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Old 10-16-2011, 05:28 PM   #1
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Winterizing & Water Pump Access 27FB

Is it just me or do you need to be hanging upside down with three arms with two elbows each and a headlamp to get at the connections for the water pump? I'm about ready to cut the bottom out of the wardrobe so I can at least see what I'm doing. Seriously though AS must complete all the pump connections and then build the cabinets on top of the whole affair. No way it could be done otherwise!

Just finished winterizing and I'm still smiling. I read all the posts on blowing out the lines and then using the pump to suck anti-freeze from the bottle. Couldn't find a three way valve kit so I made up an adaptor to screw on to the suction of the pump and ran some Pex to dip in the jug. Not very flexible that Pex by the way. Anyway, with my co-pilot standing by with one hand hovering over the pump switch and the other at the kitchen faucet I inserted the Pex in the jug and yelled "Contact"! Worked great! The pump came on and I could see the strainer bowl fill with pink stuff. Pump kept going and it was working great. Pump still going. Jug now about 1/2 full and falling. Pump still sucking away. Something didn't feel right about this. Nobody mentioned this in the forum. Jug about 1/4. No sign of pump stopping. I can't move because I've got this Pex jammed in the anti-freeze jug. Wife gives me a blank look (she honestly believes I know what I am doing, bless her soul). "Turn off the pump! Turn off the pump!" I implore. OK, the pump is off, and I have about 1/8 of a gallon of anti-freeze left. Wrestle the Pex out of the jug and state the obvious "something must be turned on?". Sink? No. Bathroom? No. Shower? No. Water Heater by-pass wrong position? No. Walk outside and around the back to the other side. Pink stuff still running down the side and on the driveway from the outside shower. Gheese. The first time I had used the thing was only 20 minutes ago to blow out the lines. Stupid shower. Only good for washing the dog or rinsing your boots anyway, unless you like to shower outside, kneeling down next to the sewer outlet. Oh well, it gave us a chuckle anyway. Next year I'll find and buy the kit with the three way valve, and check all the faucets before I start!
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:52 PM   #2
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You did a good job.
Now you know the outside shower won't freeze. Many owners miss that flush.
You still need to get that "pink" through the other lines though, if you have any doubts that the air did not get all the water out. Don't forget the ptraps.
Have a good winter.
Dave
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:09 PM   #3
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Pretty sure I got it all. After closing the outside shower I proceeded to open each faucet in turn and let the pink stuff run. Feeling pretty good I disconnected my jury-rigged contraption and restored the pump suction. Tally was one gallon wasted and one used. As I was putting the tools away this unbridled thought hit me - how did the pink stuff get in the hot water lines? I mean, I had the hot water tank bypassed, right? How was it supposed to fill the hot water lines, when the only faucets I turned on were the cold ones?

Back out to the trailer, on my back again wrestling with hooking up my jury-rigger contraption to the pump suction. Success, ran the pink stuff through the hot water lines and poured a bit in all the traps. Even stuck the air line in the outlet of the hot water tank drain to blow out the residual bits of standing water. Felt kinda smug knowing about that one (thanks forum!). Tally was one gallon of anti-freeze on the driveway and two gallons in the trailer tubing and p-traps. A bit wasteful I know but not bad for a first timer. Hey- I bought this thing to have fun with! Now all I need to do is hibernate until next April!
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:25 PM   #4
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Good to know that the job has been well done.

It should not get that cold there by the water?
Middle Cove , Newfoundland - Google Maps

We missed getting over to your Island in Oct. 2009, as the season was changing fast and we needed to get back to this Island on the west coast.

We do plan on getting there some time.

I have to go and see a guy I sold a Shell tire to for his little museum/coffee shop, Shell memorabilia, I believe is on the #1. I would have to go back and look it up.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:27 AM   #5
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Its not just you

The only thing harder to get to than the water pump is the bypass valves for the HW heater. Thank God for my "flexible" son. Sal.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:16 AM   #6
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My 2009 27 FB has cabinet doors in front of the water pump and water heater both. The pump is below the wardrobe the water heater is under the vanity. The doors covering either don't have pulls of any kind. They almost tricked me, but they do open on hinges for complete access both appliances.

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Old 10-17-2011, 02:49 PM   #7
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Also noteworthy, the hinges will quick disconnect, allowing the doors to be removed for this service. The release is on the back side of the hinge and can be operated with just a finger.

This story has also reminded me to install an inline switch AT the pump for this kind of service.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:52 PM   #8
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Winterizing kit

I still can't believe I had to buy a kit to winterize with. This is my first airstream and would have sent them the $20.00 to have had it put on during the build.

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Old 10-17-2011, 10:06 PM   #9
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I still can't believe I had to buy a kit to winterize with. This is my first airstream and would have sent them the $20.00 to have had it put on during the build.

George
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:06 AM   #10
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DMT,
The little trap door in the wardrobe floor for access is in my opinion just for turning off and on the valve for the outside shower and is good for little else.
To gain better access to the pump and all that is under the wardrobe I took the bottom out and made a large trap door in the floor in addition to the small one AS installed and put the floor back in place.
Checking the pump, or doing any work under there now is a breeze.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:21 AM   #11
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I just got tired of emptying the closet to get to the FWP,(chastised for not re-packing correctly), three gallons AF in an empty FW tank and pump AF from there. DW is happy, I'm not happy 'til she is happy!!

