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Winterizing

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Winterizing

Post by milspec6 on Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:25 pm

Since I am without the heated shop this year (so far), I am forced to winterize the system in addition to leaving a heater in the van.

As a result, I have been doing some research on the RV anti-freezes out there. I'm using a local brand that protects down to -50 degrees, but that does not mean what you may think that it means. That is where things get interesting.

That rating of -50 doesn't mean that it will not freeze....it will. In fact, I had a case of it in my shop that was frozen last week when the temps dipped into the single digits. Now, for a guy who is trying to keep his unit from freezing, it didn't make me feel very comfortable at first. After-all, it gets cold in this area over the next 5 months.

Okay, so why does it freeze? Well, any RV anti-freezes that protects down to -50 will actually freeze when it dips below 10 degrees. That's right, it will freeze when it gets into the single digits, but it will not expand until down to around -50 degrees. That is the protections that it affords, it protects from the expansion stress that breaks pipes and fittings.

So, if you use this stuff, you need to realize that it can be slushy when you go to re-start. You will need to warm things up well before trying to start up and then flush it out before use. This is one of those points that they don't always tell you in the manual.

You could also switch to the hardcore anti-freeze that protects down to -100 degrees which will remain liquid well into the negative digits, but it comes at a price. I do like that it includes pump lube and anti-corrosives, so if you were going to store a machine for a long period (whole winter perhaps) it might be a better choice.

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=13523

Did I mention how much I hate winter? Twisted Evil Mad
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Re: Winterizing

Post by Davey Cracker on Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:28 pm

Very interesting, I never knew that it would freeze above the rated temp.

Why are you using the RV type as opposed to regular auto antifreeze?..lower freezing point?

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Re: Winterizing

Post by milspec6 on Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:43 pm

Safety mainly. The RV stuff can be dumped down the septic system.
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Re: Winterizing

Post by Freemind1 on Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:35 am

RV antifreeze is propylene glycol with an indicator added (pink usually).

PG is also used in the fluid, at varying levels, for e ciggs and vape fluid. As well as used in inhalers for people with asthma.

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Re: Winterizing

Post by milspec6 on Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:04 pm

Here is another point that needs to be mentioned.

Many will tell you that you can re-use that RV anti-freeze a couple of times before replacing.....I would disagree strongly.

I already pointed out that fresh anti-freeze will start to freeze up at 10 degrees, but not expand. Well, I just flushed out a fresh application of anti-freeze into a 5 gallon bucket along with about a 1/2 gallon of new last night.

The temperature in my garage was 21 degrees and there was about 4 gallons of used only once anti-freeze and 1/2 gallon of fresh anti-freeze in the bucket.......the top inch or so was frozen.



This was a product rated to -50 undiluted, but clearly it isn't too effective watered down. So, if this was in the machine, what kind of damage would it have done to a needle valve or street elbow? It didn't stretch out the bucket, so maybe it didn't expand, but you sure would not be running until you heated that machine up before starting.

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Re: Winterizing

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