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Old 10-31-2019, 01:51 AM   #1
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Default winterizing hot water lines ?

This is my first time for winterizing my 97 PW stw and I am stumped . I've watch lots of videos and read articles and am now ready to do it . But wait , there seams to be some hurdles .I drained all my tanks --- fresh water , hot water , grey and black . First my owners manual says to" turn the hot water bypass valveS in the opposite direction" than they are now in . (a) there is only one valve not two ( I confirmed with PW manufacturer ); (b) presently the valve lever was in the down position , inline with the pipe --- is opposite position perpendicular to the pipe line or should it be in the up position( opposite to the down position ) ? Ok so I believe it should be perpendicular so I proceeded to put the lever perpendicular .(c) Now I turn on my water pump and all my taps to drain residual water . Water flows from cold water taps but NOTHING from hot water taps .(d) Once the taps are all drained I then switch the water pump bypass valve and proceed to pump antifreeze through the taps etc . Again liquid ( antifreeze) flows through all cold water taps but not a drop from hot water taps . WHAT AM I DOING WRONG . ?
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:50 AM   #2
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Water heater tank bypass valves almost always have at least two valves. The idea is to bypass the tank so you don't have to fill it with pink stuff. If you only found one, that is very likely your problem. You have probably shut off the normal feed without opening the bypass. You need to figure this out.

OR:
Just forget the whole messy, yucky rigamarole and use the compressed air method of winterizing. Plenty of websites on how to do it. Far superior IMO. Just do it carefully.
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:02 AM   #3
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Thanks Avanti for fast reply . As stated the manufacturer acknowledged that there is only one bypass lever so something is definitely fishy . May be your idea of blowing out the lines may have to be my alternative --- I'm a little apprehensive of doing that as this is a 22 years old PW and it may not take much for it to spring a leak if you know what I mean .
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:32 AM   #4
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Perhaps you have one valve to bypass and two close to the heater to isolate it.
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:50 PM   #5
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If Pleasure-way was consistent (with my 2005) over the years in design, I remember only one valve to the hot water. In line with the pipe it was open to flow to the hot water tank. Perpendicular it was closed. I lived in Minnesota in a climate colder than Ottawa, Ontario. You don't need anti-freeze in your water lines. Empty your water tank and before you close valves and run your water pump to clear residual water with all your sink taps, outside shower taps open. Then close the valve and run the water pump again without introducing new residual water to the hot water line. At that point it probably doesn't matter if the valve is open or closed. Mine had two other small valves in the water lines outside accessible underneath the van at the low points. If you have them, open them and drive around some to empty residual water at those low points. If you don't close the valves and taps next spring you will readily notice it once you start filling your tanks. I left all my taps and valves open. I'm pretty sure if you do that any risidual water remaining will not damage your pipes or valves with freezing expansion. With all that procedure I never felt it was necessary to use compressed air. After you deal with your water, then empty the black and grey tanks. You can add anti-freeze to the black and grey if you want. Just liberally filling all traps will do it. You may want to keep a layer of anti-freeze liquid in your black tank to keep any crud softened. I went 5 years storing outside in the winter that way.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:01 PM   #6
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The only thing I would add to DavyDD's writeup is a word of caution concerning any fancy "dual spray" kitchen or bathroom faucets. Modern ones are usually made of cheap plastic and have many nooks and crannies inside them that are prone to freeze damage if you don't blow them out. Often they are easily unscrewed and taken indoors.
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Old 11-02-2019, 05:30 AM   #7
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Default 3 way bipass valve --who knew

