Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-29-2019, 07:18 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 8
Blow out lines vs Anti freeze

I've done some reading and the issue seems to vary greatly among people. What is the best way to winterize your plumbing. I live up in cny where it can get into the -20s. I've read some people just blow out their lines others use antifreeze and some blow it out, then use antifreeze.
My main concerns with blowing lines out is I will miss some whater somehwere at some point and have an expensive bill. Also I remember reading something about sagging lines.
On the other hand I've read that the AntiFreeze can be hard to get out of the system sometimes, as well people taste the antifreeze even after fushing the lines multiple times. I've come to understand there are 2 typesm the Ethonal based and Gycol based ones. Is it true the non ethonal is easier to get out and get the system back to normal during de winterzation compaired to the Ethonal one. Also that the Ethonal one can tend to dry out seals in the pipes compaired to the other type. I am really trying to do whats best to extend the life of the equipment.

Thanks for your time
__________________

afmiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2019, 07:34 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
A32Deuce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Posts: 8,020
I blow all the lines 3 times. First I empty the fresh tank then run the pump about a minute or so till the onboard water filter is half empty. I remove the filter close the bypass valves on the WH, put the filter housing back on and blow the lines out 3 times. Start at the furthest faucet and open working my way back to the toilet. By the third time no mist comes out so the system is empty. Empty the filter housing and dry it out. Then release pressure in the WH, drain and flush it out. Pour about a half gallon AF for the 2 tanks and about a gallon each trap and toilet. That's about 2 gallons total AF. Been doing this way since 2012. Also several times in the winter since we have camped down to 16 degrees. But that's me. Others do different.
__________________

__________________
2012 SunSeeker 3100SS Toad-1962 Futura Average 100 + days camping
A32Deuce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2019, 07:37 PM   #3
Member
 
Oldbears's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 80
I've always winterized by blowing out the lines. After thoroughly draining all tanks and the low points I hit it with air. Of course, being very careful not to blow fittings. (I've been doing this so long I can hear a change in "pitch" as I add air and know to stop.) I air up, open something, air up again, open something, etc... Usually repeating this 2-3 times per each side of the faucets, the toilet, and the low point valves. Then I remove the shower heads and hoses, kitchen spigot, remove the anode from the HWH, and the little filter on the water pump. I only pour RV antifreeze into the traps.

We don't get -20 in our neck of the woods (TN mountains), but we do get consistently freezing weather all winter.

You're correct, you will get several opinions on this issue.
__________________
2019 E-Pro 14fk
"Some people go camping to relax - you should try it."
Oldbears is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2019, 07:43 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
RandK-M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 430
If I had to guess based on posts here over the years, I would say it's most common for people that live in sub zero climates to use antifreeze. That said, two years ago I stopped filling the system with the pink stuff and just blow out all the lines. I do add the antifreeze to all the traps, the toilet, and some in each waste tank, mainly for the drain valves.
I stopped, because although most say they can't tell, even after sanitizing with bleach in the spring, I can smell/taste the pink antifreeze for the first couple trips. I think unlike copper, the plastic PEX pipe must absorb the smell/taste of the pink antifreeze.

I've been using air to blow everything out and since my camper is kept at home, I go back the next day and open the lowpoint drains again to verify there is no water and it held air for 24 hours. Be sure to check the water heater and filter housing if you have one. Actually, last year, my first dose of air even got the filter housing virtually empty which was pretty impressive since it was full of water when I started. The way I see it is that even if there was a tiny amount of water in a line, tank, etc, it would have to be enough that when it expanded due to freezing, it would expand whatever it was in also.

We've gotten down to -10 F and I haven't had any issues, but antifreeze is also good piece of mind and cheap if if that's someones choice. I've helped winterize a cabin where it gets to -20 and air was all we ever used there also except for traps and the toilet.

Ray
__________________
2017 Rockwood 2109S
Ram 1500
Me Her And a furry little dog
US Navy Veteran
RandK-M is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2019, 07:44 PM   #5
Site Team
 
Flybob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 10,202
This is an annual debate that occurs every fall. There are people that have had success with both. There are a few people who have had issues with air only. No one has had an issue with antifreeze. I do both an extra 30 mins and $6.00 and made it through several 72 hours all below freezing.
__________________

2015 Freedom Express 248RBS
TV 2015 Silverado HD2500 Duramax
TST Tire Monitors
Honda 2000I + Companion
2 100W solar panels
Flybob is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2019, 07:56 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 5,208
All over the country people blow in-ground sprinkler systems out and never put any antifreeze in them.

If you blow out your RV water system taking care to run the air long enough that no water "fog" comes from faucets and drain points what's left to freeze. Water tank and Hot water heater need to be drained as well as filter.

