The Travels of Tug 44

Antifreeze Flushing for Winter Storage
A Handy Tool You Can Make Yourself.

The Problem: You want to remove the cap on the cooling water strainer and pour antifreeze into it so that the engine cooling system will suck it in and flush it thru the heat exchanger, thereby protecting the engine from winter freezing. But the suction hose is located near the top of the strainer so there is only an inch or two of liquid available for the engine to pull in and the pump sucks dry. On most engines it is difficult to pour the antifreeze in fast enough and you spill half of what you pour. And using a funnel will not allow enough flow to keep up with the engine's pump.

The Solution: Home Deport or most hardware stores stock these PVC pipe parts, left to right:

1) A pipe thread male PVC adapter. The Groco ARG-750 strainer takes 2" theads, the ARG-2000 is 3". $1.38

2) A short piece of 2" PVC pipe. Home Depot has 2 foot sections available for $4.65, cut with hacksaw.

3) A PVC adapter/reducer, 2" to 4". $6.38

4) A section of 4" PVC pipe, cut to provide the capacity you want, considering how much room you have overhead. Be sure you have room for the bottle to fill it from. Available in 2 foot sections for $8.23

5) You also need a small can of PVC glue to stick it together. $7.20

You'll have plenty of pipe and glue left over to make half of the larger gadget you'll need for the larger main engine strainer.

Here it is, all stuck together loosely. Check now to be sure it will fit in your engine room, especially overhead clearance. If all is well, glue it up for a tight seal, and let it sit overnight to cure.

When you are all ready to winterize, close the thru-hull fitting, remove the strainer cap and screw the gadget into the top of the strainer. Fill it up with antifreeze, stand by with a bottle of more antifreeze to refill and start the engine. Works like a charm!

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