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Withywindle

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  1. Well, I've now emailed Starbrite about this point and also the ecological people at CRT for good measure, it'll be interesting to see what they say. I obviously don't want to risk damage to the environment. I'm always very careful to use fully biodegradable products for washing etc and wouldn't want to take any risks. To be honest, I'm not sure I'm going to bother with this stuff yet anyway, but it's more about the practicalities around disconnecting the pipes to the hot water tank than anything else.
  2. That's in reference to another product ie their 'extended life antifreeze' which is an ethylene glycol product used as an engine coolant only. However, I'll contact Starbrite and get their take on this - I'll post their reply when it arrives.
  3. Thanks. I'm talking about Propylene Glycol antifreeze which biodegrades extremely quickly and is considered non toxic and completely harmless to both the aquatic environment and humans. It's widely used as a food additive but does also have some properties that make it suitable as an antifreeze. It's actually far safer than regular detergent which, of course, boats discharge into the waterways all the time, every time someone washes up. I think you may be thinking I mean to use regular Ethylene Glycol Antifreeze which conversely is extremely toxic and would be highly dangerous in this application. Here's a good summary but there's plenty of other information about Propylene Glycol out there... https://www.monarchchemicals.co.uk/Information/News-Events/700-/The-difference-between-Propylene-Glycol-and-Ethylene-Glycol-in-antifreeze
  4. I'm in the same position ie on a marina with a shoreline connected so could adopt the same solution as you. Just out of interest, over the average winter do the heaters kick in very often and how much power (credit) gets used? I'm not particularly concerned about the cost but more worried that my credit on the meter could get used up and the power go off.
  5. Thanks I’ll check that. I also have one of those Franke water filter systems so I’m thinking I’ll need to remove the cartridge and tip the water out. Not sure what pink antifreeze will do to one of those either 🤔. Something else to research!
  6. Thanks Peter, that was my understanding. My confusion here comes from domestic water heaters where just the coil is sometimes called a calorifier on boats it seems to be the entire unit, tank and all. The boat is 15 years old, a Colecraft, but yes I’ve checked the strength of both the engine antifreeze and the webasto with a hydrometer and both seem good. Interesting my engine is a Beta and reading the service manual they actually warn against using too high a concentration of antifreeze as they say it can influence cooling efficiency during normal running conditions. It’s all fascinating stuff!
  7. Thanks. Yes I was intending to do that too that’s what I meant by the hot water tank - sorry not fully up to speed with my marine terminology yet 😊. Here’s my village idiot question.... I presume you don’t drain the actual heater coil too as that would be full of the actual engine coolant containing antifreeze and would mean draining the entire engine cooling system too. Sorry to sound a bit dumb, I’m still getting my head around this stuff.
  8. It’ll be up to three months in my case so I really need to do a thorough job just in case. 😊
  9. Looking ahead to winterising our boat for the first time this year I’m thinking about the most efficient way to drain or protect the potable water system. I’m sure just draining down in the usual way is what almost everyone will do, but I’m aware that you can also go down the route of using non-toxic pink Propylene Glycol antifreeze (eg Starbrite) run through the pipe work and left for the winter. The only down side I can see is the hot water cylinder which has to be drained in the normal way then the inlet and outlet pipes joined with a hose to allow the antifreeze to flow through and reach the hot water pipes. Well that’s what Starbrite recommend anyway - see their instructions below. Why go to this trouble of using this stuff I hear some of you say? Well I once owned a static caravan which I drained down thoroughly each year, or so I thought. After one particularly cold winter I returned in the spring turned on the water and found I’d got a burst. It turned out there was one short run of pipe that hadn’t properly drained. When I replaced it I found it looked like a string of sausages! Clearly it had frozen and thawed each winter, stretching the copper more and more every year until finally it gave up and split. It was a lesson well learned. You can’t be 100% sure pipework is fully drained, so I quite like the idea of a non toxic antifreeze. Do any of you use this stuff in your potable water systems and do you have any observations or advice?
  10. Thanks for all the very quick replies. My boat was owned by a former marine engineer and his maintenance regime was meticulous. The bilge and engine area is pristine. He was in the habit of putting a jug under the stern gland and emptying it regularly so no water ever collected in the rear bilge area. I’ve continued to do this, so any water that did find its way into the bilge while I was away from the boat over the winter would be relatively clean. I certainly would keep the manual switch option option either by fitting a three position switch or more likely a completely separate switch for the automatic option which may turn out to be more practical in my particular boat given the current switch layout. Still waying things up I must admit. 🤔
  11. Just a quick update. I purchased a test sample of three different bulbs from litecone in the end. All have so far performed without any faults and were good value. I’ll now be doing the whole boat but will leave the final choice of which particular bulb to my wife. Always the best approach I find 🤔😊. Thank you again everyone for the excellent advice, particularly onewheeler.
  12. My wife and I are now proud owners of our first boat, a 15 year old Colecraft narrowboat. One of the comparatively few recommendations made by our surveyor was to fit an automatic float switch in the circuit to our bilge pump. This seems sensible and I was intending to go ahead, particularly as our boat will spend her winter on a marina and we will not be able to visit as often as perhaps we’d like, to check on her. Having said all of this, my research into suitable float switches has thrown up a few unexpected horror stories. These mainly involve them activating and getting stuck ‘on’ then burning out the bilge pump or running down batteries. One particular brand, Attwood, seems to come in for a lot of criticism in this regard. What are people’s thoughts on automatic float switches - a good idea or not? If so what is the most reliable brand, I’d rather get the best than take chances.
  13. Brilliant! These are the same spec and very competitively priced they're also only 20mins from our home marina so I can probably even collect them in person! They also have some 2.2w tower LED's on clearance at the moment for only £1.20 each down from £3.65. The wrong spec for me, too bright, but someone on the forum might be needing some? Thanks for the recommendation.
  14. Funny enough that's what my wife said when we were discussing it last night. She can't bring herself to chuck away all of the halogen bulbs - says it's a waste. There is indeed probably a compromise here.
  15. Thanks they look very good too - similar to bedazzled but a bit more competitive on postage etc. Shame neither firms give a discount for large orders. I didn't physically count the number of fittings on our boat but I recall there were quite a lot! Hopefully taking over the boat this weekend so will see.
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