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Old 10-21-2011, 12:02 PM   #1
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Don't let water pump run dry?

Getting ready to do first winterization this weekend. Manual says to run faucets, open drains, etc., but NOT to let water pump run when there's no water left.

Am going to drain faucets, tanks, etc, do the blow out and then fill lines (minus water heater) with AF.

How would one know whether the pump is dry? In other words, when I get to the point for adding the antifreeze and using the water pump to do that (all in one weekend), is it safe to assume that the pump is not being started dry before the antifreeze reaches the pump? Or are there other things I should be thinking of?

I know, probably ridiculous to be asking but a total newbie.

Thanks.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:07 PM   #2
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Which brand pump? I'm unaware of any of the newer ones which will be harmed by some dry running. That being said, I wouldn't want to run it dry for hours, but while doing your winterizing, it is fine if it pulls some air.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:08 PM   #3
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When the pump runs dry mine speeds up, water flows from faucet in spurts, then doesn't flow at all. While I'm sure its bad to run the pump dry for extended period, let me be the first to say I've done it out of carelessness. I think mine ran for several hours in a dry state. Didn't seem to hurt it, its run fine for another five years or more.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:14 PM   #4
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More ridiculousness: don't know what kind of pump. Haven't gotten that far in the library of manuals, but should know this weekend.

Seems like it would be "okay" over a short period of time between draining and then doing the AF fix. Certainly hope that doesn't take hours of pumping.

If I get skiddish tomorrow when doing this, or if weird noises commence, will find the pump brand and let you know.

Thanks so much.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
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That's reassuring to know even a hint of the behavior when it's getting low. Have't been "there" yet but makes sense.

Thanks much.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:37 PM   #6
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It really is routine for the pump to run dry momentarily or briefly. What you don't want is it grinding away for hours in a dry state.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:06 PM   #7
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For the Sureflow pumps like on our Excella it will not hurt the pump to run dry for even fairly long peroids. These are not impeller pumps, but rather they squeeze a membrane from outside the water path.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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I run mine "dry" every year when I winterize. Run it until nothing is left, then stop. It's ok. Then I run it with pink stuff to fill all the lines.

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Old 10-22-2011, 12:24 AM   #9
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The easiest way to winterize is to drain everything first by opening all low point valves and water tank, bypass the water heater and drain from the oustide so that part is done. Then, close the low point drain valves, inside faucets. Disconnect (unscrew the connection from the inlet side of the pump) and use another connector with a 4 feet length of clear hose tubing on it so you can stick one end into the gallon jug of pink RV antifreeze. I then turn the pump on and to fill all of the lines in my 34 footer takes less than a gallon. Once the pump cuts off, then open one faucet at a time until it runs pink then close the faucet. Repeat this on all faucets, fresh water tap at the kitchen sink (filter already moved and cap put in place) and toliet/sprayer. Once this is done, you can turn the pump off and open the low point drains again. Dont forget the exterior water faucet if you have one in the water compartment. I typically use my air compressor and blow the remaining moisture from the lines to be on the safe side since it drops well below freezing and can stay there for days where I live. I reconnect the pump and make sure the filter screen is free of water before I put it back together. This process avoids using the pump to drain the tank. I typically drain everything the day before I winterize since my traler is stored at home and then I can go out the next day and spend about 15 minutes to finish with the antifreeze.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:05 AM   #10
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That was very helpful. Certainly sounds easier than the three manuals and DVD I've been studying for the past week.

Once the sun comes up, will take off down the road to give this a try.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:33 AM   #11
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My manual says to disconnect the output fitting at the pump and run it to get the last 1/2 cup or so of water out. That's dry. Do that particularly if you're not going to put antifreeze in.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore
I run mine "dry" every year when I winterize. Run it until nothing is left, then stop. It's ok. Then I run it with pink stuff to fill all the lines.

Pat
Pat,
Do we Virginians *have* to fill the lines with pink AS? I ask because I have to put her up until New Years Day when we pack her to leave for Florida. I have been reading and reading about what to do since this is our *first* Airstream winter. Before I read this thread I was just going to blow everything dry with air compressor and then our pink into the traps.

I get the impression that may not be enuf?? Your advice? Other mid-Atlantic vets?
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:53 PM   #13
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Blowing out should be just fine. However - I don't believe blowing gets those hard-to-get places such as shower valves and other places that would be just pure murder it they froze and broke.

It's rare that we get single-digit freezes - but, then, you get more than we Tidewater folks get. If I were you, and I didn't want to fool with pink stuff, then I would blow the system and watch the weather. If deep lows were approaching, I'd run the furnace at the lowest setting and open all the cabinets.

Still letting obligations keep us home. Maybe we'll go the the Eastern Shore early Nov. Desperate to travel.

Pat
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:58 PM   #14
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Pat,
Do we Virginians *have* to fill the lines with pink AS? I ask because I have to put her up until New Years Day when we pack her to leave for Florida. I have been reading and reading about what to do since this is our *first* Airstream winter. Before I read this thread I was just going to blow everything dry with air compressor and then our pink into the traps.

I get the impression that may not be enuf?? Your advice? Other mid-Atlantic vets?
The toilet in our Airstream broke last fall, about this time, when we had a hard freeze. Using a bucket for a toilet was not my idea of a fun Halloween. And, Greg--You live further North than we do.
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