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Blues&twos
Blues&twos

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:36am

Post Subject: Winterising

Have recently purchased 6yr old narrowboat and am concerned for its winter safety. As the quantity/quality of whats in the engine coolant and c/heating is dubious/unknown I would like as a matter of urgency to drain and refill both. What should go in the central heating, Ive read here about mixing it first but not what the additive actually is. Also should I drain domestic water tank or just isolate the tank and try to drain down taps shower etc. Does the shower drain pump need attending to for winter? 30% standard car antifreeze ok for engine? It's an Isusu 4 cyl diesel. So many questions, sorry, but the cold is coming and we are new to this! Thanks for your help.

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:18am

Post Subject: Winterising

Both the engine and Central heating need filling with between a 30% and 50% car antifreeze mixture but do NOT mix colours of the old and new antifreeze unless you know they are compatible or you give the systems a good flushing first. It is vital to mix the Central heating system antifreeze before filling but as long as you run the engine until it is really hot you can put the water and antifreeze in "pint & pint about" to give a 50% mixture. The only way you will find the capacities is to drain the systems down and measure what you get out or what you put back in. Remember that most of the water around the boat will not freeze an the metal hull will transmit a certain amount of heat from the water into the boat. Much of your domestic water system will probably be below the waterline so as long as it is in plastic plumbing or hose it is not so vital to drain this 100%. I would make sure the tank is partially empty to allow room for the ice to expand if it freezes, turn the main vale off and leave all the taps open. If you use the water pump to pump all the water from the system you will end up with air and water lying in the pipes, giving room for the ice to expand if it freezes. The shower mixer is venerable so make sure you drain it or remove it and take it home. Personally I would pour a little antifreeze into the shower tray and pump it out but make sure someone catches the output in a bucket for safe disposal (at your local tip). This should leave antifreeze in the shower pump that is often difficult to access. Make sure the batteries are kept well charged, really flat batteries can freeze. Depending upon its location some people like to drain the calorifier and if you have an instant gas water heater it is VITAL that youd drian this. If you think of anything more please come back. Tony Brooks

Blues&twos
Blues&twos

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:35pm

Post Subject: Winterising

Many thanks Tony-B for such a quick and informative reply. Have now done all you suggested, hopefully all will be well for the winter, Thanks again, Dave

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