How do you drain the ra­di­a­tors?

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin - RAY FAIR­WOOD, via the CB

QHave you any ad­vice to give on the best way to drain a boat’s cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem that com­prises a Mikuni MX40 and three ra­di­a­tors? The low­est part of the sys­tem is at floor level so a bucket to col­lect wa­ter seems im­prac­ti­cal. In­ci­den­tally, I en­joy read­ing your ex­pert ad­vice sec­tion of the mag­a­zine and have picked all man­ner of tips and ideas from it.

web­site TONY REPLIES... First, trace the pipes closely through the boat. Some­times a pipe ex­tends into the en­gine bay with a drain cock on the end (pic­tured right). You could also find a drain cock low down some­where else in the sys­tem.

A drain cock has a barbed fit­ting on it for a hose. I have two on my sys­tem so that, with the aid of a drill pump, the liq­uid in the sys­tem can be pumped into con­tain­ers for proper dis­posal.

Re­mem­ber that antifreeze is classed as a haz­ardous sub­stance and should only be dis­posed of at refuse sites with the fa­cil­ity to col­lect it.

If you have nei­ther on your boat then I fear it is a case of see­ing whether an oven roast­ing tin or per­haps fairly shal­low plas­tic con­tain­ers will fit un­der a pipe union so you can loosen the union and slowly drain the sys­tem that way. If you are forced to do this,

AI would ad­vo­cate fit­ting a drain cock when the sys­tem is empty. You can of­ten re­place an el­bow feed­ing the last ra­di­a­tor in the sys­tem with a tee piece and fit the cock to one arm of the tee.

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