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Old 10-13-2018, 10:42 PM   #1
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Adding antifreeze to plumbing

watching a youtube video by LOLOHO
They drained the fresh water tank, added a couple of gallons of antifreeze
and then ran the water pump to pull it thru the system at each plumbing fixture.
Has anyone ever winterized using this method?
Does the pump pull from the bottom of the fresh water tank?
Wondering if this will work.
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milo1952 View Post
watching a youtube video by LOLOHO
They drained the fresh water tank, added a couple of gallons of antifreeze
and then ran the water pump to pull it thru the system at each plumbing fixture.
Has anyone ever winterized using this method?
Does the pump pull from the bottom of the fresh water tank?
Wondering if this will work.
The pump in our Classic is a pain to get to.👎
I did it for 8yrs. Used two gals. And a cup in all traps. Don't forget the shower hose & sink sprayer.
Worked.
Then worked again & Again come Spring when it's time to flush it out. PITA. Not worth the effort. 👎

Now I just blow the lines, steady 35psi, keeping one line open while opening all faucets one at a time. Blow the HWT thru the pressure relief valve. LP drains open.
1/4cup veggie oil in an empty toilet. AF in all traps.

Bob
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:40 AM   #3
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Since someone will ask. Blow air thru the fresh water inlet, follow Bob's directions including the hot water heater.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:39 AM   #4
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Yes, the pump pulls from the bottom of the tank. Yes, I have used that method. Yes, it works. Yes, it tastes bad and stinks for a while in the spring. You need a water heater bypass to do it through the pump or you will be pumping in 6 gallons to the WH.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:46 AM   #5
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I also just blow out the lines, but also disconnect the outlet from the water pump and running for a minute to makes sure it's completely empty.

And don't forget to remove inline water filters.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:07 AM   #6
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I've learned that, no matter how long or hard you blow, you will still end up with a small amount of water in the lines. If your luck is like mine, that small amount will end up in the one place that could be damaged by freezing water.
No matter what or which method you use, I don't recommend adding antifreeze to the fresh water tank. Antifreeze that has been diluted by water is effectively useless, and you will never get all the water out of that tank prior to adding antifreeze. You will also never get all the antifreeze out of the fresh tank in Spring, unless you are willing to spend an inordinate amount of time and effort filling, draining, flushing, and pumping. And don't add your cup of sanitizing bleach to the fresh tank in Spring before making sure the antifreeze is gone. It smells weird, in a bad way, and tastes worse. No need to ask how I know this...
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:26 AM   #7
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For over 25 years I added 8 gallons of rv antifreeze to my fresh water tank, pumped it through my entire system, and called it good. Never had a problem with the pipes or fixtures. A bit of a pita in the spring to clean out, but with a thorough flushing, no issues with taste or smell.

Then we bought the AS and read about a better way. Now I blow out the lines with my Viair compressor, then I disconect the intake of my water pump and bypass and drain the water heater and pump 2 gallons of antifreeze through all the fixtures. Could I get away with out using the antifreeze? Maybe. It seems cheap insurance to me though. I know I won't have a issue doing it his way.

Mike
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:08 AM   #8
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Fresh Water Tank

Last summer, while I was putting in a SeeLevel system, I needed to take out the fresh water tank drain to gain some room for my hands to get to the side of the tank. The original tank drain is a rinky-dinky set-up with a 1/2 inch threaded coupler which reduces to a 1/4 inch outlet. The 1/4 inch outlet then has a short piece of clear vinyl tubing that connects to the white, cheap valve (we all know and love) to drain the tank. Draining can be an hours-long affair...

I removed this assembly and installed a 5 inch pipe (see below). It aligns nicely with the hole for the white valve and the 1/2 inch threaded hole in the fresh water tank. On the end of the pipe, I installed a quality, quarter-turn brass valve. I can now empty the tank in 10 minutes or less. Great for winterizing!

BTW, it is 20 degrees here this morning and forecast to be cold all week. Glad I winterized last Monday!
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:16 AM   #9
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Addendum...👍

In the beginning I made the mistake of putting the pink stuff in the crapper over the Winter...two Seasons and it leaked like the White House.👎😂
Propylene glycol or ethanol not good for the seals over time. Same for the black and fresh tanks.

