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Old 12-03-2016, 02:00 AM   #11
Joseph Fiumara
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Default Re: Winterization with RV antifreeze help

When you see the pink liquid coming out all outlets and faucets, and poured in the traps. That pretty much says it is winterized.
With air, how do you know for sure all water is out? Is there a downside to the rv antifreeze other than $ ?
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:52 AM   #12
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Default Re: Winterization with RV antifreeze help

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Originally Posted by Joseph Fiumara View Post
When you see the pink liquid coming out all outlets and faucets, and poured in the traps. That pretty much says it is winterized.
With air, how do you know for sure all water is out? Is there a downside to the rv antifreeze other than $ ?
You know that all the water is out when no more water comes out. OK, that is a little snarky, but really, it is obvious when you are done.

The procedure:
0) If you have a hot water tank, drain it. If you have a bypass, use it.
1) connect the pump to the city water inlet through an adaptor.
2) Turn it on and let a bit of pressure build up.
3) Starting with the fixture closest to the pressure source, open the cold water outlet. if you have a low-volume pump, you will lose pressure after a few seconds. Just close the valve for a few seconds and let the pressure build up again. Open the valve. If any water comes out, repeat.
4) Do the same with the hot water outlet.
5) Repeat for each outlet, working your way outward, away from the pressure source
6) Wait 10 minutes and repeat the whole process. There will be very little water this time.
7) If you have any removable shower heads or other fixtures, consider moving them into the house for the winter.
8) If you have a Keurig coffemaker, take it indoors.
9) If you have a water filter on your pump, you may want to unscrew it to empty it. Mine seems to empty on its own, though.
10) Pour some yucky pink stuff into all your drain traps.
11) Pour the rest of the gallon into the grey tank and run the macerator until you get pink at the end of the dump hose.

Done! Takes maybe 30 minutes with practice. I often do it 2 or 3 times a season, between cold-weather trips.

Other than $ the downsides of pink stuff are (1) takes longer; (2) tastes gross; (3) needs to be undone every time you want to use your fresh system; (4) messy. I see no advantage whatsoever to using it, other than it perhaps being slightly more forgiving of sloppy execution. But, if you do a double blowout, it is pretty foolproof.
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:09 AM   #13
Boxster1971
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Default Winterization with RV antifreeze help

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
You know that all the water is out when no more water comes out. OK, that is a little snarky, but really, it is obvious when you are done.



The procedure:

0) If you have a hot water tank, drain it. If you have a bypass, use it.

1) connect the pump to the city water inlet through an adaptor.

2) Turn it on and let a bit of pressure build up.

3) Starting with the fixture closest to the pressure source, open the cold water outlet. if you have a low-volume pump, you will lose pressure after a few seconds. Just close the valve for a few seconds and let the pressure build up again. Open the valve. If any water comes out, repeat.

4) Do the same with the hot water outlet.

5) Repeat for each outlet, working your way outward, away from the pressure source

6) Wait 10 minutes and repeat the whole process. There will be very little water this time.

7) If you have any removable shower heads or other fixtures, consider moving them into the house for the winter.

8) If you have a Keurig coffemaker, take it indoors.

9) If you have a water filter on your pump, you may want to unscrew it to empty it. Mine seems to empty on its own, though.

10) Pour some yucky pink stuff into all your drain traps.

11) Pour the rest of the gallon into the grey tank and run the macerator until you get pink at the end of the dump hose.



Done! Takes maybe 30 minutes with practice. I often do it 2 or 3 times a season, between cold-weather trips.



