winterizing a boiler

Old 01-14-06, 06:38 PM
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winterizing a boiler

My hot water boiler heat sprung a leak in our vacation home in Michigan. I have drained the plumbing etc, and the 2nd floor radiators have all drained (I presume) The furnace is at ground level-ie above the first floor radiators and I am unsure if I need to drain the first floor radiator pipes and if so how to. There is only one bleeder valve I have found, on the first floor. What kind of anti-freeze do you use (car?). Suggestions?
Old 01-15-06, 07:31 AM
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Just draining a piping system is a gamble becaue there may be low points that will not drain and could end up freezing. Blowing out lines with compressed air usually works to get most of the water out of low points (which is everywhere the piping goes up to a radiator and back down to the next one). A heating loop that does not have a drain can be a problem.
You might consider adding enough antifreeze to the entire heating system to give it a 40 or 50% mixture. Do Not use automotive anitfreeze. It has the wrong kind of addatives. Use RV antifreeze (propylene glycol) or heating system antifreeze (such as Crytotek). Hopefully, you can isolate the boiler so that the leak will not drain the entire boiler or any part of the loops (you don't specify where the leak is or how much it is leaking).
As for the potable water, draining by opening all of the faucets and lines is easier to do because there are few, if any, low spots. Add some RV antifreeze to the toilet bowl, every sink trap, the bottom of the dishwasher and the clothes washer. You can drain the hot water tank (and pressure tank if you have a well).
Good luck!

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