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Old 11-28-2012, 10:51 AM   #1
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Oh no!!!? I messed up, I think....badly.

We just relocated from Texas to spokane and with the move and all..over 2,000 miles and three trips later....my head hasn't been on straight. So me being the wise one, I ran a heater into the airstream for days below 32 degrees. Well on most days during the day it would get over 45 degrees...so I turned the heater off. Well last night it got below 27 degrees. I turned the heater on the day before...but didn't turn the heat part of the fan on.

So this morning I tried to turn on the water ....faucets are frozen shut. All of them...kitchen,shower and bath.

So my question is....is it possible to get through this without leaks or busted lines?

I know should have winterized...should have blown out the lines, shoulda left the faucets open....etc....I know, I know........


Just asking for speculations so I can get me head around it for next spring.

Thank you,

Be nice...


Shane
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:00 AM   #2
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I would open up all the interior access points possible and crank the heater all the way up. Hopefully it will be enough to defrost your trailer. Just guesing this might work, I really have no idea. Hopefully you will not end up with lasting damage. Good Luck.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEPILL View Post
We just relocated from Texas to spokane and with the move and all..over 2,000 miles and three trips later....my head hasn't been on straight. So me being the wise one, I ran a heater into the airstream for days below 32 degrees. Well on most days during the day it would get over 45 degrees...so I turned the heater off. Well last night it got below 27 degrees. I turned the heater on the day before...but didn't turn the heat part of the fan on.

So this morning I tried to turn on the water ....faucets are frozen shut. All of them...kitchen,shower and bath.

So my question is....is it possible to get through this without leaks or busted lines?

I know should have winterized...should have blown out the lines, shoulda left the faucets open....etc....I know, I know........


Just asking for speculations so I can get me head around it for next spring.

Thank you,

Be nice...


Shane
Shane.

Only time will tell how much damage. Frozen water lines or faucets stretched because of the frozen water expansion, would seldom, if ever, not show some damage.

Keeping a furnace going is the only way, short of "winterizing" of protecting the water system, including the water heater tank, water tank, holding tanks etc.

Andy
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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A big goof up is having your Airstream land on its roof....

With that being said, you need to get everything thawed out. Heat it up, open all the cabinets to help with warm air flow. Leave all the faucets open as you thaw.... leave the pump off, and make sure warm air can get to it, your accumulator, and any pump strainer.

When you have it warmed up, only then can you see if there has been any damage!

If you have split a fitting or cracked a line, keep an eye out for leaks, and certainly catch the drips.

When weather permits, hook up to city water and inspect for leaks aside from the onboard pump.

If the Airsteram gods are with you maybe you'll be lucky and escape with little or no damage... this will be your one and only freeze goof!

Best of luck, and keep us posted!
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
I would open up all the interior access points possible and crank the heater all the way up. Hopefully it will be enough to defrost your trailer. Just guesing this might work, I really have no idea. Hopefully you will not end up with lasting damage. Good Luck.
Thank you..I opened up all the cabinets a week ago.....just forgot to turn the heat part on.

Thank you.

Shane
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:16 AM   #6
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If anything is broken, it will probably be the water pump and strainer, the water filled lines in the toilet, the water filter itself, and maybe the faucets. Possibly the p traps, but usually they are not the first things to break. The pex should expand in the fresh water lines to keep them from breaking.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEPILL View Post
So my question is....is it possible to get through this without leaks or busted lines?

Thank you,

Be nice...

Shane
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:08 PM   #8
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Shane, don't feel bad. My trailer went into storage last week - I know I winterized all of the lines and the waste tanks...but did I remember to drain the fresh water tank (after I refilled it to use during Hurricane Sandy)? I'll be visiting it this weekend...

I hope there isn't much damage in your trailer.

Tom
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:57 PM   #9
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Shane

Is your trailer plumbed with PEX? If so, it is fairly freeze tolerant. My concern would be at the fittings and the pump. Also, you would have to be at 27 degrees for a considerable amount of time to get a "solid" freeze, I would think.

