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Old 02-28-2020, 07:52 AM   #1
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Blowing out the water lines

Thanks to this forum and a bit of research I have identified a pancake air compressor that I will be purchasing to blow out the water lines for winterization.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/CRAFTSMAN-6...sor/1000595167

Since owning our FC 25 FBT, we have had the Airstream dealer winterize it since it has been there for warranty work. This will be the first time I will actually be doing it myself at the end of the season.

I have a few of questions.

1. Would someone be kind enough to post a link to the type of adapter I need in order to connect the air compressor hose to the city water inlet on the side of the AS?

2. Is it necessary to add antifreeze to the lines if there is no water remaining after being blown out?

3. If yes to the above, would I get the same results if I used a pump connected to the water inlet to allow antifreeze into the water lines? I ask because I'm kind of hesitant to reach into the mess of pipes for the water pump (I don't know what I'm doing...yet). In essence, I have a portable water pump. Can I just fill a bucket with antifreeze, put the water pump in it, connect it to the city water inlet, and pump it through the lines?

4. If I use the Air Compressor to blow out the lines, will that also get rid of any water that may be in the water lines leading to and from the onboard water pump?


Thanks in advance for your responses.
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:18 AM   #2
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Addressing part of your questions: I found that blowing with air did not get water out of the inlet filter to the water pump, resulting in a cracked filter for me. Consequently, I also pump a bit of antifreeze using the water pump, although you could be safe just removing the filter.
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:45 AM   #3
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Once other question

What pressure should one set the air compressor to when blowing out the lines?
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
What pressure should one set the air compressor to when blowing out the lines?


20-40 psi. The Airstream water system is regulated to no more than 60 psi with water in it. The idea is to get enough air flow.
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:49 AM   #5
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I've used these:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-36153-B.../dp/B0006IX68O

The only issue is you really need 2 people. Sure it can be done with one, but takes forever.

I'm not near my RV, but I basically fabricated (meaning, went to the hardware store) and put together a garden hose connector with an air hose quick connect. Now I just connect, set the correct pressure (about 45 psi-- plumbing is rated to about 60psi, but I don't want to push it), and blow out all the lines one at a time by myself without stopping.

+1 on putting some antifreeze in the water pump. There are several ways to do that, I just disconnect the hose coming from the fresh tank and let the pump draw right from the gallon jug of RV antifreeze. Not much to pump, just enough to get the filter and pump assembly +/- 5 seconds and done for the winter.
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
Thanks to this forum and a bit of research I have identified a pancake air compressor that I will be purchasing to blow out the water lines for winterization.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/CRAFTSMAN-6...sor/1000595167

Since owning our FC 25 FBT, we have had the Airstream dealer winterize it since it has been there for warranty work. This will be the first time I will actually be doing it myself at the end of the season.

I have a few of questions.

1. Would someone be kind enough to post a link to the type of adapter I need in order to connect the air compressor hose to the city water inlet on the side of the AS?

2. Is it necessary to add antifreeze to the lines if there is no water remaining after being blown out?

3. If yes to the above, would I get the same results if I used a pump connected to the water inlet to allow antifreeze into the water lines? I ask because I'm kind of hesitant to reach into the mess of pipes for the water pump (I don't know what I'm doing...yet). In essence, I have a portable water pump. Can I just fill a bucket with antifreeze, put the water pump in it, connect it to the city water inlet, and pump it through the lines?

4. If I use the Air Compressor to blow out the lines, will that also get rid of any water that may be in the water lines leading to and from the onboard water pump?


Thanks in advance for your responses.
1. Use one of these, depending what style quick disconnect your air line has. The plastic Camco works on an air line w/o the QD. (white connector in the photo)
2. I anti-freezed for 7yrs, until getting a home compressor, (25gal dual stage oil less). I turn on the pump while blowing and have had no problems.

Make sure you have AF in all the drain traps, drain/blow the sink sprayer and shower head. Our kitchen faucet had a filter, I removed it years ago.

