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Old 09-13-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
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Winterize by blowing the lines

I have been winterizing my trailer by blowing the water out of the lines using compressed air. It's easy and does not require filling the system with the RV antifreeze. I then just put some in each of the traps. This has proven to be a good method for me. We have a newer trailer now and it has the black tank sprayer. Can I simply attach the air line to it and blow it clear ????? Is there anything I'm missing here that would require anything else to be done ???

Just want to make sure I get it all.

Thanks,
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:43 PM   #2
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I use compressed air and follow with antifreeze. In the past, I just blew and had one low spot in a copper waterline in the 63 freeze and leak, so spending the extra $3 is worth it.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:43 PM   #3
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Good question about the black water sprayer. You got me thinking, again.
I have that sprayer too but I've never done anything to it for the winter besides making sure the tanks are all clean and empty.
I would also like to hear how others in the "North" address it. Is it an issue?
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:54 PM   #4
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Do not put air or water pressure thru the black tank sprayer without the dump valve or the flush valve open. Any pressure and you are going to have a sh**y problem. On my Clipper I have never winterized this as it will drain without help.

Using air is good to start with, but it will not empty the plastic filter bowl at the pump. Use RV antifreeze and be confident the job is done.

Dave

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Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
Good question about the black water sprayer. You got me thinking, again.
I have that sprayer too but I've never done anything to it for the winter besides making sure the tanks are all clean and empty.
I would also like to hear how others in the "North" address it. Is it an issue?
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
We have a newer trailer now and it has the black tank sprayer. Can I simply attach the air line to it and blow it clear ????? Is there anything I'm missing here that would require anything else to be done ???
I would not hook up a compressed air line to the black tank flush valve (the sprayer) unless the owner's manual specifically says that you can. The tank is not designed to be pressurized. It can't be, because the tank is vented anyway. If you hook up a compressed air line to the flush valve, you run the risk of blowing something up into the vent line and clogging it.

What I did was modify an external shower hose so that I could hook the external shower into the black tank flush fitting, and wash out the black tank with HOT water from the shower. The flush fitting includes a check valve to prevent back flow into my fresh tank.

Then, with the hot water softening and loosening any residual solid waste in the tank, I drain the tank, and repeat until the black tank drains clear water. Then I add antifreeze to the tank to ensure that any water that doesn't drain won't freeze in the tank.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:53 AM   #6
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One cannot pressurize either waste tank. They both have vents open to atmosphere via the roof.

I blow mine out every year.

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Old 09-14-2012, 07:09 AM   #7
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Don't forget to open and purge the shower valve.

Perry
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:09 AM   #8
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I remove the filter basket in the water line, empty it then replace it, disconnect the hose from the bath tub wall, open the low-point drains and let them drain, then close them up, reset the water heater by-pass valves to isolate it, then drain the WH.
Finally, we then blow the system out.

We connect a pump bought for this purpose to suck antifreeze out of the jugs it's bought in, and pump it into the system. One at a time taps are opened to allow air to escape and confirm the pink antifreeze is filling that branch.

Funny, it's kind of a sombre ceremony, since it means the end of the season. As I think of it, we need to find a way to turn it into a celebration of the wonderful season that just ended!
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:34 AM   #9
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I use only air pressure to winterize. I've never blown out the black tank sprayer and haven't had a problem. But don't forget to blow out the galley sink sprayer and the toilet flusher.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:02 AM   #10
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One other line to blow out is if you have an outside faucet. Easy to forget because we rarely ever use it.

Jack
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #11
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I use both air and antifreeze to winterize.


Drain all water from the system: fresh water tank, water heater, low point grain lines, and valve near water heater, with all valves open, hold open toilet fill line for a few seconds

Using an adapter at the city water line - blow out the lines, opening and closing valves and drain lines. you need a compressor with a tank to do this. IMPORTANT -- NEVER EXCEED 60 PSI, and always have one valve open. The water heater is bypassed for this.

Drain black and gray tanks Flush black tank several times on your last outing, leave dry.

Purge system with antifreeze - using water pump bypass input hose. Starting with high point (shower) open up one valve at a time (hot and cold), until antifreeze runs through. Pour 1/2 cup into each trap. Pour 1/2 gallon of antifreeze into black tank.

I have been doing this method for 25 years, and have never had a problem. It is my opinion that the valves and piping system is in better shape with antifreeze in the system, rather than dry -- lubrication etc.

I have never blown out the black tank sprayer -- but probably not a bad idea. The volume of air will not be a problem, as the tank os vented. In fact when we dump our tank, I usually fill up the black tank 2 or three times to flush it. I can see the monitor panel from the outside, and I keep an eye on my watch to time the fill cycle.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:36 AM   #12
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Air Only

When I picked up my used trailer the first thing I noticed is that it did not have the pump bypass that allowed me to fill the lines with antifreeze. Upon looking very closely at the pump and the location, I could understand why this wasn't there. It would be difficult to install a bypass in my 25FB. I went to the local dealer and talked to the tech guy and asked him what he would do. He told me that they simply blow the lines, empty the HW tank, open the low point drains and then run the pump dry. If this is what the dealership does I decided that it would work for me.

I have never blown the black tank sprayer. I do believe that it drains on its own. I have forgotten to blow out the kitchen sprayer and had to replace it this spring.

I take my time and do a complete job each fall. I do think the pink stuff does a better job, but having winterized trailers for about 7 years now, I am comfortable with the compressed air technique.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:47 AM   #13
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I won't be picking up my Airstream for another month yet but we have been winterizing the toyhauler with just compressed air on the fresh side and pink antifreeze in the traps and tanks for the last several years. That is what the dealer in Anchorage does and we have been ok with it here in Fairbanks to -50 deg. F. That is until last year when I forgot to open the outside shower and blow it out. CRS strikes again!
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:49 AM   #14
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I just blow out the lines. Hasn't failed me yet. I used to do the antifreeze but I got tired of smelling it (still) two months into the camping season - this was especially a problem in the B190 that didn't have a water heater bypass, so flushing the system took a LOT more time and water than you'd expect. (It didn't help that our first camping trip each year was at a place that doesn't have a sewer connection, and I don't have one at home.)

If I lived farther north I might worry more about the antifreeze, but I'm happy with dry. The Airstream manual indicates it should be fine for the temperatures I would encounter.

I never thought about the blackwater flush. It seems to drain itself pretty well each time.
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