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Old 11-30-2015, 05:00 PM   #15
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Yes, I would expect a trailer plumbing system to hold air pressure up to at least 45psi. If it doesn't I'd find out why not. I wouldn't go much over 50psi at max though and there is probably a pressure relief valve for the water heater that if it opens might be hard to get it to re-seat. Leland
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:30 PM   #16
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I am not aware of a household plumbing system that has the cheap plastic check valves like those in a travel trailer.
It would be interesting to take a survey and ask this question.
Turn on the pump in the coach. With all fixtures turned off. Let the pump build pressure and shut down. Then shut the pump off. Wait 12 hours then without turning any fixtures on, turn the pump on.
How many pumps start and run if only for a second or so?
How many pumps run for 10 seconds or so?
I am somewhat confused as to why one would try to blow out the systems without opening at least one valve at a time. I usually start by opening the valve closest to the pump until air comes out. Then close that valve and open the next one down stream. Repeat until all systems are purged with air. Then pump in the anti freeze.
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:44 PM   #17
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I'm certainly not a plumber but I would have to agree with the posters who believe that your system should hold air to the lowest designed pressure point- probably the relief valves. No system will hold pressure forever but I would be looking for the air leakage if it doesn't hold minimal PSI for a reasonable amount of time.
I will be very disappointed if my system doesn't hold pressure when I test it, but then I am building from scratch and not dealing with factory installed plastic components.
tim
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
I am somewhat confused as to why one would try to blow out the systems without opening at least one valve at a time.
If you're using a tankless air compressor, the only practical way to build up enough pressure is to air up the system with all faucets/valves closed, then open one valve to blow out water using the pressure built up in the pipes. Repressurize, then open another faucet. Repeat until all faucets/valves including the toilet and external shower have been blown out.

If you use a compressor with its own air tank, you can start with a faucet/valve already open, because the compressor's tank allowed the requisite pressure to build first.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:44 PM   #19
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I'm curious if the pressure loss I was experiencing was not leakage at all, I could have been building pressure against the check valve which was opening as I introduced air, then closing as I shut off the compressor. I kept it down to 20 PSI to be safe, I wonder if I had kept going, build up to 20 PSI, let it bleed out, repeat, perhaps it would have eventually held at 20 PSI.

My Coleman Niagara has a perfect water system and lost pressure almost immediately once I shut the compressor off. It would go down to 0 PSI, but there was some obvious resistance slowing the loss. Then I went inside and opened a faucet and it blew air significantly as if it was charged.

All this indicated to me was that I have no clue as to what I was doing. Hopefully somebody knows for sure. I'd love to be able to pressure test my water system each year.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:52 PM   #20
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To think that all the great physics and science quoted in the posts above has fallen to the possibility that it might just be the unloader valve on your air compressor.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:15 PM   #21
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Curious if it is normal for the water system to loose pressure while blowing out the pipes?

I was having a slow pressure loss, but chocked it up to a loose water heater drain plug I could hear leaking as I was pressurizing.

Then I went to blow out my other trailer, it wouldn't hold pressure for much time at all.

Both trailers have no water leaks and good running plumbing systems.
Could we go back to the beginning here, Ted, and focus on your Airstream alone (assuming this is one of the trailers you are winterizing)?

There are so many variables, and so many theoretical possibilities, being discussed in all the posts, that it does not seem as if you have a clear answer for a discreet set of variables, for just one of your trailers.

What compressor are you using, how is it attached to the trailer, and does it have a two-stage regulator such that you can monitor the tank pressure, plus the pressure being sent into the air line going to the trailer?

In addition to the water heater drain plug you heard leaking air, is your work space quiet enough that you could hear other small leaks if any? Are all of your low point drains closed tight? Maybe your air line to the trailer has some small leaks at the fittings/joints?

What maximum air pressures have you have been sending to the trailer, and have you been able to monitor them carefully? For instance, if you are using just a small compressor with no holding tank, and the gauge is small and unreliable, is it possible that you pressurized the trailer's system over 40 PSI, thereby maybe creating small failures in the system which have now become new (and probably hidden) air leaks? [edit -- you said recently 20 PSI was the max. pressure -- are you confident that there were no spikes above this?]

Thanks,

Peter

PS -- If your questions have all been answered, please advise. Thanks

PS2 edit -- ignoring the Coleman Niagara for now . . .
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:17 PM   #22
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My poor Colman Niagara, so neglected now that we have the "Airstream"...my wife bathed my daughter in the kitchen sink of that old beauty. I'm sorry I can't ignore her.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:18 PM   #23
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I can shut all valves and faucets off , fill the plumbing system with air ,check it a few days later and the pressure will still be there, if it isn't there I want to know where it went....
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:06 AM   #24
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Water system losing air pressure while blowing out for winterization

Well it sounds to me as if the water system is staying fully charged behind the check valve, so the leak must be at the compressor, its associated fittings, or the line between the compressor and the check valve.

That kind of narrows things down a lot.

Here is a theory, the compressor is bleeding air backward kinda slowly. The Airstream has a longer run with more volume between the compressor and check valve than your other trailer which has almost no volume between the compressor and the check valve. This being the case, the air seems to leak more quickly from the other trailer than your Airstream even though the leak is identical.

(The pressure needle will fall quicker as the lesser volume is bled off than as when the greater volume is bled off)

Probably neither trailer is leaking air at all, it is the compressor and/or its rigging that leaks.

I assumed a lot above, but all in all it would explain everything.

Brevi tempore!
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:10 AM   #25
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I can shut all valves and faucets off , fill the plumbing system with air ,check it a few days later and the pressure will still be there, if it isn't there I want to know where it went....
Exactly!

Ted it seems as if you do not want to discuss your AS any further?

PS -- Ditto to J. Morgan.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:21 AM   #26
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Exactly!

Ted it seems as if you do not want to discuss your AS any further?

PS -- Ditto to J. Morgan.
I just want to get back to my shop and experiment more. I think testing both of my trailers would give better info. Obviously the Airstream is more important here because we all own them.

J. Morgan, the compressor does not leak when inflating a tire, I can hear the loss in the water system. Maybe I'll try the shop compressor. I have a new water heater plug coming too.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:23 AM   #27
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I can shut all valves and faucets off , fill the plumbing system with air ,check it a few days later and the pressure will still be there, if it isn't there I want to know where it went....
I agree, this is the best post of them all.

I also think this will be a great way to test your water system for leaks.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:42 AM   #28
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Question Water, air....

....air, water?

Fill the FW tank, turn on WP...off, on, off all the valve valves. Sit down on the couch with a not-so-good book and listen...if the pump doesn't come on, forgit about the air leak.

Bob
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