What air compressor for winterizing

Discussion in 'Winterizing' started by Creekwood, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    I am considering buying an air compressor for blowing out water lines rather than running antifreeze through everything. For those of you that do that, what is the size of compressor that is big enough to do the job?
  2. gerryb

    gerryb Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 12, 2006
    Somers Point, NJ
    "On Vacation"
    2006 40 Sundancer
    Raymarine E125 & HD Radar + Garmin 5208
    QSB5.9 380 Cummins
    Not sure if there is a minimum but I do know that pancake compressor won't do it... tried it years ago...
  3. boatrboy

    boatrboy Active Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    Orange, CT
    1999 270 Da
    7.4 MPI w/B3
    Fwiw I have a special set-up where I attached a flexible hose to a fitting that screws into the city water inlet and to a regulator to reduce the pressure down to about 30-35 psi. This was important to me so I did not over pressurize the lines - especially somewhere where I could not see them. I could have turned the regulator on the compressor down but this was an added protection for me. I have been able to use a portable compressor on occasion.
    Handsome Transom likes this.
  4. doozie

    doozie Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 6, 2007
    46 sundancer 2001
    3126B 450hp Cats
    I use a 6 gallon from Harbor Freight. Have it set up like BoatrBoy
    rcknecht likes this.
  5. Jus the two of us

    Jus the two of us Member

    Dec 7, 2015
    United States Lake Cumberland
    1998 Sundancer 450
    3116 Cats
    I do the same, But still run anti freeze through just for safety, Cuts your anti freeze usage down by 1/2. Can't imagine hunting a water leak in some of the places the lines are run.
  6. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    I may rethink and just use the pink.
  7. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    640 hp (Total)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    I have used the exhaust port of a wet/dry vac to blow out the lines and block and exhaust and fresh water system.....it is a good source of 'high volume-low pressure' air.....just cup your hand around the connection of the vacuum hose and the water line you are blowing out to form a decent seal....

    Mike sandor and Little Ducky like this.
  8. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    I don't winterize the boat, but I do have a pool that needs winterization. I bought Pink antifreeze for $2.50 /gal at Tractor Supply (TSC) this week......cutting the price of the antifreeze might be another approach you can consider.
    Arickosmo and Handsome Transom like this.
  9. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Dickson, TN / Chattanooga, TN
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alphas
    Kohler 4kW
    From TSC's web site. "There are no rust or corrosion inhibitors in this product. It is strictly for portable water systems."

    So I would use another product for engines.
  10. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    For years I have used a Harbor Freight pancake compressor and it has worked fine. I hook it to the city water connection then, one at a time, go around and open each faucet. I wait until it's just mist coming out then go to the next one. I do that twice and have never had any problems. Be sure you do the hot and cold sides of each faucet.

    PS. Don't forget the anchor washdown faucet nor the one at the transom shower and if you have a lazarette, don't forget that one.

    I drain the sea strainer in the lazarette because I don't heat that area.
    joeyleggz and Mike sandor like this.
  11. Mike sandor

    Mike sandor Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jul 28, 2017
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    2007 320 Sundancer
    Twin 496. Bravo 3
    2018 3500 Chevy, Loadmaster trailer
    Raymarine Axiom, Quantum 2
    496 Mercruiser/Bravo III drives
    I use a high volume ,low pressure fan. Originally purchased to blow out the feed and return lines on my pool. Too much pressure wil do bad things.
  12. rcknecht

    rcknecht Active Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    toms river,nj
    340 Sundancer 2001
    T 454 MPI
    any AC/120 compressor will work if you know what you are doing... I have used a Harbor Freight 6 gallon, which I lost in Sandy... Now I use a twin tank compressor. I first drain the HW heater. I have a hose fitting which I attach on the shore connection for water and I cycle it a couple of times opening each water spigot (hot and cold). After that I thoroughly blown out, I use a trigger attachment on my compressor hose and blow both connecting hoses on each side of the water pump (don't blow through the water pump, but do blow through your AC pump). I also have a hose attachment on my AC and I blow out the AC... The AC is very easy to do...
  13. quality time

    quality time Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Upper Chesapeake Bay
    2003 480DB
    I use Porter Cable pancake compressor with no issue. Well other than the regulator knob doesn't lock and the pressure changes from vibration. Need to add an inline regulator this year.
  14. alnav

    alnav Member GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 16, 2009
    West River, MD
    40 MY
    QSB 425
    Alegria likes this.
  15. midexp

    midexp Active Member

    Oct 5, 2016
    Harrison Township, Michigan Lake St.Clair
    1999 40' Sundancer
    454 merc
    Guess I'm not understanding why some blow out the lines until there's nothing coming out, and still add red pop? Has anyone ever blown out the lines and not added any red pop and still had a freeze issue?
  16. marty51

    marty51 Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Lake Erie west end
    2002 410 Sundancer
    3126 Cats
    Been using air only for 30 years, never a problem. Keep it to 35-40 psi and make sure water heater is drained. As mentioned, don't forget anchor locker, windshield wipers and transom shower. Also ice maker if applicable.
    Jimmy Buoy and Handsome Transom like this.
  17. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2007 44DB
    Cummins QSC 8.3s

  18. Jimmy Buoy

    Jimmy Buoy Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
    340 Amberjack
    twin 8.1S 370 Hp + 4.5 Westerbeke Genset
    +1. Air doesn't expand in freezing weather and any remaining bits of water then has somewhere to expand to.
    joeyleggz likes this.
  19. importmonkey

    importmonkey Opinionated Member

    Jul 9, 2015
    Middle River, MD
    2007 44 Sundancer
    QSC 500s

    This will be my first year doing this. So, you blow from the pump to the tank to evacuate that line and also from the pump through the accumulator to the manifold?

    Do the same for the toilet supply lines?

    I was going to put a few gallons in the tank and run to the toilets via the pump, essentially pinking the tank, pump and toilets along with the holding tank by flushing some pink. Drain the WH and then blow the other lines via the city water connection. But, if by blowing those two lines out I save from pinking my drinking system, I'd be all for that.
  20. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Monkey, I turn on the pump and run all the water out of the tank prior to running the air compressor. Then, when the compressor is hooked up to the city water in let connection (via a series of connector pieces I have assembled) I run the compressed air through each one of the lines (cold water and hot water) until all I get out of each faucet is a bit of mist.

    I also empty all of the glass "jugs" on each of the sea strainers to make sure that if there's a power failure that none of them crack and break. I also shut off each of the sea strainers and thru hulls to make sure no water comes in through them.

    When I head down to the boat to winterize it I plan on spending a couple of hours down there and make certain I do it right. It's time well spend, relaxing time, and it makes sure if there is a power outage that nothing will freeze.

    I do use 5 of those 1500/750 watt heaters in the cabin with each of them set on the 750 watt setting and the thermostat set at a mid-range setting, and also have a 1500 watt BoatSafe heater in the bilge.

    If the weather gets cold enough that the water in the bay freezes (it happens about every 10 years) I have a Kasco deicer pump that can be lowered into the water to keep my slip (and the adjoining slips) ice free.

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