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Topic: RV Antifreeze freezing at 0 degrees F??

Posted By: TDInewguy on 12/21/08 10:27pm

Ok, so I was at Menards just the other day and bought 3 gallons of PEAK RV antifreeze and right on the bottle it says "PROTECTION DOWN TO -50F"

What gives? It was not frozen solid, but it was probably 85% frozen with a little liquid, the rest was slushy.

Did PEAK rip me off with a watered down antifreeze?

Is it normal for it to slush up like this at 0 degrees?

Anyone?


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Posted By: cbeierl on 12/21/08 10:33pm

My understanding is that it will freeze or become slushy, but unlike water, it won't expand when it freezes. The expansion as water freezes is what causes problems.


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Posted By: Dutch_12078 on 12/21/08 10:35pm

Yes, that's the way polyethylene glycol works as a potable water system antifreeze. It doesn't freeze solid and expand like water, it just turns slushy, causing no damage to your pipes or fittings. There are formulas that will stay liquid at lower temps, but it isn't necessary for our needs.


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Posted By: wagonmaster2 on 12/21/08 10:43pm

Yes it will definitely get very slushy. I always wondered that myself so one day I put a small container of the pink stuff in my freezer to see what it would do at -10 degrees. It gets slushy but never solid. Guess it works the way its supposed to. Always thought if it says protection to -50, that meant it stayed liquid down to that temperature but "wrong".

Wagonmaster2


Posted By: jetjock46 on 12/21/08 10:49pm

Put the container in the cold and after it gets slushy, check out the size of the container. You will see that it does not expand. That's how it works.


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Posted By: Gale Hawkins on 12/21/08 10:55pm

Years ago when people ran water for coolant there was one older guy who put just put one quart of antifreeze in his radiator each winter. He claimed it did not freeze solid. My brother in law also blew a radiator hose when his radiator froze from weak antifreeze freezing when it cooled in the core.


Posted By: gonesouth on 12/22/08 05:24am

I don't buy it. If it is getting slushy, you are getting water freezing out of the mix. REAL antifreeze doesn't do that. My propylene glycol antifreeze gets thick like honey before it finally gets hard. If yours doesn't, take it back.


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Posted By: fpresto on 12/22/08 06:21am

gonesouth - I hate to disagree with you but in this case you are wrong. Any antifreeze solution will at some temperature freeze solid. I have seen Ethylene glycol solid as a rock, however, that is not the point. Burst protection is what is required and it doesn't matter if it turns to slush or freezes solid as long as it doesn't expand. The following is a quote from a Dow Chemical web page "When most fluids freeze they expand in volume, which can cause pipes or other containment vessels to rupture. When a water-glycol mixture freezes, it retains its flow-ability and does not create added pressure in pipes or vessels. This makes it an ideal solution for burst protection in pipe and containment systems." If you read the MSDS sheet from Peak they make two types of RV antifreeze one is the -50F and it starts to freeze (slush) at -9F and the other is -100F and it starts to freeze at -26F.


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Posted By: John&Joey on 12/22/08 06:45am

Ahhh... The joy's of MN in the winter. I don't miss it in the least.

I've used the exact same stuff from the Menards in Duluth in my cabin and have seen it down to -40. At that point it turns into a solid mass. First time I saw that it had me concerned also. So as a test I hit it with the point of a screwdriver, and it flacked easily (back to the burst logic.) I guess that's the reason it's cheaper, and why you don't use it in your auto. I've never had a problem yet with the RV stuff breaking anything.

But, I see you're in the Twin Cities and here is the big but. At the cabin I always use a shop vac to get all of the water out of the toilet first. In the traps I use a small amount of regular antifreeze, then a couple of cups of the RV stuff after it. I would hate to see what would happen if you didn't get all of the water out first and ended up diluting the Menards RV stuff.


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Posted By: Mandalay Parr on 12/22/08 07:35am

Did you mix it 50-50 with water? That was the normal we used to put in cars.


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Posted By: Randu on 12/22/08 07:42am

The cheap stuff at Menards (Splash brand, not Peak) slushes up in the teens but don't expand. I usually pump the lines full and then drain out whatever will run out of the low point drains. Gives me peace of mind that there is expansion room just in case. Randy


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Posted By: camperbuds3 on 12/22/08 07:51am

Mandalay Parr wrote:

Did you mix it 50-50 with water? That was the normal we used to put in cars.

NEVER mix water with RV Antifreeze. RV Antifreeze is not meant to be diluted.


Posted By: Sully2 on 12/22/08 07:56am

fpresto wrote:

gonesouth - I hate to disagree with you but in this case you are wrong. Any antifreeze solution will at some temperature freeze solid. I have seen Ethylene glycol solid as a rock, however, that is not the point. Burst protection is what is required and it doesn't matter if it turns to slush or freezes solid as long as it doesn't expand. The following is a quote from a Dow Chemical web page "When most fluids freeze they expand in volume, which can cause pipes or other containment vessels to rupture. When a water-glycol mixture freezes, it retains its flow-ability and does not create added pressure in pipes or vessels. This makes it an ideal solution for burst protection in pipe and containment systems." If you read the MSDS sheet from Peak they make two types of RV antifreeze one is the -50F and it starts to freeze (slush) at -9F and the other is -100F and it starts to freeze at -26F.


