heater and disconnect the output and blow it dry.

For sinks, head, holding tanks, I pour some antifreeze into the sink and let drain. I leave the seacocks open. For the head I pour antifreeze into the bowl and then pump it through the lines and into the holding tank.

Note that before I start on the water lines I first change the engine oil and oil filter and empty the holding tank.

Good luck,
Barry

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #5 of 38 Old 09-14-2013
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Agree with Barry. Coolant, mixed to the appropriate low-temp you expect (we do to -50 C up here) and plumbers antifreeze for the house side. Flush it through both systems. On the engine side I test the outflow with a hydrometer to ensure I'm getting the full concentration through the whole system.

I always leave some antifreeze in the water tank and holding tank. I also dump some in my dry bilge.

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post #6 of 38 Old 09-14-2013
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Re: Going to have some winterizing questions.

I agree with Barry and the rest of the gang. I use -100 for the engine sea water system (usually 3 gallons). I use -50 for the potable water. I don't have access to compressed air, so I drain the potable system, then fill the tank with 10 gallons antifreeze, then open fawcets starting at the stern working forward. Regarding the water heater, I drain it, the just flush through. It holds six gallons, but it is never full of antifreeze.

Just my opinion.

Chris
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post #7 of 38 Old 09-16-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Going to have some winterizing questions.

You leave all seacocks open all winter?
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post #8 of 38 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Going to have some winterizing questions.

Instead of disconnecting hoses to the raw water pump, I take the top off the strainer and fill it with antifreeze. Doing this solo means starting and stopping the engine several times to refill the strainer, since the strainer only holds about a quart of liquid.

I catch some of the water coming out of the exhaust. When it's pink, I know the antifreeze has made it through the system.

For the hot water heater (12 gallons), I use the dilution method. It take a lot of antifreeze, and I'm a fireman's bucket brigade pouring increaingly pink water from the faucet into a big funnel going to the fresh water pump.

At the end, I take sample faucet water (and engine exhaust water) and put it in ziplock bags. Then I put the ziplock bags in the freezer at home to make sure the resulting antifreeze and water mixture stays liquid at 5 degrees.

Don't forget the bilge pump lines. Our hose is longish, so I run antifreeze through it.

Regards,
Brad

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post #9 of 38 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Going to have some winterizing questions.

Hm, seems at least I act differently ...

for me antifreeze and coolant is the same thing. OK, I know, it is not. But I use the same ingredient, glycol (ethylene or propene) for both.
In the motor, on the "fresh" water side glycol is used to form the coolant. Change every 5 year or so (sometimes more often).
On the raw water side, I run through glycol, usually diluted ~50/50 and blow out all residuals with letting the mtor run until dry. This glycol serves two purposes: no freeze in the raw water system, and then the glycol does some rust preventing as well.

Glycol is of course toxic, very much. All freshwater systems are just emptied. totally. No need for antifreeze (and certainly not glycol). Seacocks left open, but they must be completely emptied - there is s pocket which should be empty.

Never put any glycol in the bilge, as it is not a very nice compound. Bilge should be dry - seldom any problem for me.


The antifreeze that some are using, what is that? Methanol? (you are not using ethanol for that, are you? Or, is that why you look forward to spring?)

Interesting with the differences.

/J
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post #10 of 38 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Going to have some winterizing questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post

At the end, I take sample faucet water (and engine exhaust water) and put it in ziplock bags. Then I put the ziplock bags in the freezer at home to make sure the resulting antifreeze and water mixture stays liquid at 5 degrees.

Brad
Yikes! When hosting parties do zip lock bag thing in freezer with Margaritas and Pina Colatas ...note to self...stay out of Brad's freezer especially
late in the evening!
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