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Old 11-19-2009, 08:21 AM   #1
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Question about installing antifreeze

I'm a total newbie, so please excuse me if this question is really ignorant. My manual and many of the very informative posts in the forum say that you should disconnect the inlet to the water pump and attach a hose that you stick into a bottle of antifreeze. Then, with the faucets open, you turn on the pump, which sends the antifreeze through all the lines. My question is: instead of connecting the pump to the antifreeze bottle, couldn't I accomplish the same result by just pouring the antifreeze into the fresh water tank and then continuing with the other steps? Or is there some reason why this is a bad idea? Thanks for any guidance you can give.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:40 AM   #2
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Hi mddsmith -- hope you're enjoying the forum!

It would pay to have a shop do your winterizing before you pour antifreeze in your fresh water tank. You'll never get it cleaned out next summer! See http://www.airforums.com/forums/769754-post109.html

Every fall we get discussions on winterizing. There's a lot of info to be had if you will browse http://www.airforums.com/forums/f458/
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:46 AM   #3
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yes, it is a bad idea.

you will need way more antifreeze to do it that way.

you'll never get all of it out of the fresh tank in the spring. even small amounts can make your water taste funny.

If it is "only" in the pipes, it'll flush right out, quickly, and completely.

you should install a water heater by-pass kit, and a winterizing kit. The wh bypass does just what it says: bypasses the water heater, so you don't waste all those gallons and gallons of antifreeze filling it up. without it, the only way to get antifreeze into the hot water pipes is to fill the tank, first. the bypass kit connects the hot lines to the cold lines, without going through the tank.

the "winterizing kit" is a valve that goes on the pump's intake line, and allows you to connect a hose that goes to a bottle of antifreeze. connect the hose, flip the lever, and turn the pump on...it draws from the bottle. come spring, flip the lever back, and it draws from the fresh tank.

you also don't want to "open all the faucets" before doing this; leave 'em closed. get the pump sucking from the AF bottle; when its pressurized, it'll shut off. open each tap, one at a time, until you see "pink" flowing out, then shut off. move to the next fixture. don't forget the toilet, and sprayer, if you have one.

I just did it yesterday. Took me all of 15 minutes, and 1.5 gallons of antifreeze.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
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I just did it yesterday. Took me all of 15 minutes, and 1.5 gallons of antifreeze.
One note. For my very cold conditions, using this amount of antifreeze requires that the pipes be blown out so that minimal dilution takes place. And you capture pink stuff coming out the spigots and recycle it back into the container drawn out of by the bypass valve/tube.

Buy 3 gallons until you learn to be extra scroogey like me. Or Chuck. And other people you don't want buying your birthday presents.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mddsmith View Post
I'm a total newbie, so please excuse me if this question is really ignorant. My manual and many of the very informative posts in the forum say that you should disconnect the inlet to the water pump and attach a hose that you stick into a bottle of antifreeze. Then, with the faucets open, you turn on the pump, which sends the antifreeze through all the lines. My question is: instead of connecting the pump to the antifreeze bottle, couldn't I accomplish the same result by just pouring the antifreeze into the fresh water tank and then continuing with the other steps? Or is there some reason why this is a bad idea? Thanks for any guidance you can give.

Also...Make sure you are using RV antifreeze. I've seen others mistakenly use the automotive stuff, and we had a member last year that accidently filled his system with windshield washing fliud.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:42 AM   #6
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One last thought is that you may not know the amount of residual water left in the fresh tank after it's drained. Keep in mind that any water undrained from the tank will dilute your antifreeze that you pour in. This could be a very expensive mistake if that freeze point is raised too much.

I blow out the lines followed up by connecting the pump to the antifreeze bottle. The only reason why I haven't added the winterizing kit that Chuck talks about above is that Airstream mounted my pump against the wheel well and the valve assembly that the kit provides doesn't clear the wheel well. I'll remount the pump to a new position some day, but it's not a high priority item.

Also don't forget to pour some antifreeze directly into your drains in the sinks and shower. You need to make sure to pour enough to displace any water in those traps. 2 gallons easily takes care of my Classic.

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Old 11-19-2009, 10:12 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the quick replies! And yes, CanoeStream, I am REALLY enjoying the forum. There is information here about every conceivable subject - at least every subject I've been able to conceive of so far. I'll go ahead and follow the instructions. I guess I should have realized that RV antifreeze doesn't taste as yummy as it looks.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mddsmith View Post
...My question is: instead of connecting the pump to the antifreeze bottle, couldn't I accomplish the same result by just pouring the antifreeze into the fresh water tank and then continuing with the other steps? Or is there some reason why this is a bad idea? Thanks for any guidance you can give.
it's not a cardinal SIN to use rv antifreeze as suggested above...

and for SOME owners this might be the ideal approach to winterizing.

BUT the fresh water tank needs to be VERY empty B4 dumping 3-4 gallons of pink stuff IN it...

because once DILUTED the rv antifreeze loses some of it's LOW point (50 below?) protection.

and the PRIMARY issue is then removing ALL of the pink (or green) stuff in the spring.

this can take SEVERAL fill/empty cycles of the fresh tank.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f458...uck-22185.html
____________

the O.P. trailer has LOW POINT water lines OUTSIDE the trailer, accessible from below the belly pan.

there are DRAIN valves on those lines that need to be OPENED and drained,

IF only running antifreeze from the PUMP bypass into the UP stream water lines...

SO if one is NOT draining those lines, adding antifreeze to the EMPTY fresh water tank is a good idea...

((for example an owner that isn't physically able to crawl UNDER or a noob' who cannot find the drain valves))

since doing that WILL protect those lower lines that are exposed to OUTSIDE temps...
____________

generally i follow the "put no crap in the tank but drinking water and sanitizer" credo...

and the 'winterizing' guide IN the OWNERS MANUAL from a/s...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ean-36730.html

cheers
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:21 AM   #9
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mddsmith, I had a friend that did it that way, IT used to take him 10 gallons to do it, I hooked him up a bypass for his hotwater tank, and then have a air chuck to hook to a compressor, I hook the chuck to the water inlet outside, and blow no more then 30 psi threw everything, for about 15 min or so. then I have an extra water pump and hook it to the inlet and puch antifreeze threw. PAy special attention to the toilet those small water passages will freeze fast. Once all the watre is out it wont take much antifreeze. I use 2 gallons on my 31 ft.

If you get all the water out, then nothing can freeze, antifreeze threw the system lubricates seals, and pushes any little bit of moisture out that air doesnt get.

Make sure you use RV antifreeze ONLY!
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:28 PM   #10
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While the anti-freeze is non-toxic it will take several fillings before it is completely flushed out of the tank. I pump it from the water inlet. Takes 2 gallons.
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