Blow the lines out several times with a pause between sessions to allow water to settle to low points.

Extra work in the fall but a lot easier to get back in service in the spring. "Just add water" as they say. Sanitizing is the real task as you don't have to spend extra time flushing out the anti-freeze (then sanitizing).
__________________
Sami. my Shih-Tsu "Co-Pilot" R.I.P
Politically Incorrect since 1943
"Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the tree"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 01:03 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
MilCop4523's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: In a big child free home - except for me
Posts: 1,575
we've seen -45 degree winters here in Canada. I found blowing the lines only leaves water remaining. I used 1 gallon of antifreeze last 3 years each year. one manufacturers division told me I needed to fill my FW tank with it and then pump it...lol
Nope.
I pull the HW tank rod after pressure is released! and leave the plug out.
bypass the HWT and then drain the FW tank
Close the FW tank when empty.
Taps all off I them air blow as someone said from the furthest spot (toyhauler it is the outside shower.)
witch to my winterization hose andthen
then the kitchen sink and the toilet and shower with BR sink.
I take off the shower hoses and store them for the winter
Then some down into the traps.
done
then comes the debate over RV antifreeze types... ethanol or the other kind.
SORRY
__________________
TV 2018 Ford F250, hauling a 2018 KZ 331 TH 12 Sportster 5th wheel, packing a 2015 CF MOTO 800 U-Force SXS
MilCop4523 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 01:04 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: ILLINOIS
Posts: 97
I have blown lines for 4 years, no problem. I do blow them out one day and then drive it around then blow them out again next day. We get below zero weather.
KNMIB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 01:10 PM   #9
D W
Senior Member
 
D W's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: ALASKA (World's Biggest Campground)
Posts: 1,460
The two types of antifreeze you speak of are Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol. Two completely different chemical compounds, but both use "glycol" as a suspension agent. Ethylene Glycol is your typical automotive type antifreeze/deicer. It is an organic compound that is poison. NOTE: Another antifreeze derived from Ethylene Glycol is Polyethylene Glycol (PEG). It differs from EG as it is not toxic and has medical uses. Newer automobiles use this compound (usually orange in color),in their cooling systems and it is often advertised as extended-life antifreeze. Propylene Glycol, a non toxic compound. purposely colored pink is formulated for RV & marine use as a water system antifreeze. While it may cause digestive discomfort if ingested in large quantities, it is not a poison.

In my neck of the woods, we don't fool around with "blowing the lines out" with air. Waste of time. Air will take the least path of resistance and may go over the top of a pocket of low water in lines and you'll never know it. Many a person has just blown their lines out only to find a pocket of water got trapped in the toilet valve. They find out quickly in the spring when they go to sanitize the lines. I use the Propylene Glycol, often referred to as "pink stuff" to positively displace the residual water in the lines. In over 40 years I have never had a left over taste of pink stuff in either PVC or PEX plumbing after a good spring flush & sanitization.
__________________
'04 K3500 Silverado LS with LS3 Connect & Cruise- with Intimidator SSI PKG- Reprogrammed 4L80E
2016 Salem 27RKSS
1984 CHEV SCOTTSDALE K20 2GCGK24J0EXXXXXXX (Chevrolet Legends-Class of 2019)
"...exhaust fluid? We don't need no stinkin' exhaust fluid"
D W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 01:15 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Northfield MN
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by afmiller View Post
I've done some reading and the issue seems to vary greatly among people. What is the best way to winterize your plumbing. I live up in cny where it can get into the -20s. I've read some people just blow out their lines others use antifreeze and some blow it out, then use antifreeze.
My main concerns with blowing lines out is I will miss some whater somehwere at some point and have an expensive bill. Also I remember reading something about sagging lines.
On the other hand I've read that the AntiFreeze can be hard to get out of the system sometimes, as well people taste the antifreeze even after fushing the lines multiple times. I've come to understand there are 2 typesm the Ethonal based and Gycol based ones. Is it true the non ethonal is easier to get out and get the system back to normal during de winterzation compaired to the Ethonal one. Also that the Ethonal one can tend to dry out seals in the pipes compaired to the other type. I am really trying to do whats best to extend the life of the equipment.

