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Old 03-14-2005, 09:55 AM   #1
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How early do you de-winterize?

Spring madness hit me this weekend and I went to town on our trailer! I want to pull out that yucky pink antifreeze stuff, since there's plumbing work to do--but I'm a bit uncertain. Last year, I de-winterized in late March--though that still was within the margin of frost danger (which I think ends May 1). Looking out here in Northern VA, the dafodils are out, it's lovely--and there's danger of a snow shower later this week.

Last year, our early dewinterizing turned out fine (our plumbing problems are unrelated). This year, I want to be ready for the Cherry Blossom Rally, which is in 2 1/2 weeks. So, how much fudge factor do folks think there is? How early do you de-winterize?

Mary
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:21 AM   #2
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If you have work on the system you can drain with no worry. (as long as you don't refill)
Wow, It'll be a long time before we can even think about warm nights this far north!
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:30 AM   #3
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Freeze warning

If your only issue is "how late does it freeze" in the spring, you can go to www.weather.com and fill in your zip code. Go about 1/3 of the way down the page and look for "averages". Play around with the different displays there and you will find a day-by-day listing of record highs and lows for your zip code. Good luck.

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Old 03-14-2005, 11:38 AM   #4
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Go ahead and de-winterize. If it looks like a 'hard freeze' is coming, just leave a spaceheater in the trailer overnight with the cabinets open. You can also leave a low wattage light bulb on inside the plumbing compartment.
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:08 PM   #5
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Now that's an idea--just leave my space heating radiator in it, set to its lowest thermostat setting...Elegantly simple!

I looked at the weather.com site. It's a great tool, but I think it's more useful for planning a trip. I like the USDA approach, which is to set a range and a date that is the safe point. Frankly, I wish I had the frost warning service my Dad got when he dabbled growing cranberries during my childhood. When a frost was predicted to occur, we'd get a warning alarm. Wish I had that now!

Mary
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:20 PM   #6
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Last hard freeze hits here around mid April. Our WBCCI unit normally has an early rally the first or second weekend of April. This year its the weekend of the 9th and 10th, so we will dewinterize the week prior. Since the trailer will be in the drive, I can turn on the furnace if necessary. It will probably still be in the drive the following week we get back so that pushes us out through the 16th where I can be hooked up to home power. I've gone so far as to go out to the lot set the thermostat to 50 and run on battery overnight if a sudden cold snap occurs. By that time of year we are down to single overnight issues and not a week of freezing temps.

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Old 03-14-2005, 06:11 PM   #7
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Firefly,
Winter will linger in Northern VA this year...I guarantee it...I have a project in Manassas and if I am working the weather will be provided! LOL
I have de-winterized but not put H2O in the system until after what I feel is the final freeze of the year. BTW IMHO Weather Channel sux. They are only accurate about 50% of the time, I put my money on NOAA, AccuWeather, WeatherUnderground and the durn groundhog My livelyhood depends on weather and The Weather Channel is wrong more than they are right. JMHO I typically de winterize then plan on running the furnace for at least a week or two even if it is sitting in the yard.

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Old 03-14-2005, 07:04 PM   #8
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Firefly,

I'm just south in Spotsylvania (Fredericksburg). I'm not going to de-winterize until April, since I'm not planning on using my AS until then.

Using a space heater, light bulb, etc. if a hard freeze is predicted will help the H2O lines, but it might not help with the water heater, depending where it's located. If you don't have an electric heating rod installed, you can either turn on the gas, or isolate the heater again and drain it. Water line breaks can be relatively inexpensive to repair, but a split water heater vessel will cost $$$.

My $.02.
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Old 03-14-2005, 09:03 PM   #9
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Cool It's just history, folks

Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
Firefly,
BTW IMHO Weather Channel sux. They are only accurate about 50% of the time, I put my money on NOAA, AccuWeather, WeatherUnderground and the durn groundhog My livelyhood depends on weather and The Weather Channel is wrong more than they are right.
Aaron
Man, I canít get a break tonight. Iím simply trying to point out to you the HISTORICAL averages or HISTORICAL highs and lows for any given zip code and date. Even the Weather channel can get that right most of the time. This isnít supposed to be "the be all and end all" of the world. LOL! Weatherunderground is great (notwithstanding the obvious name similarity to the '60's nut cases). Good luck!

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Old 03-14-2005, 10:19 PM   #10
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Jim,

That info isn't bad! It's great if I'm heading somewhere and want to know what to pack! The difficulty here is that while there may be historical averages, the weather just never seems to be average! Folks are down about the winter being bad, but today I heard on the radio that the Cherry Blossoms are budding up and expected to flower exactly on schedule (and just during the CBR!). So, even though we had snow last week, the weather is averaging out as...normal. But normal has a wide frost range. That's where I'm turning to USDA, where the perspective is not to look at particular dates, but at the range of safety against frost. It doesn't mean we don't like your contribution!!

Hmm, looks like there are a bunch of locals (or temporary locals) here. Will you be at the CBR? We're in the trailer with VA plates "Toaster"!

CU There~

Mary
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Old 03-15-2005, 09:59 AM   #11
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I don't de-winterize permanently until Late April early May. To me it's just not worth the chance. For 5 bucks at Walmart , 2 gallon of pink and about 15 minutes and I'm safe. We went to Canyon Lands in Utah this past weekend. Drained and flushed Friday morning, returned Sun afternoon, drained and filled with pink. A little work for just a couple days-yes- but still worth it. It helps with cabin fever.------- Pieman
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:00 PM   #12
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Firefly,

This is the time of year for us Virginians where I think we can sneak off for a quick pre-Spring trip and then just drain the low points. Then I just add some a-f into the p-traps and toilet, plus some in the gray and black tanks. My 97 has good low point drains and I have not had a problem (yet). Page and I took a quick weekend to Prince William Forest Park in late Feb and this is what I did to re-winterize. Good luck!

Pat.
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:11 PM   #13
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Last weekend we dewinterized after several weeks of warm (70 degrees) and sunny weather. Last night we hit 23 here! Guess we'll do it all over again next weekend.
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