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Old 11-11-2019, 09:12 AM   #1
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Winterizing the Fresh Water Tank

OK everyone I posted a question about blowing out the lines with air and we followed all of your procedures yesterday. My question is we drained the freshwater tank and now what? You know weíre fortunate that our rig is stored inside and our building is insulated, however itís not heated but we have 30AMP service. We used RV antifreeze in the drain traps, toilets, gray/black tanks but now can the empty fresh water tank just sit there. You know weíve always had ours done by the dealership and two consecutive times they screwed it up, so I thought surely this isnít that difficult we can do this. Help
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:23 AM   #2
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OK everyone I posted a question about blowing out the lines with air and we followed all of your procedures yesterday. My question is we drained the freshwater tank and now what? You know we’re fortunate that our rig is stored inside and our building is insulated, however it’s not heated but we have 30AMP service. We used RV antifreeze in the drain traps, toilets, gray/black tanks but now can the empty fresh water tank just sit there. You know we’ve always had ours done by the dealership and two consecutive times they screwed it up, so I thought surely this isn’t that difficult we can do this. Help
Now... nothing.

If you drained the tank then any small residual water in there (even if it freezes) won't hurt a thing. And, MANY tanks leave a bit of water in them since the drain isn't always on the bottom of the tank.

I always leave the drain open so if any water trickles down there before it gets cold, it just runs out. If you are worried about bugs/insects, a small piece of screen or a piece of nylon stocking and a rubber band or the screen/washer that goes into a hose connection will often slip on the drain petcock.

Think of water freezing in a non-confined area (such as the fresh tank) as you would ice in an ice cube tray. As long as the water has room to expand it isn't going to break anything. When you make ice cubes in a tray, they don't bust the tray. they simply 'grow' upwards.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:24 AM   #3
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As long as the tank has been drained you are good for the winter as far as the tank goes. What few drops of water in there can safely freeze without damaging anything. The damage from freeze comes from water expanding in pipes and fittings or water heater when they haven't been drained, blown out or treated with RV antifreeze.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:34 AM   #4
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Think of water freezing in a non-confined area (such as the fresh tank) as you would ice in an ice cube tray. As long as the water has room to expand it isn't going to break anything. When you make ice cubes in a tray, they don't bust the tray. they simply 'grow' upwards.
That is a great analogy, one I have not read before now. I'll probably steal it.

Ray
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:01 AM   #5
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Thank You and guys are the Best.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:59 PM   #6
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gotta ask, what did the dealer screw up twice?
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:07 PM   #7
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gotta ask, what did the dealer screw up twice?


First time, water in the water pump, froze and cracked. Second time, anti-freeze in the back water heater. They replaced everything but we still had to mess around with it. I thought surely this is not that difficult and I have to admit we spent about an hour and a half walking through all these details yesterday. But, I feel itís totally complete and good.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:30 PM   #8
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First time, water in the water pump, froze and cracked. Second time, anti-freeze in the back water heater. They replaced everything but we still had to mess around with it. I thought surely this is not that difficult and I have to admit we spent about an hour and a half walking through all these details yesterday. But, I feel itís totally complete and good.
And next year, it will take you about half that time and likely less after that.
Good on you for putting forth the effort to learn!
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:31 PM   #9
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I usually put some air thru the fresh water inlet with the pump on to get the feed line to the pump cleaned out also . Not sure if its needed but works good . just wrap a rag around the air line when putting some air to the tank
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:57 PM   #10
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As long as the water has a place to expand you'll be OK.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:54 PM   #11
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You didn't mention it, but I'm sure you ran the antifreeze through all the faucets, shower heads, the black water tank washout, ice maker, washing machine (if there is one in the coach), etc. And if you have an onboard filter, I'm hoping you removed that and emptied any water in the filter housing before you ran any antifreeze through the unit. If you use a compressor to clear the water out of the lines before adding the RV antifreeze, be sure to limit the pressure to around 40 psi. Oh, and if you have a shower miser, don't forget to clear any water out of that, too. If you didn't begin by opening the low point drains, you'll want to "bleed them" until you see pink. After you get comfortable with the process, it's only a one beer job - two at most!
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:03 PM   #12
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A few people forget the outside shower in the water compartment. Got to winterize that line. Also the filter housing full of water needs emptied.
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:51 PM   #13
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First time, water in the water pump, froze and cracked. Second time, anti-freeze in the back water heater. They replaced everything but we still had to mess around with it. I thought surely this is not that difficult and I have to admit we spent about an hour and a half walking through all these details yesterday. But, I feel itís totally complete and good.
That is why I have always bypassed the hot water heater and pumped anti freeze thru the system. I have never had a problem. I just don't like the air pushing out the water. The anti freeze will be seen when you go through all the faucets and flush the toilet. The pump gets anti freeze in it so no cracks etc. JMHO Takes about 2 to 3 gallons and that is cheap enough security for me.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:29 PM   #14
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You didn't mention it, but I'm sure you ran the antifreeze through all the faucets, shower heads, the black water tank washout, ice maker, washing machine (if there is one in the coach), etc. And if you have an onboard filter, I'm hoping you removed that and emptied any water in the filter housing before you ran any antifreeze through the unit. If you use a compressor to clear the water out of the lines before adding the RV antifreeze, be sure to limit the pressure to around 40 psi. Oh, and if you have a shower miser, don't forget to clear any water out of that, too. If you didn't begin by opening the low point drains, you'll want to "bleed them" until you see pink. After you get comfortable with the process, it's only a one beer job - two at most!


