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Old 03-05-2013, 03:14 AM   #1
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Help: engine antifreeze poured into tank and all water lines

Well...

I could blame it on the person who did it, but in reality it was my own stupidity for not telling him what I meant by anti-freeze.

Anyway, the toxic green stuff was poured into the fresh water tank and then pumped into the whole system for winterizing.

RV is parked in freezing weather, but will be driven to warmer climate in a week. What do I have to do to get the nasty stuff out?

Yeah I know it was stupid. Solution?
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:21 AM   #2
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Fill, drain, fill , TSP, drain,....repeat about 20 times

Now repeat...I will never put ethylene glycol in the fresh water system.

Find a lab to check for residual EG



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Old 03-05-2013, 03:22 AM   #3
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Thanks TXiceman,

Figured it was going to take a lot of flushing. Any solvent or detox products I can use to reduce the chance of antifreeze poisoning? I hate myself right now.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:49 AM   #4
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TSP (trisodium phosphate) is what I used sanitize my beer equipment when I was brewing. I would also use a bit of dish washer detergent (low sudsing) to break down the oily residue from the EG.

But before using, I wold get a sample tested. Be sure to blow the low points.

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:57 AM   #5
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Vinegar is a base opposite of Ethylene Glycol. You could buy 10 gallons and work it through the system. Use white vinegar only, undiluted. I would pressurize and cycle it thru for a few days. IF the engine antifreeze made it to the hot water heater you'll have to take some additional steps.

Did the antifreeze get into the hot water heater too or was it bypassed as it should have been for winterizing? Do you have an icemaker?
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:22 AM   #6
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Why not use bleach and water mix
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:33 AM   #7
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A bleach and water solution is fine for killing mold, bacteria, etc. Ethylene glycol contamination is an entirely separate matter. Due to the acute toxicity of ethylene glycol, it is essential that any remnants of it be completely flushed from the potable water system.

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Old 03-05-2013, 08:42 AM   #8
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+1 on the Vinegar plan. And, for me, I'd avoid using the water at all this season for consumption, including coffee making, cooking, etc. Easy enough to carry water, just to be safe.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:01 AM   #9
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Agree, No matter how well 'cleaned', I would chose to never drink that water again....

But, we are already using bottled water for everything anyway

not sure if I've ever filled my fresh water tank !

Even your local Walmart has bottled water ....
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:41 AM   #10
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I agree with not using the tank water for intake of any kind for a long time, maybe never. We use bottled water for drinking etc anyway so it would not be a big change for us.

The vinegar idea sounds like it might work, but I would contact one of the antifreeze companies and get their suggestions for something to neutralize the toxic chemicals that are in your system before using it for showering or washing dishes. Wow, after typing that, washing dishes might be a problem too.

Also...be careful where you dump that stuff that you flush out!

Good luck.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:20 AM   #11
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Clorine will bind to lots of stuff.

Flush a few times until clean.

Then get pool shock, mix about 1/2 cup in a bottle, pour into tank, fill tank 1/2 then activate pump and flush everything.

Now fill to top.

Wait 24 hours

Flush out, drain, flush with fresh water, repeat.

Last 1/4 cup of shock can stay in for a week.

Then after fresh water flush you can test if you wish, but likely so little left there would be little risk.

Put a charcoal filter on drinking tap and you should be good.

WORD OF WARNING...IF YOU HAVE PB PIPE THE SHOCK MAY ATTACK THE FITTINGS, DO NOT LET SOAK.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:45 AM   #12
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Thank you all.

We never drink from the tank or even park water. Always bottled water for drinking, coffee and cooking.

All the suggestions make total sense: TSP, vinegar, dish-detergent, a bit of bleach and also Clorine.

Now I gotta find a place to dump this crap. I'm an environment-freak as it is. I hate to pollute. Imagine the dilemma.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:13 PM   #13
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There are chemists here so maybe they can add comment.

I would ASSUME the pool shock would destroy the antifreze, draining into hole in yard away from grass and allowed to drain into ground, or in gutter and allowed to evaporate may be okay.

Your first batch should go into a dump station, if you are wanting to be really green with the green stuff contact the manufacturer for advise, good money says you are not the first to be here and there may be already good process to correct it.

Avoid using name and address...
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayGee View Post
I agree with not using the tank water for intake of any kind for a long time, maybe never. We use bottled water for drinking etc anyway so it would not be a big change for us.

The vinegar idea sounds like it might work, but I would contact one of the antifreeze companies and get their suggestions for something to neutralize the toxic chemicals that are in your system before using it for showering or washing dishes. Wow, after typing that, washing dishes might be a problem too.

Also...be careful where you dump that stuff that you flush out!

Good luck.
This. Please contact the antifreeze manufacturer before adding more chemicals to the mix. Good luck.
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