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Old 09-16-2015, 10:02 PM   #1
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Compressor for Winterizing?

I would prefer to blow out water lines rather than suck in antifreeze. I figure that I could keep a lightweight (< 25# or so) compact compressor onboard and also use it to inflate tires etc. if necessary.

I looked at several recommended compressors, and almost ordered a Viair 88P until I realized that it only has a fixed hose to air up tires and no pressure regulator.

Some Amazon reviewers say that low CFM compressors with small tanks are not suitable for blowing out RV lines.

Does any of you have experience with this?
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:15 PM   #2
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I have always used an air comp to blow out lines and added -30* windshield washer fluid to the p-traps when winterizing. Bought a Dewalt comp from HD and carry it in the back of the truck. Lots of people use comps from Harbor Freight/Northern Tool, <$100.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:29 PM   #3
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Just me, but I would never trust that compressed air will get all the water out of low spots. At 4 bucks a gallon, RV anti freeze is my cheap insurance.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:47 PM   #4
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Failed Winterization?

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Originally Posted by Bluepill View Post
never trust that compressed air will get all the water out of low spots.
Has anyone experienced this problem in real life? For me it's more than saving a few bucks on antifreeze, it's also not having to deal with lines full of pink stuff on the next trip.

Greg
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Has anyone experienced this problem in real life? For me it's more than saving a few bucks on antifreeze, it's also not having to deal with lines full of pink stuff on the next trip.

Greg
When I was in the marina bussiness we winterized about 400 boats a year.Most had water systems comparable to a large 2 bath 5w. We always pumped pink thru useing the onboard fw pump. Never had a freezer in 10 years. The pink will clear the lines in only 3 or 4 minutes if you use the onboard pump. If you pour it in the tank,you will never get it all out and the residual water in your "drained" tank will dilute it and make it unreliable. All the above said,we always checked anything we winterized with a spectrometer and tagged the boat acordingly.
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluepill View Post
Just me, but I would never trust that compressed air will get all the water out of low spots. At 4 bucks a gallon, RV anti freeze is my cheap insurance.
I agree using the compressor to get most of the water out prior to adding the pink stuff. For one the compressor hooked up to the city water inlet will not get water out of the pump also if there is a low spot in a line the air will flow over the water leaving a spot to freeze. Sink traps also can't get all water out and will break, toilet lines are another possible.
As to having it happen not in an RV but copper pipes in a camp had a low spot that air didn't clear, they froze and broke and made a mess plus a pain to repair.
$10 and a little convenience are a small price to pay to avoid a possible expensive repair.
Will stay with pink stuff.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:38 AM   #7
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This link will show you the fittings you can use to blow out your water lines

Amazon.com: rv water line blowout

Basically, you screw the fitting into your system - usually at the water heater drain plug or at the city water inlet. Make sure ALL your spigots are open inside ... then add compressed air. The water in your lines will flow and eventually "sputter" out of your faucets. There is so little residual water in your lines that even if it freezes, there will be expansion room for it and your lines should be OK. I don't think a small portable compressor will push sufficient air. It should have an air tank and allow a few minutes of air at around 20 PSI to push all the water out. Another workable solution would be get a portable air tank which you can fill at home or at a friendly compressor owners house. They're around 30 bucks and even cheaper used on Craigslist.

When doing this at first make sure your low point drains are closed. After using the compressed air, open the drains to allow low residual water puddles to flow out. Make sure to add RV antifreeze to each drain to prevent your P Traps from freezing and to add some to the black water tank, just in case.

I've never had a freeze using this process in 20 years during which we have had several weeks of sub 20 degree temps.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:45 AM   #8
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i use a harbor freight compressor to blow out all the lines thru the city water connection, then once everything is blowing air I go under the trailer and open up the low point drains and fresh water valves to make sure those don't have any trapped water. After doing those steps I use the water pump inside the trailer to pump the pink stuff throughout the trailer. Haven't had an issue yet and don't want one....

PS. don't forget outside shower as well. can easily be overlooked if not used all that often.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:04 AM   #9
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I'm, also, with the pink-stuff crowd. Yes, it's a pain but not as big a pain if I have pipes or a water-pump that cracks. (And I have seen a couple of brass pipes crack from freezing water on my sprinkler system.)

I've always used the fresh water inlet for the compressor, have not tried the hot water heater drain, so will have to, also, try that this pre-winter.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfior View Post
I would prefer to blow out water lines rather than suck in antifreeze. I figure that I could keep a lightweight (< 25# or so) compact compressor onboard and also use it to inflate tires etc. if necessary.

I looked at several recommended compressors, and almost ordered a Viair 88P until I realized that it only has a fixed hose to air up tires and no pressure regulator.

Some Amazon reviewers say that low CFM compressors with small tanks are not suitable for blowing out RV lines.

Does any of you have experience with this?
I use this one. If you watch for it, you can catch it on sale for about $30.

It has a regulator and goes to 100 PSI which is way more than you'll need to blow out the lines.

I dump the pink stuff in after blowing out the lines. Takes maybe 15-20 minutes total.
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