POI...with my compressor I can adjust air pressure to 35psi and leave it blowing for 20min.
With your 6gal you may have to 'stage bio', turning it on/off to let the pressure build, helps force the mist out.



Bob
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:01 AM   #7
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If you empty your fresh water tank, the run the pump for a bit it will suck air and you won’t have to use the antifreeze. Mine is very hard to get to, and as I get older I seem to be less flexible, but this has worked for me. It’s helpful to have another body while doing this, but it’s not a deal breaker if you don’t. Just be methodical, blow out every line until water stops coming out, don’t forget your low point drains and water heater.

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Old 02-28-2020, 09:23 AM   #8
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I use 60 psi on my compressor to blow out the lines. It is not necessary to get ALL the water out of the lines. As long as there is room for the residual water to expand inside the lines when it freezes, it will not break anything.

It is important, however, to make sure that you run your water pump until it is no longer pumping water so that any residual water in it has room to expand when it freezes. And don't forget to blow out you black tank flush as well.

I have followed this procedure for the last 4 winters on my AS and have not had any issues. And the winters here in Northern Alberta are plenty long and cold.

If you are really anal, then you can also pump RV antifreeze through the system for the belt and suspenders approach.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:27 AM   #9
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Personally we use the Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor with their winterizing kit to clear the lines AND then run RV anti freeze through the filter and pump. We also add anti freeze to the Black water tank toilet bowl, all the P-traps. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
1. Use one of these, depending what style quick disconnect your air line has. The plastic Camco works on an air line w/o the QD. (white connector in the photo)
2. I anti-freezed for 7yrs, until getting a home compressor, (25gal dual stage oil less). I turn on the pump while blowing and have had no problems.

Make sure you have AF in all the drain traps, drain/blow the sink sprayer and shower head. Our kitchen faucet had a filter, I removed it years ago.

POI...with my compressor I can adjust air pressure to 35psi and leave it blowing for 20min.
With your 6gal you may have to 'stage bio', turning it on/off to let the pressure build, helps force the mist out.



Bob
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'there is also a plastic device on your toilet that needs to be checked. If there is even a little water in there, it could crack the housing causing you to have a leak of fresh water on your floor every time you step on the flush pedal...or pay $40 for a new one and wrestle with the water feed hoses.
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:07 AM   #11
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snip....."We also add anti freeze to the Black water tank toilet bowl, all the P-traps. Better safe than sorry."

I did forget to mention the toilet sprayer, open spray until all the water is out, and shut water off to the bowl.

I also antifreeze'd the bowl for the first 3 Seasons.👎 No longer, it ruined the seals, had to replace the valve.
Better to store it empty with some silicone grease on the seal...
Or...I just put a bit of veggie oil in the bowl and let it sit .

Bob
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:08 AM   #12
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I agree with all the above. I drain everything including the water heater. Then blow out each valve 1 by 1 with 40 psi air (including the outdoor shower) Then add RV antifreeze to all the drain traps. The first time I used RV AF through all the lines. It is a huge pain and I didn't like the idea of AF in my drinking lines at all. No problems as of yet and it has gotten plenty cold here a few times.
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:36 AM   #13
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Hi

You very much do *not* want to put anti-freeze into your fresh water tank. The same thing that is in RV anti-freeze to make it "not freeze" is the only thing in Miralax. It also (at least to us) tastes pretty bad / sweet. Flushing it out of the fresh water tank will take forever (like an entire season .....).

The same basic issue applies to getting the stuff in your hot water heater. Lots of surface area and forever to flush out. Follow the instructions carefully and *completely* drain your heater. There likely is something to unscrew to get it fully drained ....

On modern trailers with PEX pipes, you can withstand freezing in the PEX pipe it's self. Can the fittings (and the crimps on the fittings) take freezing? There seem to be mixed reports on that. If the 1 ounce of water left in a pipe all settles at a (breakable) elbow, you have a problem.

There are many threads here that each run into several hundred posts going through all the details of the winterize process. Best to read a couple dozen of those threads to get fully up to speed.

