Mailport November 2012 Issue

Mailport: November 2012

Antifreeze vs. Rubber

Does non-toxic antifreeze adversely affect rubber parts in marine plumbing? I just encountered an odd problem with the rubber parts in my three-year-old Jabsco head. The rubber of the flapper valve at the bottom of the pump and the joker valve both have enlarged. The flapper lengthened enough to hang up on the gasket portion, preventing it from sealing totally. The joker valve swelled to the point that it was a push to fit it in the discharge elbow. The only thing that I can think of that might have caused this is the non-toxic antifreeze that I use for winter storage.

Mark Peters
Via email

Not all non-toxic antifreeze products are safe for use in plumbing systems. Those that are propylene glycol-based and are rated for plumbing should not damage the rubber; however, non-
toxic alcohol (ethanol)-based plumbing antifreeze can attack rubber. But the alcohol antifreeze typically dries out the rubber, not distorts it.


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Comments (3)

I am promted to write by a recent reader comment justifiably critical of 12-volt receptacles. I have replaced mine with Powerlet-style connectors as found on BMW motorcycles: the quality of much better, they are weatherproof, and a wide variety of styles and functions are available. Try Whitehorse Gear for a listing.
-Steve in Virginia

Posted by: Steven W | December 29, 2012 9:48 PM    Report this comment

I am wondering if the article in Nov. issue on fuel additives are for gasoline and diesel or are there different products for each type of fuel.

Posted by: Wayne %26 Kimberly E | November 12, 2012 10:40 AM    Report this comment

I must also add to my post on the Forspar Mini Galley that a friend has the same unit on his boat. He removes the propane canister every tome he stows the stove. He eventually tore the O ring inside the propane canister and threw the entire blazing stove overboard. I lubricate my O ring with spit before attaching it to the stove. The canister then stays attached until empty, reducing the possibility of causing a leak.

Posted by: GORDON T | November 5, 2012 10:04 AM    Report this comment

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