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Old 09-19-2009, 09:41 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Winterizing question ??????

We have an '85 Excella 31 footer. I've been reading about winterizing AS's and see some mention of water heater by-pass valves.
Were they standard on these units or after market installations ?? My water heater is on the curb side below the bathroom vanity. I don't think there is any easy interior access. From the exterior access door I have access to the supply line and a drain valve. How would I know if there was a by-pass installed ???

I plan to blow the lines and install RV anti-freeze to the traps. If I drain the water heater tank, blow the lines and leave the drain valve open is that adaquate for winterization of the water heater ??? I also plan to disconnect the lines to the pump and leave them off . Any further advise is welcome. I plan to use it in the coming weeks and will winterize upon returning home.

Thanks in advance for all you're input.
R. Kriz
New Jersey
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:01 PM   #2
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I am not sure about the access door on a 85 excella, I am sure someone that has one will tell you where it is located. As far north as you are I would want to do a little more than put antifreeze in the traps. Even if you blow the lines out I have seen water settle in a low area and cause a leak with a hard freeze. The hot water tank should be ok drained.

Marvin
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:24 PM   #3
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Right on. Just blowing is not enough. Fill the water lines (hot and cold) with antifreeze after you blow them out. Do that by disconnecting the line from the fresh water tank to the pump and inserting it into the antifreeze bottles. Then pump until good color antifreeze comes out of every water outlet including the john. You will need at least two gallons to do this, if the water heater has a bypass on it. If not, then you will have to fill the tank with 6 gallons more of antifreeze to be able to purge the hot water lines. You also need to, completely as possible, empty the fresh water and output tanks. You then should put at least 1/2 a gallon of antifreeze in each to tank to take care of the water you could not drain.
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:29 AM   #4
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here is how i do it.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f458...eeze-7222.html

john
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:07 AM   #5
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I really don't know about an 85, but my 89, side bath, has a gate valve under the vanity. It has a fold down door directly under the sink. Look over to the right at the water lines and you should see a gate valve of some kind. Mine is a red lever that I turn 90 degrees to the water line that it is connected to turn it off thereby isolating the hot water tank.

Good luck.......Dennis
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
We have an '85 Excella 31 footer. I've been reading about winterizing AS's and see some mention of water heater by-pass valves.
Were they standard on these units or after market installations ?? My water heater is on the curb side below the bathroom vanity. I don't think there is any easy interior access. From the exterior access door I have access to the supply line and a drain valve. How would I know if there was a by-pass installed ???

I plan to blow the lines and install RV anti-freeze to the traps. If I drain the water heater tank, blow the lines and leave the drain valve open is that adaquate for winterization of the water heater ??? I also plan to disconnect the lines to the pump and leave them off . Any further advise is welcome. I plan to use it in the coming weeks and will winterize upon returning home.

Thanks in advance for all you're input.
R. Kriz
New Jersey
R. Kriz,
Additionally, don't forget to drain the shower head and, the complete hot/cold water line leading to the shower system. The other thing is the toilet flush water system (which is a part of the toilet's plumbing) needs to be completely blown out.(I always leave the toilet's flapper open during the winter by plastic bottle attached to a strong string) If you have a cleaning wand next to the toilet,(you do) be sure it's drained. Hot water heater is simple, drain it and blow it till it's dry..Then leave it open..No need to fill water heater with antifreeze..
Pour a little Anti freezes in all of the traps(including the shower drain) and, pour half of what's left over in each grey and black water tank.
The whole process shouldn't take more than 45 minutes to an hour..depending if you have a helper inside.
Good Luck~
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:09 PM   #7
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I am not sure about all models but the bypass is usually not factory. you can make one yourself or get a kit.
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:33 PM   #8
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If you do not find a bypass valve or valves on the back of your hot water heater consider installing one before you winterize. It will save you time and money over time. 5 gallons of antifreeze per year.

The factory bypass system is a single handle that turns 90 degrees. After market systems generally are 3 valves, one each on the heater input and output lines and one bridging between these lines. Close the in/output lines and open bypass line for winterizing. Valves are quarter turn and the handle aligns with the with the position.

Check to see if you have a filter from the fresh water tank before the pump. If so add your antifreeze before this filter as the bowl will have water in it that will not be removed by draining or blowing.

If you do not blow out the system from the city water connection that line, to the connection of the rest of the system, will have water in it and no antifreeze will replace it as it is a dead headed line.

With the hot water heater bypassed you should use about 3/4 of a gallon and see antifreeze coming out of every water appliance hot and cold.

I never use the factory drains as they are gereraly poorly located and very hard to open. The risk of braking them is not worth using them. The antifreeze will displace any water in the drain valve drops.

I drain the hot water heater and then slip in a piece of small hose and siphon out the remaining 2 inches. This is not important from a freeze standpoint, as the heaters sides are round and ice will climb the sides, but I like to draw off the scale dirt that has collected during the year.

It is not necessary to put antifreeze in the sewer tanks as they are vented and any remaining water, after a good draining, will evaporate. Draining the fresh water tank, while the trailer is tipped to the drain is good enough.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:12 PM   #9
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Here is a winterization guide I found at Airstream's company site. It gives a specific order for opening faucets/valves during air pressurization. There is no mention what to do if your hot water heater has the bypass valves on it.

Mark
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File Type: pdf Winteriization.pdf (51.5 KB, 125 views)
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halimer View Post
Here is a winterization guide I found at Airstream's company site. It gives a specific order for opening faucets/valves during air pressurization. There is no mention what to do if your hot water heater has the bypass valves on it.

Mark
Almost no Airstream was built with bypass valves on the water heater, so I am not surprised..
It's nice to see the guide and, the specific order.
Too bad we couldn't have that as a "sticky note"..
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:22 PM   #11
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My hot water heater came with the bypass kit from the factory.

mark
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halimer View Post
My hot water heater came with the bypass kit from the factory.

mark
That's true Mark,
At some point, it was made available by the factory..
For references, the winterizing guide you posted was published in 2008, as I see it.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:26 AM   #13
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Thanks all for the education. I will do the job in a few weeks but I don't think I would have attempted it with out the great suggestions from you all with more experience than I. I looks to be pretty straightforward and pretty basic. I have seen some refrence to " low point valves ". I haven't really looked hard but I have not noticed if I have them. After I pump some antifreeze through the plumbing system do I leave the suction and pressure lines at the pump off ??? or connected. When I got the trailer the previous owner had left them off. However, it seems to me that if you pump the system with anti freeze you would have to leave them connected to maintain the closed system or risk leakdown. If you blow the system and leave it dry it shouldn't matter and be safer to leave them off.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
I have seen some refrence to " low point valves ". I haven't really looked hard but I have not noticed if I have them. After I pump some antifreeze through the plumbing system do I leave the suction and pressure lines at the pump off ??? or connected.
There is no reason to ever have the pressure side of the pump disconnected. When you pump in the antifreeze it will have to be connected to supply the antifreeze to the rest of the trailer. Yes reconnect the suction side of the pump when finished. That keeps things out during the winter, Spiders, and all you have to do in the spring is put some water in the fresh water tank anf flush out the antifreeze. Also flush from the city connection side.

As I mentioned above the factory low point drains are often hard to get to and hard to turn without risking braking them so I don't attempt to use them but rather blow out the system and back fill with antifreeze.
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