pumping antifreeze with a pond pump

I don't know if anyone in this group can help with this, but it's worh a try. I'm using a small pond pump (L G Sourcing Model MD 170) to operate a contraption I built to open and close a small sliding wooden door on a chicken coop on a timer. It pumps water into a jug (attached to door by pulley) that has a slow leak so the door stays open while the pump runs all day (jug stays full), and then at night (pump off) the water leaves the jug and the door closes. Worked like a charm since June when I made it, but now that cold weather is approaching, I need to modify the system. Here's my question: Does anyone know whether or not this (or any pond pump) will be damaged if I substitute windshield washer fluid (methanol based) for the water? I've contacted the pump manufacturer about this but haven't heard back yet.
Thanks
Lynn Willis
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Windshield washer solution will quickly evaporate leaving the pump dry and the door closed.

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Rather than the washer fluid, I'd consider using RV antifreeze. According to this web site, it would be safe for your pump. http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm?deptID=3&subOf 6,13&skunumE35

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Interesting idea. I checked out the website and maybe it will indeed work. Thanks.
Lynn
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Is it a closed system? As in, where does the fluid go when it drips out of the container?
A liquid like washer fluid will evaporate, probably too fast to be practical. You'd need something else. Automotive anti-freeze comes to mind but can be toxic to some animals. If you rigged this thing up to use tubing to seal up the fluid then you might consider it. Simple 1/4" tubing like that used for micro-drip irrigation might be right. That and you could put a 1/4" valve on it to fine-tune the flow amount.
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It's probably pretty poisonous to animals. Substitute sand.
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Ron Hardin
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snipped-for-privacy@iupui.edu wrote:

To answer your question, most small pumps are fine with windshield washer fluid or a regular auto or RV antifreeze.
You need to rethink your system for winter, summer using water with a simple system makes a lot of sense. Winter requires something that doesn't freeze and that costs money if you simply dump it.
Possibly two pumps one to fill the first jug and open the door and one to pump it out of that jug to a storage jug. All you need a simple float operated switch to turn the pump off. There is really no reason in having a pump operating continually.
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