Thanks for your time
I do both: blow them out first, then pump in the antifreeze. Here in MN it gets to the -30s in the winter, so better safe than sorry. It really takes very little extra time to pump in the antifreeze in the fall and pump it out again in the spring. It's the sanitizing that takes the most time in the spring, and you would need to do that regardless of whether you used antifreeze or not. Neither DW nor I have ever noticed any "taste" from the antifreeze after I'm done sanitizing.
__________________
2018 Grand Design Imagine 2600RB
2019 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 LT Crew Cab, Vortec 6L V8, 4.10 Rear Axle
Equal-i-zer 1,200/12,000# Hitch
Mark Ulmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 01:19 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
tapex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Central N.C.
Posts: 1,084
I do both, never had any issues. Grandpa told me long ago, a little extra time with all evasive measures saves a ton of money!
__________________
2016 Coachmen Apex 250RLS Ultra Light
'19 Ram Big Horn Lonestar Sport
(3)yrs.=(865)Days
tapex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 01:41 PM   #12
Kasual Kamper
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Fairfield County CT
Posts: 946
Okay, "sanitizing" is a new wrinkle for me. We typically don't use our fresh water tank (camp mostly at campgrounds with W&E), so besides running copious amount of water through the system to flush the pink stuff out in the spring, what do you do to "sanitize"?
__________________
Current: 2013 Flagstaff MicroLite 21DS
Past: 2000 Fleetwood Mallard 19N
TV: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4x4
JayArras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 02:08 PM   #13
D W
Senior Member
 
D W's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: ALASKA (World's Biggest Campground)
Posts: 1,460
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayArras View Post
Okay, "sanitizing" is a new wrinkle for me. We typically don't use our fresh water tank (camp mostly at campgrounds with W&E), so besides running copious amount of water through the system to flush the pink stuff out in the spring, what do you do to "sanitize"?
See this thread for info:

How to sanitize my fresh water tank?
__________________
'04 K3500 Silverado LS with LS3 Connect & Cruise- with Intimidator SSI PKG- Reprogrammed 4L80E
2016 Salem 27RKSS
1984 CHEV SCOTTSDALE K20 2GCGK24J0EXXXXXXX (Chevrolet Legends-Class of 2019)
"...exhaust fluid? We don't need no stinkin' exhaust fluid"
D W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 02:08 PM   #14
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 10,473
The 'opinions' are all over the place on this one.

As Flybob mentioned, this is an annual debate.

With that said, during these debates and the follow-up posts the next spring, I have read and heard of several folks who had something freeze and break when only blowing out the plumbing with air. Did they do it correctly?... I don't know... but I have NEVER read/heard of anyone having a freeze/break issue when using antifreeze.

It only takes ONE drop to trickle back down from the rim of the toilet to freeze and break a plastic toilet valve.

Personally, I blow out first, then add antifreeze. This does three things...
1. It keeps the antifreeze from mixing with water in the system which would effectively reduce the protection value.
2. You use LESS antifreeze because when you see pink coming from the faucet/toilet, it is pure antifreeze and not watered down so you can shut the faucet off right away.
3. Pulling antifreeze in through the pump addresses the often overlooked water that remains in the pump and suction/strainer when just blowing out. Some will 'claim' they simply run the pump after blowing out but I say... do that and then look in the suction/strainer and see how much water is left in there! Not for me!

Best is subjective and what is best for you may not be best for me and vice-versa.

For me, even just one case of something broken from the blow out method, is reason enough for me to spend the extras $10 and 15-20 minutes to add antifreeze.

In 40 years I have never experienced a taste issue after sanitizing in the spring.

Also... DO NOT add antifreeze to your fresh water tank. Use the winterization port or buy an antifreeze injection kit and add it to your R/V. Most fresh water drain valves do not completely empty the tank and you will have one heck of a time flushing the antifreeze from the fresh tank.

One more thing... if you have a factory on-board water filter you will need to remove the filter cartridge and address any water drops left on the housing or threads. Again there have been reports of removing the cartridge and not wiping the threads and the bowl froze/cracked over winter. There's that one drop again...
__________________
_________________________________________
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel-Goodyear Endurance Tires
2017 Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4 - Factory Puck B&W Companion
TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater - Sinemate 3500w Gen.

Days Camped: '16=46 '17=30 '18=51 '19=50
5picker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 02:09 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Northfield MN
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayArras View Post
Okay, "sanitizing" is a new wrinkle for me. We typically don't use our fresh water tank (camp mostly at campgrounds with W&E), so besides running copious amount of water through the system to flush the pink stuff out in the spring, what do you do to "sanitize"?
It's not just the freshwater tank, it's also all the water lines that you sanitize. The basic procedure is to run some bleach into the freshwater tank (1/4 cup bleach per 15 gallons of total freshwater capacity--include your water heater capacity too), then fill the freshwater tank. Use the water pump to pump the bleach/water mixture to all faucets/valves one at a time (don't forget about outside shower, low point drain valves, etc.) until you can smell the bleach at the faucet. Then top off the freshwater tank and leave the whole thing sit for several hours at a minimum, overnight if possible. After the elapsed time, open all the taps and pump out all the water until your tank is empty. Then refill your freshwater tank (no bleach this time) and pump it out each faucet until you can no longer smell the bleach. You do this whole procedure after you've pumped all the antifreeze out.
__________________
2018 Grand Design Imagine 2600RB
2019 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 LT Crew Cab, Vortec 6L V8, 4.10 Rear Axle
Equal-i-zer 1,200/12,000# Hitch
Mark Ulmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 02:16 PM   #16
Kasual Kamper
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Fairfield County CT
Posts: 946
Quote:
Originally Posted by D W View Post
See this thread for info:

