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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Frozen bilges
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Thread: Frozen bilges Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-25-2011 03:28 PM
scottyt at this point go with rock salt, get it melted and out then rinse to get rid of the extra salt. you could also go get a few heat tape setups and drop them in the bilge, they should slowly melt the ice thats there, then stop any other water from freezing.

but the above means nothing if you dont have power.
01-25-2011 03:36 AM
Minnewaska
Quote:
Originally Posted by orient View Post
Do you have this problem every winter?
No. I have typically been able to get there shortly after it rains to pump, but it has rained several times, then immediately dropped below freezing temps this year. If it were to stay cold, it would snow, which is not an issue. If it stays just above freezing, its still liquid and I can deal with it. Too much back and forth this year, with some serious deep freezes.
01-24-2011 07:56 PM
orient Do you have this problem every winter?
01-24-2011 06:15 PM
Minnewaska A little frozen water in the bilge wouldn't even get my attention. I did put a full gallon of -100f antifreeze in the empty bilge before I left it. The problem is that water comes down the mast in remarkable quantity and fully overwhelms the bilge and dilutes the AF. The boat does have a full cover on it. It has not been uncommon for me to come and handpump 20 gallons of water out of the bilge each month. The level is probably twice that high now, but frozen solid.

The water starts to back up across bilge compartments and has now penetrated the genset locker. The frozen water in the genset has covered some hoses and insulated electrical wiring and is just about to be high enough to get into the genset cabinet itself.

The primary bilge pump is well above the bilge itself, with only an intake hose down in the bilge. The backup pump is fully submerged under the ice. That cant' be good.

Rock salt seems like it would leave corrosive residue behind. I will have to look into a non-corrosive chemical deicer.

Another suggestion I received was to heat up or boil some -100f antifreeze and pour over the ice. It would melt, mix and keep all from refreezing while I pump overboard. First, I have to check to see if heating antifreeze is a good idea and it isn't flamable. Secondly, that will get expensive as it will take dozens of gallons that will just go straight overboard.

Thanks for the ideas.
01-24-2011 12:58 PM
LakeSuperiorGeezer Here is the pure strength propylene glycol based antifreeze intended for cars: SIERRA Antifreeze The freezing point of CaCl2 brine is -40°F with a concentration of 23.3%. For regular table salt, NaCl, at a concentration of about 24%, the the freezing point is 0°F.
01-24-2011 12:47 PM
SlowButSteady When you put the space heater on, did you also use a small fan to blow the warm air down into the bilge? Without forcing the (lighter) warm air down there, the (heavier) cooler air in the bilge has no reason to go anywhere and convection/diffusion of the heat might not be enough to warm things up.
01-24-2011 12:37 PM
THEFRENCHA
Salt

Happens a lot here in Boston
I use salt And antifreeze
After 6 hours the salt will have melted the ice and then the Anti freeze kicks in if you cannot pump out immediately If possible As soon as melted just pump out with a manual pump into a bucket and throw overboard Add fresh anti freeze in the bilge
01-24-2011 12:32 PM
zz4gta It could freeze, expand and damage the bilge. Most boats won't have any issues with a little ice, but I'd suspect if you get enough in there.... it could be really expensive.
01-24-2011 11:40 AM
ereiss
frozen bilges

What's the downside of having an inch or two of ice in the bilge?
01-24-2011 10:10 AM
sailingdog The non-toxic antifreeze, at least the stuff commonly found in the RV and marine supply stores is designed not to be diluted and its effectiveness diminishes rapidly when diluted. It doesn't harm fiberglass to any degree.
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