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Old 10-19-2008, 08:51 AM
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Grover777 Grover777 is offline
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Heater and Shower Winterization

One more question....
Are there any special steps needed to properly winterize the heater and shower? The manual is less than descriptive.

Wishing spring was on the way!!!


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Old 10-19-2008, 09:37 AM
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The heater needs to be completely empty of water, and IMHO should be full of RV antifreeze. First, drain the engine and exhaust manifolds and leave them open. Find the heater hoses lying in the bilge. One of them should have a double-barbed hose connector. If it doesn't, cut the heater intake line (the one coming off the intake manifold) and put one in. Disconnect the hose there and blow into the one that goes toward the heater core until you hear it blowing air. Then, pump some RV antifreeze into the whole heater core, so I use a hand pump such as they sell for pumping RV antifreeze through RV water systems. Takes about a half-gallon IIRC before you hear the antifreeze coming back into the block from the return line. Reconnect the heater hose and you're done.

Those pumps are available all over the place (Amazon, for example) or at virtually any RV store. They're about $15. Google or look for "RV winterizing pump".



As to the shower, disconnect both the hot and cold hoses at their water source and put them in a gallon jug of RV antifreeze. Then turn on the shower hot and cold until antifreeze comes out the shower head.

Please make sure you use RV antifreeze (propylene glycol), which is considered non-toxic. It comes in -50 and -100 versions. The -50 stuff will slush up in your home freezer. I live in Minnesota, so I use the -100 stuff.





....
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Last edited by bigmac; 10-19-2008 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:14 PM
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Big Mac, Where on the manifold are the plugs, I see on one end were the hoses are connected but I don't see plugs on the bottom side to drain them , I have the 8.1L engine , also it says in the manual , make sure on this model to remove the Knock Sensor, Is this the little fitting on the engine block where one of the engine plugs is screwed into ? thanks
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:04 AM
bigmac bigmac is offline
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The exhaust manifolds need to be drained by disconnecting the hose that connects the two together, and by removing the brass plugs, one on each, that are on the botton side of the manifold, toward the front of the engine usually in front of that connecting drain hose.

On some model engines (MCX), the knock sensor is in one of the block drain holes (the one on the right side) and therefore has to be removed to drain the block. IIUC, the knock sensor on the 8.1 isn't in a drain hole - it's in it's own little fitting that isn't a drain hole and you still have to remove a brass plug from each side of the block. AFAIK, there's no point to removing the knock sensor for winterizing an 8.1 liter Indmar engine.
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:27 AM
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Bigmac, if you blow out the heater core with a compressor, why do you still feel the need for antifreeze? I'm not doubting or challenging the thought, just looking to understand.
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:21 AM
bigmac bigmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnE View Post
Bigmac, if you blow out the heater core with a compressor, why do you still feel the need for antifreeze? I'm not doubting or challenging the thought, just looking to understand.
Actually, I don't blow it out with a compressor, I use lung power one one hose until air comes out the other. I use antifreeze because the heat exchanger passages are small. So you get most of the water out except for a few drops. Those drops coalesce into one big drop and that falls to the bottom of the core. That drop freezes and ruptures the aluminum tubing it was sitting in. For about $5.00 for some -100 antifreeze and 5 minutes of my time, I can decrease even further the chance that I'll have to go through the PITA of changing a heater core.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:11 PM
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Good point Bigmac. I never thought about how little water it would take to freeze and burst the exceptionally small network of openings in a heater/radiator core.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmac View Post
Please make sure you use RV antifreeze (propylene glycol), which is considered non-toxic. It comes in -50 and -100 versions. The -50 stuff will slush up in your home freezer. I live in Minnesota, so I use the -100 stuff.
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+1 on the -100 stuff. I used -50 in my toilet bowls at the cabin and came in during a cold spell and they were all frozen.
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:11 PM
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Bigmac, instead of using air to push the water out, what if you used a wet/dry vacuum to suck out all of the water in the heater and shower systems ? would that do any harm to them ? what kind of possible damage would be done if you used a vacuum to get out all water from the engine ? thanks for your input.
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:16 PM
bigmac bigmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Hardy View Post
Bigmac, instead of using air to push the water out, what if you used a wet/dry vacuum to suck out all of the water in the heater and shower systems ? would that do any harm to them ? what kind of possible damage would be done if you used a vacuum to get out all water from the engine ? thanks for your input.
Dunno why that wouldn't work, as long as the pressure didn't get negative enough to collapse any of the aluminum. Auto radiators can take at least +1 atmosphere, but these hydronic heating systems in our boat heaters aren't designed to be pressurized. I don't know how much pressure, positive or negative, it would take to burst or collapse the heat exchanger. I'd be careful.
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