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Old 10-14-2014, 01:19 PM   #1
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Dumb winterizing question

I noticed several folks blow out their lines and then pump in anti freeze. Why both? I've always just blown out the lines on my sailboat but, now living in the UP of Mich (read REALLY cold temps), I've started pumping in antifreeze just to be sure. Ethyl alcohol is good to -50F so even if a little water remains after draining the system I would think the small amount of dilution would still offer plenty of protection. What am I missing? Thanks, Woody.............
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:30 PM   #2
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Woody: I don't think you're missing anything. Blow-out AND antifreeze provides extra protection, in case a wee bit of water remains.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:32 PM   #3
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I don't think it matters if you are in the U.P. or Florida, when water falls below the freezing mark, it expands, and then you have problems. I guess extreme cold might drive the low temps further into the trailer, but once you're below freezing that's as bad as it gets.
If you blow the water out of the lines, empty the tanks, and put some anti-freeze in the traps, and do it all well, you should be good. The trick is in the details (like emptying the spray hoses in the shower, kitchen sink, and any others). My trailer is pretty simple - I imagine that the more bells and whistles you have, the more there is to do.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:54 PM   #4
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If you have water in the lines when you pump in the anti freeze there is a greater chance of diluting the antifreeze. Thus raising the freeze point.
Blowing out as much water as possible before pumping in the anti freeze reduces the chance of dilution.
You also don't need a big compressor to accomplish the task. One with a 2 gallon or so tank will suffice. After all most trailers are winterized with about 2 gallons of antifreeze.


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Old 10-14-2014, 02:51 PM   #5
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In theory blowing out the lines should be sufficient (assuming you don't miss any of the little things like your outdoor shower, toilet spay, etc...) But why take a chance to save five dollars of antifreeze? I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Also, don't forget to blow out your black tank flush if you have one. This is one place where running the antifreeze through the water pump can't reach.

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Old 10-14-2014, 02:53 PM   #6
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By the way, when it comes to winterizing, there are NO dumb questions. Only very disappointed owners who failed to ask the right question in the first place.

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Old 10-14-2014, 03:42 PM   #7
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Be sure to use RV antifreeze, not the car kind which is poisonous. There is a kit available to suck antifreeze out of the container and into the water pump. This forces most of any remaining water out of the lines. I blow out the system (another kit is available that screws onto the city water inlet and has an attachment to a compressor line to blow out the water). That makes it easy.

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Old 10-14-2014, 03:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingwoody View Post
I noticed several folks blow out their lines and then pump in anti freeze. Why both? I've always just blown out the lines on my sailboat but, now living in the UP of Mich (read REALLY cold temps), I've started pumping in antifreeze just to be sure. Ethyl alcohol is good to -50F so even if a little water remains after draining the system I would think the small amount of dilution would still offer plenty of protection. What am I missing? Thanks, Woody.............
Because there are some components which, due to their shape, accumulate water and don't necessarily release it when compressed air is blown through. Valves, shower heads, faucets, other expensive bits. Plus, it odoriferous to remove the water from the drain traps, so you at least need antifreeeze for those.

I ended up replacing a toilet because its valve froze and cracked even though I blew it out with compressed air.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Be sure to use RV antifreeze, not the car kind which is poisonous. There is a kit available to suck antifreeze out of the container and into the water pump. This forces most of any remaining water out of the lines. I blow out the system (another kit is available that screws onto the city water inlet and has an attachment to a compressor line to blow out the water). That makes it easy.

Gene
Oh, yes! Absolutely use RV or Marine antifreeze (food grade) and NOT auto antifreeze. At this time of the year RV/Marine antifreeze is available at most national retailers such as Camping World, Walmart, and anywhere you would expect to find RV or Marine stuff.

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