Many thanks to all that came to my rescue . There is a lot of experience out there with great ideas of solving my problem and all proposed solutions gave me more knowledge of the workings of rvs . My problem could have been a faulty bypass valve or a faulty check valve . Who knew that PW installed a 3 way bypass valve for the hot water system . The lever in down position allowed normal flow of water ; the lever in the perpendicular or quarter turn bypassed the cold water line allowing antifreeze to be pumped through the cold water lines only ; the bypass lever in the up position allowed for antifreeze to be pumped through the hot water lines . It was as simple as that if only I had known . Now my lines are all ready for the minus 2 forecasted for tonight . Again many thanks to all who responded --- this is a great forum .
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:09 PM   #8
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I would add the following. DO NOT add antifreeze to the hot water heater. It is very difficult to flush out at the end of the season and will make the hot water foamy if not completely removed. If you are going to use compressed air only, be sure to open all faucets, etc. one by one AND to FLUSH the TOILET while air pressure is being applied. If you don't flush, water in the valve will freeze and break the valve, which results in a repair that is not fun at all. If you follow the compressed air with antifreeze, make sure you flush the toilet while pumping antifreeze through the system.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mechmike10 View Post
I would add the following. DO NOT add antifreeze to the hot water heater. It is very difficult to flush out at the end of the season and will make the hot water foamy if not completely removed. If you are going to use compressed air only, be sure to open all faucets, etc. one by one AND to FLUSH the TOILET while air pressure is being applied. If you don't flush, water in the valve will freeze and break the valve, which results in a repair that is not fun at all. If you follow the compressed air with antifreeze, make sure you flush the toilet while pumping antifreeze through the system.
This is very good advice. I have been winterizing with compressed air for five years without issues, except one year I forgot to blow out the toilet flush valve. Yes it froze and leaked, requiring replacement.

I add enough anti-freeze in the drains and toilet to protect the macerator. Then I add a little anti-freeze to protect the water pump using this Valterra Water Pump Conversion Kit.

https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Fresh-Wa...23506LFVP.html
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:28 PM   #10
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I'll add a little more to this. We now own a Sportsmobile-Sprinter Class B. Before this, we owned various small trailers that we used over many years. I had used compressed air alone for some time, and then I forgot one year to flush the toilet. What a mess. Since getting the van, I have used compressed air and followed it with antifreeze. Due to the design of our particular Sportsmobile's water system, adding a bypass to the water pump to be able to pump antifreeze straight from the bottle is not practical, but if done right, I only need 2 gallons to get the job done. After all of the water is out of the system, I add 2 gallons of antifreeze to the fresh water tank. I then park the van facing uphill in our driveway, which puts all of the antifreeze right above the water pump pickup. It only takes about 1 gallon to fill all of the lines (with the hot water heater bypassed), but I keep pumping the excess into all of the traps and the toilet bowl. This gets sufficient antifreeze into the traps and the bowl.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:48 PM   #11
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I don't mean to be a broken record, but if the system is properly blown out, there is absolutely no need to add antifreeze to the freshwater system. Waste of time and money. If you "forget", then it doesn't matter whether you forget air or antifreeze.

I agree that the toilet valve is one of the fragile points that I have mentioned above. But blow it out and it will be fine.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:38 PM   #12
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On our Sportsmobile I added a “T” between the freshwater tank and the water pump. I added two lever valves on each branch of the “T” with a short siphon hose on one branch. I use this for 2 purposes.

For winterizing I drain the freshwater tank and then close off the tank from the water system with one of the valves. I also then drain and bypass the water heater. Then I use compressed air to blow out 99% of the remaining water in the lines. Then I stick The new siphone hose in a jug of antifreeze and use the water pump to pump a very small amount of antifreeze to each faucet and the toilet. I use less than 1/2 gallon with none getting into my freshwater tank or water heater. It literally takes a couple minutes to completely protect all the lines with a few cups of antifreeze.

I also use this system to add water to my freshwater tank while camping if I don’t have a city water supply. I carry a 5 gallon jug of water into the van, stick the siphon hose into the jug, flip a couple valves and turn on my pump to let my water pump pump the freshwater into my freshwater tank ( again in a couple minutes).

I think the new “T” system cost about $10 and took 10 minutes to install between the freshwater tank ad the water pump.
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I don't mean to be a broken record, but if the system is properly blown out, there is absolutely no need to add antifreeze to the freshwater system. Waste of time and money. If you "forget", then it doesn't matter whether you forget air or antifreeze.

