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Old 01-15-2020, 01:22 PM   #1
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Water Heater is filled with RV Anti-freeze

I re-winterized my AS last week, then realized I did not close my water heater bypass valve. Although I did drain it first, it now has antifreeze in the water heater. Will it be okay if I flush it well when I de-winterize?
Or is there something else that needs to be done?

Thanks in advance. You all have been fantastic help to me.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:29 PM   #2
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First of all, relax, this is not the end of the world. I did this once and have survived. RV Antifreeze is not toxic, that is the good news. The bad news is that after flushing my hw tank a number of times I still had a bit of an odor and some foaming from the tap. I think there have been some that talked about using stuff like baking soda, to help speed the flushing.



I just put up with it as a reminder to not do this again. You are about to get lots of better advice. This forum will step up at times like this.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:01 PM   #3
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This is why you should never use anything but cheap vodka as antifreeze.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:14 PM   #4
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You can get a RV water heater spray cleaner to flush it out.

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Rinser-...s%2C203&sr=8-2

This should help. Should flush it out with the wand every year anyway. Just drain it, then flush with wand. Maybe then fill it up again with water and drain it again. Should be fine.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:31 PM   #5
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Iíve done this before.

Just flush it out like the rest of your system, and go on.

Not a biggie.

Maggie
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:33 PM   #6
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The anti-freeze won't hurt a thing. It just wastes a little money.

When you get ready to flush it before the next use, I would remove the drain plug in the water heater and connect a hose to the trailer's city water connection and let water run for a while. Leave the water heater off while doing this.

Water will feed from the city connection and through the water heater tank then empty onto the ground directly without having to flow through the trailer plumbing. It will speed up the process and more completely flush the tank. It never hurts to do this, as it will empty the tank of hard water corrosion too.

Regards,

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Old 01-16-2020, 10:19 AM   #7
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jdalrymple - I've never heard that advice before about hooking up to city water, removing plastic bolt on hot water heater and then just letting the water flow through to the ground which will also get rid of any sediment. I will try that this spring when de-winterizing. Also - someone mentioned using a brush wand to clean hot water heater - exactly how do you do that? Push it into where the white plastic plug screws in?
Thanks all.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:27 AM   #8
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Hi

The gotcha is that the inside of the water heater *may* have a coating on it that likes the anti-freeze. If it does, it will take a long while to get it rinsed out.

Bob
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daquenzer View Post
You can get a RV water heater spray cleaner to flush it out.

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Rinser-...s%2C203&sr=8-2

This should help. Should flush it out with the wand every year anyway. Just drain it, then flush with wand. Maybe then fill it up again with water and drain it again. Should be fine.
Yep... this ^^^^^^
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
This is why you should never use anything but cheap vodka as antifreeze.
I use tequila, then, all you have to do is add a bit of triple sec, and lime, and you have a perfect margarita. Also, the 5 1/2 gallons of tequila will last most of the summer.......Of course you have to remember you'll be heating water on your stove....
Just sayin"
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:38 AM   #11
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The wand mentioned earlier does not have a brush. Just a thin (1/2”) semi flexible plastic hose with a slight bend on the end and a water shutoff where it connects to hose. This is inserted through the opening after you remove the white drain plug.

The drain plug can be tricky to remove and replace. An alternative would be to run water through the trailer but open the hot water heater temp/pressure relief valve at the top of the heater to flush water through. Not as effective as draining through the bottom.

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Old 01-16-2020, 12:12 PM   #12
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[snip, snip]
The drain plug can be tricky to remove and replace.
Greg
It is a very tight area to get a socket into but I use a wobble extension. It gives you just enough wiggle room to remove the plastic plug. Put the socket on the plug, put the wobble extension into the socket, put the ratchet on the extension. Once loose, remove the extension and use the socket to assist in removing the plug.

https://www.harborfreight.com/wobble...-pc-67971.html
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:47 PM   #13
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This is why you should never use anything but cheap vodka as antifreeze.
That much Vodka in Canada is 10 times the cost of antifreeze.....JCW


You will simply drain the antifreeze into a jug for reuse next year, then put a water tank flush on a garden hose and give it a real good flush out the drain plug hole. You will still get some taste, but we don't usually use hot water for cooking or drinking, so it will eventually go down the shower drain!!!! or dish water...which you will rinse with cold water
JCW
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:05 PM   #14
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No harm done! If it was me I would drain it now, just to get it out of there. I might even blow out all the water lines, with compressed air. Any thing left in the pipes won’t matter.
I like the idea of saving the antifreeze for next year.
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:48 PM   #15
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Mikebrady62, I would try Camco TastePure Freshener and Dewinterizer for RV.

You can find it online from places like eTrailer: https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Fresh-Wa.../CAM40207.html

Itís also good for the fresh water tank and the rest of your plumbing.

Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:21 AM   #16
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Reusing RV Antifreeze

You will simply drain the antifreeze into a jug for reuse next year, then put a water tank flush on a garden hose and give it a real good flush out the drain plug hole. You will still get some taste, but we don't usually use hot water for cooking or drinking, so it will eventually go down the shower drain!!!! or dish water...which you will rinse with cold water
JCW[/QUOTE]

The idea of reusing the antifreeze is something I would have never thought of. Great idea!
Thank you!
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:20 AM   #17
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I have one of these only I bought it back in 1982 and the wand is copper tube rather than plastic. First time I used it on my Suburban water heater on my Hi-Lo and was shocked on the amount of deposits and lime scale that came out of the tank. After that revelation I used it at least annually and when I sold the Hi-Lo 14 years later the original tank was still in place. Fast forward I continue to use the cleaning tube at the end of every camping season on the Atwood water heater tank. So we begin year 16 on my ownership of my Classic slide out with again the original tank.

Tube itself puts out a strong jet of water that when rotated within your tank, scours the interior and any debris in that tank will exit the tank via the open port of tank drain plug. I highly recommend this product!
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:04 PM   #18
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x2 on the cost of vodka in Canada. I had to pay about as much for it as I did for my scotch!

Oh - about the antifreeze and the water heater? I agree with all above.

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Old 01-17-2020, 03:10 PM   #19
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Just drain the water heater through the plug. It’s no big deal.

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Old 01-17-2020, 04:50 PM   #20
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I have one of these only I bought it back in 1982 ...
I'd also like to note that this wand gizmo is what Alton Brown calls 'a multi-tasker'. I use mine to reverse flush the radiator fins on my tractor. When mowing, the blowing chaff tends to clog it, and this can get right down in the narrow spaces where my hand can't get...
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