Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-28-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
2009 23' International
Boulder , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 59
First Winterization Disaster

Hello, I usually take my 09 airstream international to the local RV shop to get winterized. I wanted to save some money so I decided to do it myself. I chose the blow lines and antifreeze in the traps method. I ended up with water all over the floor of the trailer . Let me break down the steps I took and maybe someone can let me know where I went wrong.

1. Drained the water heater
2. Opened the low point valves (question on that - see pictures)
3. Turned on water pump until no water came out of faucets.
4. Disconnected the intake & outtake lines on the water pump. Turned on the pump and then caught the half a cup of water that came out with a towel.
5. Now is where things went south. The manual says to blow at least 60lbs of air with all faucets/valves open AND the pump outlet hose disconnected.

When I did this water came pouring out of the pump outlet. Maybe less than a half gallon, but hard to tell since most of it went under the cabinets.

I ended up reconnecting the outlet hose. And continued blowing, opening all faucets repeatedly until no water came out. (note: both in and out hoses are now connected)

SO WHAT WENT WRONG?

Here are some more details & questions that may shine light on an answer.

A. I may have had the low point valves and water heater plug open when I did the first blow through. Are these supposed to be shut before blowing? I assume yes - this would force water to come out of the faucets?

B. On a second try I did plug the water heater and bypassed it. (I am not filling the pipes with antifreeze but my theory was that by bypassing the water heater I would have less work for my cheap underpowered air compressor.

C. I hope that blowing air through the city inlet with the in/out hoses attached to the pump did not hurt anything. It seemed to do the job of forcing water out of the faucets.

I think my future steps should be as follows: (let me know what you think)

1. Open all Faucets and then low point valves + Water Heater plug with bypass off. ( My thinking here is open faucets and bypass off let air come into the system for better drainage) Rock trailer up then down.

2. Once water has drained -Turn on water pump. My question at this point...Should I close the low point valves, plug water heater and bypass it?

3. Remove both intake / outage hoses from pump - Run pump catch hopefully just a little water. THEN reattach both hoses before blowing air?

4. Blow air with both hoses attached to water pump.....opening closing both hot cold faucets throughout trailer.

5. Put antifreeze in traps.

5. Drink beer.


I have one last question about the low point drain valves. See the pic. There are two valves on my fresh water tank. One on the side one on the bottom. The bottom one has a broken knob so I've never tried it. The white one on the side works but clearly its not the lowest point on the tank. Any ideas as to why there are two and how to fix the broken one?

Thanks.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Tanks.jpg
Views:	108
Size:	136.4 KB
ID:	171542  
__________________

__________________
tmarquis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 12:38 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Silver Goose's Avatar
 
2008 27' Classic FB
Burkburnett , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 955
The white plastic valve seen in your photo on the side is the FW tank drain. Yes, a small amount of water will remain in the tank but will not cause freeze damage. There are typically a pair of petcocks for the low point drains, one each for hot and cold lines located under the trailer. Some trailers may have another low point drain - mine is located near the bypass valves at the bottom of the vanity.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-2981033501.jpg
Views:	86
Size:	140.9 KB
ID:	171547   Click image for larger version

Name:	image-542258271.jpg
Views:	81
Size:	162.0 KB
ID:	171548  

__________________

__________________
AIR 47751
Air Safe Hitch, Reese Dual Cam 800#, Centramatics
Silver Goose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 12:50 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
2009 23' International
Boulder , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 59
Any idea what the other valve on the bottom of the water tank is for? I have located the hot cold low point drains. thx!
__________________
tmarquis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 01:57 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Silver Goose's Avatar
 
2008 27' Classic FB
Burkburnett , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 955
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarquis
Any idea what the other valve on the bottom of the water tank is for? I have located the hot cold low point drains. thx!
This brass fitting doesn't look like anything the RV folks use for drain valves. I might send an email with that photo to Airstream to see what they think if no one else out here knows what it is.
__________________
AIR 47751
Air Safe Hitch, Reese Dual Cam 800#, Centramatics
Silver Goose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 02:26 PM   #5
3 Rivet Member
 
monkeypants's Avatar
 
2009 27' FB Classic
Smithville , New Jersey
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 162
Images: 1
My first year also

I too got tired of dragging the camper to the dealer for winterizing. Went to Harbour Freight, got an air compressor, the necessary adaptors and a couple of gallons of anti freeze. I ended up having to go to the dealer on an unrelated matter (without the camper), and while there, the service guys told me that they recommend just hooking up a small hose to the intake on the pump and syphoning antifreeze from the jugs through the lines till the run clear. I still blew out the lines just to be sure. When I opened those 2 valves you pointed out, and with the pump on, the water poured out and completely emptied my fresh water. I too got water on the floor but only after realizing that I hooked the hose to the outflow connection (the joys of learning). The reason I responded was really to say that it seemed that I got alot more fresh water draining out of those two valves under the tank than the slow drain from the petcock between the tires.
__________________
monkeypants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 03:07 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Silver Goose's Avatar
 
2008 27' Classic FB
Burkburnett , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 955
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarquis
...Here are some more details & questions that may shine light on an answer.