We emptied all the low drains, then the hot water tanks, then re-installed the anode rods, blew air at 40psi through all the faucets/toilet devices, refrigerator water/ice/filter, outside shower, blew air through the water pump, poured anti-freeze into the p-traps, gray/black tanks and into the toilet bowl, removed the anode rods and tonight took the plug off the fresh tank drain. There is no water remaining .....I think.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:51 PM   #15
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We emptied all the low drains, then the hot water tanks, then re-installed the anode rods, blew air at 40psi through all the faucets/toilet devices, refrigerator water/ice/filter, outside shower, blew air through the water pump, poured anti-freeze into the p-traps, gray/black tanks and into the toilet bowl, removed the anode rods and tonight took the plug off the fresh tank drain. There is no water remaining .....I think.

Was going through all the steps while winterizing today and had a first time event develop. When I opened the fresh water tank drain and Hot/cold low point drains nothing came out, NOTHING!! I found that kind of strange. So down on my knees I go and.....all three had dirt dauber nests built in them. So, took a phillip head screwdriver and poked a bit on each one and of course, the water flowed out normally. It was a head scratcher for a few minutes but I guess those critters will get into anything.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:13 AM   #16
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We emptied all the low drains, then the hot water tanks, then re-installed the anode rods, blew air at 40psi through all the faucets/toilet devices, refrigerator water/ice/filter, outside shower, blew air through the water pump, poured anti-freeze into the p-traps, gray/black tanks and into the toilet bowl, removed the anode rods and tonight took the plug off the fresh tank drain. There is no water remaining .....I think.
Sounds like you've got it covered......except for that last step (celebratory beer!). Especially with your previous dealer winterization experiences, you know you've done a better job than the dealer. Next year it will be a breeze!
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:17 AM   #17
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Sounds like you've got it covered......except for that last step (celebratory beer!). Especially with your previous dealer winterization experiences, you know you've done a better job than the dealer. Next year it will be a breeze!


Thank you, appreciate all of your input and support.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:59 AM   #18
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Now... nothing.

If you drained the tank then any small residual water in there (even if it freezes) won't hurt a thing. And, MANY tanks leave a bit of water in them since the drain isn't always on the bottom of the tank.

I always leave the drain open so if any water trickles down there before it gets cold, it just runs out. If you are worried about bugs/insects, a small piece of screen or a piece of nylon stocking and a rubber band or the screen/washer that goes into a hose connection will often slip on the drain petcock.

Think of water freezing in a non-confined area (such as the fresh tank) as you would ice in an ice cube tray. As long as the water has room to expand it isn't going to break anything. When you make ice cubes in a tray, they don't bust the tray. they simply 'grow' upwards.
X2.

Also don't forget to flush out the outside shower and leave the plug out of the water heater.
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:17 AM   #19
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Don't forget to blow out the black tank flush lines. The main concern is the anti-siphon valve.
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:29 AM   #20
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I don't know where the bypass is for the water heater on my Berkshire XL 40E.
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