FAQs

What kind of fluid is used?
TKS fluid is a mixture of ethylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol and pure water. The fluid is thoroughly filtered before distribution to remove even the smallest contaminants that could adversely affect the operation of a TKS Ice Protection System.

Where can I buy TKS fluid?
TKS fluid is available at our online store.

TKS fluid is becoming more widely available as the number of TKS equipped aircraft continues to grow. A large number of FBO now stock TKS fluid as a standard item. Before purchasing, be certain it meets the requirements of your TKS Ice Protection System.

Is TKS fluid highly flammable?
The fluid is not highly flammable. However, the fluid is flammable in the sense that if the fluid is allowed to pool, heated to boiling point or higher, and a high energy spark (such as from a spark plug or igniter) is introduced, the vapor will produce a low energy flame.

Is TKS fluid corrosive?
The most corrosive ingredient found in the ice protection fluid is water. None of the ingredients contained in the ice protection fluid are corrosive.

Will the TKS Ice Protection System remove ice if the system is not turned on before entering ice?
Yes. Demonstration of the system to remove pre-activation ice is required by FAA at the time of certification. All test points in the icing wind tunnel and natural ice flight tests require a 2-minute delay in the icing condition before the system is turned on.

How does the weight of the TKS system affect the C.G.?
The effect on C.G. varies with individual application. We have listed specific weight and arm information on some of our TKS Ice Protection Systems product pages. Click here to find the data for your aircraft.

What does it mean when the Low Pressure light turns on?
The low pressure illumination can mean several things. The low pressure lights will illuminate when the system is initially turned on and will remain illuminated until the system reaches minimum operating pressure. When the system is operated at ambient temperatures above 65 degrees, the low pressure lights will not be extinguished without selecting the higher pump speed. Low pressure light illumination while in flight is an indication of either a pump or line failure.

What does it mean when the High Pressure light turns on?
High pressure light illumination is caused by a high pressure situation in the line between the pump and the in-line filter. The light indicates the filter element needs to be replaced. The light normally illuminates after approximately 80-85% of filter life. Occasionally, spurious electrical impulses will cause the high pressure light to illuminate. To check, press the reset button located immediately below the light.

Can you make a TKS system for any aircraft?
Systems are designed and certified for specific aircraft. The porous panels cannot be cut or modified to fit other aircraft. "One-off" systems are cost prohibitive. Current direction of the company is to cover all current production high performance singles and work further into the twin market. For enquiries, contact OEM Design & Consulting.

Why does TKS fluid continue to leak out of the panels days after the plane is parked?
Panel construction has a front and back plate which forms a reservoir for the fluid. A porous membrane inside the reservoir holds the fluid inside until pressure from the pump forces it out. After use, fluid remains in the reservoir until the temperature increases and the fluid’s viscosity drops. The thinner fluid slowly leaks through the membrane, resulting in a very slow drip from the panels.

How often do I need to run the TKS system?
We recommend that the TKS Ice Protection System be exercised monthly, year-round. Running the system every 30 days keeps the moving parts lubricated, the lines and panels relatively charged, and would give advanced warning of any failure.

How do the TKS panels attach to the leading edge?
Typically, the panels are bonded to the leading edges with a two-part adhesive. There are rivets at the corners of each panel for electrical continuity and to act as a sacrificial member if there is any galvanic action.

My plane started to ice up and it took forever for the TKS system to push the fluid out. Why?
Remember that the panels have a self-contained reservoir. The fluid in that reservoir has been slowly leaking out due to higher temperatures commonly found in the hangar. Time, from activation to fluid on the panels, varies with the time of last usage. This is why the POH requires pre-flight of the system prior to flight into conditions conducive to ice formation.

How do I test/pre-flight my TKS system?
The system is tested on the ground by selecting the appropriate switch position on the control panel with the battery on. You will see fluid from the windshield spray-bar and can hear the selected system pump. You will also be able to hear the difference of pump speed based on selection of Maximum or Normal. A full pre-flight consists of running the pump while you do your normal aircraft pre-flight and upon completion, you should have evidence of fluid on all of the panels. This means the self-contained reservoir in each panel is filled and you should have instantaneous protection. It is very important to follow the TKS Ice Protection System pre-flight procedures outlined in your Flight Manual.

What products can I use to clean the TKS panels?
Water (with soaps or detergents), ice protection fluids (as specified in Limitations), aircraft fuels (gasoline or kerosene), Isopropyl or Ethyl alcohol. The POH supplement for the TKS Ice Protection System installed on your aircraft contains a listing of acceptable cleaning products. For more detailed information, read How to clean your TKS panels. Always refer to the supplement before cleaning the panels. 

What will happen if I clean the TKS panels with MEK or something similar?
Do not clean the panels with MEK or something similar. TKS panels have a porous PVC membrane, and anything that will affect PVC will ruin your panels.

How do I prime the TKS system pump(s)?
Operation of the self-priming windshield pump pulls fluid through the system pump(s) to prime the system. TKS Ice Protection Systems for certain aircraft have a windshield pump attached to an equipment pack to pull fluid through the main pump automatically upon start up. Refer to your POH supplement for your aircraft’s exact priming method. For more detailed information, read these Pump Priming Instructions.

Where can I get the TKS system installed?
CAV Ice Protection is very careful to ensure only properly trained and experienced facilities are permitted to install the TKS Ice Protection System. See the list of authorized TKS Installation Centers in the United States and Europe.

Aviation fuel was pumped into my TKS fluid tank. What do I do?
Although aviation fuel will not harm your system, the fuel should be drained from the tank and a new filter installed. In cases where the fuel was pumped through the TKS Ice Protection System, a full draining of the system with a water flush may be necessary. For specific information, email Technical Support or call 913-738-5397.

Where can I find warranty information?
TKS Ice Protection Systems installed as an aftermarket option are warranted for a period of one year from installation. For full warranty information, email our Sales Department or call 913-738-5396.

Will the holes in the TKS panels get clogged by dirt and bugs?
As long as the system is regularly exercised and proper cleaning methods are utilized, dirt and bugs from typical operation should not cause the panels to clog. There are approximately 800 laser-drilled holes per square inch on the active area of a titanium TKS porous panel. The diameter of each hole is approximately .0025 inches. The holes are small enough that typical impacting insects do not penetrate the hole. System operation is the best method to clean a panel. For more detailed information, read How to clean your TKS panels.

The TKS panel(s) have been scratched. How do I remove the scratches?
Final finish of the TKS panels is accomplished with green scouring pads. Minor scratches or blemishes can be removed by gentle rubbing in the chord-wise (up and down) direction. Never rub side to side. Overzealous rubbing can clog panel holes. For more detailed information, read How to clean your TKS panels. Always refer to the supplement before cleaning the panels.

One of the TKS panels does not get wet with fluid and the holes do not look clogged. What is the problem?
Dry spots on panel)s is a common occurrence when the system is run at warm temperatures. The self-contained reservoirs may have air in them. At warm temperatures (i.e., low viscosity, thin fluid) the fluid may start to flow before expelling all the air in the panel. As the panel and fluid reach cooler temperatures, the air is expelled and the panel functions normally.