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Old 10-14-2009, 05:58 PM   #1
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Blowing out water lines necessary?

I didn't have the proper tools to blow out the water lines on my 2007 20' Safari, so I figured I'd skip that step and it'd be okay if I just pumped in 4 gallons of antifreeze into the system from the water pump. I followed all the other steps correctly, just didn't blow out the lines. I figured I was going to push antifreeze through anyway....Now I am wondering if that was a bad idea and if I should go buy myself an air compressor, blow the lines out, and do it again. It's Maine in the winter, after all, and my Airstream is outside.
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:10 PM   #2
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Thats the way I did it. I've never had a problem. I don't live in Maine though.I also don't know how cold the antifreeze is good for.
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by silversnail View Post
I didn't have the proper tools to blow out the water lines on my 2007 20' Safari, so I figured I'd skip that step and it'd be okay if I just pumped in 4 gallons of antifreeze into the system from the water pump. I followed all the other steps correctly, just didn't blow out the lines. I figured I was going to push antifreeze through anyway....Now I am wondering if that was a bad idea and if I should go buy myself an air compressor, blow the lines out, and do it again. It's Maine in the winter, after all, and my Airstream is outside.
As long as you pumped it full of pink antifreeze until you could run it out of every place you should be fine. Back in the days before nontoxic antifreeze when lines were blown out every couple years something would fail due to a little water in a low spot Toilet valves only needed a drop or two of water to break. Since Rv antifreeze became affordable I have never had a problem. Don't forget the traps of course
I am assuming you have drained the water tank and also the hot water tank and bypassed it.

I not only do my trailers but also a 14x 70 mobile home every year without problem
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:17 PM   #4
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We never blow our lines before antifreeze - we just drain everything and then pump full of antifreeze. We do that with our SOB. My dad used to blow the lines and NOT use antifreeze except in the toilet. He had a 31 ft AS. I wouldn't do that. Chris says he'd probably blow the lines AND use antifreeze if it was an AS with all original plumbing. He says that because the maintenance manual says to, and there's a water filter between the city water intake and the pump (or was in our AS before we gutted her).

Depends, though, on how you're plumbed. If you have long water lines that are hard to drain, or a long line from your city water connection to your pump with a filter in it, you may want to consider it.

Kay
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:33 PM   #5
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With our last SOB trailer, I only ever pumped antifreeze thru the system.

With our AS, I started to do both, blow out lines and then put antifreeze - just to be on the safe side and because I have a compressor anyway.

I doubt it is necessary, but I did it just to try to ensure there were no lengths of dead end pipe (such as the city water inlet pipe) left with a slug of plain water blocked in the system when i use the pump to introduce the antifreeze.

Last winter was the first time we winterized the AS. When we took it south in the middle of winter and put water back in, I found that our toilet was leaking water.

A quick check revealed that the previous owner had tucked a little bowl rinse hose in the back of the toilet. I didn't even realize the toilet had such a feature and so of course it got no antifreeze and cracked! Soon fixed with a new hose kit and spray nozzle!

Our trailer also has a filter built into the Moen galley sink faucet that is activayed by a push button on the faucet. I ran the antifreeze thru it as well to protect it but I'm not sure if that is a good thing to do or not! Probably I should change that filter annually anyway, but the flashing light on the faucet seems to say the filter is still good.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:44 PM   #6
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Winterize

I just finished winterizing our 1965 22' Safari. I blew out the lines with my air compressor and used a $3.00 air valve that hooks up the the city water intake. It works great. Got it at my local RV supplier. This mvintage trailer does not have a bypass for the water heater so it took 8 gals. of RV antifreeze. I consider this a small price to insure proper winterizing. I think that RV antifreeze is great investment and well worth the extra expense.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:45 PM   #7
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The "tool" for blowing out the lines is simple and inexpensive. It scews into the city water inlet hose fitting and has a fitting for a standard (tire) airpump on the other side. I use a simple, cheap tire pump inflator to supply air pressure. The kind that uses a.c. is easier to use as a 12 volt supply is often not handy. I think this little pump is less risky than a bigger compressor because it takes much longer with the little pump to build up enough pressure to potentially damage the lines. If you use a big compressor, set it so pressure is less than 40 pounds.
My proceedure for winterizing is as follows:
1. Drain fresh and hot water tanks as well as grey and black water tanks. You will have to close the hotwater tank after it is drained to get enough air pressure to purge the system.
2. Hook up air pump and let it run for a few moments to build up pressure. Then, turn on each faucet until only air comes out of the faucet. Do the same for the toilet. Then, I open all the faucets and valves again to make sure the water is out of the low spots. Take your time, you want minimal water in the lines. Turn off air pump. I open the hot water tank again to remove any water that has blown back into the tank
3. Pour RV antifreeze into all the traps and into the grey and black water holding tanks. A gallon total is enough.
4. Find the fresh water pump. In my 25 foot Safari the pump lives in a hinged cabinet underneath the street side closet. Take the lines off the pump. You will get a little water so have a paper towell handy. Run the pump briefly to make sure all the water is evacuated. I hook everything back up so I am good to go when I want to use the trailer.
So simple you will wonder why you ever paid anyone to do it.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:53 PM   #8
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HANDN is exactly right with the procedures. That is what we did and it worked perfectly EXCEPT:

Important lesson learned last year (our first year in the new AS with a water filtration cartridge)

REMOVE THE WATER FILTRATION CARTRIDGE as the first step in your winterization.