A. I may have had the low point valves and water heater plug open when I did the first blow through. Are these supposed to be shut before blowing? I assume yes - this would force water to come out of the faucets?
The goal is to remove as much water as you can. There are many opinions as to the best way; dry method (blowing the lines out), wet method (flooding the lines with antifreeze to displace the water), belt and suspenders (doing both dry and wet). I start by turning off the water heater and allowing it to cool. Put blue tape or something over the switches as a reminder not to turn on until you've filled the WH in the spring. Place the valves in bypass mode and remove the drain plug. I then hook up the compressor and starting with the faucet furthest away, operate each one at a time until no water comes out. Don't forget the toilet, sprayer and outside faucet. If you have a sink mounted water filter, toss the cartridge and put the empty housing back on and blow it out. Mine has a pair of AA batteries, best to remove them for the winter also. I then open the low points and faucets to allow whatever remains to drip out by gravity. By now the WH has drained. I use a flushing wand to remove what sediment I can then reinstall the plug. As with the FW tank, some water will remain in the bottom of the WH, but it isn't a problem either.

Quote:
B. On a second try I did plug the water heater and bypassed it. (I am not filling the pipes with antifreeze but my theory was that by bypassing the water heater I would have less work for my cheap underpowered air compressor.

C. I hope that blowing air through the city inlet with the in/out hoses attached to the pump did not hurt anything. It seemed to do the job of forcing water out of the faucets.
The pump has a 1-way check valve that prevents city water pressure from backing through the pump to the FW tank. It is likely that the section of pipe from the pump outlet to where it joins the pipe from the city water still contains water. Put a towel down near the water pump and disconnect the in and out lines and briefly run the pump to purge the water in it. The inlet pipe will likely gravity drain back into the FW tank. Briefly attach the compressor to the city inlet to purge that section of line that sill contains water. The towel should have caught whatever came out of the pump and line.

Quote:

I think my future steps should be as follows: (let me know what you think)

1. Open all Faucets and then low point valves + Water Heater plug with bypass off. ( My thinking here is open faucets and bypass off let air come into the system for better drainage) Rock trailer up then down.

2. Once water has drained -Turn on water pump. My question at this point...Should I close the low point valves, plug water heater and bypass it?

3. Remove both intake / outage hoses from pump - Run pump catch hopefully just a little water. THEN reattach both hoses before blowing air?

4. Blow air with both hoses attached to water pump.....opening closing both hot cold faucets throughout trailer.

5. Put antifreeze in traps.
You should now be able to close your faucets and low point drains. Drain and flush the BW tank, drain the GW tank and rinse and store the slinky. Drain and store your FW hoses. Be sure both flush valves are closed. Pour about a quart of antifreeze through the toilet to protect the dump valve seal then pour a cup onto the toilet's flap valve. Don't flush, leave it there to protect the seal. Pour another quart down a sink to protect that dump valve then about 2 cups each into the remaining drains to protect the traps. Yes, some water in the traps will be displaced by the antifreeze, but its not enough to dilute the antifreeze you put into the holding tanks.

5. Drink beer.

[/QUOTE]

Have another for me.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-780494548.jpg
Views:	79
Size:	64.2 KB
ID:	171554  
__________________
AIR 47751
Air Safe Hitch, Reese Dual Cam 800#, Centramatics
Silver Goose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 03:25 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Silver Goose's Avatar
 
2008 27' Classic FB
Burkburnett , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 955
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeypants
... it seemed that I got alot more fresh water draining out of those two valves under the tank than the slow drain from the petcock between the tires.
These drains are not connected... The plastic petcock drains only the FW tank on the low pressure side of the water pump. Yes it is slow, some might describe it as a trickle. Alternately, you could use the water pump to move most of the water from the FW tank to the high pressure side and out the low point drains. As implied by their name, the low point drains allow most of the water to drain out of the system. The important distinction is that they will not drain the FW tank.
__________________
AIR 47751
Air Safe Hitch, Reese Dual Cam 800#, Centramatics
Silver Goose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 05:26 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
aftermath's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,133
First of all, keep in mind that I do NOT add the pink stuff but simply do the air in the lines thing. I do NOT disconnect the water pump at any time. If I did this, I would use the antifreeze method.

OK, here is what I do, and have done for about 6 years now without any trouble.

1. Drain every thing you can before you actually get started. Open the valve to the FW tank, bypass the HW heater and remove the plug. To help the HW tank drain you can open the pressure relief valve. I have a 2006 FB and I have a fresh water drain, two low point drains and another drain by the HW heater. I open all of them and let everything drain.
__________________
aftermath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 05:32 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
aftermath's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,133
Whoops, not finished

2. I close the low point drains and the one by the HW heater and pressurize the system. You are not going to hurt the pump since it is in line when you are hooked up to city water in much the same way. Keep the pressure down below 60lbs. Open one faucet at a time until the water is gone. I then disconnect the air, go into the trailer and run the pump dry for a couple of minutes. I hook up the air again and do everything a second time. I also open the low point drains one at a time and let the air blow the last remaining water out.

3. The key is to get EVERYTHING blown. One year I forgot the sprayer by the sink and had to replace it in the spring. When I am all done, I open the low point drains, remove the faucet filter and fill the traps with antifreeze.
__________________
aftermath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 06:00 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Commerce , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 30
Wow you guys sure make a project outta winterizing. I put a tee valve in at the tank outlet and just open all the drains the nite before. The throw the buypass on the water heater and switch the valve at the tank close the drains and use the pump for the pink stuff. Starting at the facuet farthest from the pump run them all untill pink useing this to fill the traps. Takes about 10 mins and uses 2 gal. Also if iuse the mh i fush with the city connection and can redo it quickly in the cold. Did it this way for 12 years.
__________________
DA TAZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 11:40 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
2009 23' International
Boulder , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 59
Thanks guys I think I got this now
__________________

__________________
tmarquis is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.