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Old 10-09-2017, 09:02 AM   #1
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Question Air-only winterizing questions

Hi all,

Like a few others on this forum, I've decided that I want to forgo the use of antifreeze in the water pump though I'll use it in the traps, etc. I realize there is some risk, and I'll seek to minimize it.

My question concerns my inability to get the trailer level side to side while winterizing. My street is quite convex, so even though I'm using Anderson levelers and 4x12's, I still can't get things quite level. Luckily, the low side is where the curb side where all of my drains are. The only thing I wonder about is the water heater on the street side. I haven't enabled the heater bypass, and assume that the air will pick up whatever water might not have drained from the plug removal. Is this a fair assumption?

-Adam
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:12 AM   #2
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I would not worry about any small amount of water left after you take out the drain plug. I would consider that you put your hand over the drain plug opening while you are pushing air through the system. You should feel air come out of the hole. I would do this until there is only air passing over your hand. IMHO
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:19 AM   #3
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I haven't enabled the heater bypass, and assume that the air will pick up whatever water might not have drained from the plug removal. Is this a fair assumption?
Not really. Air will not dry out the water heater tank.

Fortunately, the amount of water that will be retained in your water heater is small, maybe a pint or so, compared to the total volume of the water heater tank. That small amount of residual water will only expand by about 9% in every direction when it turns to ice, and so it will not cause any pressure on the heater that could cause problems.

Ice in your plumbing system is only a problem when it occurs in a space that is too small for the water to expand completely as it freezes. Not having adequate room for expansion is what causes ruptures in the plumbing, not the mere presence of ice.
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Old 10-09-2017, 03:30 PM   #4
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Water heater bypass

Couple of questions:

1. When it comes to air, is there ever a need to engage the water heater bypass? I get that we don't want to fill it up with AF but otherwise can I safely ignore the bypass?

2. I assume that I want the water heater drain plug should be engaged while blowing out the lines, but that I should remove it for winter storage?

-Adam
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Old 10-09-2017, 03:43 PM   #5
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1. When it comes to air, is there ever a need to engage the water heater bypass? I get that we don't want to fill it up with AF but otherwise can I safely ignore the bypass?
I use the bypass, and drain the water heater separately.
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2. I assume that I want the water heater drain plug should be engaged while blowing out the lines, but that I should remove it for winter storage?
Since I drain the water heater separately rather than blowing it out, the drain plug is removed and the temperature/pressure relief valve is opened to let air in as the water runs out. Then I put the plug back in when I'm done, to keep bugs and dirt out of the heater.
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Old 10-09-2017, 03:58 PM   #6
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I pull the water heater drain plug while the low point and fresh water drains are doing their thing. Then I put it back in and blow it all out with air. I've never engaged the by-pass.

Don't forget the outside shower and kitchen sprayer and toilet flush need to be blown out too.
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:22 PM   #7
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Adam, I think you are over thinking this just a bit. I have used only air for all of the 9 years I have owned my Airstream. It is a 25 FB and I bought it from a guy in Boise by the way.

Here is what I do.

Turn the system to bypass the heater, take out the plug and open the pressure relief valve. When the tank is drained replace the plug and shut the relief valve. Now you don't have to worry about the water heater. Any residual water left behind will not harm a thing as Pro explained above.

Drain the fresh water tank.

Apply the air and open faucets one at a time until they run dry. Do this twice for all the faucets and don't forget the toilet.
I then disconnect the air and with an empty FW tank I run the water pump dry. Then I connect the air once again for good measures and blow the lines again.

Add the pink stuff to the traps and you are good to go. I also, just to be safe, remove my spray hose at the sink and take that inside. It is a cheap plastic little doo dad that I have had to replace because of a very small amount of water I missed.



I do it this way because I don't want to worry about flushing the water tank with air. Just bypass it and you are good to go .
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:39 PM   #8
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Thanks!

So much great info here, thanks everyone for the help.

-Adam
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:05 PM   #9
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Question Fwiw>>>>>

Four Seasons ago I had occasion to jack up the street side of the Classic while winterizing... the FW tank had stopped draining when it was level....but continued to drain for another 20min when jacked up. Granted it was thru a 1/4" ball valve, but I was surprised at the amount left in the tank.

Bob
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:53 AM   #10
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Dear diary after winterizing using air only I was SHOCKED that when I got the coach ready for Spring camping today everything was fine FWIIW we are in MD (March 14) and have a few nights of 30F to go but I've been keeping the coach warm and not worried about it.



All kidding aside, I'm a newb. and take the lead from folks who have been doing this for a long time. It's not rocket science but it is science.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:05 AM   #11
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Why shocked? When the trailers come off the assembly line, they are already winterized, with no water in any systems [ignoring new Alde systems]. Using a compressor to winterize just returns the trailer to its natural state, plus other needed steps like low point drains etc..

Folks WAY overthink winterizing IMO.

KEEP IT SIMPLE, STU!

Peter


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Old 03-14-2019, 08:12 AM   #12
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Pete, check out the emoticon denoting sarcasm. Yep, of course it works.
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