I'm not clear why a boat made in Canada came without the most basic provisions for winterizing.
simple Y-strainer, which solved the clogging problem, but it was very difficult to clean; the lid would stick and the location and leverage were terrible. About a year ago I replaced the intake hose, upgraded the strainer (also a freebe) and moved it to a more convinient location in the holding tank compartment, and added a glycol addition fitting. No more clogs and 5-minute winterizing.
To winterize the sea cock side:
To winterize head side:
- Place the head pump in the locked position.
- Clean the strainer, if you think it's due.
- Open the sea cock.
- Open the blue valve and add ~ 1 quart of glycol from a jug on deck (it also has a drain valve).
- Close the sea cock.
Why red instead of pink? I use ethylene glycol (EG) antifreeze on the head system:
- Open the blue valve.
- Unlock the head pump and pump until you see red.
- Close the blue valve.
- I get it for free (we make it).
- The affect on the sewage plant is less than for propylene glycol (pink non-toxic, AKA PG) because less is needed (PG is less effective, on a percent basis) and they biodegrade at the same rate.
- Ethylene glycol is NOT more toxic to fish or the environment. It is only more toxic to mammals. Don't take my word for it--read the MSDSs.
- The head side is most certainly not potable!
- EG is less harmful to the hoses than PG. Just a little, but that is one of the reasons propylene glycol is not favored by automotive OEMs.
The Pressure System
Adding just a few valves made this into an easy one-gallon job. 15 minutes, tops.
Only non-toxic propylene glycol on the potable side, obviously.
- Pump the tank empty. Remove what remains by bailing with a cup or with a shop vac. No glycol in the tank.
- Close the valve to the left of the strainer.
- Open the valve to the right of the strainer and place the hose in a jug.
- Open every tap on the boat, both hot and cold, and let run until glycol comes out. Have a jug handy to catch any extra.
- Once the jug runs empty (most likely before you are finished), let it blow air through the pipes for just a few minutes. Open every tap you have winterized and catch what comes out. It will be enough for the rest of the boat. Don't forget the transom shower.
- Close the glycol valve.
- Remove the strainer, clean, and put a little glycol in it. Yeah, I could just leave it off, but I know I'll forget in the spring and get a slight flood.
After reading Mike's link, I figured I should add these. I've also posted winterizing stuff here.
I guess I might as well mention this, while on the topic. Pour about a quart in the drain and pump.
They're all hose and drain anyway. Skip it.
They drain if raised.
The previous owner blew out lines and disconnected lines. I spent a season chasing leaks in connections that had been opened too many times and replacing cracked fittings on the water heater that didn't quite drain. This is MUCH better. The only thing lazier would be wintering in Grenada....
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Do you live in a climate where you need to winterize your boat? Thankfully, here in Seattle, if you live aboard winterizing is pretty much synonymous with addressing deck leaks. But if you do need to winterize, Drew over at Sail Delmarva has some suggestions to make this annual task easier...