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Author Topic: Winterizing; the water system  (Read 1889 times)

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Winterizing; the water system
« on: September 18, 2001, 05:23:33 AM »

Is there an easy way to remove water from the tanks without putting undue wear on the water pump?  And, what to do with the water in the water heater?  Six gallons of glycol into the heater?

Ed Shankle

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Draining water tanks
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2001, 09:55:34 AM »

First thing to do is avoid filling your tanks close to haul out. It's easier to bring some water aboard than drain full tanks. If you leave the stern tank open, it will eventually drain into the starboard tank.
 For the remaining water in the tanks, I use a shop vac fitted to blow rather than vacuum. Blow into the fill openings. On the other end, You can disconnect a hose and drain into a bucket or directly into the bilge. After blowing out the hoses, I finish the tanks with a gallon of vodka, rather than anti freeze, to avoid the spring flushing of the tanks. The vodka is more for sanitation than antifreeze, since the tanks are pretty much empty.
 Another option for the water tank is to wait until you are hauled and siphon it out. Remove the inspection cover from the top of the tank and run a hose from the tank, through a port window and down to the ground. Start a siphon and wait until it stops. There will be some residual, but the vodka or antifreeze will take take of that.
 For the water heater, I again use the shop vac to blow out the water. Blow into the "in" pipe. Disconnect the "out" hose and either drain into the bilge or attach a temporary hose and drain into a bucket. Note;The drain spigot will not drain all the water out, so use the "out" pipe.
 I don't add anything else to the heater, as blowing it out really gets all the water out.
Ed Shankle
Tail Wind #866 1989
Salem, MA


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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2001, 10:04:26 AM »

Peter & Susan,
 I have found gravity works well.  Here's what I do: After the boat is hauled and on jack-stands, I use my 50 ft water (white "garden" type) hose to siphon the water out of the forward tank.  The rear tank has no inspection port, so I use the boat's pump to drain that one.  I run all faucets until they sputter on empty.  Now turn off the pump breaker/switch.  Then, I thread the 50 ft water hose (which I have allowed to have a bit of water still in) onto the valve fitting on the front of my hot water tank.  I then open the valve and all of the hot water faucets on the boat (don't forget the stern shower).  Gravity pulls most of the water out of the water-heater.  You now have a mostly empty water system.  Close the faucets and turn the pump back on.  I then pour two gallons of pink potable anti-freeze into the forward tank and run it through the pump to all of the sink and shower cold water outlets, one at a time and stopping when pink appears.  I then add another three gallons to the rear tank.  I run this through to the galley sink until pink and then switch to the hot water outlets everywhere.  I leave pink stuff in the lines to the rear shower (hot and cold), but try to get as much of it out of the other lines as possible.  I figure by getting as much of the water out first I won't leave any trapped anywhere.  A friend uses compressed air to blow his lines clear, but he has also replaced several fittings when they iced in and cracked from water he missed.


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Winterize fresh water
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2001, 11:06:52 AM »

I let the pump empty the tanks, and use a bulb siphon I bought at Walmart for about $2.00 to suck out the last bit of water our of each tank.  I drain the water heater by attaching a compressor hose to the inlet.  I disconnect the outlet and point it to a bucket.  The compressed air pushes all the water down and out of the tank.  I pour about a quart of non-toxic antifreeze into the outlet hose so just a little of it sits on the bottom just incase I didn't get every drop of water out.  Before running antifreeze through the tanks, connect the inlet hose and outlet hose together to bypass the hot water heater.  I pour a few gallons of pink antifreeze in each tank.  Starting with one tank, I open each faucet one at a time, both hot and cold separately to fill each line.  In the spring, I get the Walmart siphon and take out as much antifreeze out of the tanks as possible before filling with water and purging the system.  Doing this purges the system of antifreeze rather easily.
Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

Ken Juul

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Draining water system
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2001, 05:55:12 AM »

For initial draining of the tanks I just disconnect the in line at the pump and let it drain into the bilge.  Gravity does a great job and saves wear and tear on the pump.  I don't mind running the bilge pumps, I think the excercise for them is good.  In VA we don't get the prolonged cold as further up north, so I don't worry about getting all of the water out, just make sure antifreeze is well circulated.
Ken & Vicki Juul
Luna Loca #1090
Chesapeake Bay
Past Commodore C34IA


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Anti-freeze and water pump impeller damage.
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2001, 07:52:20 PM »

If you read the Catalina manual carefully, they make a point of saying that leaving the fresh water pump in contact with anti-freeze will damage the water pump. They recommend ensuring the pump is dry after the lines are flushed with anti-freeze. I'm not entirely sure how one can ensure this. Any with experience on this?
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