2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2, Page #38[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Underground Antifreeze Helps Start Van
Friesen has a solar-powered home so he didn't have enough electricity to power a plug-in engine heater. He solved the problem by coming up with a way to warm up the engine using anti-freeze pumped up from underground pipes.
He buried 200 ft. of 1/2-in. dia. water hose 10 ft. deep underground. The hose is filled with a total of about 4 gal. of anti-freeze. The two ends of the hose come up out of the ground through a 3-in. dia. pipe that provides frost protection. Quick couplers are used to connect the hose ends to the van's heater hoses.
A 12-volt pump plugs into the van's battery and is used to pump anti-freeze through hoses from the ground into the engine and then back into the ground again.
"I've used this system for two winters and it works fine. It's safe to use and warms up the engine nicely," says Friesen. "I let the pump run for about 20 minutes before I start the van.
"One time the outdoor temperature was almost 40 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. But after the pump had operated for only about 20 minutes, the water running through the engine had already warmed up to 22 degrees Fahrenheit above zero."
Friesen says it's not an expensive system and it works fine, as long as you have enough water hose and enough anti-freeze underground. "The more hose you have underground the better, because the cold water in the hoses will have more time to warm up as it circulates," he notes.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, George W. Friesen, P.O. Box 1448, La Crete, Alberta, Canada T0H 2H0 (ph 780 928-4174; fax 780 928-4174).
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