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Old 04-19-2014, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Easier dewinterizing

Maybe, if you do the winterizing itself a little differently.

Last fall, because we were hoping to get in a winter run to the gulf coast, I decided to try a little different routine for winterizing because I figured we would have to dewinterize in a campground with sewer hookup. The campground procedure can be PITA because most don't want any water on ground, no matter where it came from or what is in it. You have to flush everything though the fresh tank and pump for that side, and can use the city water hookup for the upstream, which isn't as bad, but is a quite a bit of water needed. Ours would take a lot of pumping to get rid of the pink.

I decided to try to reduce the amount of antifreeze we would have to get rid of when we dewinterized by doing a normal winterization, at least for us, of draining it down, blowing it out with air, and then using the tank and pump to circulate antifreeze into all the fresh plumbing. Since the only reason the antifreeze is in there is to displace the water, it seems like you really don't need the antifreeze once the water has been displaced. Nothing left to freeze at that point. At that point, I manually drained and pumped out as much of the antifreeze as would come out, and then used the air blowout again, which I know takes out most of whatever is in the lines, out. At this point I figured there was very little pink left anywhere other than the waste tanks. I even put a little water in the fresh tank and drained it to get out as much of the antifreeze as possible, and left the drain open to prevent the valve from freezing is a little water got to it.

I just dewinterized today, and just ran a little water into the fresh tank and out the drain, could have caught it in a little pan at the campground. Very little pink came out. Hooked up city water and opened the tank fill valve for a couple seconds to put a little water through that line to the fresh tank, and could have caught that the same way, again with very little pink. Shut the fill valve and ran city water out the faucet and toilet. 10 seconds max of pink came out. Did the same with outside faucet, same result. Put some water into the tank and pumped it through the system and got some more pink that must have been in the pump and hadn't drained, but not a lot. Filled the tank with bleach water and ran some through, and it is sitting now. I think it took less that 1/3 the time and probably 1/4 or less of water to get rid of the pink, and would be pretty easy to do in a campground, by comparison. Having the lines nearly clear of antifreeze when starting really shortened things up.

Anybody got any other tricks to make life easier for going into and out of winterization?
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: Easier dewinterizing

Here's the ultimate trick:
If you properly and thoroughly blow out the the pipes and fixtures using an adaptor in the city water hookup, there is absolutely no need to add antifreeze to the system. The only exception is the drain traps, which need a dollop of antifreeze. It is also a good idea to pour some into the toilet to keep the valve seals wet. This whole antifreeze thing is one of the many "because that's the way we've always done it" things that pervade the RV industry and culture.

I have used only compressed air for eight Western Pennsylvania winters without issue. I often do it several times a season, it is so quick and easy I do it "just in case".
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Easier dewinterizing

We actually used to only do the air blowout, but then a couple of years ago I needed to change the water pump out over the winter, and found that area full of water that probably could have done some damage. We never had any damage because it sits inside the heated shop all the time. I think it makes a difference in how the plumbing is laid out and if water gets to all the areas. Apparently, there are some models that the city water connection doesn't connect in any way to the inlet side of the pump, so the air won't blow out the pump.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Easier dewinterizing

It is true that you need effective low-point drains (hot and cold) in order to do a successful blow-out winterization. Sounds like your unit may not meet this criterion. Perhaps you could add them? (and, of course, it is possible for there to be more than one "low point".) Don't forget to open the faucets while draining.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Easier dewinterizing

This year I did pretty much the same as you booster. drain / blowout / pink throughout / drain / blowout
Only difference I see is I only gravity drained the pink stuff out of the fresh tank but did not rinse with fresh water. My fresh tank drains from the back side and not the bottom. It also feeds the pump from the back side so I like to protect that connection fitting as it would be hard to replace if it cracked right at the tank.

Dewinterizing should be quicker for me too as there would be very little pink stuff in the lines. I just have to focus on rinsing out the fresh tank.

The pink stuff blowout could be done at end of winter instead of at the time of winterizing but doing it as part of winterizing keeps the van in a near ready for use state as booster points out.

avanti has me thinking now...... I could probably do blowout only if I disconnect and drain the pump and clear any water caught in the line between tank and the pump. Or........... "T" in an additional drain right there to eliminate the vulnerable spot.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Easier dewinterizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti
Here's the ultimate trick:
If you properly and thoroughly blow out the the pipes and fixtures using an adaptor in the city water hookup, there is absolutely no need to add antifreeze to the system. The only exception is the drain traps, which need a dollop of antifreeze. It is also a good idea to pour some into the toilet to keep the valve seals wet. This whole antifreeze thing is one of the many "because that's the way we've always done it" things that pervade the RV industry and culture.

I have used only compressed air for eight Western Pennsylvania winters without issue. I often do it several times a season, it is so quick and easy I do it "just in case".
I have used this method (without the blowing out of the lines) using just a thorough and early draining of every tank and opening up every air/water intake access point to allow the system to drain/dry out, since day one. I've only ever put pink RVAF in the toilet, and do a quick dump from inside black to outside black tank to keep the valves lubed, and put some in the sink trap, and have had no issues at all, so far. I also let the pump run for a few minutes, thinking as you found, that there might be some water trapped in the pump and attached lines.
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