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Old 11-27-2005, 01:28 PM   #1
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Dealer Winterizing

Greetings all. Being a newbie I have question about winterizing. I asked my dealer how they winterized. I was told that they don't blow the system out with compressed air to clear water. Rather, they said that after draining the fresh water, gray water , black water and H2O heater tanks they put a line from the water pump and into the antifreeze and flush until antifreeze is coming out of all areas (sinks, Shower, etc.) This seems feasible to me but what do you think? Should I blow out the water or do you think this is adequate? The last thing I want to do in the spring is fix pipes. Thank-you for all thoughts.

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Tin Can
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Old 11-27-2005, 01:38 PM   #2
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My dealer blows out the lines and then uses the water pump to inject the antifreeze. Technically what your dealer told you will work. It might just take a little more antifreeze to make sure that it displaces the water in the lines.

Jack
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Old 11-27-2005, 01:54 PM   #3
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Draining and blowing out the lines still leaves water in nooks and crannies - esepcially in valves and stuff. But it does help make sure the antifreeze you put in as the next step isn't dilluted. The only thing I can see that might improve things is to use a hot water heater bypass. That'll save five gallons of antifreeze but you should absolutely remove the hot water heater drain plug.

See the weblog entry http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/snuze/?p=237 for a discussion and links to more information.
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Old 11-27-2005, 02:06 PM   #4
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Tin Can--- I use the exact method your dealer describes. There is another method that is in my opinion the absolute best. Hook up to your trailer and tow due SOUTH until warm temps are reached. Remain there until Spring!!!!!
Pieman
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Old 11-27-2005, 02:11 PM   #5
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I think your dealer is treating your Airstream okay.

To a dealer, time is money. While you or I pay a reasonable cost of $3 -$4 a gallon for RV antifreeze, dealers more than likely purchase it in 50 gal drums for cents per gallon. They can waste a lot without feeling it in the pocketbook.

Skipping the blow-out-the-lines step saves labor time. Antifreeze is much cheaper than even an entry-level RV technician's time.

Don't forget that, if they do a poor job & you have freeze damage, they know they are on the hook to fix it at no charge to you.

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Old 11-27-2005, 02:28 PM   #6
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Of course, everyone knows that it doesn't get cold, or snow, in the winter in your neck of the woods!

I think the dealer's procedure is OK as far as it goes, but I'd also want to make sure that my water filter is removed, antifreeze is also poured down the P-traps in the kitchen and bathroom sinks and in the shower, my hot water heater is drained and my water heater by-pass is turned on, my holding tanks are drained, etc. etc. (Read the owner's manual on winterizing and make sure all the steps are followed and you'll be Okay.)

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Old 11-27-2005, 06:32 PM   #7
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Blowing out the lines is the most effective way to clear the section going from the city water inlet to the inlet valve. Here's one way to winterize:

Step 1. If you haven’t already done so, dump the holding tanks.

Step 2. Locate the fresh water tank drain valve or plug, & drain the water.

Step 3. Locate the water heater drain plug and remove it to drain the water heater tank.

Step 4. Bypass the water heater.

Step 5. Connect air compressor to city water inlet. Add pressure (60 psi). Open and close all faucets (hot AND cold) and toilet one by one to drain.

Step 6. Connect a short hose to the city water inlet and, while holding the open end up, pour RV antifreeze into it. Connect the compressor to the hose and blow the antifreeze into the part of the system that would otherwise remain unprotected by water pump entry alone (steps 7 & 8). Disconnect the hose and cap the city water inlet.

Step 7. Locate the water pump, disconnect the inlet fitting, install the winterizing hose and insert the other end into the jug of antifreeze.

Step 8. Turn on the water pump. Open the taps one at a time, closing each one when antifreeze appears. Once again, do the hot and cold taps at every sink or shower faucet - as well as the toilet (and toilet sprayer if you have one).

Step 9. Dump the holding tanks.
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Old 11-27-2005, 08:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the good advice. It sounds like the way the dealer does it is safe.

Take care,
Tin Can
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Old 11-28-2005, 01:58 AM   #9
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That method will not protect the line from the city water inlet to the inlet valve, which in my '02 Bambi I believe is about 9' long. Why chance it?
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfield54
That method will not protect the line from the city water inlet to the inlet valve, which in my '02 Bambi I believe is about 9' long. Why chance it?
You're right. I forgot about that section of the water line or is it just a matter of leaving the end cap off the city water hookup and wait for the antifreeze to spill out?

For some reason I would think that this section of line would have a one way valve to prevent a backflow into the city line in case of a city pressure drop and where the pump is on.

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Old 11-28-2005, 12:11 PM   #11
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The regulator check valve will, if working properly, prevent antifreeze from entering that section of pipe from the water pump part of the system. Which is why step #6 from the above list is recomended. I suppose lowering and raising the jack might accomplish the same thing . . . MAYBE.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:16 PM   #12
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Before my first winter with my 2000 Airstream, I called the good folks at the factory. With their recommendation, I drain everything, bypass the waterheater, blow out the lines with compressed air and put a little antifreeze in each drain. That's it. The factory guy I talked with said that's what they do. I told the factory guy it gets 20 degrees below zero here and he said it gets real cold in Ohio too. So five winters with the 2000 and one with the 2005 and no problems.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:33 PM   #13
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I suppose blowing antifreeze into the city water line would work, and if that's what you do and it works, great, but simply connecting the compressor to the city water tank and blowing the lines out would be enough for me and has been enough for others.

When I had the Bambi, I didn't even blow out the lines, I just put antifreeze in the lines and didn't touch the city water connection...maybe I was lucky for two seasons.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
. . . but simply connecting the compressor to the city water tank . . .

I know I'm being a stickler for details, but I assume you meant city water "inlet"? So as not to confuse the newbies out there.
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