Bob
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:18 AM   #10
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My method for the last 10 years:

1) drain everything, including black & gray tanks, then use 15psi air pressure from the shore water inlet. (Higher pressure may blow gaskets or poor connections may start a leak)

2) add 5-6 gallons of GOOD RV antifreeze, yes it is a waste filling the water heater, but at least you know it is safe as well as your plumbing from the water heater. You can use the bypass but be sure you put some antifreeze in the hot water tank to protect it.
A note: Dont buy the cheap RV antifreeze, it may claim protection to 50 below, but I stuck a full jug of it outside (above zero) and it froze solid, bulging out the sides of the jug!

3) drain everything again, then air pressure again so there is less antifreeze to deal with in the spring.

For the fresh water tank in the spring: my line to the fresh water outlet to the pump is about a inch above the bottom of the tank.

To clean up the residual antifreeze from the fresh water tank, if your water tank outlet is in the rear tilt your rig to the rear so there is less to pump out.
Fill the fresh water tank at least 1/2 full and drain.
Then add a few gallons of fresh water to the tank and drain, do the last part 3 to 5 times and the percentage of antifreeze will be undetectable.

You should do the same for your water heater.
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:10 AM   #11
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The ONE time we blew the lines without adding antifreeze, we ended up replacing the water pump in the spring. We now blow the lines, then pump antifreeze through the system without putting it in the fresh tank. The little water in the fresh tank has room to expand, and we haven't had issues with the tank. We don't put antifreeze in grey or black tanks either. We do put antifreeze down all faucets and make sure we hit the sprayers in the bathroom and kitchen.
Some of differences in experience may depend on how blessed cold it gets where you live. It will hit -20F or more in Minneapolis for at least 3 or 4 days every winter. Once it gets to -15F, it's just "colder than a well diggers butt" as my dad used to say...

Kay
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:30 AM   #12
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My problem is that getting to the water pump is a total PITA. So this year I am going to first blow everything out and drain after I shut off the access to the WH and drain it. Then put about 2 or 3 gallons of anitfreeze in the tank and pump through system. Then I’m going to hand pump it through the system. Then flush the fresh water tank now a few times by adding water and then draining it. I’ll do it again in the Spring a few times. In Spring fill tank and run the pump to drain all the water in the tank. We don’t use our tank to drink water from anyway. About the only thing we use that water for is to flush the toilets when we travel. We carry drinking water.

The biggest issue is if you blow out the system there IS going to be water in that water pump. It will freeze and ruin it. I’d rather flush the system a few times than replace a water pump.

By the way: Disconnect and remove all fixtures. I got water in my shower head last year. It froze and had to replace it. So this year all fixtures will be removed and put in my heated garage.
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:55 AM   #13
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ok..one more, only because it seems to be the simplest: When I leave my campsites to head home, I open the bottom drain to my water tank...by the time I've bounced home, its empty. So when winterizing I leave the water tank alone, take out the bottom plug of the water heater to drain it, and disconnect the intake hose to the pump and let it suck up 1-2 gall of antifreeze while opening bathroom, kitchen, and shower faucets till they run pink. Reconnect the pump, and you're done.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneG View Post
My method for the last 10 years:

1) drain everything, including black & gray tanks, then use 15psi air pressure from the shore water inlet. (Higher pressure may blow gaskets or poor connections may start a leak)

2) add 5-6 gallons of GOOD RV antifreeze, yes it is a waste filling the water heater, but at least you know it is safe as well as your plumbing from the water heater. You can use the bypass but be sure you put some antifreeze in the hot water tank to protect it.
A note: Dont buy the cheap RV antifreeze, it may claim protection to 50 below, but I stuck a full jug of it outside (above zero) and it froze solid, bulging out the sides of the jug!

3) drain everything again, then air pressure again so there is less antifreeze to deal with in the spring.

For the fresh water tank in the spring: my line to the fresh water outlet to the pump is about a inch above the bottom of the tank.

To clean up the residual antifreeze from the fresh water tank, if your water tank outlet is in the rear tilt your rig to the rear so there is less to pump out.
Fill the fresh water tank at least 1/2 full and drain.
Then add a few gallons of fresh water to the tank and drain, do the last part 3 to 5 times and the percentage of antifreeze will be undetectable.

You should do the same for your water heater.
I thought all RV antifreeze is the same stuff. What brand is "Good" RV antifreeze? Walmart, Amazon, Camping World? From Amazon: Camco RV Antifreeze Concentrate - 36 ounces of Concentrate Makes 1 Gallon of Antifreeze, Just Add Fresh Water, or maybe RV and Marine Antifreeze by Chemworld RV?

I have been using whatever is on the shelf, which has seemed to work ok, but I would rather not take the chance of pipes freezing just to save a couple of bucks.
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