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Winterizing plumbing

Gunni

.
Mar 16, 2010
5,937
Beneteau 411 Oceanis Annapolis
There are PG engine coolants that you may want to explore. Some are very good. This is not an issue I face, but I would have to give this consideration. These are 2 first-rate PG products, one LD and one HD.
http://www.starbrite.com/item/starcool-prem-engine-coolant-464-oz?category_id=518
https://www.cumminsfiltration.com/sites/default/files/LT32599_09_0.pdf
Just dropped an online order for 6 gallons of Fleetguard ES Compleat PG - cost less than the EG down at the parts store! Now off to the boat to drain and flush an auxiliary and a genset. So here is an interesting tidbit; asked the rep for NextGen how to drain and flush their Kubota diesel - he said you don't, leave it in there! I'm beginning to wonder if these engine shops really understand coolant technology.
 
Feb 6, 2013
433
Hunter 31 Deale, MD
Sorry if this has already been mentioned somewhere in this thread but, when I talked with Peggy a few years ago she made a great suggestion that I've put in place on my boat. I re-plumbed the drain from the head sink with a valve to drain either overboard or drain into the head intake. I replaced the intake valve on the head with a 3-way valve to receive from the sink drain. That serves two purposes. At the end of each outing/weekend I can fill the sink with fresh water (include any desired chemical treatment) and flush it through the head. That way there are no dying, decomposing, stinking micro-organisms in the intake line when I return to the boat.

The second purpose is to make winterizing painfully simple. When I winterize the fresh water system into the head sink I just let it drain into the head intake and flush it through into the holding tank. No fighting with hoses and hose barbs in confined spaces!

Thanks Peggy
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,711
- - LIttle Rock
Uh-oh...I THINK you got it backwards. The sink shouldn't drain into the head intake line...that will result in using gray water to flush the toilet, which is bad idea because gray water is full of soap scum, dirt, body oils, toothpaste, shaving cream maybe...all things that can really "gum up" a toilet pump and can actually be damaging to the rubber parts in it..

The sink should drain normally out its thru-hull. The toilet intake line should just be teed into the sink drain line below the waterline as close to the seacock as possible. That allows you to flush normally with sea water (except when you find yourself in waters where you don't want to), but also provides a safe source of CLEAN fresh water to rinse all the sea water out of the whole system--intake line, pump, channel in the rim of the bowl AND the toilet discharge line before the boat sits...just close the seacock, fill the sink with CLEAN water...flush the toilet. And it provides an easy way to winterize the toilet tank too.

I included detailed instructions in both my books (see link in my signature below).


--Peggie
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
 
Feb 6, 2013
433
Hunter 31 Deale, MD
Sorry Peggy I should have been more specific; it is configured exactly as you just described. There is also a valve just under the sink so that it always drains overboard except when putting clean water or antifreeze into the supply line for the head.
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,711
- - LIttle Rock
Whew...that's a relief! But you wouldn't have been the only person to decide that using gray water from the sink to flush the toilet was a good idea.
--Peggie
 

weinie

.
Sep 6, 2010
1,297
Jeanneau 349 port washington, ny
Winterizing the sea water foot pump in the galley?
Necessary? Or just pump it dry when on the hard?
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,711
- - LIttle Rock
If water can pool anywhere in that system, it should be winterized...preferably by disconnecting whatever will let all the water drain out of it.
--Peggie
 
Jan 7, 2011
1,934
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
Don't know why some bother putting any antifreeze in tanks. Just empty them. What little water remains has plenty of room to expand when it freezes.
It's easy to remove the tank hose and put it in the antifreeze jug while activating the pump even if a hose extension is required.

When we lived up north, I never needed more than 2.5 gal of antifreeze to winterize 4 water tanks, 2 heads, 2 AC units, the engine and 3 showers.

Now that we live here, winterizing means putting more air in the fenders.
The PO of my boat left several hoses for winterizing the boat. 1 is set up with a screwed connection that fits my water hoses...just remove from the water tank, screw on the extension and stick it in a gallon of antifreeze. The other has a hose barb on it, and can be used to add an extension for the head intake and the engine intake hose...

They work great.

Greg
 
Dec 25, 2000
4,439
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Temperatures rarely get that cold around these precincts. Cruise year around here, but do some basic things to protect matters when temps dip below freezing. Drier going in each cabin (3), marine grade space heater set on low while away from the boat. Open all faucets to let residue water drain away and one hatch cracked to allow moist air to escape.