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Old 02-28-2020, 10:47 AM   #14
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I have a rather comprehensive list of the order for winterization on my 2014 FC 27ft. Some things are slightly different as to year and model, but you can easily adjust. If you would a copy (free) email me at: sgraner@aol.com I also have de-winterizing list as well.
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Old 02-28-2020, 11:22 AM   #15
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When I put RV antifreeze into my piping (after first blowing out the lines) I then drain the antifreeze and blow the lines again. You do not need to leave the antifreeze in the lines. The collected antifreeze is then put into the traps and the holding tanks.
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Old 02-28-2020, 11:49 AM   #16
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After blowing out the lines, I disconnect the inlet and outlet from the pump and run it for a few seconds. That get the last bit of water out of the pump.

Also don't forget to blow out the toilet feed, outside shower and sink sprayer. And remove any inline water filter.
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:02 PM   #17
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Smile Things I use, and why,....Things I do not use

Here are few I like and why:
The Bostitch 2.5G air compressor:
(1) It sits flat, and I can easily stack other things on top of it unlike many "Pancake" type
(2) It can run on a single Honda 2000 generator
(3) I had the Hitachi dual tank, but it would trip the current on the Honda, so topping off tires in non-hookup locations became a problem
An In-Line regulator with 2 foot hose
(4) lets me set pressure to less than 60 psi close to the water inlet, and keep regulator built into the compressor on high pressure for tires.
It lets me see the pressure right at the trailer water entrance.....no guessing regulator on compressor was really what I intended
(5) two foot hose lets me clip the hose on itself for storage, keeping dirt and debris from getting in the regulator during storage
Straight flow through adapter air chuck to garden hose
(6) lets large volumes of air flow
Garden Sprayer with Air-chuck instead of spray nozzle
(7) lets easy insertion of anti-freeze into city water connection and black water flush


What I do not use:
Camco Blow out plug
(8) the schrader connection restricts air flow compared to the above flow through adapter
Hitachi dual tank
(9) As mentioned above - it tripped the Honda 2000 generator rendering it useless unless at a site that had Shore power.
(10) became a problem when Campground lost all AC service due to car hitting telephone/power pole, and neighbor RV needed to top off a tire. No easy solution available that day: Loaned him a bicycle tire pump so he could get just enough air to get to the nearest station........He was sweating when he returned it😊
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Old 02-28-2020, 01:25 PM   #18
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All,
I appreciate all the responses, and after reviewing them all I think I have a plan of attack. Note, our season usually ends by September (I have a kid in school). My general practice is to leave the lines open at this point, so hopefully before the full onslaught of winter they are pretty dry. Feel free to provide suggestions. Here are my anticipated steps for winterization:
1. Drain all the lines (hot, cold, fresh), they should already be drained once I put it in storage prior to winter.
2. Open the hot water heater valve and drain (leave off). Again, something I typically do for long term storage.
3. Close hot water heater bi-pass under the bed.
4. Hook up air compressor to city water feed.
5. Close all water valves and set compressor to no more than 40 PSI.
6. Individually open all faucets and showers and drain water, close, when no more water is present.
7. Perform toilet bowl blow out by stepping on the pedal.
8. Run on-board water pump until no water is present.
9. Repeat as necessary.
10. Blow out black tank flush inlet.
11. Pump Anti-freeze into city water inlet via water pump????Based on the responses, not sure if I really need this step.
12. Open faucets to allow antifreeze to accumulate in piping??? Based on the responses, not sure if I really need this step.
13. Add anti-freeze to drain traps by simply pouring down the drains/sinks/bowls.
14. Drink alcoholic beverage of my choosing.
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Old 02-28-2020, 01:27 PM   #19
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I have been blowing out my lines for over 10 years now; Question: when using an air compressor, do you need to use a filter to prevent residual oil from contaminating the lines? I recall reading something about this.
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Old 02-28-2020, 01:33 PM   #20
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Might be unnecessary, but after all the above I remove the water pump filter, clean the screen and mop out any remaining water in the filter itself.
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