Refilling hot water tank after draining

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Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby jagizzi on Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:47 pm

I am in the process of draining the hot water heater in prep for the cold weather. RV antifreeze is next as the boat is stored on the hard at the moment.

We will be using the boat this winter though so this begs the question of what is necessary to refill the tank? Is it simply a matter of filling the freshwater holding tank and then running the hot water from a faucet or is there more required? Just trying to plan ahead.

Thanks,

Jim
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby Andrew Custis on Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:56 pm

If you are asking about flushing the tank, I would simply fill the water tank and let your faucets run through a few tanks of water on hot and cold to rinse it all through. You might also drain the hot water heater as well to get rid of most of the RV antifreeze to begin with. Also, we use air on them now and blow the systems out so we don't have the taste and smell the RV antifreeze creates.
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby JamesTXSD on Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:35 pm

If you want the pink stuff in the lines/pumps, you could also install a water heater by-pass (a line between the water heater inlet and outlet with a valve that takes the water heater out of the system). This saves you having to fill the water heater with the RV antifreeze, and the lengthy task of filling and flushing to get rid of the pink stuff in your water system. Blowing out the air lines with low pressure air (as Andrew suggested) is a good alternative - make sure you open each water tap, inside and out, to get any water out of the lines.
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby knotflying on Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:54 pm

My only reservation about blowing out the lines is the residual water laying in the water tank. I would feel safer pouring some antifreeze in the water tank to prevent freezing in there. And once you do that you may as well let it run through the faucets and be done with it since you will have to drain it from the tank anyway.
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby jagizzi on Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:30 pm

So JamesTXSD, are you saying that when filling the fresh water tank it is necessary to first fill, entirely, the hot water tank?

This is what I am trying to understand/discover, is what is the process and steps necessary to fill the hot water heater, but now it is also trying to understand how to winterize the water system including the hot water heater. I sure as heck don't want to fill the hot water tank with antifreeze, that would be a waste.

My preference would be too get some antifreeze into the water heater and then some in the lines and water tank. The lines and water tank seems pretty straightforward but the hot water tank is the part I don't really understand in this whole system, yet ;-)
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby jagizzi on Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:34 pm

Hmm, an earlier post didn't seem to make it here. Where would a guy start with the blow out process? Is this a one connection and blow type of thing or is it hooking up the compressor in several different locations with several different connectors?

Is anyone using this procedure that can detail what type of connectors, pressure reducers etc they are using, and where those connections into the water system are made?
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby JamesTXSD on Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:56 pm

I'll try to answer both questions: in order to get fluids through the hot water lines, you need to have the water heater tank nearly full; i.e. when winterizing, if you are using the pink RV anitfreeze, you are essentially wasting that 6/10 gallons. With a by-pass on those lines, you are only putting RV anitfreeze in the lines, not in the water heater tank. Drain the tank at the low point drain. If there is a small bit of water in there, it can't expand the tank (as a full tank of water would do) to cause damage.

The best way to blow out the lines is to hook an air tank or low pressure compressor in the fresh water line - either at a dedicated city water hookup or by disconnecting the line on the output side of the water pump. Open each water tap, one at a time, until no water comes out. IF there is an issue with water collecting in a low point in a water line, this can be a problem with freezing, so make sure no more water is "spitting" out.

If you choose to use the pink RV antifreeze, run each tap until it is a solid pink coming out. If you choose to not do a water heater by-pass, understand that you will be putting the tank's capacity of antifreeze in order to get the pink stuff through the lines.

I don't recommend putting the antifreeze in the fresh water tank, but that is a personal choice. You can disconnect the water line between your fresh water tank and the pump(s) and put that line into the jug of antifreeze to draw it through the lines. My concern isn't the $$ for the antifreeze, which is relatively inexpensive, but the hassle of getting that taste out of the fresh water tank and water heater tank, even with multiple flushings next season.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby jagizzi on Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:07 pm

OK, this all makes sense and I agree with all of it, so thanks!!!

I agree on the small amount of water in either tank not being a problem as there is plenty of room for expansion and clearly it would be easiest to blow everything out with compressed air.

As there is no dedicated city water hookup this would have to either be done through a disconnected line somewhere after the water pump or possibly through the fresh water fill opening. I think that the fresh water fill would have the problem of the vent needing to be sealed off.

I am going to have to dig and think this through. I just hope that freezing doesn't happen in the next week or two before I am ready for this.