I agree 100%. Ive seen the exact same thing.


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Posted By: Mandalay Parr on 12/22/08 09:34am

camperbuds3 wrote:

Mandalay Parr wrote:

Did you mix it 50-50 with water? That was the normal we used to put in cars.

NEVER mix water with RV Antifreeze. RV Antifreeze is not meant to be diluted.


Thanks, I have never used it before. Didn't know RV antifreeze was different.

Jerry Parr


Posted By: BobR on 12/22/08 09:47am

Antifreeze appears normal. If you are concerned, you could blow out the lines with air.


Posted By: ArchHoagland on 12/22/08 10:53am

In the old days when you bought a gallon of antifreeze it was pure antifreeze.

Today most of it is a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze.

Which did you buy...a 50/50 mix or pure antifreeze?


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Posted By: BarbaraOK on 12/22/08 11:08am

Maybe we need a little basic science here.

First, WATER expands when it freezes, most other liquids do not expand. It expands because of the shape of the water molecule, which isn't linear. It has to do with hydrogen bonding, it is why ice floats and life exists on this planet.

Second a 50/50 mixture protects better than pure antifreeze because there are more 'particles' that get in the way of each other - that's what gives the protection.

Third, ANYTHING will freeze if the temperature gets low enough (with the exception of the low temperature gases like hydrogen, helium, etc.) but most do not expand.


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Posted By: Triker33 on 12/22/08 03:19pm

[emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon]

1. Some on this thread are talking about RV antifreeze that you put in the fresh water line for winter storage.

2. And others are talking about Antifreeze that you put in your engine block to protect it.

3. Neither Antifreeze is made the same.

4. The OP was about No. 1

5. Winter windshield wiper fluid is made different also. [emoticon]


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Posted By: BarbaraOK on 12/22/08 05:37pm

Triker33 wrote:

[emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon]

1. Some on this thread are talking about RV antifreeze that you put in the fresh water line for winter storage.

2. And others are talking about Antifreeze that you put in your engine block to protect it.

3. Neither Antifreeze is made the same.

4. The OP was about No. 1

5. Winter windshield wiper fluid is made different also. [emoticon]


Actually both types of antifreezes are diols (having 2 OH groups on the molecule). The difference is how the mammalian body oxidizes the compounds. In the case of ethylene glycol, the resulting oxalate combines with calcium and precipitates out in the kidneys and brains. BTW - both spinach and rubarb are very high in oxalate acid!

Barb


Posted By: Locomotiveman on 12/22/08 06:23pm

My MENARDS Peak RV 'PinkStuff' was somewhat slushy in the top of a new full jug; but bottom 1/3 was hard as a rock last nite at -20F. I blew out MH lines as much as possible....then ran "PinkStuff' but allowed it to drain down with all valves open. I dunno, but it appears to have separated somewhat in the jug. TOM


Locomotiveman..Yes I am a career cross-country Locomotive Engineer. Wife is an RN. We are CLOSE to retiring and 'downsized' to a Monaco Executive w/450hp Cummins and nice drapes. Locomotiveman


Posted By: cptdav on 12/22/08 06:44pm

BarbaraOK wrote:

Triker33 wrote:

[emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon]

1. Some on this thread are talking about RV antifreeze that you put in the fresh water line for winter storage.

2. And others are talking about Antifreeze that you put in your engine block to protect it.

3. Neither Antifreeze is made the same.

4. The OP was about No. 1

5. Winter windshield wiper fluid is made different also. [emoticon]


Actually both types of antifreezes are diols (having 2 OH groups on the molecule). The difference is how the mammalian body oxidizes the compounds. In the case of ethylene glycol, the resulting oxalate combines with calcium and precipitates out in the kidneys and brains. BTW - both spinach and rubarb are very high in oxalate acid!

Barb



What Barb said, I think.

JD


Posted By: barnaclebill on 12/22/08 08:25pm

I also have had new, sealed gallons of RV "antifreeze" frozen solid as a rock. The jugs were swelled out on the bottom and would not sit flat and rolled on end like a "punch dummy"


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Posted By: John&Joey on 12/22/08 08:32pm

barnaclebill wrote:

I also have had new, sealed gallons of RV "antifreeze" frozen solid as a rock. The jugs were swelled out on the bottom and would not sit flat and rolled on end like a "punch dummy"


Boy that just doesn't sound right[emoticon]. But anyone from a cold area know, extreme cold does strange things to normal items.

I wonder if part of the process here is some evaporation occuring. In a jug it can't happen. Also those jugs are pretty thin and would push out easily vs a toilet or a P-trap.


Posted By: garry1p on 12/23/08 08:07pm

I would "NOT" dilute RV antifreeze.... automotive yeah 50/50.

I agree it (RV antifreeze) will turn to slush and the more you dilute with water the more likely the water in the mix will freeze and expand.


Garry1p


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