Bob
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:43 AM   #12
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I agree with the three arm monkey thing--- I do one additional thing -- Maybe not neccessary, but it makes me feel better - I dump at least 2 gallons of antifreeze in each -- the grey and black tank -- plus what ever I have pumped in there while filling the lines --- antifreeze is cheap -- labor and parts in JC is not..
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:09 AM   #13
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DON'T FORGET TO FLUSH THE TOILET!! Water will hang up in there and the valve is expensive. Don't ask.

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Old 10-18-2011, 08:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluto
DMT,
The little trap door in the wardrobe floor for access is in my opinion just for turning off and on the valve for the outside shower and is good for little else.
To gain better access to the pump and all that is under the wardrobe I took the bottom out and made a large trap door in the floor in addition to the small one AS installed and put the floor back in place.
Checking the pump, or doing any work under there now is a breeze.
There's a valve to shut off the shower?
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:22 AM   #15
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DMT - I remember how sore my neck got the first time I installed the Camco bypass. Yes, use the quick-disconnect & remove the access door. You'll want to disconnect the heating duct and turn it back under the fridge. You will have to move the pump forward to allow space in-line for the bypass valve. Be happy you don't have a 23' International like my buddy -- he had half the space and the back end of the pump is under the fridge -- with no access panel at the bottom of the fridge!

Per john hd's recommendations (and many since) I blew out my lines yesterday before I'll do the antifreeze step in the next day or so. It would really help you if got one of these handy fittings to attach an air compressor to your city water inlet -- Winterize Manufacturing Adapter | Streaming Daemon . Careful though -- be sure & dial down your compressor to 40 psi. Give the compressor enough time as you go back and forth to one outlet at a time -- you can blow out just about all water residuals. Be sure to isolate your water heater before blowing out or pumping in antifreeze -- set the bypass valves to the winter position to do this:
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It should not get that cold there by the water?
Ohh, I'd think so -- Statistics: Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador - The Weather Network

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I agree with the three arm monkey thing--- I do one additional thing -- Maybe not neccessary, but it makes me feel better - I dump at least 2 gallons of antifreeze in each -- the grey and black tank -- plus what ever I have pumped in there while filling the lines --- antifreeze is cheap -- labor and parts in JC is not.
More than anything, make sure that the traps receive a solid enough slug of antifreeze to flush trap contents down to the gray tank.

I drain the HW heater through its drain plug. The HW heater's tank is very strong and can't really be damaged by a quarter or half inch of residual water left after the process. By the same reasoning, the gray & black tanks are quite rugged structures to carry their loads while bumping down the road. Consensus from many members is that an inch+ of water in them won't damage these either.
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:55 AM   #16
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Lightbulb A simpler method

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DMT - I remember how sore my neck got the first time I installed the Camco bypass. Yes, use the quick-disconnect & remove the access door. You'll want to disconnect the heating duct and turn it back under the fridge. You will have to move the pump forward to allow space in-line for the bypass valve. Be happy you don't have a 23' International like my buddy -- he had half the space and the back end of the pump is under the fridge -- with no access panel at the bottom of the fridge!
Speaking of my buddy... His dealer used a simpler solution with one flexible plumbing hose. They used two short flexible plumbing hoses from Home Depot. Attach one to the house plumbing against the wall behind the pump. Attach the other to the inlet valve on the pump. Pigtail the hoses around and install the brass Camco bypass valve between the two hoses.

Correction: The dealer connected the hose to the house plumbing. They installed the Camco valve on the water pump intake and attached the other end of the hose to the Camco valve. Worth considering at least.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:06 AM   #17
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My Classic 25 had a hinged wardrobe floor that made water pump access easy. My Classic 28 has a fixed floor. Access to the water pump meant removing the small drawer under the wardrobe, laying on my belly on the floor, and reaching blindly with my left hand for the pump filter.

My solution was installing a 12" sailboat deck plate on the wardrobe floor. I now can simply remove the plate for easy visual and manual access to the pump. A bonus is access to wiring and furnace ducts under the wardrobe.

Since I seldom use the trailer when it gets below freezing here in Texas, I keep the furnace duct that dumps hot air into the tank area plugged up with an old T-shirt so that the trailer interior gets all of the furnace output. It is easy to unplug the duct if I ever get a cold night.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:27 AM   #18
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Not to start a whole debate, but on 5 trailers across several brands, including two AS trailers, I have never added antifreeze to my plumbing. I have only ever drained and bypassed the water heater, and then blown out the plumbing. Maybe I am just lucky but have never had a problem.

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Old 10-18-2011, 11:58 AM   #19
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Just dump the AF in the empty FW tank and suck it thru the pump and all faucets from there....simple.

Bob
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:26 PM   #20
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After the diagram from CanoeStream I have to go back and look at what I did. Don't remember seeing isolation valves at the HW tank. I'll take to heart the comments on removing the flexible duct (really gets in the way) and using the flexible plumbing lines as pigtails when I install the winterizing kit next year.

Bob - I've read of people having trouble getting all the antifreeze out of the fresh water tank in the spring. Have you had any issues? Can you describe the RCM method?

And yes it gets cold here, relatively speaking. Only about -5 C or so, nothing like the interior of the continent. We lived for several years in Houston and I enjoyed the winters there, the mid summer not so much.

You folks should visit here sometime. Very pretty, sparsely populated, virtually no crime. I know of two other Airstreams in the whole province (500k population) - one a 70's or 80's Classic and the other a late model International 23. I can't go anywhere without everybody knowing and commenting - the trailer stands out. People come up to me at gas stations for heavens sake, and a half the time I'm giving tours at campsites. One guy even knocked on my door because he saw it in the driveway. (he was a lawyer by the way - strange breed) AS should compensate me come to think of it. There's a WBCCI caravan here about every two years - The Viking Trail. Check it out.

Don
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