I agree that the toilet valve is one of the fragile points that I have mentioned above. But blow it out and it will be fine.
Agree 100%. I added anti-freeze the first year I had my Sprinter. Never again as it took all summer to get rid of the taste. Now I use the compressed air method exclusively - no more anti-freeze to fresh water tank.

I only add anti-freeze to my waste tanks to protect the macerator. For the water pump I only add about 2 cups of anti-freeze to protect pump.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:19 AM   #14
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“No more antifreeze to fresh water tank”.

This may be why you couldn’t get rid of the taste. You don’t put it in you fresh water tank or hot water tank. You only use it if you have a winterizing kit installed to bypass the heater and draw antifreeze into the lines after the fresh water tank.

On my previous DP I could open all valves, open the low point drains and be done. Not so on my current coach.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:34 PM   #15
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Default Another Option

Another option to all the bypass and valve manipulations is simply to use a winterizing kit and a couple of bottles of 80 proof vodka. Use your pump and put the winterizing suction line into the vodka, pump it through hot and cold lines to each faucet and you're done! 80 proof vodka freezes at around -17 degrees F. Likely lower depending on the amount of ethanol in the brand you use and a phenomena called freeze point depression....I've done it on my 2017 PW for the past two years and while I live on the coast north of Seattle, we have had some two week spells of 20 degree F weather. In the spring, it is easy to displace the vodka with fresh water and you don't have the nightmare of the dreaded pink antifreeze in your water. Works for me........
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:21 PM   #16
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Normally when I un-winterize I would run the water, but in this case I think I would stick a a cocktail onion and an olive on a toothpick, stick it in a glass, add ice, and THEN run the water.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:30 PM   #17
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Default Cocktail Glass

Magicbus,

I think you're on to something......I can hardly wait until spring......
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:45 PM   #18
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Another option to all the bypass and valve manipulations is simply to use a winterizing kit and a couple of bottles of 80 proof vodka. Use your pump and put the winterizing suction line into the vodka, pump it through hot and cold lines to each faucet and you're done! 80 proof vodka freezes at around -17 degrees F. Likely lower depending on the amount of ethanol in the brand you use and a phenomena called freeze point depression....I've done it on my 2017 PW for the past two years and while I live on the coast north of Seattle, we have had some two week spells of 20 degree F weather. In the spring, it is easy to displace the vodka with fresh water and you don't have the nightmare of the dreaded pink antifreeze in your water. Works for me........
You could have problem with ethanol compatibility with some types of rubber types which could be used in pump or faucets or ball valvesí orings. RV water pumps have a lot of fragile rubber parts.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:22 AM   #19
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Single valve water heater bypass setups have a hidden second valve. It's in the form of a check valve at the hot outlet on the water heater. The check valve is a one-way valve that allows hot water out of the tank but prevents cold water from flowing into the water heater through the hot outlet.

The other more typical valve diverts cold water into the hot water line. When turned to the diverted position, cold water can't enter the water heater through the cold inlet and is blocked from entering the hot outlet by the check valve.

Those check valves can fail. They can get gunked up and stuck open. If plumbing antifreeze is entering the water heater when the main valve is in the bypass position then the check valve has failed or is stuck open.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:22 AM   #20
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Default Compatibility

Yes, I've considered the issue of rubber seals, gaskets and compatibility. The chart you have included is relative to 100% ethanol vs a mixture that will be 40% alcohol at the maximum. My Shur-flo pump uses EPDM gaskets and o-rings which are compatible with alcohols like ethanol. In fact the only rubber elastomer that would be problematic is Nitrile. Viton is expensive and not required in a water system, so not likely to find that rubber in an RV water system anyway. If the rubber elastomers are EPDM, Neoprene, Silicone or Fluorosilicone, it is fine. I've not seen a problem after doing this over two years and I've talked to people and read posts of folks doing this for many years, so I'm not too worried. Given that it's a product that people consume (Vodka), I'm satisfied with the low likelihood.
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