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Old 04-01-2015, 11:16 AM   #1
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Flushing of ATV AF?

I,v'e got a high concentration (mostly AF) of red ATV AF in my water tanks. I remember it as evil stuff from several years ago and haven't consumed any water from the system since.

Thought of pumping whatever I can out, adding small amounts of water and a bit of bleach for several small flushes of the system filling to about 2" in the bottom of the tanks.

I'd like to do several full tanks of flush but I don't want to burn up my FW pump. Thinking of rigging a temp outlet hose to overboard and using the dock water to slightly pressurize the tank for an extended flush. We're not in Calif. I envision turning on the shore water a bit at a time untill there's overboard flow.

It's a Willard 30 w two plastic 50 gal tanks.
What do you think?
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:06 PM   #2
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Why would flushing you tanks burn up your pump? I just flushed my 250 gallon tank 4 times this weekend without an issue. Pumps are designed to run, not to sit idle.
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:15 PM   #3
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I have a plastic water tank and I cut a hole in the top and put a screw type deck hatch on it. Unscrew cap and you can completely drain and even wipe out tank. If you have access to the top of the tank, this is the way to go.
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:22 PM   #4
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If it were me I'd just keep flushing the tanks using my potable water pump.

The solution to pollution is dilution
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Old 04-01-2015, 02:40 PM   #5
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To drain my water tanks I lead the hose to a bucket in which is a small Rule bilge pump. I attach a hose to the pump and lead that overboard.
It works and leaves my pressure water pump out of the loop.

It might be better if you skipped the bucket and adapted the pump directly to the tank with a short hose and hose coupling setup.
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Old 04-01-2015, 03:52 PM   #6
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That's it C lectric,
Just had to get a little more out of the box. I have a pump at home 12vdc w a rubber vane impeller like my seawater pump. Never used it. I've had it around for years and need to exercise it before putting it in an OB boat. I could get a "Y" and plumb it to both tanks as the plumbing will probably be a bit small for the pump. You got me down the right road .. thank you.

Bligh, Kevin,
I've done that but don't feel right about it. But I could just do that as the pump is cheap. Wish I was still on the hard and could use a siphon hose. Bought a pump about 5 years ago and it went belly up. Bought one at 1/3 the price fearing it would fail too but it's still working fine. Got them both at the NAPA store in Craig.

Ski,
A great idea but my tanks are just 2 or 3" from under the aft cockpit deck. I need the ballast so I'd like to fill'em up. To do soon list.
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Old 04-01-2015, 04:04 PM   #7
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What is ATV AF? Are you talking about RV antifreeze? The non-toxic stuff?
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:00 PM   #8
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Blue Yonder,
I hate acronyms and now I'm an offender. Sorry.
Just went into the garage and looked at a jug. Recreational Vehicle Anti-Freeze. Should be RVAF I suppose. Anyway that's what it is. And yes it's supposed to be non-toxic so I suppose me calling it "evil stuff" in post #1 is out of line. Makes the water stink and taste terrible. But I'd rather have stinky water than broken plumbing or tanks.
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:03 AM   #9
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I know what you mean about acronyms. I was a military pilot, it seems every other word we said was an acronym. My wife still yells at me for my use of acronyms when I talk.

I wasn't sure which "evil" stuff you were describing. I have always pumped the stuff out of my tanks using the existing potable water system. Pump the tank, refill with water, repeat a couple more times. I've never burned out a pump. It always seems to take about three flushes before all trace of the red stuff is gone.
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:43 AM   #10
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Thanks Blue,
Three flushes? It's been in there for 2 1/2 years and I thought it would take more attention. That's a lift. Using all the system outlets as an overboard will help too. I've got so much to do using the house pump will speed things up. We can continue to flush as we go and use bottled water for a month or so. Our life style on the boat leans more toward camping than most here.
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:56 AM   #11
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Thanks Blue,
Three flushes? It's been in there for 2 1/2 years
Jesus Eric... you need to use the boat a little more often



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Old 04-02-2015, 11:18 AM   #12
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Greetings,
"Three flushes? It's been in there for 2 1/2 years..." You need to eat more roughage OR...
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Old 04-02-2015, 11:51 AM   #13
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Blue Yonder,
I hate acronyms and now I'm an offender. Sorry.
Just went into the garage and looked at a jug. Recreational Vehicle Anti-Freeze. Should be RVAF I suppose. Anyway that's what it is. And yes it's supposed to be non-toxic so I suppose me calling it "evil stuff" in post #1 is out of line. Makes the water stink and taste terrible. But I'd rather have stinky water than broken plumbing or tanks.
OK I use that stuff in my tanks EVERY year.

