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Old 01-15-16, 09:15 AM   #11
pletby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDMCF View Post
I have never replaced the anti-freeze as such.

How often should I replace the anti-freeze?.
I'm no expert, I'm still learning but I think the general rule is every 2 years coolant should be replaced as it begins to break down producing lipids and acids that can be hard on your plumbing in addition to losing freeze resistance.

Anyone else have different info?

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Old 01-15-16, 10:51 AM   #12
randen
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Pletby

Yes I understand the Propylene Glycol has a life expectancy. I had the understanding its about 6 yrs. and it turns a brown color and smells burnt. I do check it from time to time by taking a sample and putting it in the deep freeze. I need protection down to -22 Deg C.
I have found that even if the temp is lower it just turns to slush and there is no chance of expansion causing a burst pipe.
Mikesolar had mentioned to me sometimes it can be hard on O-rings (rubber) causing a sticky valve. Well I think he was right. Don't tell him, it will go to his head.

My Propylene Glycol still has a protection down to the -22 Deg. C. its colour has changed from its light blue to a green colour probably from the copper. Working on the copper pipes a cutting has a light dust coating on the inside. This could be my hard water that I had originally used to make up the solution.

Overall we are very pleased with the solar hot water system. Its saving us a pile of money.

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Old 01-16-16, 07:54 AM   #13
pletby
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randen

Thank you for the correction. I spend alot of time working on my car so I might have gotten the 2 year life of Propylene Glycol from automobiles.

I was thinking about SDMCF's post on the first page that said he installed his system in 2005 and had not replaced his Propylene Glycol since then and had a freezing event in his panels. I think that the fluid in his system is past it's prime. A replacement of the fluid should have him up and running like new since his system was not damaged.
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Old 01-16-16, 01:31 PM   #14
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I hope (and believe) you are right pletby. I have drained the system completely and re-filled using fresh anti-freeze. All seems OK.

This has got me thinking though. What about the anti-freeze in my GSHP field loop? Should that be changed at some point? Changing that isn't so easy.

Incidentally my diagnosis of my GSHP's field loop pump dropping out periodically was not correct. The guy who originally supplied and installed the GSHP brought a new circulation pump out on Wednesday but decided that part wasn't the problem, although it wasn't clear where the fault lay. After several hours testing he suspected the anti-freeze was not evenly mixed in the fluid and some of the fluid was freezing in the field occasionally. To cure that he left an external pump running overnight, pumping the fluid into and out of an extra tank where it would mix properly. That didn't fix the problem, which didn't surprise me, so then he suspected muck in the system but clearing out the traps showed that wasn't the problem either. Eventually he reversed the flow in the field loop and that immediately cleared an airlock in the compressor. I would never have found that!
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Old 01-16-16, 05:04 PM   #15
randen
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Pletby & SDMCF

I happen to flip over to wikipedia and found this:

In the absence of leaks, antifreeze chemicals such as ethylene glycol or propylene glycol may retain their basic properties indefinitely. By contrast, corrosion inhibitors are gradually used up, and must be replenished from time to time. Larger systems (such as HVAC systems) are often monitored by specialist firms which take responsibility for adding corrosion inhibitors and regulating coolant composition.

My system is made from copper and stainless steel and the only thing that can corrode is the new pump I just installed so the antifreeze may last indefinitely. But some periodic maintenance is the plan. Don't forget this stuff isn't cheap so an unwarranted change is not desirable.

My home geothermal uses Denatured Alcohol for the ground loop as this will never approach the boil temps its application is ideal and it will last forever.

SDMCF I had the unfortunate event of an air bubble finding its way back to the circulation pump stopping any flow and my evaporator freezing solid and bursting. This happened to the DIY shop GSHP. It made for a really bad bad day. And it was really cold weather. If I had the glycol in the system it would have been a non event.



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Old 10-10-16, 10:45 AM   #16
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It is the 10th of Oct. (Thanksgiving in Canada) and this morning we arose to frost on the ground so an O/S temp of near 0 Deg.C. The indoor temp was 19 Deg.C. Starting to feel fresh in the house. Another way I can tell its beginning to get cool is the Mrs. sports a sweater and starts wearing shoes in the house. The floor temp is 19 Deg.C (or 66 Deg.F.) and is beginning to feel uncomfortable on the feet.

The upside today is a clear sunny day and 45 mins ago I switched on the solar hydronic floor heat. In that mere 45 min. the floor temp increased 1 Deg. In a manor of 3-4 hrs. we should feel the 24 Deg. C. warm tiles though our sock feet. REALLY NICE. I will set the limit at 24 Deg.C.This temp will warm the air to a more comfortable 21 Deg.C. and not overheat the space. ALL AT NO COST!!!

We'll see if we can get the Mrs to revert back to sock feet!!

The other facet of the solar hot water is the provider of domestic hot water for showers etc. Thats been the sole provider of Hot water since March I think. That's 7 months of hot water at no cost. And 9 yrs. of operation. The percentage of 15-30% for the average American home energy costs is related to heating water.

Randen
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Old 11-18-16, 05:01 PM   #17
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Default Solar Space Heating in Canada

Well November has been beautiful weather here but that's about to change. On my maintainence to-do list is some insulation on the copper pipe had blown off sometime during the summer. It was the cheap foam it only lasted 3.5 years.
One of are local hardware suppliers had the Armacell insulating pipe wrap. After confirming with Mikesolar (smart guy) that this is the proper stuff I went and replaced all the pipe insulation.

We,re almost ready for winter

A Photo of the sun on the panel at about 5:00 pm

Randen

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