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Old 01-18-2009, 10:29 PM   #1
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Cleveland , Tennessee
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Frozen shower drain trap

It's the 1st winter for the Mrs. & I fulltiming. I thought I had it all figuered out. Heat strip on the water supply hose wrapped in foam pipe insulaters. propane in the tank for the furnaces. Leaving the cupbaord doors & drawers open slightly over night to help airflow around pipes. Household fiberglass insulation around dump valves to prevent freezing down there.

Then it got down to 15 degrees here in Northern Georgia. BRRR.. Got up the next morn, started the coffee brewing, Then hit the showers. It didn't take long for my feet to be swiming in water. Didn't realize that the drain trap is below the floor level in a Classic MH. MH's don't have a belly pan to help the furnace keep the pipes thawed.

The 1st bright idea I had was to use a cup to scoop out the cold water out. After letting the water get hot, I ran all 6 gals. into the shower. Did'nt work. Drank coffe & pondered a while. Hmmm.

2nd idea worked so well, I had to share it. I let the hot water tank heat up again. Only this time I let the 6 gals. run down the kitchen drain into the holding tank. I figured the heat would rise into the trap to thaw it out. Darn, I was thinking about it so much I forgot that the dump valve was open & lost all that hot water. Let it heat up another 6 gals. while I closed the dump valve. Let that hot water run down the kitchen sink into the grey tank now closed. The shower drain trap thawed in less than an hour enough to let the water in the shower flow out.

Now when it's going to get cold I pour a small amount of pink antifreeze into the drian. Just use about a coffee cup amount to fill the trap.

"Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain

AIR 22749 WBCCI 2349 NOVA TAC TN-6
1989 345 LE Classic Motorhome
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:04 PM   #2
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Ottawa , ON
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"Necessity is the mother of invention."

Good thinking!

Also very lucky you didn't flush the terlet while you had left the dump open!

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Old 01-20-2009, 12:17 PM   #3
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This one goes under "Print & Save", Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
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North Vancouver , British Columbia
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A hair dryer to the exposed trap on the underside of the trailer works quickly too. Don't ask me how I know this.
Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:51 PM   #5
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Good problem solving. I bet you don't need that much antifreeze in the trap at Georgia temps. And probably a Tbsp. or so of salt would also work.

Actually, you could test this for us all: try putting less and less in each night until it freezes solid again - then we'll know how little one can get away with!!!!
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