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Question About Propylene Glycol

This is probably a dumb question, but I can't find squat about it online.

The gycol in my system is pink in color, but it seems that Cryo-tek only makes the newer stuff in blue these days. When I had the system serviced a couple of years back the tech told me that McDonald's bought the rights to the pink color, so now they market blue but it's just a dye change -- nothing else.

Can anybody confirm this fascinating little story? I'm looking at possibly topping off the system (the pressure seems a bit low) and I'd kinda like to hear it from somebody else.....


Steven in Colorado

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,332
    Sometimes the different blends are different colors, like the HD heavy duty or the AL aluminum friendly blend. Dow still has a pink in one of their versions.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Ferretman
    Ferretman Member Posts: 6
    These are both just straight Cryo-Tek, not AL blended or anything like that.


    Steven in Colorado
  • HydroAirJoe
    HydroAirJoe Member Posts: 27
    Cyrotek makes different formulas. I think the blue stuff is their artic blend, which is good to like 100 below. The pink stuff is the cyrotek-100. I use the cyrotek-100 in my system. They also make a blend for a system that will operate above 160 and has aluminum components. I don't know the color of that formulation. BTW, they warn you not use their products if the system contains galvanized components.
  • Ferretman
    Ferretman Member Posts: 6
    Nothing galvanized, this system was well designed.

    According to this website:

    http://www.oatey.com/doc/cryotek.pdf

    it's the 100 that's the very low temp stuff. That's the pink which seems like what I've got in the system, and what I have a couple of gallons of yet.

    What I'm trying to find out is if the blue can be added to the pink...the local plumbing store seems to only have the blue.


    Steven in Colorado

  • njtommy
    njtommy Member Posts: 1,105
    edited January 2016
    If you can, get a sample of what's there and send it out to get tested.
  • HydroAirJoe
    HydroAirJoe Member Posts: 27
    The Blue Cyrotek is either their AG (AG= Artic Grade) formula (which is not diluted) or the their original formula which is labeled Cyro-tek in blue letters. The Cyrotek-100 formula is pink in color. I did not read anything on their label that indicated that you could or could not mix the formulations. I can get a 5 gallon bucket of the 100 at my local PSH for around $65-70.
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,758
    edited January 2016
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • MikeSpeed6030
    MikeSpeed6030 Member Posts: 69
    Just curious - you must have special circumstances that require anti-freeze? I does present a potential problem with increased leakage, waste disposal, and a bit of a mess.
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,758
    It's amazing how glycol can find a way to weep out of even the best fitted joints.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • Ferretman
    Ferretman Member Posts: 6
    Part of my radiant heat system runs outside as a snow melt for the slab out there. I either had to install two systems to handle the different needs or upsize slightly and go with an all-glycol system.

    I'll double check the fittings everywhere to see if I've lost any glycol due to weeping, but I don't think so. I can't find any air in the lines (which tends to bubble up to the vertical manifold rises if it's going to interfere with the LWCO. But hey, it's always possible of course.

    Thanks guys. I suspected the two kinds mixed just fine. I'll be ordering a 5 gallon bucket here later tonight. Even if I end up NOT needing it now, I'll need it later when I finish out the radiant heat in the battery shack (good way to keep it warm during cold weather).



    Steven in Colorado
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,332
    Yes you can blend various versions.

    EG and PG get blended sometimes also, usually by mistake, but it works fine, you end up with an unknown toxicity however when ethylene and propylene are blended.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Ferretman
    Ferretman Member Posts: 6
    Thanks hot rod; goodly news. I remember the tech who was up here last time telling me the only difference was the dye (other than for the AL version of course) but it's good to have that seconded.



    Steven in Colorado
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,973
    The differences, if any, would be in the formulation of any corrosion inhibitors which were added. I have no certain knowledge, but I would think that the same manufacturer would use the same inhibitors all the time -- but you never know.

    As to leaking... I find it odd that a number of folks, all knowledgeable and skilled craftsmen, have mentioned problems with leaking with glycol coolant mixtures. Perhaps someone could tell me why that is, and how it is different from the situation in liquid cooled automotive and aircraft engines, almost all of which use an ethylene glycol mix -- and don't leak?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • MikeSpeed6030
    MikeSpeed6030 Member Posts: 69
    Glycol burns - a potential fire hazard.
  • Ferretman
    Ferretman Member Posts: 6
    Yeah, I wonder about the leaking assertions too....if anything it seems to me glycol would leak less than water as it's slightly more dense.


    Steven in Colorado
  • MikeSpeed6030
    MikeSpeed6030 Member Posts: 69
    It depends upon factors besides density. Rub some glycol between your fingers and compare it to water. But, whatever - go ahead and use it.
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 713

    The differences, if any, would be in the formulation of any corrosion inhibitors which were added. I have no certain knowledge, but I would think that the same manufacturer would use the same inhibitors all the time -- but you never know.

    As to leaking... I find it odd that a number of folks, all knowledgeable and skilled craftsmen, have mentioned problems with leaking with glycol coolant mixtures. Perhaps someone could tell me why that is, and how it is different from the situation in liquid cooled automotive and aircraft engines, almost all of which use an ethylene glycol mix -- and don't leak?

    I wonder if the glycol changes the surface tension properties of the water? I run into something similar in the scrubber systems we operate when using an 11% caustic solution. When it gets tested for leaks using water, no visible leaks. When the solution circulates, you can see weeping and residue at some of the gasket connections. Or maybe it leaks all the time but the water doesn't leave anything behind?
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • bmwpowere36m3
    bmwpowere36m3 Member Posts: 512

    The differences, if any, would be in the formulation of any corrosion inhibitors which were added. I have no certain knowledge, but I would think that the same manufacturer would use the same inhibitors all the time -- but you never know.

    As to leaking... I find it odd that a number of folks, all knowledgeable and skilled craftsmen, have mentioned problems with leaking with glycol coolant mixtures. Perhaps someone could tell me why that is, and how it is different from the situation in liquid cooled automotive and aircraft engines, almost all of which use an ethylene glycol mix -- and don't leak?

    Not many NPT fitting in those applications... or fittings that depend on thread-sealing, which I think we are referring to as "difficult" to seal. Most of those interfaces utilize: gaskets, O-rings and/or rubber connections (i.e., pliable).

    Any gasketed fitting should NOT be difficult to seal.