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Old 10-29-2014, 04:06 PM   #1
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First time Winterizing, have questions!!

MY wife and I bought a Coachmen Chaparral 40ft 5th wheel (new) the beginning of this month and did our first trip Columbus Day weekend. After reading up on winterizing, I figured I'd attempt to do it myself.

The method I used was with an air compressor. So essentially I opened up the hot and cold drain tubes under neath as well as the rear tube behind my rear axle and drained all water out. I then closed off all 3.

I then went inside and opened the cold on the kitchen sink while my wife had the air compressor hooked up running about 25psi. Water slowly poured out until it was more of a mist and then pure air. I did each hot/cold separately between kitchen and bathroom sinks as well as the hot/cold of the shower. I also ran the toilet until it was just air coming out.

So I'm pretty comfortable with the lines being completely clear. I did buy 1 gallon of antifreeze and dump it in each drain (sinks/shower) as well as some down the toilet.

So here comes the questions. My hot water tank is a gas/electric one and when I pulled up the manual online for this model, there does not seem to be a bypass unless I'm missing something. What I did was open the pressure relief on the top and removed the plug with the green X at the bottom and drained it.



So the hot water heater is a Atwood GC10A-4E and in the manual under winterizing it states:

Quote:
WINTERIZING INSTRUCTIONS
1. Turn off your main water supply, that is, your pump or your water hook up source.
2. Drain your water heater inner tank. Upon doing so, you will note that, due to the location of the drain plug, approximately two quarts of water will remain in the bottom of the tank. This water contains most of the harmful corrosive particles. If while draining the unit, you note that it is flowing sporadically or trickling, instead of flowing steadily, we recommend one of two things. You should first open your relief valve to allow air into the tank and secondly, take a small gauge wire or coat hanger device and prod through the drain opening to eliminate any obstructions.
3. After thoroughly draining the tank, you should then flush it with air pressure or fresh water. If you elect to use air pressure, it may be applied either through the inlet or outlet on the rear of the tank. It may also be applied through the relief valve part. In this case, it will be necessary to first remove the relief valve support flange. In either case, with the drain valve open, the air pressure will force the remaining water, along with the corrosive particles, out of the unit. However, if air pressure is unavailable, your unit can be flushed with fresh water. Fresh water should be pumped into the tank either with the assistance of the on-board pump or with the assistance of external water either through the inlet or outlet found on the rear or the relief valve coupling located on the front of the unit. Continue this flushing process for approximately five minutes allowing ample time for the fresh water to agitate the stagnant water on the bottom of the tank and thus forcing the deposits through the drain opening.
4. Upon completion of the steps above, replace the drain plug and the pressure-temperature relief valve.
5. After this procedure, there will be approximately two quarts of water left at the bottom of the inner tank. Should this water freeze it will not cause any splitting of the tank.

So to sum it up, seems that once I drain it, it is good to go even with a little bit of water inside. Also seems that there is no bypass to worry about as well as no Anode rod to remove.

Lastly, in regards to the water pump. I did turn the pump on and nothing came through the lines so I'm assuming it is empty. Should there be anything to do with the pump in regards to winterizing based on what I did above and there being no water pumped? We only used it once and had full hookup so unless the dealer "tested" the pump by putting water in the tank, there is nothing in there.

Anything else you guys can think of? All I need is a crack, leak or major repair come Spring.

Thanks for reading my book and I appreciate any feedback given!!
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:20 PM   #2
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How about the outside faucet,if you have one?On my Chappy I have a winterize port in the side box where the hose hooks up for water.I stick the hose in a gallon jug and pump a little antifreeze in.Also check the Black tank flush valve and make sure it's blown dry.I also dump some antifreeze into the holding tanks just in case there is a little water left in them.Lastly I put a inch or so on top of the flush ball in the toilet.Hope this helps some,Dave
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:28 PM   #3
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If you have a bypass it will be inside the trailer right behind the water heater.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:28 PM   #4
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Yup, what they said. Any outside hookups, washer hookups, etc need blown out. I would think you have a wh bypass, but it's only needed if your pumping pink stuff in. Other than that, make sure all tanks are drained. Should have a fresh water drain for that tank, and empty grey(s) and black tank as normal.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveandSue View Post
How about the outside faucet,if you have one?On my Chappy I have a winterize port in the side box where the hose hooks up for water.I stick the hose in a gallon jug and pump a little antifreeze in.Also check the Black tank flush valve and make sure it's blown dry.I also dump some antifreeze into the holding tanks just in case there is a little water left in them.Lastly I put a inch or so on top of the flush ball in the toilet.Hope this helps some,Dave
Completely spaced the outdoor shower so I will take care of that tomorrow.

Here is my outdoor setup..



So there is the hot and cold drain there which was taken care of. Then at the back of the trailer is one drain as well, no clue what it goes to but when I opened it, a bunch of water came out (maybe the low point in the camper??).

I am a visual person so don't mind the pics.. So looking from the outside of the hot water tank, my kitchen slide is less then 2 feet to the right. So when I go inside and look at the edge of the slide within 2 feet, there is my sink/cabinets and wall behind sink.



I checked all cabinets and there is nothing in there. On the opposite side of the kitchen sink wall is the kids double bunk rooms so there is nothing there either and that is on a slide that is to the left of the hot water tank.

The only thing I can think of is if the bypass is next to the pump which doesn't make sense because then there would be water from the bypass next to the pump all the way to the hot water tank. I'm going to send an email to the service manager asking him about that.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:40 PM   #6
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Ohh and based on my outdoor setup above, any idea how the black flush works? The specs say it comes standard but I don't see anything there that would activate any type of spray heads or flush system inside the tank.

I am sure someone is asking "didn't the dealer walk you through this" but I bought from a dealer 1,200 miles away so unfortunately this is what I have to deal with.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:44 PM   #7
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in my new 36 ft Chappy 5th wheel, I have to remove the "wall" in the basement to crawl in to access the rear of water heater to turn bypass valves. Just a few screws and wall is out of way
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:52 PM   #8
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I have the same htr as you, is yours next to your basement? If so you may have (as I do) a removable panel inside the basement near the water heater....remove the panel & the bypass valves will be there behind the water heater.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:53 PM   #9
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Dave you beat me to it by only minutes
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:54 PM   #10
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My water heater bypass valves can be used by removing a panel under the fridge.

The water filter is behind a false wall in the basement on the street side.
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