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Old 09-05-2008, 09:29 PM   #1
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Winterizing question?

No I am not done yet, plenty of camping yet to do. I was just reading the August issue of CW's RV View that had a step by step guide to winterizing. THe very first step said in cap's DO NOT DRAIN THE WATER HEATER until after you have filled your pipes with antifreeze. I have never done this. Usually before I return from the last camping trip I set the by-pass, pull the breaker and pull the drain plug. I leave the plug off on the trip home to fully drain. Even at the end of the article it mentions to drain the water heater last. My question is why? Am I doing something wrong? Why do they make the point to drain the water heater last?
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Old 09-06-2008, 07:20 AM   #2
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I read that too and thought it was odd. I also drain the WH first, so I can open the HW taps to let it drain faster. If you flip the bypass valves, the water heater's isolated from the rest of the system, and it makes no difference to the rest of the winterizing process if it's full or not. (As long as it's drained at some point!) As a matter of fact, if you bypass and drain the WH first, you eliminate the possibility of getting antifreeze in it.
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:28 PM   #3
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Jay,

I also drain the HW tank 1st when draining the water out of the rest of the system.
Then I blow out the water system, including the HW tank to make sure I have all the water out.
Then I set the HW tank bypass and pump antifreeze through the lines.
When winterizing I leave the HW tank dry, that is I don't put any antifreeze in it. That's why it's important for the way I do things it to blow out the lines and HW tank to make sure all the water is out of the tank.

I have no idea why they said to drain the HW Tank last. Maybe someone else here may have an explanation for that.

If you drain the HW tank last, that is after you've put antifreeze in the water system lines, you better make sure you get all the water out of the tank. I haven't read the article yet. I'll have to read it to see how they insure that all the water is out of the HW tank, if they do that step last.

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Old 09-06-2008, 09:24 PM   #4
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Iím going to have to find that article and see if they speak to anything much more on the why. I only have 1 possible explanation and it in itself does not justify for me to drain the HW tank last.

IF the bypass kit looks like this: 3 way valve on the bottom and check valve on the top


Then there is one very slight advantage to draining the HW last. I have never tried this, but can see it happening. I say very slight as it is the only thing I can think why one would do what they are saying. The top check valve does not seat immediately. You have to build some pipe pressure down stream and then it will set the check and not flow back into the tank. On mine when I do the pink flush, some antifreeze dumps into the empty tank thru this valve until it sets. If the tank is full, then it will not enter as the water inside is preventing it from coming in.. I waste about Ĺ to 1 quart due to this. This is the only mechanical reason I can come up with. Those with 2, 3 ways valves for the bypass, it closes off immediate and this would not happen.

First off most of us Sunline owners with newer TTís have the Attwood HW heater. I do not know what the 70ís had or the 80ís. But the year 2000 at least and newer have Attwood. When you pull the plug on the Atwood and lift the safety relief to let air in, the tank will drain by gravity to all but about 1 quart that is left inside. The only way to get most of that last quart out is a compressed air blow thru the system with the safety back down and the drain plug out.

Did the article say if they have Suburban or Atwood HW heaters? The Suburban I have heard drains out as the plug is truly in the low spot.

I myself blow out the entire camper, HW tank and all. Flip the bypass and then pump the pink stuff. This way there is very little dilution. In the spring I blow out the antifreeze and the Hw heater first. Then fill and flush/sanitize. This cuts down on the flushing to get the antifreeze out of the system.

In the case of the Attwood, if you did like RV view says, well there is now no way to blow out that last quart very easily. Attwood does say if the quart freezes it will not hurt the tank, but I do not push my luck. Some of the quart will evaporate if the plug is out.

If anyone has a reason, please help enlighten us.

John
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:03 AM   #5
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to winterize or not???

Here in sunny CA it may or may not frost each winter. Once in a while we get cold enough to kill off some tropical flowers, but we still grow oranges and lemons. Never stays below freezing more than a few hours. We've been using the 2363 as our emergency earthquake water supply source and don't want to winterize and drain the emergency water unless we need to. It never snows here (20 years and counting).

would you winterize?
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:27 AM   #6
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We have camped when it went down to 27 degrees for 2 hours and our trailer was fine. If you know it's getting cold at night you could always plug it in and turn the heat on, and open the cabinet doors where the pipes are. The gray tank valve did freeze on us that night...but you asked about fresh.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:05 PM   #7
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Re: to winterize or not???

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly66
Here in sunny CA it may or may not frost each winter. Once in a while we get cold enough to kill off some tropical flowers, but we still grow oranges and lemons. Never stays below freezing more than a few hours. We've been using the 2363 as our emergency earthquake water supply source and don't want to winterize and drain the emergency water unless we need to. It never snows here (20 years and counting).

would you winterize?
Shelly,

In your situation, here's what I think I would do.

- Use compressed air to blow the fresh water lines out.

- Drain whatever remains in the water heater. Make sure it's off!

- Dump and flush the black and grey tanks. Close the valves.

- Pour some RV antifreeze down the shower drain, enough to make it past the trap and down into the grey tank. For sake of argument, a half gallon should be more than enough. This will keep the grey valve lubricated so it doesn't dry out and become a problem later.

- Through the toilet, pour some RV Antifreeze into the black tank, this will keep the black valve lubricated.

- Close the toilet flapper and put a little RV Antifreeze in the bowl. This will keep the toilet seal lubricated.

- A little RV antifreeze down both sink drains will keep the traps wet and prevent freezing there.

- Making sure the fresh water pump is off, fill the fresh water tank. I would leave an air cushion at the top of the fresh tank. When water freezes, it tends to expand upward. If for some reason, it does freeze, this space will give it somewhere to go.

- Prop the bed open just a couple of inches to allow for some airflow under the bed. This will help keep the fresh water tank a little "warmer." You don't want to just open the bed entirely, as ambient light will encourage algae growth in the fresh water tank.

Then, like Tweety said, if you are expecting some cold snaps, you could simply run the heat on a real low setting the keep the fresh water liquid.

This should keep you safe, and with no antifreeze in the water lines, you could have water running in a few seconds in case of an emergency.

- Frank
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