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Old 01-16-2015, 07:50 AM   #351
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Getting ready for the freeze-Winterize

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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Water never goes into my water heater without being filtered first, and I never leave the plug out (before) or the valve open (now) long enough for anything else to make its way in.



But just to be sure, the first time I hook up to municipal water (through a filter) after un-winterizing, I leave the valve open for a while and let some of the new water run out of the water heater through the drain before closing the drain to let the heater fill, thus washing out any accumulated sediment in the process.

Unfortunately the sediment is caused by the minerals suspended in the water. Unless you have soft water, that content builds up over time. Much like the film that builds up in a pot that heats water. Usually it forms on the surface that is present to high heat. That would be the area of the tank most exposed to the heat from the flame. If you have a dual fuel tank like I do, it usually forms on the heating rod in the tank. In either case that mineral content reduces heat transfer to the water. I can't attest to the viability of the Atwood tanks over the years, but I've seen that white scale exit my drain when I use the scour tool. Most residential water heaters develop leaks over the years due to the corrosive properties and build up of these deposits. The amount of this in your water heater is proportional to your use of the trailer and the hardness of the water at the campground and how much the heater cycles. Some of these deposits when they build up and flake may not pass through small valves hence negating the effectiveness of draining through them.

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Old 01-19-2015, 01:16 PM   #352
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A lot of sediment will be trapped by a filter in the hose you use to fill the tank or the city water connection. Not all, but it helps. The filter will also catch giardia (the filter is good to 5 microns, giardia is 6), something that may be in campground water.

You can't get every bit of sediment with the cheap water filters available, but you can reduce the exposure significantly.

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Old 12-13-2015, 01:37 PM   #353
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After twelve years this thread is still going strong. Last Winter my toilet valve did suffer damage due to some very disagreable RV fluid from a box store (left a small amount of fluid in the bowl). After setting through the Winter the plastic on the valve blistered and damaged the seal causing system to leak this season. Now I do not put any fluid in the bowl, however, ensure the seal has some type of conditioner to prevent it from becoming stiff. The repair was about $50 and the valve was replaced by myself.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:20 PM   #354
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After twelve years this thread is still going strong. Last Winter my toilet valve did suffer damage due to some very disagreable RV fluid from a box store (left a small amount of fluid in the bowl). After setting through the Winter the plastic on the valve blistered and damaged the seal causing system to leak this season. Now I do not put any fluid in the bowl, however, ensure the seal has some type of conditioner to prevent it from becoming stiff. The repair was about $50 and the valve was replaced by myself.


Hmmm, I put antifreeze in the bowl. What conditioner is recommended for the seal?



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Old 12-17-2015, 05:19 PM   #355
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winter safe maybe

First ever winterize done. Maybe?

You all are encouraged to laugh, but please wait til my back is turned.

First, toilet bowl - Someone said they used vegetable oil to condition the toilet seal. That's the last thing I have to do, so thanks for asking.

Drained all the tanks and opened low point drains.
Drained the hot water tank. Thanks for the open PRV suggestion and warning about the door hitting the handle.
Tried to blow out the water with our tire inflator. It was slow, but moved some water.
Forgot to do the shower and the outside shower. Was uncomfortable about the compressor I used. Getting 35psi seemed low.
Purchased a Sears oil-free compressor. It is the size of a fat brief case, has an internal regulator, and ets up to pressure fast. Ran it up to about 50psi and guess what, more water.
Then we opened the galley sink faucet, opened the bathroom sink faucet, closed the galley faucet, opened the shower, closed the bath sink, opened the shower inside and out, and thought we were done.
Went back to read what process others were using and realized we needed to open the hot water circuits too.
Got all those blown out.
Then we added antifreeze to the black and all the grey water traps.
Went back and read a post by Pro that suggested the tank freshener chems, water, and antifreeze would turn to goop. Got to use only antifreeze!
So we dumped the tanks again.
OK, so now we are back to the toilet bowl conditioner to do.
A little unsure about the fresh water side and tank, so got to validate it.
I think we got it. But if we didn't, we get to practice this all again after each winter camping trip.

Thank you all for the information and tips you provided. Pat
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:38 PM   #356
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PKI, did you blow out the kitchen sink sprayer and fill it with antifreeze? The toilet cold water line? There are lots of details, but after a few winters it gets easier. I set the compressor to about 60 lbs. and that has worked fine.

The antifreeze won't turn to goop (unless you mix it with something else that reacts with it). Of course, if it gets very, very cold, antifreeze can freeze, but I doubt that would occur until it was lower than -50˚, something you won't see in Cal.

I just put a half cup or even less of antifreeze in the toilet and the seal has been fine for 8 years. You can better lubricate the seal by letting a little bit of antifreeze through and letting it close right away. Same with the black and grey water tank drain valves—some antifreeze will get in to the tanks when you fill the traps and you can add more by adding more in the kitchen sink and toilet. Letting some out at the drains briefly will lubricate those valves too.

