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Old 10-15-2018, 03:38 AM   #1
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Default Winterizing question

This is the first time I have ever had to winterize my RV. I blew it out with air and then I started pumping in the antifreeze; however, when I pumped in the antifreeze, it came out of the cold side fine, but wouldn't come out of any of the hot water side. I blew out the hot water tank and then I shut off the water in and out of the hot water tank. I also made sure the bypass is open, but nothing coming out of the hot water side in the shower or sink.

Any ideas?
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:40 AM   #2
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Sure sounds like the bypass isn't configured properly. Perhaps one of the valves is wrong?

Not that you asked, but do you REALLY want to put that pink stuff in your fresh water system? I have found that a proper blow-out is adequate. I save the antifreeze for my traps and macerator.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:08 PM   #3
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Some bypass configurations rely on a check valve installed on the water heater outlet. The outlet is where hot water comes out of. That check valve prevents water or plumbing antifreeze from entering the outlet. The check valve is a one way flow spring loaded valve. There's no handle on it to turn and its operation is automatic.

That check valve can fail and allow plumbing antifreeze to enter the outlet.

If plumbing antifreeze is entering the water heater when the manual turn bypass valves are in the bypass positions then the check valve likely needs to be replaced.

CheckValve.jpg
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post

Not that you asked, but do you REALLY want to put that pink stuff in your fresh water system? I have found that a proper blow-out is adequate. I save the antifreeze for my traps and macerator.
I don't; however, i thought it was necessary. i bypassed my freshwater tank, so I feel good about that. i'll just flush it real good in the spring.

Thanks.
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
Some bypass configurations rely on a check valve installed on the water heater outlet. The outlet is where hot water comes out of. That check valve prevents water or plumbing antifreeze from entering the outlet. The check valve is a one way flow spring loaded valve. There's no handle on it to turn and its operation is automatic.

That check valve can fail and allow plumbing antifreeze to enter the outlet.

If plumbing antifreeze is entering the water heater when the manual turn bypass valves are in the bypass positions then the check valve likely needs to be replaced.

Attachment 6569
Mine doesn't have one. Good tip though. Thanks.
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:26 PM   #6
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When I blew out the system, I did have air coming out of both hots sides... We did have a freeze over night before I was able to get the AF in. Maybe there was some frozen water blocking the hot water line....hummmm. I thought blowing it out would definitely prevent that.

Guess I will find out in the spring.
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:09 PM   #7
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Some folks around here use cheap vodka in their boats to winterize the fresh water system. Less tragic if you fail to completely rinse it out in the spring.
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:14 PM   #8
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Blowing out a system doesn't always guarantee all the water is out. Especially in the hot water heater depending on design and model.
There is also nothing wrong with using the pink RV antifreeze. I've been using it for over 30 years in RV's . I use it in our own as well. I blow everything out and then run the antifreeze in. For our 20 gallon tank I use 6 gallons at most. Cheap insurance. It's no big deal to flush it out in the spring. It also helps in keeping system sanitized versus a system with just air in it.
Everyone has their own way whether be just blowing out , using antifreeze or doing both they all work depending on your system.
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
Sure sounds like the bypass isn't configured properly. Perhaps one of the valves is wrong?

Not that you asked, but do you REALLY want to put that pink stuff in your fresh water system? I have found that a proper blow-out is adequate. I save the antifreeze for my traps and macerator.
I used to just blow out my RVs as well, however I found out the hard way that
water pumps, screen traps, toilet flush valves and other such parts don't always "blow out" as well as one might like. The pink stuff is non-toxic, easy to flush out, doesn't require the water to be blown out at all, and guarantees a good winter without having to replace 'stuff' in the Spring because it cracked from ice expansion. You can also completely winterize or re-winterize on the road using the pink stuff in just a few minutes if necessary.
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:29 PM   #10
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I use the pink stuff (-50) as well. I run the pump until the tank is empty, bypass the water heater and drain it (I never found it necessary to run A/F into it). I think ours usually takes about 4 USgallons and I check protection level with a refractometer. This is the same procedure used on many boats up here in rural Maine (except we use -100 in boat engines).
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:41 PM   #11
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The water heater, if drained, doesn't need antifreeze as whatever is left in the tank will just freeze (or if you leave the plug out, eventually just dry.) The reason for bypassing the water heater when using anti-freeze is that you'll have to pump six gallons of antifreeze into it before the antifreeze will flow into the hot water lines. Many Class B units can be winterized with a single gallon of the pink stuff as long as the water heater is bypassed. My 32' Class C uses about a gallon and a half because of the longer runs of water line.
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:12 PM   #12
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I could do our class B with a smaller quantity if I could feed directly into the pump (but it would be really inconvenient to do so) which is why I use a refractometer. If you can feed directly into the pump you don't have to worry about dilution from water remaining in the tank. On many boats we would take the time to plumb in a tank bypass system which would allow feeding A/F directly into the pump; better protection and much easier to commission in the spring.
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankshay View Post
I could do our class B with a smaller quantity if I could feed directly into the pump (but it would be really inconvenient to do so) which is why I use a refractometer. If you can feed directly into the pump you don't have to worry about dilution from water remaining in the tank. On many boats we would take the time to plumb in a tank bypass system which would allow feeding A/F directly into the pump; better protection and much easier to commission in the spring.
Doesn't your tank have a low-point drain? I've installed a freshwater bypass valve on the intake side of the pumps in both my mohos. I drain the freshwater, turn the valve on the intake side of the pump, and draw the pink stuff straight out of the gallon container. When I have antifreeze running out of each faucet, I'm done. No muss, no fuss. I confess that I DID have to re-orient the water pump in the B-van just a little to accommodate the accessory winterizing valve because of the tight install though.
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:33 PM   #14
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:46 PM   #15
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Saenz - you sain you turned the in/out valves off. There should be a third valve that allows to water to bypass the water heater. Find it and you’ll likely solve the problem.

