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Old 04-20-2005, 10:12 PM   #1
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Arrow Summerizing/Dewinterizing

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It's time for our first summerizing/dewinterizing. I'm contemplating doing it ourselves (had the winterizing done professionally). Anyone have a good checklist of what I should do? Can't find one in forum archives.


Tom, and Frank
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:48 PM   #2
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It's easy.
Hook up to shore water and flush the pink stuff out of the lines.
Fill the fresh water tank with water and 1 cup bleach. Pump the bleachy water into all the lines. Let sit for a couple of hours.
Drain the fresh water tank.
Hook up to shore water and flush water lines.
Install new water filter cartridge if you use one in your coach.
Undo water heater bypass and flush water heater tank, then plug tank and fill water heater.
Refill fresh water tank with water.
Water system has now been sanitized and pink stuff taste eliminated.
Drain grey and black tanks.
Put chemical in black tank with one gallon of water.
Vaccuum, dust, restock your regular list of things for your needs in the trailer.
GO CAMPING!

--just my 2 cents----hope I rememebred it all...
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:50 PM   #3
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You might also check all systems.
Refrigerator, furnace, AC/Heat Strip.
Vent fans, interior lights.
Exterior lights, brakes, wheel bearings, gas lines and fill LP tanks.

I'll probably think of something else later....
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Old 04-21-2005, 04:46 AM   #4
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RLuhr, in a post last year, mentioned that adding a couple of vitamin C tablets to the fresh water tank after all the bleach water has been rinsed out will go a long way towards killing the flavor of RV antifreeze left in the lines.

To dscluchfc's list, I would add "stretch stinky slinky out & look for potential leaks", "rinse/pressurize shore water hose", and "make sure the blank tank & gray water tank valves will still open & still seal after being closed".

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Old 04-21-2005, 08:35 AM   #5
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All responses appreciated and continuing to take notes here... looks like this is easy...


Tom
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Old 04-21-2005, 08:55 AM   #6
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I think the bleach needs to sit in the tank AND the lines for longer than a couple of hours...perhaps as much as a day or 2. overnight, at least.

anyway, make sure to run the pump to flush it out, as well. first, to get rid of the antifreeze, then to get rid of the bleach.

e-z propane system check: light a stove burner to make sure it works. shut it off. then turn off propane at the tanks. come back in a few hours. light stove burner. if it lights and burns for a few seconds, the system will hold pressure. (no leaks). if it doesn't, then there's a leak somewhere.
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
e-z propane system check: light a stove burner to make sure it works. shut it off. then turn off propane at the tanks. come back in a few hours. light stove burner. if it lights and burns for a few seconds, the system will hold pressure. (no leaks). if it doesn't, then there's a leak somewhere.
Yeah, ours has a little leak somewhere that can be detected in this way. Alas, it's a darned slow leak: It takes 4-5 days for the system to depressurize. (Over a no-trip season, though, it'll do a good job of draining out propane bottles, so we have to make sure the taps are turned off when winterizing!)

On a similar vein, though, you can also check to make sure your water system is sound. Clean everything out (as others have explained), then put in a few gallons of fresh water. Turn on the on-board pump and make sure the system is purged of any air (by running taps until they run free of air). Then leave the pump on with taps off and sit down with the newspaper. If there is a leak, then you'll hear the pump come back on once in a while to repressurize the system. If not, then all you'll hear is the rustling of pages as you read the newspaper.


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Old 04-21-2005, 09:41 AM   #8
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Chuck-

I don't think that waiting is necessary, based on a memory of a long ago high school science experiment that made a big impression on me. In class, our tests showed that the germicidal effect of a bleach solution were pretty much instantaneous. On the other hand, we had another set of specimens left in the bleach solution for several days. The bleach ended up breaking down several of the specimens--I don't recall exactly, but I think it was the organic items.

Now, I don't think you'd have to worry about bleach degrading the surface of a metal tank (inorganic), but I'd still have concern about its effects on the plumbing seals. Anyways, since the bleach's anti microbial qualities worked very fast, there doesn't appear to be any reason to risk it.

Of course, this came from a lab safety experiment from the late 70s--the effects of bleach may have changed since then! Or more likely, my memory of those days well, typical of the 70s--a bit addled!

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Old 04-21-2005, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWRSTRK
Friends:

It's time for our first summerizing/dewinterizing. I'm contemplating doing it ourselves (had the winterizing done professionally). Anyone have a good checklist of what I should do? Can't find one in forum archives.


Tom, and Frank
In dealing with sanitizing your fresh water tank, check with your manual that came with your trailer. They give you the exact amount of bleach to add to the water. Putting too much in makes it much harder to get that taste out of the water. You only need a certain amount per gallon and of course the total to add depends on your water tank capacity. Using more than necessary doesn't make your tank any more sanitized.

Normally I don't sanitize the fresh water tank until I plan to take a trip where I need to carry water. For me that's about once a year. Doing it first thing in the spring would be useless for me since I would need to do it again before that once a year need. If your home water is chlorinated, flushing the system via city water pressure will get rid of the anti-freeze and the chlorination in the home water will also sanitize your piping.

Now if you don't have chlorinated water, I probably would sanitize at the beginning of the year.

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Old 04-21-2005, 10:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
Chuck-

I don't think that waiting is necessary, based on a memory of a long ago high school science experiment that made a big impression on me. In class, our tests showed that the germicidal effect of a bleach solution were pretty much instantaneous.
that would depend entirely on the concentration of the bleach solution. and we haven't exaclty specified that.

perhaps a concentration high enough to work "instantaneously" would be too hazardous to other items, like rubber hoses and tank valve seals...pump innards? or, be more difficult to disperse afterwards.

I've read up on a problem with my home water system (well) that involves shock-treating the system, and every source that describes the problem (iron-bacteria; harmless, yet stinky) says the solution is to shock the well, then fill the pipes in the house w/ the bleachy water, then let it sit for 24 hours. one of these days....perhaps right before a camping trip
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:36 AM   #11
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I don't care how you do it, de-winterizing is my favorite job of the year!
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:01 AM   #12
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my favorite part of de-winterizing is that first test weekend!
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Old 04-21-2005, 12:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I don't care how you do it, de-winterizing is my favorite job of the year!
Rich, I agree although I always hold my breath when I first pressurize the water system. I've been winterizing on my own for over 20 years but you always get that first moment of doubt as to whether you missed anything when you turn on the water supply. I don't relax until I've run the water and flushed things, checked the drain lines and the piping up to the faucets. Then the outside inspection to verify no drips from the trailer bottom. So far I haven't screwed up yet.

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Old 04-23-2005, 04:03 PM   #14
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Today I finished the last steps of dewinterizing, and one thing I forgot in my earlier post was cleaning the refrigerator flue if you run your fridge on gas regularly. If the burner is not adjusted correctly, soot can build up & become a potential fire hazard.

In my case, my burner is properly adjusted, but today I cleaned a lot of rust out of my 38 year old Dometic. But I added electronic ignition during the effort. I'll post pics later if anyone is interested.

Tom
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