Propylene Glycol as antifreeze?


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Hi, this is my first year with my water feature. It has about 30gallons of water stored just below ground level with a pump to a fountain.
In Colorado it gets very cold for prolonged periods and I’d still like to be able to run it.
Heaters seem expensive to run and unreliable, bubblers could be an option but I’m not sure it’ll prevent the piping from freezing.
I’d seen a review for propylene glycol that it can be used in a pond (food grade). Does anyone know if this will work or if there are any risks with using it? I don’t have fish, but birds bathe in the stream section.
 
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TheFishGuy

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I am in Colorado to! Welcome to the forum!

as for the antifreeze, I wouldn't recommend adding any chemical to keep it from freezing, and as for if you need to add anything additional to keep it operating, pictures would be extremely helpful.
 

j.w

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@Craig911
Nice looking water feature! Can't help ya w/the freeze issue tho. Our weather is fairly mild here.
 

Mmathis

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Hello and welcome!

I am sorry, but I have no idea. I didn’t know there was such a thing as “food grade” propylene glycol. You might want to contact the company that made your pump and ask them if this is advisable. Even if it is “food grade” and might not be harmful to wildlife, it could be that the limiting factor is your pump. Every pump I’ve ever looked at says “to be used in water, only.”
 

TheFishGuy

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Here’s a pic. I’d love to keep it running all winter if you have ideas
I would just say with sch water movement in such a small basin, I would not say anything is needed, just let it run, and if you notice any flow decreases ( major ) or water level going down shut it off and wait till spring to check plumbing.

But if you do shut it off, leave your pump ( I assume internal ) running as a bubbler just to make sure it does not freeze completely.
 
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@TheFishGuy - turn the pump off, but leave the pump on? You're getting goofy. Too much Zoom time today maybe. ;)

30 gallons of water will freeze fast if it gets below zero. Not to mention - once ice forms, that "consumes" water, so you'd probably need to add more in the freezing temps. That's never fun. And will it form ice dams and force the water out of the feature - who knows? And once it freezes, your pump is stuck in a block of ice and may or may not be working come spring. Plus water left in frozen pipes... that's a recipe for disaster. Too many unknowns for me. We have a pondless waterfall that holds about 100 gallons - I would never risk it.
 

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@TheFishGuy - turn the pump off, but leave the pump on? You're getting goofy. Too much Zoom time today maybe. ;)

30 gallons of water will freeze fast if it gets below zero. Not to mention - once ice forms, that "consumes" water, so you'd probably need to add more in the freezing temps. That's never fun. And will it form ice dams and force the water out of the feature - who knows? And once it freezes, your pump is stuck in a block of ice and may or may not be working come spring. Plus water left in frozen pipes... that's a recipe for disaster. Too many unknowns for me. We have a pondless waterfall that holds about 100 gallons - I would never risk it.
I was meaning, If they shut off the features, like the waterfall and stream, disconnect the pump from the hosing and leave it running as a bubbler.

I never thought about that small of a basin getting consumend to fast by ice though, I used to have a 30 gallon preformed, and with a 500 gph pump left as a bubbler I never got ice, I did have a de - icer though, not even sure if it was working.
 
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Propylene glycol is used as medium to suspend some injectable medications. Also Vegetable glycerin. So If you've ever gotten a shot, you probably got a dose of propylene glycol as well.
 

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