I would also agree with others who use pink stuff. I buy it on sale for $2.50 a gallon and only use two gallons to winterize to winterize my Roadtrek 190P p. We use the FW tanks for drinking so I sanitize in the spring to make sure everything is clean.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:22 PM   #16
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I winterised my 2019 Plateau FL last Thursday for the first time (temps dropped to -3 deg C that night where we were! It took me just about 1.5 gals of pink stuff.

We had a camping weekend planned to see the Fall colours on teh weekend - we still went but took lots of bottled water and flushed the toilet with antifreeze! Luckily the campground had heated washrooms and showers!

We have the Truma comfort plus water heater and it was my first experience with that unit - previously only had the standard 6 gallon RV units (Atwood / suburban.)

This one has the same bypass valve setup - with one more valve to deal with on teh hot water recirc line - and it does not have a large volume tank. It has a different drain arrangement and a removeable filter.

Pleasure-way instructions and Truma instructions differ slightly in what to do with the
filter. (it is really just a tubular stainless mesh strainer, not a filter per se.

PW say to remove it, inspect it and clean it then replace it in the heater for the winter once you have drained it, Truma say the same thing - but not to replace it but keep it indoors until the Spring.

I was going to follow Truma's instructions but I found that leaving it out left a large opening for bugs / etc to get into the works of the water heater so I opted to put it back in place per PW instructions!

The winterisation probably took me about 20 minutes total!

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Old 10-22-2018, 12:09 AM   #17
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Cheap Vodka is still much more expensive than the proper food grade auto freeze.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:12 AM   #18
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That stuff is unpleasant, inconvenient, expensive and totally unnecessary. I speak from 13 years experience on two different rigs stored in a cold climate. Yes, there is a bit of a technique that must be learned (which is the only reason why the upfitters recommend it--they distrust their customers, probably for good reason). But properly done, it DOES guarantee that your pipes will not freeze. (There is no need to guarantee that "all" the water is removed, just that there is none left in vulnerable places.

You need to open any low-point drains, empty any water heater tanks, blow out one faucet at a time, working your way out from the pump to the periphery, and then remove the screen cover on the water pump. Takes 15 minutes, and can easily be redone on the road. Out of an abundance of caution, I take any removable fixtures (shower wands, etc) into the house, since they are cheaply made and vulnerable. I take the Keurig indoors (they retain water). Finally, I pour some pink stuff into each trap and I am good to go (or stay).

I put the use of antifreeze in the fresh system in the same "feel good" category as not flushing toilet paper: If you makes you feel better, then who am I to judge? But it is quite unnecessary.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:17 PM   #19
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Avanti: on my new to me 2015 Great West Van there is a valve at the water fill point that selects whether the incoming water goes to the fresh water tank or to the system downstream of the 12vdc pump. How do you position that valve, it what sequence to ensure the pump is completely empty, or whatever else you do.

I've blown out my big class a for years with no resulting problems.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Avanti: on my new to me 2015 Great West Van there is a valve at the water fill point that selects whether the incoming water goes to the fresh water tank or to the system downstream of the 12vdc pump. How do you position that valve, it what sequence to ensure the pump is completely empty, or whatever else you do.

I've blown out my big class a for years with no resulting problems.
I don't have such a valve, but I assume that you don't want to blow air into the fresh tank.

I think that the only way to ensure the pump is safe is to unscrew the clear cover to the filter screen. I leave it off all winter.
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