Other than $ the downsides of pink stuff are (1) takes longer; (2) tastes gross; (3) needs to be undone every time you want to use your fresh system; (4) messy. I see no advantage whatsoever to using it, other than it perhaps being slightly more forgiving of sloppy execution. But, if you do a double blowout, it is pretty foolproof.
Good summary - thanks.
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:30 AM   #14
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Default Re: Winterization with RV antifreeze help

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Originally Posted by Suza View Post
I guess, since you are blowing the air through the city water inlet, this will winterize it as well. What pressure do you use? Blow air until no water comes out the faucets? Wouldn't we still need to get antifreeze into the macerator toilet pump (TB)?
Air is a fluid just like water. You are trying to displace ALL the water in your system with air. So you use the fitting to put the air in where the water hose is attached. Before you do this isolate the Truma Comfort Plus by closing valves "A", "B" & "E" and opening valve "C". Also remove the filter under the bathroom sink and reinstall the filter cover. Use 30-40 psi air. You set the regulator on your compressor to achieve this. Since it is the pressure of the delivered air that counts using a large compressor is just fine - you want high air flow. A large compressor will run less than a little one. I doubt that a little pissant tire inflater is going to do the job. The airflow through the system must be adequate to pick up all the water in the lines and eject it through the faucets. Like the LTV video you open each valve in turn until all the spitting water is removed from the system. You want to keep air flowing until your hand does not feel damp under the open faucet. Be sure to get the inside and outside showers as well as the toilet and toilet cleaner hose. I like to go around each faucet once, wait ten minutes and do the cycle again. Repeat this until all faucets blow nothing but dry, cool air. Don't forget to drain the Truma from outside your coach.

You'll still have to put antifreeze in each p trap as well as enough down the toilet to be able to run it through your macerater. Finally, blow out the black water rinse fitting as shown in the video.

This is my third year winterizing my Plateau TS. The first year I blew it out. Knowing that when compressed air expands it gets quite cold I went back a week later and blew it out again. Guess what? Wet spray came out of a couple of faucets. The second year I used antifreeze as I just did several weeks ago. Guess what? It takes less time using the antifreeze! Dewinterization takes the same amount of time whether you are using antifreeze or compressed air. You hook up the water hose in either case and either let it flow until either all the air is gone or all the pink fluid is gone. There are those that claim that you've got to run tons of water through the system to get all the pink fluid out. This is hogwash as the fluid will only be in the lines if you've done things correctly. Introducing fresh water into the system does not cause the antifreeze to mix with the water. The fresh water simply "plug flows" the fluid out of the system flushing it clean.

I got a mailer from Camping World today. RV antifreeze was on sale for about $5 per gallon. It takes a couple of gallons to winterize a Unity. The beauty of using the antifreeze is that you displace all the fresh water in the system. Any little bit that is left will mix with the antifreeze and the entire system is protected. Compressed air works only to the extent that it mechanically removes all the water from the lines. Any little left will freeze and when it does it will expand. Whether or not it breaks something in the process depends upon factors entirely beyond your control. Chances are that if you blow everything out correctly and thoroughly that you'll be fine. However, if the expansion breaks something you will spend many, many times more than the antifreeze would have cost fixing it.

Finally, about the antifreeze itself. Automotive antifreeze consists of ethylene glycol. This is quite toxic if ingested as it metabolizes into methanol. RV antifreeze contains propylene glycol which is not toxic at all. In fact, PG is very commonly used in food and cosmetic products. Furthermore, PG is easily degraded by the environment. If your aversion to using RV antifreeze is because you think it might be toxic; you are incorrect.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:22 AM   #15
Joseph Fiumara
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Default Re: Winterization with RV antifreeze help

Thank you all! The support group here is fantastic.
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:11 PM   #16
Ann Ossinger
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Default Re: Winterization with RV antifreeze help

I will just "ditto" what kernhend says. We used to only "blow" our pipes out in our old camper and one year got particularly cold. Broke our faucets! Now we blow and use antifreeze. Inexpensive insurance! We also plan to use our Unity this winter to go skiing/snowshoeing so we will be doing this more than a few times this winter. We just went through a trial run of adding snow cables to the rear outer tires in our driveway this week and hoodoo ski area opened today! Yay! Let it snow!!
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: Winterization with RV antifreeze help

I do worry about water getting stuck in the lines, the pinks stuff shows that all the water is out or will mix with the pink stuff. If you are going to blow out the lines look carefully at the schematic of your RV's water system to be sure you know the air is everywhere. A real good rundown on the average RV winterizing is at:



I probably fear this more for the BIG RV that I have, which also has lines going to the washing machine, the ice makers (plural), and the sink on the roof patio.

