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Old 12-05-2010, 04:19 PM   #1
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Ice chest drain hose -- ideas needed!

Hi --

My ice chest sits behind the driver's seat. It has a threaded drain plug, which faces the front of the van. I'd like to run a hose from the ice chest to the driver's door, so that I can periodically drain the ice chest without removing it from the van.

First problem. I've got a standard garden 45-degree brass hose fitting with a ball-valve, so that I can shut off the water at the ice chest. However, this cants the hose off at an awkward angle. I'd much prefer a 90-degree hose fitting down from the ice chest, and another 90-degree to run the hose along the floor. I could use PVC for some or all of this, but I'm not sure how to jerry-rig the threading to the ice chest, and insert some sort of valve. No obvious solutions in the PVC section of Home Depot...

Second problem. I've got a length of garden hose, but it's not very pliable. The hose needs to flex so that I can pull it out (about a foot) when I want to drain the ice chest, and then stuff it back behind the ice chest at other times. I've seen "flat garden hose" which might work extremely well, but I don't know where to buy less than 25' -- marketed as a fancy and pricey garden hose.

So, any ideas for tapping off from the ice chest, and for a flexible drain hose?

Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:54 PM   #2
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Re: Ice chest drain hose -- ideas needed!

What about some silicone hose and barb fittings? Check to see if there's a homebrew (beer) shop in your area.


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Old 12-05-2010, 05:04 PM   #3
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Re: Ice chest drain hose -- ideas needed!

Good idea. The home brewing supply house is about four miles from here. Thanks, Herb!
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:06 PM   #4
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Re: Ice chest drain hose -- ideas needed!

Our ice chest is also behind the drivers seat and sets on a 14" high cabinet. I use a 1/8" hose off of our ice chest drain hole and put the hose through a small hole I drilled in the floor The ice chest drains continually as needed and stays very clean on the inside. The 1/8" clear hose came from our local hardware store and is very flexible.

You could buy a threaded brass hose end cap, solder or braze a short length of 1/8" brass tubing to it, drill it out and press on 1/8" of vinyl tubing. Put through the floor or out the door.

I use a similar setup on our basement dehumidifier that is located many feet away from the floor drain. I do use a threaded brass hose cap in that setup.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
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Re: Ice chest drain hose -- ideas needed!

Just get the right size fitting and use some thin more pliable hose from any auto-parts store. Personally I'd permanently fit something about the size or a tad bigger than a motorcycle fuel line 1/4"~1/2" and run it into the door step. If you remove that plastic piece you stand on to get in the van, under there is a ton of room to run the hose and also a nice pre-drilled hole next to the emergency-brake cable.
So run the line from the cooler up to the B pillar, then run it next to the wiring loom, and follow the loom (floor by seatbelt mount), into the area under that plastic step, then out the hole where the emergency brake cable runs. There is a ton of room in that path I just mentioned, easily fit a 1/2" tube if you want something that big.

Then just turn the valve on when you want to drain it, and never worry about the line again.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:36 PM   #6
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Re: Ice chest drain hose -- ideas needed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenS
Our ice chest is also behind the drivers seat and sets on a 14" high cabinet. I use a 1/8" hose off of our ice chest drain hole and put the hose through a small hole I drilled in the floor The ice chest drains continually as needed and stays very clean on the inside. The 1/8" clear hose came from our local hardware store and is very flexible.
LenS, a lot of my remodel is based on the photos of your van: 2WD suited for long term touring... Next, I guess I need to quilt the window coverings -- another fun project!

My Igloo ice chest has a hose-threaded drain valve. How do you pass from that to a 1/8" hose? Is there a special fitting, possibly available at Home Depot?

Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:59 AM   #7
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Re: Ice chest drain hose -- ideas needed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyDawg
My Igloo ice chest has a hose-threaded drain valve. How do you pass from that to a 1/8" hose? Is there a special fitting, possibly available at Home Depot?

Thanks!
Yes. Search Home Depot, Lowes, ACE, I bet you'll find something, may have to use two pieces. Without knowing the fitting size or gender can't really recommend anything, but something like one of these. They are for std garden hose as that's what you mentioned above. But you can get them for just about any pipe thread sizing



http://fittingsandadapters.com/brgahoba.html

Other than that, you could always drill a hole in the cap you have and put a fitting inside that, something like a valve stem would work, just pull out the actual valve core part. I've used them a lot in the passed when wanting to make an air/water tight fitting in something.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:59 AM   #8
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Re: Ice chest drain hose -- ideas needed!

Why not just go straight through the floor? A plastic grommet and slip your drain tube through.

The box wrench is a 7/16th for scale:


Put a valve in and you can drain from inside, leave it open to drip drain when you're not in bear country, and close it when you are. Plus when you pull the cooler the a short flexible hose can just come with it, being held in place by virtue of being through the drain while installed.

I don't think you need a garden hose sized drain either.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:20 PM   #9
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Re: Ice chest drain hose -- ideas needed!

Here is what I was talking about in my previous post on the ice box drain.





A few brass hardware parts and some solder and you have garden hose adapter to 1/4" hose. This one is on our home dehumidifier drain. And yes to Jage, I just drilled a 1/4" hole in the van floor and stick about 6 inches of extra hose through it.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:47 PM   #10
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Re: Ice chest drain hose -- ideas needed!

Thanks, all. I definitely think that small diameter tubing is the way to go, rather than garden hose. LenS, I found the sort of fittings you showed at HD this evening. The salesguy looks totally dumbsquizzled as I described my project to him...

I need a valve at the ice chest, so that I can cut off the draining -- in the summer, that pool of cold water can be beneficial, and as noted, in bear country you don't want constant draining. I have a grid (vinyl display grid on a PVC frame) in the bottom of the ice chest to raise food about 1" above the floor of the chest, so I don't have swimming asparagus.

I'm more nervous about drilling a hole in the floor. (Jage, when does one get over being nervous about cutting holes in the van?) Near as I can figure, the ice chest (drain about 19 inches behind the driver's seat) is over, or almost over, the gas tank. Time to crawl underneath tomorrow, I guess.
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