rv antifreeze frozen in bucket

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chaperall lite

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2012
Posts
107
Location
Minnesota
:eek:  So we tried the Ultimate mouse trap,  with the 5 gallon bucket,  3 inches of the pink stuff ...peanut butter on spinning jar...etc...
guess what... today i went out to check the camper and looked in the bucket and there it was...solid...frozen..  we are in central Minnesota
and it has only been below zero a couple of times...  we bought this "Super Tech"  antifreeze at Walmart or Menards.... what happened ? any  ideas?  i have heard it will get slushy....but the mice would have a skating rink in this bucket!
 
As it was explained to me once, the antifreeze of antifreeze is water. In other words straight antifreeze will freeze unless it is mixed with water. I don't know if that is an urban legend or not.
 
One of the few reason I quit using pink stuff because at -25*F its some what solid and I wasn't to willing to push my luck anymore. So my RV typically is all blown out with compressed air because it hard to freeze something that's not there.  ;)
 
Since we're recounting takes from old wives . . .  What I've been  told is that RV antifreeze will not expand as opposed to water.  I suppose that frozen solid, but no bigger than the pipe, would be OK.  The pick stuff is supposed to implode instead of explode, or something like that.  Anyway, I've been using it for forty years and have endured temps at -20 or -30 with no damage.
 
Of all the materials on earth WATER is unique, it is the ONLY on that expands as it freezes thus bursting pipes, and fittings.

The pink stuff does freeze, it does NOT expand.
 
I have always used the pink stuff.  About 20 years now.  My daddy used the pink stuff in the old Holiday Rambler TT back in the early 70's and in the 14' X 60' mobile home on the lake into the 80's.  NEVER any issues.

Maybe you got a part of a bad batch?  And a sidenote...
I have always been skeptical about the quality of a lot of items available at Wallfart (not a typo) and big box stores.  Maybe you found one of those items.
 
Evil Santa said:
I've always used Winshield Washer fluid in my bucket traps..
Jim in Minn

I used the blue windshield washer fluid in my gray and black system to save a few bucks the past two winters.  I develped a leaky slide gate on my black and a bad seal in my macerator which I'm told was due to the alcohol drying out the seals.  The macerator replacement was a lot more than anything I saved.  I'm back to using the pink stuff for traps and everything.  Don't know if this is true or not, but thought I'd pass it on as a possible caution about using windshield washer fluid.

Gordon
 
chaperall lite said:
:eek:  So we tried the Ultimate mouse trap,  with the 5 gallon bucket,  3 inches of the pink stuff ...peanut butter on spinning jar...etc...
guess what... today i went out to check the camper and looked in the bucket and there it was...solid...frozen..  we are in central Minnesota
and it has only been below zero a couple of times...  we bought this "Super Tech"  antifreeze at Walmart or Menards.... what happened ? any  ideas?  i have heard it will get slushy....but the mice would have a skating rink in this bucket!

Unfortunately, this is common, and it is in fact a problem when winterizing in Minnesota.  I've had unopened jugs of the stuff freeze, and yes, there is some expansion.  The reputable brand stuff is better but it will still freeze in Minnesota

Propylene glycol is more expensive than water, so they use too much water and not enough glycol in some formulations.

I have run into the same problem with store-brand windshield washer solvent, which has led to frozen and cracked washer fluid pumps in some of my cars.

Anyway, for RV plumbing, the only sure thing in this climate is to use Cryo-tek 100, which you can get at Menard's for around $20 a gallon.  It's over 90% glycol.  Or you can use compressed air.  I use pink stuff in the drains but am probably pushing my luck.
 
SeilerBird said:
As it was explained to me once, the antifreeze of antifreeze is water. In other words straight antifreeze will freeze unless it is mixed with water. I don't know if that is an urban legend or not.

urban legend

Usually this comes up with cooling systems for car engines.  The problem with higher concentrations of glycol is that the specific heat capacity of the coolant goes down, resulting in overheating, resulting in the glycol breaking down into glycolic acid, which dissolves metal components, and from there things usually end badly.

 
Gordon Groff said:
I used the blue windshield washer fluid in my gray and black system to save a few bucks the past two winters.  I develped a leaky slide gate on my black and a bad seal in my macerator which I'm told was due to the alcohol drying out the seals.  The macerator replacement was a lot more than anything I saved.  I'm back to using the pink stuff for traps and everything.  Don't know if this is true or not, but thought I'd pass it on as a possible caution about using windshield washer fluid.

Gordon

I was talking about 5 gallon bucket mouse traps. I use the pink stuff in my RV sink traps...
Jim in Minn
 
I don't use the bucket mouse trap in my TT, but I do use one in my shed.  Again, using the pink stuff.  And MI gets pretty darn cold too!  I haven't had a freeze up problem so far.  Go figure.
 
Frozen Antifreeze
I went out to the garage and read the label on the RV/Marine antifreeze. It is 20% by weight Ethanol. I am assuming that this grain alcohol evaporated from the antifreeze and changes the freeze characteristics.                           
From Wikipedia at this address:    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol
(Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid and a versatile solvent used in ethylene glycol. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a solvent, and as a fuel.)

Those were happy mice that found their way into your trap!  ;D

I was also surprised to read some of the following precautions concerning Ethanol from PEAK at this address:    http://www.peakauto.com/pdf/msds-peak_rv_marine.pdf
(Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Avoid breathing vapor or mist. Use only with adequate ventilation. Keep product in original container or an approved alternative made from a compatible material; keep tightly closed when not in use. Use explosion-proof electrical (ventilating, lighting and material handling) equipment. Use non-sparking tools. Take precautionary measures against electrostatic discharges. Dissipate static electricity to avoid fire or explosion by grounding and bonding containers and equipment before transferring material. Empty containers retain product residue and can be hazardous. Do not reuse container.)

KD
 
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