antifreeze protection for hydronic heat

Discussion in 'Boiler Forum' started by fozzy12, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. fozzy12

    fozzy12 New Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    quality manager
    North of Detroit, MI
    I have a closed system hydronic heating system in my workshop. I want to protect it in case of power failure during the winter months. What type of antifreeze do you recommend? It's not connected to city water, it's a totally separate system. Can I use automotive type antifreeze? I was ready to buy some RV antifreeze when I read the label and it said specifically not for use in hydronic heating systems.

  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Go to a plumbing supply house and get the stuff designed for this. One important thing to note is the addition of antifreeze actually decreases the system's ability to transfer heat - in other words, your boiler will function as a smaller unit when you add antifreeze. Course, it will keep the system from freezing if you have enough in there. I think the deficit is about 10%, but don't quote me on of the pros would know.
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  4. zl700

    zl700 DIY Senior Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Western NY
    The insulating factor for heat exchange can be as high as 25% depending on concentration or level of freeze protection, with the norm around 15-20% reduction.

    Also, heat exchange in the boiler depending on type is effected, many times causing operational problems such as whining and whistling can be heard.

    Proper concentration, flow, adequate radiation and perhaps some burner adjustment and all is well for that peace of mind
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