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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Broads Boat Owners Q & A / Use of propylene glycol (PGW) in domestic water
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Use of propylene glycol (PGW) in domestic water

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waterbuoy
Sep-23-2011 @ 9:23 PM                           Permalink
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Has anybody used propylene glycol (PGW) - Freeze Ban - in their fresh water (domestic water) system as part of their winter laying-up process?

Propylene glycol is a non-toxic antifreeze used in domestic systems by plumbers to prevent freezing of pipes in drinking water systems not being used over winter.

It use is recommended in areas of heavy frost, and is used to displace any remaining water in the domestic system after it has been drained for the winter.

Its presence in the system indicates that the water has been displaced when the water running out of the tap turns the colour of the antifreeze (usually pink). This way the user can be assured that there is little or no pure water remaining in the system thus protecting the system from freezing.

I thought it might be a good way of ensuring the domestic water system on a boat is going to be less prone to frost damage.

Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks.

  

Clive

Home - IP11 & Away - NR12

Regulo
Sep-26-2011 @ 8:12 PM                           Permalink
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Silence, as the tumbleweed blows through town . .

I must admit, I've never heard of PGW, and obviously neither has anyone else!

So, at refill time, can you actually drink this stuff, or do you have to flush it all through?


Regards, Ray.

If it's neither here, nor there, then where is it?

16E
Sep-26-2011 @ 10:07 PM                           Permalink
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This was mentioned on another forum but the context was that 'standard' ethylene glycol anti-freeze used in an engine cooling system presents a possible contamination risk to your domestic water if you have a calorifier with a leaking coil.  It could happen.

The suggested solution was a PGW based anti-freeze in the engine coolant system.  Note PGW is about ?100 per gallon.

A non-return valve in the cold supply to the calorifier and only using the cold tap for human consumption seems much smarter to me.

Mal
16E

..Get on and do it!!  Adventure before Dementia.

ade
Sep-27-2011 @ 11:18 AM                           Permalink
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much safer and easier to empty the tanks. no water, no damage, simples!  Wink

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people is nudity

waterbuoy
Sep-27-2011 @ 12:13 PM                           Permalink
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Thanks for the replies.

The reason I asked was that I have never done a winterizing before, so started doing some research.  

Last winter was particularly chilly, so I was concerned about residue water remaining in the domestic systems even after running the pumps; loo pump, cold water pump and hot water system. I thought that if I was to put Freezeban ANTIFREEZE (Propylene Glycol)in the water tank and run the hot and cold taps until the water turned pink, I could be sure that there was no untreated water in the systems.

If it is something you guys, with all your experience, have never done; and that draining the water out of the domestic systems by running the water pumps is sufficient, it would be good enough for me too.

Finally I thought that if I introduced PGW into the raw water cooling system, via the weed trap, following the traditional process, that the antifreeze leaving the exhaust would not be so environmentally damaging.

Searching the internet, I have found that Aquafax FREEZE BAN NON TOXIC ANTIFREEZE 5 LITRES for around £15 (pounds).

Regards




Clive

Home - IP11 & Away - NR12

P.S. The web page recommends flushing the system prior to reusing it.

This message was edited by waterbuoy on Sep-27-11 @ 12:17 PM

16E
Sep-27-2011 @ 3:29 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Clive,

There are varying opinions on here regarding how much winterising to do on the domestic water systems.  The ones who have never had a problem do what they normally do.  Those of us who have had big problems with multiple leaks - blown water heater valves etc tend to be more 'in depth' in our preparations.

I drain down and isolate the main water tank and calorifier, running taps until the flow stops.  I use a small electric pump to drain the calorifier.

I've got one of those glass topped primary water filters between the water tank and the pump, I take the glass bowl off this and then have a give the pump a short burst, using the air drawn in to pump more water out of the pipes.

Finally I crack and loosen a few pipework joints around the water pump and accumulator tank and place some Pampers nappies in that area in case there are any drippy leaks.  All taps should be left open.  I've got the pipework all in plastic pipe with easy to make/break joints so re-commissioning only takes 10 to 15 minutes.

p.s. the peace of mind is wonderful.

Mal
16E

..Get on and do it!!  Adventure before Dementia.

This message was edited by 16E on Sep-27-11 @ 5:52 PM

waterbuoy
Sep-27-2011 @ 5:38 PM                           Permalink
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Thanks for the advice. It will come in handy in developing an action plan. Futhermore, I have spoken with the previous owner of my boat, plus having looked around the water system, I too have a clear-topped pump and de-mountable pipework, so I now feel confident that when it comes to winterizing the domestic water system on my boat it will be based upon others experience, and I should not fret any more.

Thanks and regards


Clive

Home - IP11 & Away - NR12

Regulo
Sep-27-2011 @ 6:00 PM                           Permalink
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To drain out the calorifier, I put a "T" piece in on the lowest dip of the inlet pipe and another connected to the higher outlet pipe with a quarter turn tap on each. When the hot and cold taps run dry, opening both valves, drains the tank into the bilge, and then running the bilge pump dumps it overboard.

Regards, Ray.

If it's neither here, nor there, then where is it?

16E
Sep-27-2011 @ 6:12 PM                           Permalink
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I've got the "T" on the calorifier inlet with the cold feed in one end and a drain-down valve in the other.  I connect the drain pump inlet to the drain-down valve, open the valve and pump overboard.

Mal
16E

..Get on and do it!!  Adventure before Dementia.

george
Sep-27-2011 @ 6:34 PM                           Permalink
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i seem to think a cheap botle of gin should do the trick. if it is high on alkohol it should not freeze. but saying that normal alkohol from the chemists should also work, a matter of price and perhaps gin would increase the enjoyment of refilling in spring.
i run normal anitfreeze through the cooling system and the antifreeze for the window wash system in the loo and holding tank plus the pumps. (having emptied all the system beforehand. if you want to use the boat in the winter the window wash antifreeze is cheap to refill after use.
i have found that if the pipes are open (tape left open) there is room for expansion and nothing would freeze up.

george

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