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nemalibu

Potential Ballast Winterizing Proceedure - looking for comments

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nemalibu

I have been thinking through a ballast winterizing Proceedure for us folks with hard tanks and came up with this. Please comment.

Notes: each tank has three connections, a vent, a fill, and a drain. Depending on hose routing, there can be areas where water can get trapped. It is important to remove all water from the system and then put some (roughly 0.5 gal) antifreeze into each tank to cover for any potential remaining water and any condensation.

Items Required:

1. 0.5 gal of antifreeze per tank

2. Shop vacuum

3. Hose or funnel to permit using the vacuum to push air into the upper through-hull fittings (vent and drain ports).

4. 4' of hose with a funnel which fits on it. This hose needs to fit into the vent port lines so that antifreeze can be poured in through there.

Before starting the process drain the tanks as much as possible and then raise front of boat as far as practical to push remaining water towards the back of the tank.

The process below is followed for each ballast tank. Any place where the instruction says "push air" - this means use the shop vacuum as the air source.

1. Push air in through vent port while holding hand over drain port. (This will push water out of the fill line and fill pump.)

2. Close the fill pump through-hull valve.

3. With the drain port uncovered, push air into the vent port. (This will push water out of the drain line and drain pump.)

4. Open fill pump through-hull valve.

5. Pour antifreeze in through the vent port.

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Murphy8166

That's all fine and dandy....but overkill.

Just drain the tanks and you will be fine. If you are really worried about it - just pop the pump motors out of the cartridges.

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nemalibu

I live in an area where it gets very cold in the winter. I may be a bit over concerned but here in New England making sure all of the lines are clear may well make the difference between split lines and no split lines in the spring.

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noonewakeboards

2005 VLX, raise the front end as high as you can, make sure all pumps are working and empty, all empty pumps are in the back of the hard tanks, put boat back to level and done!

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nyryan2001

Like Murphy said, remove the set screw on each pump, twist off the plastic ring, and pull out the motor cartridge....any remaining water will drain right there and then. I could do all 8 of mine in about 45 mins or so. Also forces you to learn where they all are, how to work on them and their connections in the even one fails in the future.

Also, Pls stop dumping antifreeze into the waterways every spring....even if it is non-toxic, not good, and totally avoidable.

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G-Mack

I just pull up op on the steepest hill in out town, run the drain pumps and call it done.. no issues so far.

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Murphy8166

How about this....each tank has three holes. One for the pump, one for the vent and one for the drain. Water flows down hill better than any other direction.

Put a piece of tape over the vent, put a piece of tape over the drain and put your shop vac over the hole on the bottom and turn the suction on. Raise the front end of the boat up as well

This ought to get you pretty dry.

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Lance B. Johnson

Don't need antifreeze no matter how cold. Pull the pumps and blow out the lines with an air compressor. A cup of water in every tank...no way that can expand enough to cause damage. The main concern would be a ballast hose, so thats why you blow out the lines.

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nemalibu

No easy way to get to the bow tank drain pump in my VTX.

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jtrovato

I live in MA and had been having the place that winterizes the boat run antifreeze through my ballast lines for the first few years. After doing a lot of reading on here I decided it wasn't worth it and for the past two winters I have just run all the pumps dry with the boat on a hill. No issues in the spring. Not enough water gets left in the lines or the pumps for it to cause any damage.

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Bill_AirJunky

We're an hour away from Canada & will see temps WELL below 0 degrees F in any given year. This boat is 8 yrs old & I've never had to do anything more than drain the tanks with the boat angled back a bit. The design of the pumps is such that they don't really hold water in them. Cycle them a couple times & see if you continue to get water out of them. I rarely get it more than twice.

That said, I have replaced one of the 6 pumps in the boat. The midship drain pump was seized up last summer. Their like $50 on Ebay.

But hey, it's your baby. Do whatever it takes for you to sleep at night.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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nemalibu

Thanks for all the comments. I am a bit of a belt and suspenders kind of guy.

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