-Randy
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:44 PM   #18
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Default Re: Winterization with RV antifreeze help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Ossinger View Post
I will just "ditto" what kernhend says. We used to only "blow" our pipes out in our old camper and one year got particularly cold. Broke our faucets! Now we blow and use antifreeze. Inexpensive insurance! We also plan to use our Unity this winter to go skiing/snowshoeing so we will be doing this more than a few times this winter. We just went through a trial run of adding snow cables to the rear outer tires in our driveway this week and hoodoo ski area opened today! Yay! Let it snow!!
How cold did it get the time your faucets broke? Was this in Corvallis?

I heard Hoodoo was opening this weekend :) Haven't skied in years; my husband hates the cold :(

What snow chains did you buy?

Keep us up to date on how they work.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: Winterization with RV antifreeze help

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
You know that all the water is out when no more water comes out. OK, that is a little snarky, but really, it is obvious when you are done.

The procedure:
0) If you have a hot water tank, drain it. If you have a bypass, use it.
1) connect the pump to the city water inlet through an adaptor.
2) Turn it on and let a bit of pressure build up.
3) Starting with the fixture closest to the pressure source, open the cold water outlet. if you have a low-volume pump, you will lose pressure after a few seconds. Just close the valve for a few seconds and let the pressure build up again. Open the valve. If any water comes out, repeat.
4) Do the same with the hot water outlet.
5) Repeat for each outlet, working your way outward, away from the pressure source
6) Wait 10 minutes and repeat the whole process. There will be very little water this time.
7) If you have any removable shower heads or other fixtures, consider moving them into the house for the winter.
8) If you have a Keurig coffemaker, take it indoors.
9) If you have a water filter on your pump, you may want to unscrew it to empty it. Mine seems to empty on its own, though.
10) Pour some yucky pink stuff into all your drain traps.
11) Pour the rest of the gallon into the grey tank and run the macerator until you get pink at the end of the dump hose.

Done! Takes maybe 30 minutes with practice. I often do it 2 or 3 times a season, between cold-weather trips.

Other than $ the downsides of pink stuff are (1) takes longer; (2) tastes gross; (3) needs to be undone every time you want to use your fresh system; (4) messy. I see no advantage whatsoever to using it, other than it perhaps being slightly more forgiving of sloppy execution. But, if you do a double blowout, it is pretty foolproof.
A few things I need clarification on:

1. We have a macerator toilet. Does blowing air through the lines while flushing the toilet clear the water out of the inlet line to the toilet? If not, what would need to be done to protect the toilet? Put anti-freeze in the bowl and flush? I can't think of any other way to get anti-freeze into the toilet without running it through the lines. Would this protect the pump?

2. During winterization with anti-freeze, the cartridge of fresh water filter below the bathroom or galley (depending on Unity model) is removed and the canister that holds it reinstalled. Would you still remove the cartridge before blowing the lines out with air? Reinstall the canister when done?

3. The Unity has a valve in the utility center to choose City water/Normal or Winterize. Set at City water/Normal when using fresh water. Winterize allows you to pump antifreeze into the lines, using the on board water pump. Where would this valve be set to pump air into the system. I'm assuming City Water/Normal, but uncertain of that.
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Last edited by Suza; 12-03-2016 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:00 PM   #20
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Default Re: Winterization with RV antifreeze help

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How cold did it get the time your faucets broke?
It doesn't really matter how cold it gets--just how long it stays below freezing. Water expands significantly when it freezes, but ICE contracts like any other solid. So, if it is below freezing long enough for the water in your fixtures to freeze (which is often a long time, due to residual heat), the damage is already done. It is a myth that frigid temperatures are more dangerous.

EDIT: I have partially changed my mind on the above. See message #24 (below).
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Last edited by avanti; 12-04-2016 at 04:15 PM.
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