BTW, it is 75 in SA this week. No freeze for us. Good luck, hope it turns out well for you.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:05 PM   #10
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You sorta need to get your head around it now instead of next spring. I would expect it to survive 27 but am not sure. Get it thawed and check for leaks. Fix any leaks. Then winterize it with the pink stuff. Drain the WH and the FW tank. Drain the holding tanks. The propane furnace does the best job of keeping it from freezing.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #11
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It is surprising to me that you had pipes freeze at 27 degrees when it was just for eight hours or so (nighttime). That makes me worry about my plans for not winterizing in the Atlanta area. It often gets below freezing during the night here and warms up in the daytime. I had thought we could go unheated down to 20 degrees as long as it warmed up during the day. Our nearly unheated metal building cabinet shop can get down to 15 without pipe problems and then just a frozen copper elbow that thaws out with a heat gun.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:26 PM   #12
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:19 PM   #13
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Absolutely possible, but you will not know until the system thaws out. We hit 24 degrees this past weekend while I was out of town picking up a new rig. The heat was off; the lines were slushy but there was no damage. We usually see damage in the P-traps, or the toilet flow valve.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:22 PM   #14
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Sometimes the pex and drains will absorb the expansion when the water freezes. Most of the damage is done when the lines thaw out. See if you can get in there and disconnect as many fittings as you can easily access + put drip pans or towels underneath... gently / slowly thaw with lots of airflow via fans to open access points.
Good luck; we are 200 miles east of you.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:19 PM   #15
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We had the same thing happen a few years ago while traveling from NJ to sunny Florida. Stayed overnight in Roanoke, Va and it went to 27 deg. Faucets froze but when things thawed out later that morning there was no damage. The freeze wasn't enough to cause any of the piping to freeze but within the faucets there is very small clearances with small amounts of water and they readily will sieze up. So long as you refrain from forcing them and risking tearing internal "O" rings you should be fine.

In fact you probably already know that, I hope.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:23 PM   #16
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I'm dreading going back in there....when I was in there I turned the heat back on.

I'll address it soon..still busy with the move...but heater is on!

Thank you all again for the help...or advice...or just the feelings of not ,feeling to bad....make sense?

Shane
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:02 PM   #17
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Hoping for the best, faucets are out in the open, everything else is in cabinets, walls, or under the floor. At 27 degrees that may be enough to keep them safe.

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Old 11-28-2012, 11:03 PM   #18
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I did that a couple years ago - had to replace a pipe. Not the end of the world, but annoying. We hardly ever get serious freezes.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
A big goof up is having your Airstream land on its roof....

With that being said, you need to get everything thawed out. Heat it up, open all the cabinets to help with warm air flow. Leave all the faucets open as you thaw.... leave the pump off, and make sure warm air can get to it, your accumulator, and any pump strainer.

When you have it warmed up, only then can you see if there has been any damage!

If you have split a fitting or cracked a line, keep an eye out for leaks, and certainly catch the drips.

When weather permits, hook up to city water and inspect for leaks aside from the onboard pump.

If the Airsteram gods are with you maybe you'll be lucky and escape with little or no damage... this will be your one and only freeze goof!

Best of luck, and keep us posted!

Better to first check thawed plumbing with compressed air.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:45 PM   #20
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I personally think you are doomed, but that is just because I've seen nothing but destruction in my Airstream from freezing temperatures. My vinyl floor cracked like the Grand Canyon.

If your faucets were frozen, that tells me the whole system was pressurized, so there is water everywhere. This means it likely froze everywhere. Pex doesn't expand any better than copper, and all the fittings are copper anyway. Those little rubber bands they call fasteners hardly contain 50psi.

You should also know that the 'low point' drains on the Airstream aren't. They have lots of places the plumbing runs up, then downhill, then up again. No draining that without air or pushing antifreeze though. It wouldn't be that hard to create a truly serviceable plumbing system, but say you've cracked the water going to your shower... you're screwed. You can't get in there without demolishing the surround (at least in my trailer).

The reason 27 degrees is plenty to kill an RV (not just an AIrstream), is they basically have no R value. Without that furnace going, you are going to reach outside temperature fast. It doesn't help the first things to get cold are under the galley, which is closest to the outside and has little air flow. And, the pipes run up against the wall.

So, now I've prepared you for the worst, so if it doesn't happen you will be happy. That is how Airstream customer service works.
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