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Old 08-03-2009, 04:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 28
Default Anti Freeze in Forced Hot Water System

I am getting mixed comments on the use of non toxic anti freeze in a forced hot water heating system.

I have had it in my existing system for many years (20+) and while it does affect the valves etc somewhat I thought it was worth the comfort of knowing the pipes wouldn't freeze when the power went out. Now I'm planning to put in a new boiler with an indirect hot water tank (the old boiler being a tankless hot water system) and need to figure out whether to continue with the antifreeze.

Any thoughts??
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:44 PM   #2
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Posts: 66

This reader says NO. Use only the proper anti freeze that is made just for heating systems. I'm sorry, but I have forgotten the name of it. If the name is not given in future threads by the time I can get it I will post the proper liquid and manufacturer.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:00 PM   #3
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Location: phoenix and moultonboro
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we have what you are getting that is a separate water heater and use non toxic anti freeze in the furnace but they drain the water heater in the winter. we have had no problems over the last five years. We have Eastern check each year to make sure that the level is enough and have a plumber shut the house down in the winter and start it up again in the spring
it's tough to make predictions specially about the future
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:10 PM   #4
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Your new boiler should have recommended anti-freeze products listed in the owners material.

I replaced my boiler a few years ago with a high efficency unit and added a room last winter that caused me freeze concern. I had to make certain the proper anti-freeze was used, otherwise it will invalidate the warrantee on your boiler!
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:32 AM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Default Propylene Glycol

Cryo-tek 100 is one brand that is out there which can be used on many systems, but always go by manufacture specs.

Anti-freeze does protect the water from freezing depending on the percentage in the system. The 2 downsides are, increased valve corrosion and increased fuel consumption. I certainly recommend gylcol for second homes but for a primary residence, I would lean towards straight water.

It really depends on your financial preference. If your boiler (boiler heats water, furnace heats air), shuts off for any reason, you would know because you live there and you could take the necessary precautions. You would be saving on fuel and part replacement. But if you don't mind spending a "little more" money for the protection, then have 50-75% glycol added to your system. For primary residence, I would recommend 50%, if using Cryo-Tek.
This would give you enough protection for most of the winter (below zero temps) but flow maybe reduced or even freeze with -30 temps (unlikely in house). This is important when the system comes back on, if your fluid is frozen, it cannot circulate and heat your house. It would protect from burst pipes but you would need someone to thaw the frozen sections out before your system could operate correctly. Again, not likely in lakes region with that much glycol.

Hope this helps.
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