Just partially fill your tank and use your potable water pump to empty the tank using your onboard faucets.

Do this a couple of times and you'll be good to go.

Honestly Eric if that's too much for your potable water pump then its time to buy a new pump.
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Old 04-02-2015, 12:17 PM   #14
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Draining the tank through an open spigot is the easiest job the pump can do. It's not building any significant pressure. Won't hurt the pump unless as posted above it's a POS to start with.
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:51 PM   #15
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Draining the tank through an open spigot is the easiest job the pump can do. It's not building any significant pressure. Won't hurt the pump unless as posted above it's a POS to start with.
From what I can see on my boat , a fresh water spigot was added to the system. I am not sure what for as the spigot is in the cockpit, but it's tied into the freshwater system directly after the freshwater pump and its real handy for flushing the tanks.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:47 AM   #16
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The hassle is over the years the water drains from the system, leaving some pink goop behind.

Simply filling a tank does little as the dried goop is HARDENED in all the fresh water lines , and if there was no by pass installed , the water heater too.

TIME is required to liquify the dried pink goop, so let the system sit , flush the pipes a bit and let it sit some more.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:51 AM   #17
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Yesterday I took apart the winter plumbing and hooked up all the hoses properly. I put 3" of water (I see through the plastic) in both tanks and pumped it overboard through all the outlets. Worked perfect. I put in another several inches of water and started the pump. Soon the pump rpm dropped .. seemed plugged. Thought I was going to need to start tearing apart the whole system to find the plug-up. Then I saw it. Filter. Some wonderful engineer (engineers are good) included a filter on the inlet of the pump. Cheap pump but not that cheap. Got it apart and it was very plugged w what looked like old dead slugs. Hunks of slime in other words if you like slugs. So I cleaned it. The filter element was not the typical screen but a tubular metal screen w small holes all around. VERY small. Probably 1/80th of an inch. Nothing much was going to get by that filter and so much easier to clean than a screen. Put it back together and will continue today. That filter was a wonderful discovery. Made my day.

Oh .. and the water coming out of the galley sink faucet was already clear. But I'm hear'in what FF said.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:59 AM   #18
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The hassle is over the years the water drains from the system, leaving some pink goop behind.

Simply filling a tank does little as the dried goop is HARDENED in all the fresh water lines , and if there was no by pass installed , the water heater too.

TIME is required to liquify the dried pink goop, so let the system sit , flush the pipes a bit and let it sit some more.
Sorry but what you said is just not true in my experience.

The pink RV antifreeze never hardens.

People in cold weather climates (like me) have been using the stuff for decades on our equipment without a problem.

Heck, if you are going to leave your house for the winter in Alaska the best thing to do is run RV antifreeze through all the pipes. It saves a real mess in the spring, and most people don't need to heat their homes all winter.
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:39 PM   #19
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Kevin in SE we were told to "blow out" our pipes w compressed air when leaving. We just left the heat on 55 and had good friends check almost daily. I was skeptical about blowing the pipes as I thought some water would pool somewhere and freeze.

But under some conditions I'll bet FF is right. Enough heat and age and even we will turn solid.

I think my last stage of the water system re-fit will be to put some lemon juice in the water. Other things that may sweeten the water and make it safer could be baking soda and/or small amounts of Apple cider vinigar. Going to pump some volume through today and finish w bleach.
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:08 AM   #20
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Cleaned out the filter 4 or 5 times yesterday. Chunks of slime keep coming. Dark brown lumps shaped like slugs and light cream colored sheets that can be an inch long and 1/4" wide. The time pumping to plug the filter is less and less and I think that's because the slime is broken free of the bottom directly below the inlet pipe that goes to the bottom or nearly so. Kinda like hosing the bottom in one spot directly in line of the fast stream. But it looks like most of the rest of the slime will come loose when it feels like it and that could be a long time.

The only way I can think of to get the slime out is to put something in the water in the tank that would disolve the slime into the water so then it could easily be pumped out. Any ideas?
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