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Everything posted by Withywindle

  1. I said I'd ask Starbrite and CRT about this issue and post a reply. Here's my message to Starbrite and their reply... Message: Hi, I live in the UK and I'm considering using your Pink Non Toxic (Propylene Glycol) antifreeze to winterise my canal boat drinking water system. Your instructions seem straightforward but a couple of friends have expressed concern that when I flush through the pipes in the spring the antifreeze will end up in the watercourse. I know Propylene Glycol is considered environmentally safe but can you confirm it OK for me to do this? Starbrite reply: Yes this would be perfectly safe, you just want to make sure it is completely flushed out after use. I sent a message along similar lines to CRT and received an acknowledgement but to date they haven't replied to the question. It's been five weeks, so I don't really anticipate hearing anything now.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. It’ll be up to three months in my case so I really need to do a thorough job just in case. 😊
  10. 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?
  11. 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. 🤔
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Thanks this is good advice both. I hadn't really considered that getting such a broad voltage range (10-30) was as important as it clearly is. I'd have probably just bought domestic 12v G4 bulbs and regretted it. Bedazzled look good. I confess I was taken aback by their prices at first but then realised I was buying something rather more sophisticated than the standard spec. In fact they're pretty competitive on that basis. As regards sizes, that's my next dilemma. Should I buy the 'tower' version or the round 'lollipop' shaped ones. The fittings need side pin bulbs so either should theoretically fit, they have no glass lens so I'm thinking the tower ones. On the other hand a boat we hired earlier this year used the other sort (I think) and they seemed excellent. Think I'll do as Tractor suggests and make myself some templates. Might also photo the fittings and send a picture to Bedazzled for their advice.
  18. We're just in the process of buying our first boat and one of the things I want to do early on is upgrade to LED lighting. The current lighting setup uses a large number of 12v 10w G4 halogen bulbs which I'm hoping I can simply swap for an LED equivalent (around 1.5w). Can someone who has similar lighting advise me on a reliable bulb to buy? I'm aware they will need a to be able to cope with the fluctuating voltage inherent in the 12v circuit. The range of G4 bulbs available is mind boggling and general reliability is not always good reading reviews. Branded names don't necessarily seem to mean 'quality' either. I was looking with interest at Osram this morning until I read the reviews which were pretty dreadful.
  19. Yep, since starting this thread and reading all of the various comments along the way I've definitely gone off the idea of having anything to do with Signal Crayfish. It's been an education that's for sure. 🙂
  20. You may well be right, I have to say it was a pretty detailed application. The two main thrusts being that proper grid references were required of where you would be fishing. This was apparently to ensure you were not operating in conservation areas known to still contain white claw crayfish but I also suspect it was, as you say to monitor the invasive signal crayfish population. The other was to ensure the trap was the correct size, they wanted mesh size, overall dimensions but most most crucially the aperture diameter so otters would not get trapped. There have been horror stories where otters have been found stuck in home made traps with half their faces eaten by the already captured crayfish. I suspect the IA find it difficult in the present climate to issue licences because it’s not just an emailed licence, they also issue special licence tags to attach to nets etc. This would clearly be difficult to do with staff working at home but surely it’s an aspect that could dispense with until the pandemic issues ease and in the meantime email out licences once they were satisfied with the above mentioned criteria. The IA seem to be a pretty tech savvy bunch. As an example I even had to add my digital signature to the application form, it was pretty well designed in technical terms I have to say.
  21. Lol, indeed! To be honest I'm rather going off the idea for some reason. Perhaps I'll just get a pack of sausages from Sainsbury's and BBQ them.
  22. Which is precisely why I made a proper formal application with all the considerable detail required rather than ignoring the system. I just feel a little easing of the restrictions right now would be sensible for all concerned. Glad you don't think I'm an idiot BTW. 🤨
  23. I do.... and I've been thinking of trying Minnows for Perch. 😉
  24. Thanks, you're right and I might do just that. The irony is that if I hadn't applied I could have pleaded ignorance, now (like a prat), I've got myself a formal enforcement letter! 🙄 Just shows, keeping your head down and getting on with things in this life is usually the best bet!
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