How to sanitize my fresh water tank?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Ulmer View Post
It's not just the freshwater tank, it's also all the water lines that you sanitize. The basic procedure is to run some bleach into the freshwater tank (1/4 cup bleach per 15 gallons of total freshwater capacity--include your water heater capacity too), then fill the freshwater tank.
Like I said, I don't USE my freshwater tank, so those procedures seem like overkill. I suppose I could just mix up a bleach solution as noted and then pump that into the lines the same way that I pump the antifreeze solution into them. Then flush a couple of times.
__________________
Current: 2013 Flagstaff MicroLite 21DS
Past: 2000 Fleetwood Mallard 19N
TV: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4x4
JayArras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 02:24 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Northfield MN
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayArras View Post
Like I said, I don't USE my freshwater tank, so those procedures seem like overkill. I suppose I could just mix up a bleach solution as noted and then pump that into the lines the same way that I pump the antifreeze solution into them. Then flush a couple of times.
You may not use the freshwater tank, but you do use all the water lines as well as your water heater tank when you're using city water. The point is to get the bleach into them and leave it sit for long enough for the bleach to kill any nasty bugs that may be left in those lines. Using the freshwater tank is a convenient way to do it. Besides, even if you normally don't use your freshwater tank, one day you may find yourself needing it. If it's never been sanitized, who knows what kind of bacteria might have made it their home...
__________________
2018 Grand Design Imagine 2600RB
2019 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 LT Crew Cab, Vortec 6L V8, 4.10 Rear Axle
Equal-i-zer 1,200/12,000# Hitch
Mark Ulmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 02:25 PM   #18
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 10,473
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayArras View Post
Like I said, I don't USE my freshwater tank, so those procedures seem like overkill. I suppose I could just mix up a bleach solution as noted and then pump that into the lines the same way that I pump the antifreeze solution into them. Then flush a couple of times.
You could do that.

As a side note... I would never own an R/V that I moved from place to place without the ability to have fresh water at ALL times. That requires having a good working and sanitized fresh water tank.

Been to several campgrounds where there was no water available when we got there because the campground had pump or water issues.

Also been 5 hours into a 8 hour trip where another party traveling with us had mechanical issues. We had to camp out in the service department parking lot and never made it to what we thought was our destination. I was glad to have water on board. Even enough to supply the other party with some because they didn't travel with fresh water.

If you were seasonal or permanent, then you may look at that differently.
__________________
_________________________________________
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel-Goodyear Endurance Tires
2017 Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4 - Factory Puck B&W Companion
TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater - Sinemate 3500w Gen.

Days Camped: '16=46 '17=30 '18=51 '19=50
5picker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 03:18 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
oldsmasma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 604
Another Canadian here. We’re in Northeastern Ontario where it’s been known to hit -40. DH always blows the lines and adds a half cup or so of rv antifreeze to each drain. He’s been working off the same gallon jug for 4 years. Never any issues.
__________________

Phil, Heather & Olaf the Boxer
Ontario Canada
Lexington 283GTS
oldsmasma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2019, 03:32 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Filterman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: White Rock BC
Posts: 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbears View Post
I've always winterized by blowing out the lines. After thoroughly draining all tanks and the low points I hit it with air. Of course, being very careful not to blow fittings. (I've been doing this so long I can hear a change in "pitch" as I add air and know to stop.) I air up, open something, air up again, open something, etc... Usually repeating this 2-3 times per each side of the faucets, the toilet, and the low point valves. Then I remove the shower heads and hoses, kitchen spigot, remove the anode from the HWH, and the little filter on the water pump. I only pour RV antifreeze into the traps.

We don't get -20 in our neck of the woods (TN mountains), but we do get consistently freezing weather all winter.

You're correct, you will get several opinions on this issue.
Agree with your method completely. Iíve never removed the kitchen spigot but otherwise exactly the same. We are in Southern BC in Canada so donít get real cold temperatures but always a few nights or a week or two of freezing temperatures.
__________________

Filterman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:21 AM.


×