"Winterizing" my open loop system

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by sixmenn, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. sixmenn

    sixmenn New Member

    I have an open loop system that I use for A/C in the summer, but I use a wood boiler for heat through the winter. Because of this, the water in my exchanger and water lines just sits there. I have very hard water, and very iron-y water. From what I read, water that is not in motion tends to foil up things and leave deposits, etc.

    Does anyone know what would be the best way to "store" or "winterize" my open loop system through the winter months to preserve the life of the exchanger?
  2. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Let it drain.
  3. sixmenn

    sixmenn New Member

    If I let it drain, won't exposure to air cause further corrosion? Is there some liquid solution that can be circulated in that will help with that?
  4. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Sure. Run some vinegar or such through it. You can get more complicated but we'd need some water chemistry.
  5. sixmenn

    sixmenn New Member

    I've done acid flushes before with CLR (and vinegar), but I wouldn't want to leave that in there, would I? Would you agree that leaving my hard, iron-y water just sitting in there for months would cause problems? Or am I over-complicating things?

    What do you mean by water chemistry?
  6. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Ok. I was starting with simple because that works best when on phone.

    A stagnant anaerobic environment would be your enemy. Yes you'll get dry junk if you drain. But basically inert dry scaling. Should flush out when system starts. But you wanted more:) So vinegar. But still more, so now flush out vinegar with distilled water.

    Anything else and you're polluting.
  7. mtrentw

    mtrentw Active Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    How much pipe and how many gallons. Exposed pipe and freeze concerns? I'd consider propylene glycol intended for geothermal use. At the end of the season flush and capture the material for proper disposal. Being that you use a wood boiler, I assume you are rural and on septic. PG can be diluted and disposed in septic in smaller amounts. Corrosion inhibitors in various brands would give me enough pause to dispose of it as if it were a radiator flush. Check geothermal or solar supply for PG or consider sierra antifreeze.
  8. sixmenn

    sixmenn New Member

  9. sixmenn

    sixmenn New Member

    OK. So if I'm understanding you right, you agree that leaving it in the wet as it is would be bad. Draining it dry would be better, and then I would just flush out the junk the next time I fire it up using vinegar.

    The way my system is set up I am able to easily circulate any solution into my exchanger without fear of contaminating the groundwater or well. Considering this, would using propylene glycol (specifically for geo systems) or sierra antifreeze (as mtrentw suggested) be a better solution?
  10. sixmenn

    sixmenn New Member

    Thanks for the reply. No, there are no freezing concerns. I am able to isolate the exchanger from the rest of the system, so I could easily circulate a solution into the exchanger and then recapture it without concern for my septic or the environment.
  11. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    usually as long as the pressure is maintained unit will keep particulate in suspension. If not worried about freeze I'd leave water in. If worried about stagnant water run the unit once in awhile. Having it ready to go makes sense if you might leave town for a day or two.

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