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Old 11-05-2018, 09:58 AM   #1
Amg
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Winterization with antifreeze

I know there is a debate on using air to blow out the lines and/or using antifreeze. I prefer to only use antifreeze. It is for me simpler and easier.

I normally drain the freshwater tank and water heater tank. Shut off the valve to the water heater. I dump both the grey and black water tanks. Add antifreeze to the empty freshwater tank.

I then turn on the pump and pump throughout the system the antifreeze until all faucets (including outdoor shower) and the toilet turns pink. I flush probably a half a gallon of antifreeze through the toilet to the black tank. I then again discharge grey and black water tank to make sure Masserator pump has antifreeze.

I had been draining the low point valves when draining the system. Getting to the turn off under the microwave is a real pain. Since I am filling system with antifreeze, is that necessary?

Does anyone have any suggestions on any deletions or additions to my procedures. Thanks
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:23 AM   #2
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I do all three - open the drain valves, blow out with air, and use pink stuff. Probably overkill but overall much easier than fixing a leak due to freezing. Without first blowing out the system with air I would worry that your pink stuff would be too diluted to protect properly. I have never measured the amount of water that gets blown out by air after letting the gravity drain valves do their thing, but I'll bet it is more than a gallon. After draining the water lines via the drain valves and blowing them out with air, I then close the water heater bypass before adding pink stuff. With the water heater mostly empty it doesn't hurt when the bit of remaining water freezes.

I am especially concerned about getting enough pink-stuff concentration in the waste lines. Unfortunately these waste lines aren't drained by either the gravity drain valves or by air pressure. I have solved that issue by drilling a 3/4" hole in the PVC pipe leading to the macerator and putting a sink stopper in that hole. When winterizing I remove the stopper and this drains at least a gallon of fluid out of the waste plumbing system.

I use about 1 gallon of pink stuff with the above method.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:30 AM   #3
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If the pink stuff coming out of your faucets, etc., is as pink as what's in the jug, I would believe it is not diluted.

Pat
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:32 AM   #4
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Iíve been told to be sure to open the low point drains.

Maggie
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:27 AM   #5
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Hi

You very much need to open the low point drains to get anti-freeze running through them.

If you are not blowing out the water heater before putting in anti-freeze, it will likely take quite a bit of it to fully do the job. It's going to mix with the water in the tank and take quite a while to get up to full strength. Just how much and how long depends a lot on very small issues in how your RV is plumbed.

Next spring, understand that anti-freeze takes quite a while to fully flush out of the system. Unless you like the medical side effects ... plan on drinking bottled water for a while

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Old 11-05-2018, 12:37 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. Guess I will still drain the low point drains. Just for informational purposes, I normally use about 5 gallons of antifreeze. I donít use the water for drinking. I use only bottled water. If there is some residual antifreeze in the fresh water tank it does not bother me. I am bringing my Interstate late to Florida this year thus must winterize as a precaution.
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Old 11-05-2018, 12:54 PM   #7
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To add a bit more detail (if anyone cares). After draining all the lines and blowing air through them, I then pour pink stuff into all drains and into the black tank. I then open the black and grey knife valves until I see pink stuff drain out my drilled hole. Then I put pink stuff into the end of the waste hose and clamp the end of the waste hose to the top of the open drivers door. I then take a screwdriver and turn the macerator back and forth to get the pink stuff to flow backwards through the macerator until I see it run out my drilled hole. Then I pour a quart into the empty fresh water tank. I disconnect the hose from the outlet of the water pump and screw a 18" long flexible hose to the outlet of the water pump. I then turn on the water pump until I see pink stuff come out of the 18" hose. This assure me that the water pump is winterized. (Some water comes out before pink stuff does, suggesting that my air purging does not get to/through the water pump.) Lastly I pour a cup of pink stuff into the toilet - to keep the toilet seal from drying out. I am sure that some parts of the above is overkill - but I am not sure which parts!
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:20 PM   #8
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I simply blow out the lines with air. The only antifreeze I use goes into the black tank and into the macerator. I keep intending to put a 3" dump branch on the macerator feed. With no P-traps, nothing is needed in the sinks or shower.

Typically our maximum lows are in the mid teens. Some years, I don't need to winterize at all. I watch the forecasts for a couple of days ahead and react accordingly.
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:17 PM   #9
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If your method involves putting antifreeze in the water tank then I would use the blowout method instead.

However, I use the bypass kit, and do not put antifreeze in the water tank. Much more effective, efficient, and you don't have to worry about flushing out the antifreeze in the spring. Just run fresh water through your pipes.

Pat
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:58 PM   #10
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I briefly looked at the bypass kit, but didn't see how it would fit. I assume it goes between the pump inlet and the hose coming up from the fresh water tank - correct? How do you fit it in there since the pump is tight against the floor. Did you set the pump up on blocks to provide extra vertical space for the bypass?

Related, I bought a small pressure tank to pump downstream of my pump. This will allow some water to flow before the pump cycles. But I have yet to find a space to put it.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:01 PM   #11
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I usually blow the lines out and then hand-pump antifreeze through the plumbing. When I finished that and pumped out the tanks, I went to park it in storage...when the dreaded CEL came on. #$%& Oh well...I was planning to do the 30000 mile service anyway. Dealer is only 21 miles away, but I may put my scanner on it first. Already had my "toad" hauled to the dealer when it died last week. Do not want to have the AI hauled in....
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:38 PM   #12
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... Then I put pink stuff into the end of the waste hose and clamp the end of the waste hose to the top of the open drivers door. I then take a screwdriver and turn the macerator back and forth to get the pink stuff to flow backwards through the macerator until I see it run out my drilled hole. ...
Exactly how do you do this? With a funnel on the end of the tube? Wouldn't the same be accomplish by turn the pump on with the antifreeze from the gray/black tanks?
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:38 PM   #13
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yes, I suppose you could accomplish the same thing by putting a lot of pink stuff into the black or grey tank. I put about a quart into the end of the dump hose with a funnel.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:04 AM   #14
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Don't forget to turn on the outside shower until the pink stuff comes out. Also you'll need to either blow out the black tank back flush line or find a way to inject the pink stuff into it because there is a check valve on it which will require pressure to get the water out of that line.
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