If not, it does retain water and it will go through the freeze/thaw cycles and burst and deposit the water that WAS in it where you don't want it to be.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
Our trailer also has a filter built into the Moen galley sink faucet that is activayed by a push button on the faucet. I ran the antifreeze thru it as well to protect it but I'm not sure if that is a good thing to do or not! Probably I should change that filter annually anyway, but the flashing light on the faucet seems to say the filter is still good.
I've always heard the activated charcoal in the filter gets saturated with the thick consistency of antifreeze. So I pull it out. My light hasn't worked in a couple years. I don't worry about that as we haven't gotten through the idea of drinking from the trailer plumbing anyway.

We hear of dealers who use air compressors only and none who use the all-antifreeze technique. Tells me something...

The pink stuff is used as-is and not intended to dilute as is automotive antifreeze. So you'd better flush through thoroughly if you don't blow out first. My sense is that PEX plumbing is more forgiving. Not blowing out, I think we'd hear of a small but significant problem rate from vintage units that still have copper plumbing. That's too high of a cost if it ruins a handful of plumbing systems. Be careful out there...
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:37 AM   #10
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Blow the Lines Out

I use to just pump the Antifreeze in, until i was @ the Big Box Hardware store where i purchased it and saw "New Unopened " bottles "Frozen Solid" . They were stored outside and it wasn"t that cold yet.
So I always Blow the Lines Out. It's easy and I Sleep Better.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:13 AM   #11
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I use to just pump the Antifreeze in, until i was @ the Big Box Hardware store where i purchased it and saw "New Unopened " bottles "Frozen Solid" . They were stored outside and it wasn"t that cold yet.
So I always Blow the Lines Out. It's easy and I Sleep Better.
Hmmm, that's interesting, I often wondered what the stuff was. Do you think it somehow has properties that allow it to freeze but maybe it doesn't expand the way water does?
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:21 AM   #12
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Wink Blow & stuff........



Ever since getting Cloudsplitter, I have always drained and blowed, then pumped AF thru the lines at the pump.

After at least an hour of trying, I could never get all the "stuff" back in the closet that my DW so expertly inserts. Then...... was severely chastised for even trying.

Changed procedures this Season.

Drained fresh tank, opened low point drains, by-passed and drained water heater, blew out the lines @ 25psi. Added AF to the fresh tank. Was kind'a surprised that it took only about 3gal for the pump to start. Removed faucet filter. Ran all the faucets, kitchen sprayer, shower head, poured AF in toilet and added extra to all the traps.

Saved at least an hour....with my manly ego still intact.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:24 AM   #13
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I didn't have the proper tools to blow out the water lines on my 2007 20' Safari, so I figured I'd skip that step and it'd be okay if I just pumped in 4 gallons of antifreeze into the system from the water pump. I followed all the other steps correctly, just didn't blow out the lines. I figured I was going to push antifreeze through anyway....Now I am wondering if that was a bad idea and if I should go buy myself an air compressor, blow the lines out, and do it again. It's Maine in the winter, after all, and my Airstream is outside.
The factory will drain and blow the lines out. I don't consider that enough.
I drained the system, hot water and fresh water tank. Put the Hot water heater water lines in bypass and hooked up my suction tube to the pink stuff. I went through about a gallon filling the lines. Don't forget the shower.

I then put more pink stuff in all the traps (don't forget the shower) and the black and grey tanks.

the anti-freeze is rated to -50F. I left the furnace on at 40F the lowest it would go. I left doors and drawers open to allow pipes to be warmed.
I know the furnace will cost me in propane this winter but will give me piece of mind. I do not like the plastic and wood getting too cold. It is not good for it.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:30 AM   #14
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Well I have only been doin this is the 3rd yr. I pump antifreeze thru until every outlet(fauset and toilet,water heater) runs pink. Mine I think I used 6 gallon. That's also a half gallon in the fresh water tank(mine dont have a drain) and all the traps. A little in the Gray and Black make sure if there is any water there it dont freeze. I havn't had a problem yet.
NEWS FLASH!
Tractor Supply has it ON SALE $2.97 per , ya might know I already bought 6 gallon $4.00bucks a gallon.
Good luck Everyone
Roger
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