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Old 10-14-2013, 09:35 PM   #1
RAH
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2013 30' Flying Cloud
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Antifreeze in the hot water heater

So I was winterizing today and I thought everything was going fine. I didn’t drop a flashlight into the toilet or anything. But I did have a minor mishap and would value some opinions.

This is what I did -
Empty tanks (fresh/black/grey) – check
Empty hot water heater by pulling the white plastic plug outside – check
Turn hot water heater bypass using the yellow valve under the dinette – check.

Then I hooked up a line into a gallon jug of the antifreeze and walked around to each faucet, turning it first hot then cold until pink antifreeze came out. But here is where I messed up – when I turned each faucet to hot, the volume of antifreeze wasn’t as strong as it was at cold. So I figured I knew how to get more to come out at hot – I turned the hot water heater bypass valve back to “on”, and then my remaining half gallon of antifreeze was sucked into the hot water heater. Then I turned the hot water heater bypass valve “off” again and finished my winterizing. (Yes I indeed got more pink stuff to come out at hot with this method)

So I have half a gallon of RV antifreeze sitting in my hot water heater. I should not have this as I should have left the bypass in the off position. At least I think so.
So what now? Should I –

(A) Leave it as is until spring time, then do an extra thorough rinse and sanitize of the system, including the hot water heater?

(B) Drain the antifreeze out of the hot water heater now. And then should I start rinsing and start over with the winterizing?

Thanks, Rich

PS yes, this is my first winter with the Airstream!
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:39 PM   #2
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Do (A). I don't see where it is hurting anything at all.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:40 PM   #3
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I'll expect some other cold weather owners to weigh in, but I think having some anti-freeze in Hot Water Heater tank is not a serious problem, and can be addressed with flushing in the spring... Big question would be how cold is it likely to get, and is the concentration of anti-freeze enough to keep tank from freezing.. If not, or unsure, I'd drain the Water Heater tank again...
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:46 PM   #4
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Since the water heater had been drained earlier, you have pure anti-freeze in it. For all intents I'd leave it in and just do some flushing next spring. The antifreeze won't hurt the tank, but don't forget to flush it out before firing it up next spring.

If it bothers you, drain it and then buy one of these. Water Heater Tank Rinser - Camco 11691 - Water Heaters - Camping World

This will help you get the antifreeze flushed out without messing up your existing winterize job on the rest of the plumbing. Using one of these rods annually at the end of the season also flushes out any mineral deposits and crud within the tank. I had one of these that I used annually on my sob trailer. I owned that trailer for 14 years and that original tank was still doing its job on the day I sold it.

Also note that tanks never drain completely anyway. What little water is left that freezes will not damage the tank since it really has lots of room for expansion when it turns to ice. I tend to leave the drain plug out and place it on the little ledge where the door hinge is located. Just remember to put it back in next spring!

Jack
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:56 PM   #5
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I would drain it, if it sits all winter it will take a long time to get the smell out of the hot water next spring.
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