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Old 02-25-2021, 04:02 PM   #1
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How to check for post-winter leaks?

So as you know I didn't "winterize" when the Texas siberian storm hit:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...en-219366.html


Everything has thawed now, it was 75F yesterday. (Today is a paltry 55F )

Anyway, I pulled our poor baby out of storage. I don't have pink stuff in there, I only emptied the tanks.

What steps to take next? Fill up the tank, then what? I don't know where the pipes go or how to check for leaks.

Thanks
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Old 02-25-2021, 04:18 PM   #2
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Fill the fresh water tank, turn on the pump and see what happens. If the pump continues to run on and off after the system pressurizes, you have a leak. If so start looking for dripping water in all cabinets.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:23 PM   #3
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x2 what mojo said.

Maybe do it on a paved surface driveway so you can see if/where it may be dripping underneath. Might help in location of a leak if there is one.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:23 PM   #4
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Look under your sinks, any lines or sink/ tub traps you can see.If nothing seems to be wet or dripping, you might have got lucky.
Same around water heater, outside at door for water tank gas lines.
I would avoid filling with any water now, wait till no chance of freezing again.Unless your going to use it soon,then fill and test pump like suggested above.
Just because winter storm over, doesn't mean it can't happen again
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:37 PM   #5
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I favor using compressed air and monitor the plumbing just like new home construction roughed in plumbing is tested. Not hard to make a combo pressure leak down and blow out tool.

Air also cleans up pretty easy.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Fill the fresh water tank, turn on the pump and see what happens. If the pump continues to run on and off after the system pressurizes, you have a leak. If so start looking for dripping water in all cabinets.
Yep.

A leak will find you.

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Old 02-26-2021, 09:23 AM   #7
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Don't forget the toilet pedal valve, very likely to have a hairline crack; no gushing water but enough to damage the floor over time. The good news is that the valve is pretty easy to replace, easier still if you remove the toilet for better access.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
I favor using compressed air and monitor the plumbing just like new home construction roughed in plumbing is tested. Not hard to make a combo pressure leak down and blow out tool.

Air also cleans up pretty easy.
I agree totally ....no water mess ...you can monitor the pressure and easy to rig up. You may have hidden leak that soaks insulation etc and ends up being a bigger PIA.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:54 AM   #9
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Not winterized

Use air before you make a mess and ruin something. Get a winterizing plug that screws into your water connection, fill with air up to about 30 psi. Then keep checking with air gauge that you use for checking tires. If it holds, you're good!

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-36153-B...358399&sr=8-29
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rucos View Post
I agree totally ....no water mess ...you can monitor the pressure and easy to rig up. You may have hidden leak that soaks insulation etc and ends up being a bigger PIA.
Bingo!

Wet insulation buried in the walls/floor would defeat the benefits of using just water first IMO.

And the chances are quite good [IMO] that there is at least one broken line in the walls, near the outdoor shower valves, or behind the city water intake and pressure regulator there.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:24 AM   #11
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I have a question, for myself and possibly for Kalashnikov. How much air pressure? I "assume"40 psi, but we all know what "assume" spells.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:26 AM   #12
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I have a question, for myself and possibly for Kalashnikov. How much air pressure? I "assume"40 psi, but we all know what "assume" spells.
40 psi on the air seems to be the go to for pressure testing.Dont go higher.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:34 AM   #13
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Using air can help detect a leak if the compressor starts and stops, but it can be hard to find the leak of air if it is not accessible. Dripping water is pretty easy to find and if you catch it early, is not going to cause damage. If the leak is in the wall, the water will find it's way out rather quickly.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Using air can help detect a leak if the compressor starts and stops, but it can be hard to find the leak of air if it is not accessible. Dripping water is pretty easy to find and if you catch it early, is not going to cause damage. If the leak is in the wall, the water will find it's way out rather quickly.
. . . and soak all the insulation inside that wall, and possibly the insulation under the floor in the belly pan? [Please see Post #10]

No thanks.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:40 AM   #15
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I had to do a way back search for the combo blow out pressure test tool I made.

See post 10 for pic.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...air-60222.html

Gary
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:41 AM   #16
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Nice!

Looks like all the parts are pretty standard at a good hardware store?

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Old 02-26-2021, 10:42 AM   #17
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Thanks Peter, that's it and still used for each winterization.
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Old 02-26-2021, 12:29 PM   #18
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I will be doing the same thing this weekend as I got caught in the Texas weather unprepared. The question I have is should I fill the fresh tank and use the pump to look for leaks or can I just hook up to the city water connection and check that way? Would they return the same results? I may even try the air method but just trying to educate myself as I’m new to Airstreams. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-26-2021, 12:41 PM   #19
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Joey

If H2O is the only option using the pump will signal you because it will indicate a leak by cycling w/o you opening a faucet etc. Using city water supply will just leak leak leak and then you'll see the oops as opposed to hearing the pump respond to the leak.

Might be time to consider making the blow out / leak down tool unless you'll never be in a potential freezing condition again.

Looks like several states got caught in the it's don't happen here situation.

Gary

And air don't make a mess.
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:01 PM   #20
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. . . and soak all the insulation inside that wall, and possibly the insulation under the floor in the belly pan? [Please see Post #10]

No thanks.

Well if it is already leaking, then it is already wet. Everything will dry out eventually.
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