Winterizing Mulch Coloring Equipment
BASF recommends performing equipment winterizing procedures anytime the forecast calls for temperatures to drop below 35 degrees F. Producers in warmer regions also should know how to winterize equipment. After all, even Florida experiences the occasional freeze.
If proper winterization guidelines are not followed, freezing water can damage or burst components of the coloring equipment, even in small areas. Water line, flow meter, water valve and color pump damage are all common occurrences that can take place when equipment is not properly winterized.
Save headaches and money with these simple winterizing steps:
- Complete normal daily equipment maintenance procedures.
- Drain the mulch colorant delivery system by removing the inlet water source from the system. Be sure to leave all water valves open to allow drainage.
- Cycle the electric valve a few times to clear all the water, stopping in the open position. This ensures that any trapped water will continue to drain over time and not build up on top of the valve overnight.
- Pump RV antifreeze through the mulch colorant delivery system to displace any trapped water. RV antifreeze is environmentally friendly, and our staff can train you on how to capture most of it for reuse. There is no need to fill the plumbing with antifreeze. Just add enough to keep the water from freezing. NOTE: If your equipment is shut down for an extended period rather than overnight or for the weekend, consider adding more antifreeze to ensure complete water removal.
- Run approximately 4 to 5 yards of dry material through the machine to remove remaining wet material.
- Remove and clean the drain plug to empty any water trapped inside the mixing system.
- As spring approaches, check water and mulch colorant system for any issues — such as leaks — that may have developed over the winter.