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Old 01-09-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
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Twinkle's Frozen: Now What?

Five days of unprecedented below freezing weather here in North Alabama...Twinkle, our '94 30' Excella, is frozen up.
I poured six gallons of RV antifreeze in the freshwater tank, circulated it, but there must've been enough water in there to allow it to freeze up anyway. The water pump comes on, but very little pink fluid flows.

The hot water tank is OK--still fluid pink stuff.

The Black water tank looks frozen down there.

Brought her home from the storage yard and have two full tanks of propane and the heater working to warm her up--but still no flow of water. The fresh water tank will not drain--frozen up.

Any suggestions? PEX piping, and no obvious breaks. The weather climbs to the 40s next week.

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:40 PM   #2
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Brand spanking new 20' Flying Cloud with built in tank heaters AND the unit has been a constant 65-75 degrees. Galley doors open and drawers pulled to allow warm air circulation...guess what....frozen fresh water tank here as well.
My guess is that even with factory installed tank heaters they are still going to freeze up?
It gets better. The dump valves froze in the closed position, not good for either of us since I am full timing and the campground I am in has no facilities during winter.
I took a ceramic heater and applied it to the dump valves with success but they are now frozen in the open position.
I'm sure me telling you this doesn't help much but maybe it will bring you comfort to know there is someone else in the same situation.
I guess this experience is showing me that I can not use this thing in Alaska this spring):
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:59 PM   #3
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Guess the good news is the PEX tubing is not likely to rupture, although I'm not so sure about the fresh water tank.

Sorry to hear about the frozen drain valves and the lack of facilities! You are in one of the most beautiful parts of the nation--We graduated from Mars Hill College just up the road from Waynesville. Still remember it was the coldest we've been in our lives, though, in the mountains of North Carolina.

Agree--Airstreams are not built for Alaska!
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SSChanger View Post
Five days of unprecedented below freezing weather here in North Alabama...Twinkle, our '94 30' Excella, is frozen up.
I poured six gallons of RV antifreeze in the freshwater tank, circulated it, but there must've been enough water in there to allow it to freeze up anyway. The water pump comes on, but very little pink fluid flows.

The hot water tank is OK--still fluid pink stuff.

The Black water tank looks frozen down there.

Brought her home from the storage yard and have two full tanks of propane and the heater working to warm her up--but still no flow of water. The fresh water tank will not drain--frozen up.

Any suggestions? PEX piping, and no obvious breaks. The weather climbs to the 40s next week.

Thanks!
How much water was in the tank when you put her in storage? Frozen drain is not unusual. Don't force it. It could break off and take part of the tank with it. Radiant heat is best. Black can freeze. Grey can freeze. Tank heaters will only work if the area is realitively air tight. The tank areas are not. Tank heaters will make short order of your batteries if not hooked up to shore power.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:56 PM   #5
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I kinda remember something about not putting the pink antifreeze into the water heater. I can't remember if anyone told me why not.

Just a thought, not intended to add to your troubles, I'd guess it would flush out well enough.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:36 PM   #6
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I kinda remember something about not putting the pink antifreeze into the water heater. I can't remember if anyone told me why not.

Just a thought, not intended to add to your troubles, I'd guess it would flush out well enough.
It will flush out fine. Typically you don't put antifreeze into the hot water heater if you have bypass valves. It's more of a matter to save the expense of the antifreeze filling the tank. It won't cause any harm.

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Old 01-10-2010, 06:25 AM   #7
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Guess the good news is the PEX tubing is not likely to rupture, although I'm not so sure about the fresh water tank.
The tubing itself should be fine. The fittings can be damaged by freezing, so do check for leaks.

It would be unusual for the freshwater tank itself to be damaged by freezing though again the fittings are the most vulnerable.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:21 AM   #8
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I know this is of no use to you now, but maybe in the future....what I've been doing with success is drain all tanks, drain the lines, blow out all the lines with air pressure, and put anti freeze in the drain "P" traps. Then I hook up AC power and run a small electric heater in the trailer.

Yesterday morning it was 13 degrees here, and this morning it is 16. Coldest I ever remember it being here. Must be that pesky global warming.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:37 AM   #9
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Freeze

You might try another few gals of AF. When I winterized my baby I put in 6 gal at first and my pump would not circulate. I then added 3 more gals and it did work fine. I learned on this forum that the water heater filled up with 6 gals alone so it does take more to protect everything. I figure $27 (9 gal. @ $3.00 per) is cheap protection.......Tim
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:43 AM   #10
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Great information from everyone--many thanks! We absolutely love our "Twinkle". We took it to the top of Monte Sano here in Huntsville for Christmas lunch, and it was magical!

Glad to learn that there is unlikely to be any permanent or costly damage from these extremely cold successive temperature days. Kind of surprized that the pink stuff will freeze if diluted even just a bit, but that's the learning I'm getting from this.

Thanks for the encouraging words.

"We are too soon old, and too late smart" (Dutch proverb).
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:15 AM   #11
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I know this is of no use to you now, but maybe in the future....what I've been doing with success is drain all tanks, drain the lines, blow out all the lines with air pressure, and put anti freeze in the drain "P" traps. Then I hook up AC power and run a small electric heater in the trailer.

Yesterday morning it was 13 degrees here, and this morning it is 16. Coldest I ever remember it being here. Must be that pesky global warming.
For your location, yep..best advice. If in doubt, Winterize BSTS.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:27 AM   #12
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But for the anode rod....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
Typically you don't put antifreeze into the water heater if you have bypass valves. It's more of a matter to save the expense of the antifreeze filling the tank. It won't cause any harm. Jack
Non toxic antifreeze is detrimental to the anode rod on the water heater.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:04 AM   #13
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I'm not sure about the bypass valves--there is a valve that allows you to mix in cold with the hot water--Is that the bypass valve?
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:13 AM   #14
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A water heater bypass removes the water heater from the water system by letting the water flow past it instead of through it. If the water heater is bypassed it can be drained and the rest of the system can be winterized. This will save you 6 or more gallons of antifreeze.
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