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Old 11-07-2012, 08:28 PM   #43
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I use 1 & 1/2 gallons cost around $3 a gallon you use RV & Boat antifreeze sold at WalMart and Auto parts stores. DO NOT use automobile antifreeze.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:53 AM   #44
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It takes 5 mins to blow the lines out with air and you don't have to worry about bypasses.

Perry

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If you are still confused then buy a small bilge pump that uses a standard hose connection put it in a bucket of pink stuff (RV antifreeze) run the wires to your battery, drain and bypass the hot water heater then just pump the antifreeze through all facets and toilet. Now you are protected to 20 below.

I used to do this but now live in a warmer climate and just blow out the lines and pour the pink stuff in the drains.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:42 PM   #45
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...and then wait for the compressor to re-pressurize the tank and lines with the faucets all closed...then open the next one...and so on.
That's how we do it with the portable / lower cfm compressor / tank. If we use a larger tank/comp it is just faster because there is no need to wait for the pressure to rebuild as in the smaller system.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:10 AM   #46
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POI...

A locking pressure gauge will give you the working line pressure. Also makes it a lot easier if your working solo.
I lock mine on the blow out fixture, open a drain valve, tie the handle down and open all drains and faucets one at a time.

Bob
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:53 AM   #47
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I would not use a tire inflator. I just put an air hose quick connect on a hose adapter and screw that into the water hose inlet. Going through a schrader valve is going to really restrict the air flow.

Perry
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:09 AM   #48
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I do believe the schrader valve would be in the tire valve stem, there isn't one in the blow out adapter.

Bob
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:36 PM   #49
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Since I just winterized, some thoughts to share. I set the compressor at 60 psi and once I started the pressure dropped to 20 psi with a 5 hp compressor. I don't know how many gallons it is, but it is a fair sized home garage compressor with a tank about 3' tall.

It takes a long time to blow out the water heater and you'll never get it all out and it is not meant to be completely drained. Flush it a lot in the spring to get some of the stuff that collects in the bottom, but don't worry about it too much unless you like to drink hot water from the water heater.

It took 2 gal. of antifreeze to fill the lines and put some down the drains (don't forget the shower) both for the P traps and to have some in each tank to keep the seals lubricated. I didn't worry about putting too much in the drains or tanks since this stuff is cheap compared to having a problem later.

I've read about the antifreeze tasting awful. This year, for the first time, I used Walmart's house brand. It is very bitter. I was blowing out the water pump bypass line and tasted it and couldn't get the taste out of my mouth for a while. Next year I'll get a better brand. The sanitization process with Clorox and 3 flushes of the system ought to clean out any taste from the cup or so I put in fresh water tank.

Don't forget the outside shower, toilet and kitchen sprayer. These are all cheap plastic parts that crack easily if they freeze.

After the water heater, I started with the kitchen faucet and most of the water in the lines comes through there. It'll stop for a while and then another blast comes out. The shower will get you wet if you have taken off the hose, drained that line and brought the shower head and hose inside. I used a board in front of the pipe to deflect the water and antifreeze.

You'll never get all the water out because you don't want to run a compressor for hours and hours. Airstream says just blowing the lines is sufficient, but if there's a low spot in the lines, water can eventually pool there and there's a chance it could be a problem in a hard freeze. Again, this is risk management—the cost of a pump bypass and antifreeze is far less than a broken valve or pipe.

The water pump in many Airstreams is hard to access and the filter is in the back unless you turn the pump around and re-plumb it. Since we use an exterior filter, I've never found anything in the filter, but I always check it since I'm a bit anal.

Periodically I let the compressor build up pressure to get to 60 psi again, but it gets quickly exhausted and goes down to 20 psi. The compressor ran all the time I was blowing the lines—about 50 minutes. A pancake compressor would have trouble catching up, but it would just take a bit more time.

On our last day traveling, after I flushed out the black and grey tanks, I opened the fresh water tank drain and the three valves for the water lines. They drained on the way home. I also opened all the faucets.

The process of blowing out the water will result in water going into the grey and black tanks. Get a bucket and drain them thoroughly after you blow out the system and before doing antifreeze. I got about half a gallon out.

Although I did a few things yesterday, the time was about 1 1/2 hours with some help from Barb. She was doing other things, so she wasn't always available. Putting in the antifreeze is when a helped is most helpful—one watches the antifreeze to make sure it is getting through the pump—the hose may get above the liquid level—and the other opens and closes each faucet to make sure they are full of antifreeze.

This takes a lot less time than summerizing because the sanitization process is slow—an hour with the Clorox solution and then draining and flushing the system takes about 3-4 hours all together.

It all sounds complicated, but after you do it once or twice, it is pretty easy. To make sure I read the section in the Owner's Manual twice.

I just remembered we forgot to turn off the furnace. How can I convince Barb to do it?

Gene
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:44 PM   #50
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Hi All,

Just an update... I winterized our AS today by blowing out the lines. I pretty much ended up following Gene's most-excellent post above (thanks!).

1. I used a blow-out adapter with a shutoff valve I got from Amazon for $26: Winterize RV, Motorhome, Camper, and Travel Trailer Blow Out Adapter: Air Compressor to Male Garden Hose Faucet with Valve. I am very please with how it worked, and it looks like it will last as long as our AS!

2. I, too, had a drain valve by the hot water heater that was not in the owner's manual (thanks to Gene so I knew to look for it). On our 2012 Flying Cloud 25FB, it is in the compartment next to the water heater. Quite a bit of water came out when I opened it up.

3. I drained the water heater by removing the nylon plug. That was *very* tedious because of the limited space for the wrench to move. There *must* be a better way!

4. I started with all the valves and faucets open, since that is what it said to do in the owner's manual. However, I eventually had just one or two open at a time.

5. I would let the pressure build in the tank (with the regulator set to between 70 and 80 psi) by closing the valve on the blow out adapter, then open it up with a couple of faucets open.

It took a couple of hours working by myself. I was going slow and learning as I went; I think it will take much less time in the future.

Thanks to all for the discussion!
Jeff
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:47 PM   #51
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Oh, I meant to add I was using the 6 gallon Port-Cable air compressor I asked about above. I also got it from Amazon; it included a hose and some other accessories. I'm quite pleased with it as well. A bigger compressor would have made things go a bit quicker perhaps, but this worked fine for me, and is all I have room for in the garage
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:01 PM   #52
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3. I drained the water heater by removing the nylon plug. That was *very* tedious because of the limited space for the wrench to move. There *must* be a better way!


This werks for us.....got at CW.

Bob
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:33 PM   #53
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Look for a "boiler cock" at your local hardware or big box store. You will need one with 1/2" NPT.
It is best to use a socket wrench to remove the nylon plug.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:48 AM   #54
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Depending on how much room you have to work with the boiler cock may not fit. It didn't in mine. The valve shown above or a variation take much less space and will work nicely.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:20 PM   #55
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I guess it depends on the particular boiler cock you select. The one I installed in the 6 gallon Atwood water heater works fine and was no problem to install. The handle on this boiler cock turns 90 degrees from fully open to fully closed. I can post a pic if anyone would like to see it.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:26 PM   #56
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It might be to expensive..

But, it works.Saf-Air - SA-P5000 - Oil Drain - Chief Aircraft Inc.
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