There are products to lubricate the black and grey tank valves, but I only use those during the travel season because I am guessing mixing that and antifreeze may reduce the efficiency of both. You don't need antifreeze in those tanks anyway as a few gallons of water in either will not harm them in the winter—if they were full it would, but a few gallons will not expand enough to matter. Same for the water heater tank—a gallon or two of water is not a problem so long as you don't leave it full. It is good to flush the water heater as best you can because minerals collect in the bottom of the tank over time. Water lines with water in low spots can expand enough while freezing to split the water line, so they and the faucets, sprayer and toilet valves are the important ones to blow out and run some antifreeze through. Copper, PVC and CPVC pipes split easily, but the PEX used in recent years is much more forgiving.

Living in cold winter climates makes it easier to know how to do this. I learned a lot about freezing water and sewer lines my first winter in Colorado when temps dropped to -30˚ F each night for weeks in December. It was so cold under the cabin that the shut off valve blew off the water supply line exposed in the crawl space because the heat tape had failed. The cold water flowing over the exposed sewer line caused that to freeze too so when I got water back, the sewer was frozen and I had to run hot water down it gradually to break through the ice (urine is good too as it is 98.6˚ when it exits). This is the kind of problem that can lead to excessive drinking as well as increased urine production.

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Old 12-26-2015, 12:10 AM   #357
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Gene

No antifreeze in the water lines - Just blew them all out. Yes, Kitchen sprayer blown out. Outside shower, kitchen sink (hot and cold), Bathroom sink (hot and cold), Shower (hot and cold), toilet flush, and low water drains all blown out. The fresh water tank, grey water tank, and black water tank, all dumped. And finally figured how to get into the pump compartment. Did pour antifreeze into the traps. A bit extra in black and grey side so there would be enough to cover the dump valves. Believe we got it. Hope we got it. Temps dropping to 25 tonight, but Glimmer is parked inside, which should buffer the heat loss. Would be worried if we were seeing 24/7 freezing temps, but daytime temps get above 50 so there is a reheat cycle in play.

And we'll check on her soon. Concern is the battery bank. Charged it full before storage and activated the storage isolation circuit, but expect parasitic load is high enough to pull down the bank. The batteries and an isolation switch may be an upgrade we have to address.

No worry about chem mix. Dumped that on second pass on the blow down.

Thanks for the info on the seal lube.

Not to sure if I'm up to the drinking solution to drive black tank defrost.

Holiday cheers to you and all. Pat
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Old 11-12-2016, 03:13 PM   #358
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I went to drain my hot water heater however I am unable to unscrew the plastic drain plug. I am not sure if it is cross threaded or Just hard to turn. I have been using a cresent wrench but it keeps slipping. I am concern that I might round the top. Any suggestions on how to loosen it? Thanks
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Old 11-12-2016, 03:58 PM   #359
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I went to drain my hot water heater however I am unable to unscrew the plastic drain plug. I am not sure if it is cross threaded or Just hard to turn. I have been using a cresent wrench but it keeps slipping. I am concern that I might round the top. Any suggestions on how to loosen it? Thanks

Do you usually use a crescent wrench? I use a shallow socket (I think 15/16th but I don't recall right now...) with an extension to make it past all the "guts".
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:12 PM   #360
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I believe I have always used a crescent however i will look to see if I have a 15/16 socket and will try that.Thanks for the advice.
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Old 11-12-2016, 08:16 PM   #361
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They make a special tool for this.Camping World has them at about $6.Works better than a Cresent.


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Old 11-13-2016, 06:26 AM   #362
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Thanks for the info I went ahead and got it from Amazon as I have amazon prime
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Old 11-13-2016, 09:25 PM   #363
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~Winteriz~

well, I always used a nice pair of Channel-Lock pliers for the plastic drain plug on the hot water heater.

And always close the valves on the 'low points' on the hot and cold water lines, BEFORE you pump in a gallon of Pink RV anti-freeze.
Especially if you are in your nice clean storage unit with a concrete floor.
Just saying ,
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:30 AM   #364
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Do you usually use a crescent wrench? I use a shallow socket (I think 15/16th but I don't recall right now...) with an extension to make it past all the "guts".
Exactly. A typical 1/2" drive socket set will include the 15/16" and a 6" extension, so there is usually no need to buy any special tools. Using a socket (vs. adjustable/crescent) prevents the plastic plug from getting rounded, and a 12-point socket works better. Always good to have extra drain plugs in the trailer, as they are cheap.

With the addition of a breaker bar, the socket set will also cover both the trailer and tow vehicle lug nuts/bolts, a helpful redundancy of tools. A torque wrench rounds out the tool bag.
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