An alternative is to place a heater in the bilges and dehumidifiers in the cabin but as this is a gas boat, and the heater would be in with the gasoline tank, that makes me nervous. Even with the ignition protected heater from West Marine. It just seems like something I would be worrying about through the winter.

Thanks for the thoughts and discussion, I'll locate lines and the pump and see what would be involved in each of these alternatives.

Jim
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby Larry H on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:10 pm

Andrew,

Can you post the procedure that you use to blow out the water lines?

As to where to connect the compressed air to blow out the lines, I have found that the outlet fitting on the water pump is removable (slide the clip, twist and pull). A rubber air nozzle could be pressed against the fitting to blow out the lines. Andrew, is this what you do?

The instruction booklet for the water pump shows a procedure to dry the pump to allow it to be left dry with no antifreeze for the winter. Both inlet and outlet fittings are removed and the pump operated for a brief time, then left dry for the winter. As I am writing this from memory, please refer to your pump instructions.

To see what a 'water heater bypass' hookup is, Google 'RV water heater bypass'.
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby Larry H on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:21 pm

jagizzi,

In answer to your original question, "How do I refill the water heater tank?",

First, be sure the 120volt ac power to the water heater is OFF. Then fill the water tank, and turn on the water pump and the hot water faucets in the boat. The water heater fills from the bottom with cold water and the hot water is drawn off at the top of the tank. The air in the tank will be expelled by the incoming water. When the water coming out the faucets is free of air, you are done, and can turn on the AC power to heat water.
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby jagizzi on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:34 pm

Thanks for that Larry,

It simplifies things greatly to know how that works. If I am willing to have antifreeze in the fresh water tank then winterizing is pretty simple knowing this?

I have to mull this winterizing stuff over and do some digging around. We don't drink water from the fresh water tank so I am not sure that I care, but it would stink to be in a position to need to drink it and have it taste bad as a result of winterizing. Clearly it could be easily flushed out but I would think that getting rid of the smell and taste from antifreeze in there all winter would require more than a flush or two.

Thanks!
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby Larry H on Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:51 pm

jagizzi,

Our new-to-us 2014 R-27 was winterized by the dealer and the water tank had pink RV antifreeze in it. I have flushed the tank several times, and tried a chlorine sanitize solution, but the bad aftertaste is still in the water. We have been living aboard and traveling the BC Gulf Islands for 6 weeks. That bad taste has not gone away! For drinking and coffee, I have been using the marina dock water at the various marinas in a 2 gal counter-top dispenser. I have owned four boats over 38 years, and this is the worst water tank taste I have ever had.

I strongly recommend to NOT put any RV antifreeze in the water tank.

My current thinking is to pump the tank dry, drain the water heater, and blow out the lines with compressed air. If the water tank is pumped dry, the small amount of water left could freeze but will lots of room to expand, should not damage the tank. The water heater, if drained by the valve, should be the same. The hoses and faucets can be blown dry.

If you want to still put pink RV antifreeze in the pump, hoses, and faucets, install an RV water heater bypass, then disconnect the water hose that comes from the water tank at the water pump. Attach a short hose to the pump, and put the hose in the jug of pink. Activate the pump to suck up the pink antifreeze and open the faucets till pink comes out both hot and cold.

This procedure is essentially the same as winterizing the fresh water system of an RV. Google has lots of info.

The Ranger Tugs website has a video about winterizing our boats.

The salt water systems, toilet, holding tank, salt water washdown system, sink drains, and bilge pumps have to be winterized using the pink antifreeze. Your outboard is self draining in the vertical position.
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby tuggin aweigh on Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:50 am

When winterizing our R27 in lieu of using compressed air I use the wet/dry vacuum to pull any residual water out. I methodically move to each faucet and water heater. I still use "pink antifreeze" but I am able to use the minimum amount. Have used this method for 8 years with no problems. The water heater is first drained and residual water is vacuumed. I have a bypass on the water heater.
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby Barry Cohen on Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:29 pm

Jagizzi:

Something doesn't quite make sense to me.

Why would you use RV antifreeze if you plan on using the boat this winter?
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Re: Refilling hot water tank after draining

Postby Andrew Custis on Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:20 pm

If you go into the forum index and look under Ranger Factory Technical bulletins, you will find a winterizing alternative. I have done this for the past year with boats that have shipped all over the world. Never had one issue when this procedure was followed. I believe the residual left in the tank isn't enough to do any harm if it froze.
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