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Life of domestic Antifreeze

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There have been a couple of threads about the life of the antifreeze that is used in the engine cooling system, but what about the domestic central heating system?

 

My system has an old Ellis gas boiler to warm the water that circulates through the radiators. It is several years since it was changed, and I can remember adding an antifreeze & corrosion inhibitor (possibly Fernox) at the time. So, my question is, should I think about draining & refilling it or should I just leave it well alone?

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If you are using car antifreeze in the Coolant,  the glycol antifreeze part lasts for ever, if it doesn't leak out.  The corrosion inhibitors do  wear out.  I Tip some Screwfix inhibitor in every couple of years.

A simple test is to draw off a sample into a glass jar and tip in 3 or 4 steel wire nails.  If they go rusty after a couple of weeks you need more inhibitor. Draw another sample into a yoghurt pot and put it in the freezer compartment of the fridge.  If it sets add more antifreeze.

N

 

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My understanding is that most domestic inhibitors don't have antifreeze properties. Some do. I use this on my boat for the back boiler central heating and for the solar thermal hot water system, which does. Also uses propylene glycol, which is non toxic. Useful if you leave your boat unheated in winter to avoid having to drain the system.

Jen

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7 hours ago, BEngo said:

If you are using car antifreeze in the Coolant,  the glycol antifreeze part lasts for ever, if it doesn't leak out.  The corrosion inhibitors do  wear out.  I Tip some Screwfix inhibitor in every couple of years.

A simple test is to draw off a sample into a glass jar and tip in 3 or 4 steel wire nails.  If they go rusty after a couple of weeks you need more inhibitor. Draw another sample into a yoghurt pot and put it in the freezer compartment of the fridge.  If it sets add more antifreeze.

N

 

seems a good test

 

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Most of my blue antifreeze is several years old.  However I do add some Screwfix corrosion inhibitor every couple of years.

 Particularly relevant as my boiler has an aluminium heat exchanger. No problems after twelve years.

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12 hours ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

My understanding is that most domestic inhibitors don't have antifreeze properties. Some do. I use this on my boat for the back boiler central heating and for the solar thermal hot water system, which does. Also uses propylene glycol, which is non toxic. Useful if you leave your boat unheated in winter to avoid having to drain the system.

Jen

Jen-in-Wellies,

I use the flomasta Inhibitied antifreeze that you have referred to. On draining my system recently to do some changes, the water/antifreeze mixture is distinctly brown (like dilute black coffee) so I am not convinced the inhibitor is adequate. Do you have any long term experience of using this product?

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9 hours ago, jonesthenuke said:

Jen-in-Wellies,

I use the flomasta Inhibitied antifreeze that you have referred to. On draining my system recently to do some changes, the water/antifreeze mixture is distinctly brown (like dilute black coffee) so I am not convinced the inhibitor is adequate. Do you have any long term experience of using this product?

It has been in around two years or so. I've not checked it thus far. Perhaps I will. Thanks for the feedback. How long was your antifreeze/inhibitor in for? What sort of central heating system is it in?

Jen

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23 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

It has been in around two years or so. I've not checked it thus far. Perhaps I will. Thanks for the feedback. How long was your antifreeze/inhibitor in for? What sort of central heating system is it in?

Jen

The central heating system has a Hurricane diesel heater, two radiators and a towel rail plus calorifier. The Flomasta has been in there for about 4 years. I think I will look for some inhibitor that is compatible with the antifreeze.

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