No mold, no frozen fixtures and boat always ready to go when the skipper has a few days to drift away. Usually during Thanksgiving, Christmas, some time in February and again in April before the main cruising season begins in mid June. Usually very quiet on the water during the winter months. Sometimes snow, sleet, ice, etc. Furnace keeps the boat cozy inside. Not that far to the next empty anchorage. Even better with a strong blow outside.
 
Jan 12, 2019
19
Hunter 340 Narragansett
After reading this thread over and over....am I getting it right to......
Drain the Water Tank (letting the pump run) ......Drain the Water Heater through the bottom drain....Disconnect it from the fresh water supply line
Then.... install a Tee Fitting to connect the Cold and Hot lines together
Then pump Antifreeze through, using the Waterpump, to fill the lines to each of the faucets (opening each to get it to come out)
Then pour some ??? antifreeze into the Fresh water tank
AND not any Antifreeze to the Waterheater?
I just put in a new Waterheater and want to make sure I'm not ruining it by adding Antifreeze to it.

The extra added Tee's to the lines are easy enough, but think I can add a Tee, Before the Water pump, connect it to a couple of gallon bottles of Antifreeze and pump it through the entire system.
If I add a Shutoff Fitting to the Cold side of the waterheater I could just shut the flow off of antifreeze to it. Then just use air to blow out the waterheater.

Hope I'm getting this right....my biggest concern is that everyone seems to be NOT adding Antifreeze to the waterheater. And I always did add some to account for the small amount of water in the bottom of the tank.
 
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May 17, 2004
2,603
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
You won’t hurt anything by having antifreeze in the water heater. It’s just a little wasteful and makes it a little harder to purge in the spring. On our old boat we had a shutoff before the heater, and we could tilt the heater to make sure we were pouring all the water out, so we just left it empty. Out new boat doesn’t have the shutoff (and I haven’t bothered adding a bypass). So on this one we drain as much water as we can from the relief valve (near the bottom) and then let it refill with AF.
 
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Dec 2, 1997
7,711
- - LIttle Rock
Close, nichole..... You DO realize that the first post in this thread is a "sticky" post that's 10 years old? That 50 posts (opinions, a mix of good and bad information) have been added onto it every few years since? No wonder you're confused and making it seem harder than it is!

Here are the instructions from my book:


ANTIFREEZE METHOD (EASIEST )
1. Drain the water tanks completely (just turn on all the faucets).

2. Drain the water heater. Most have a drain petcock; follow manufacturer’s instructions to find it and use it. Remove both the inlet and outlet hoses, and if necessary use a shop vac to be sure of getting all the water out of it.

3. Do NOT put antifreeze in the water heater. Connect water heater inlet and outlet hoses together to bypass it. Bypass kits that make the job very easy are available from boat stores and RV supply stores.
Why drain the water heater and bypass it instead putting antifreeze into it? For two reasons: 1. Water heaters are insulated so they don't need antifreeze if they're empty...and 2. it takes forever to flush the taste/smell of it out of the hot water in the spring.

4. Add non-toxic antifreeze ("the pink stuff") to the water tank(s) and let the water pump put it through the system until all outlets--hot and cold in the galley, head, shower, and any deck wash--run only antifreeze. Leave all the faucets open to make sure there is no pressure in the system.

There's also the "no antifreeze" method:

1. Follow the first three steps listed above.

2. Using an air compressor, blow ALL the air out of ALL the plumbing, disconnecting it where necessary to achieve this. The first time you opt for this method can be difficult and labor intensive, but if connections are reassembled in the spring using quick-connect fittings, it becomes a lot easier in the future.

--Peggie
 
Last edited:
Jan 12, 2019
19
Hunter 340 Narragansett
Peggy,
I did see that this post was old but it came to the forefront and was getting to be very interesting reading. Some things just grab your interest. Thank you for posting the excerpt from your book for me (and others as well). Greatly appreciated.
Now don’t tell anyone, but, I have a birthday coming up in the next few months and I know (a little bird told me) that I am getting a copy of your book. I’m looking forward to it!
Thanks again.

Nichole
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,711
- - LIttle Rock
No book could possibly answer every possible question, and I hope you already know that I'm always glad to answer any that mine doesn't. I fact, it's the question the book doesn't answer that leads me to update the book from time to time.

--Peggie