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Old 10-22-2018, 02:13 PM   #1
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Winterizing with Propolene Glycol or Ethanol Based Antifreeze

Seems like there are two basic types of RV Antifreeze on the market. One Propolene Glycol based and the other Ethanol based. Supposedly the Ethanol based product is cheaper.

All I read says that both do the job but the Ethanol based product leaves a nasty taste in the system and can also cause seals in valves and rubber in pump to deteriorate.

Personally I've just used a large compressor to dry my system out and poured some "Pink Stuff" (cheapest) in the P-Traps. Worked for close to 40 years but now that I have a trailer with the winterizing system built in (bypass valves and Antifreeze inlet) I'm going to spend less time with my compressor and pump in some Pink Stuff.

What do those of you that winterize use and find to be the "kindest" to your water system? The stuff sells for anywhere from just ovder $2 per gallon to over $10 per gallon. That's a big spread and I'm wondering just how much more I would get for the extra $8/gal.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:18 PM   #2
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Here is a thread from last week asking the same question.

Pink stuff all the same?
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:55 PM   #3
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I have always paid around $2.50 for RV antifreeze -50 degrees. I always sanitize after flushing out the pink stuff , freshens it up makes it ready to use.
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Old 11-05-2018, 05:09 AM   #4
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Having read about the benefits of using propylene glycol over ethanol based products, I spent about $5 per gallon at Lowes instead of $3 per at Wal-Mart.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:28 AM   #5
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I drain the system and pressurize with some air to remove pooling water and let it go at that. No way I put all those Chemicals into the plumbing.
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by fredoe61 View Post
I drain the system and pressurize with some air to remove pooling water and let it go at that. No way I put all those Chemicals into the plumbing.
And what do you do for the water traps in sink and showers? There is always water left in these areas and prone to freeze. Later RJD
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:31 AM   #7
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In my opinion, it is virtually impossible to get all the water out of a system using air. The small amount of moisture that is left will eventually make its way to a low point and accumulate. If this is in the PEX you are fine, however if this is in a plastic fitting, it will freeze and crack. Also blowing the lines via the city water connection leaves water in the pump and small pump filter ( both plastic). For the small cost in time and materials to use antifreeze it is not worth the risk.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:48 AM   #8
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And what do you do for the water traps in sink and showers? There is always water left in these areas and prone to freeze. Later RJD
I take the trap off and empty it. It only takes a few min. I'm also in South Carolina so I have to to qualify that the winters arent especially brutal.
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:31 PM   #9
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I take the trap off and empty it. It only takes a few min. I'm also in South Carolina so I have to to qualify that the winters arent especially brutal.
What about the pump and strainer on it's intake?

This was a fairly large problem back before the "Winterizing Ports" were added at the factory. If one merely blew out the line water still remained in the pump, check valve, and strainer. Many would pull the intake hose off the pump, connect a temporary hose, and suck antifreeze out of the jug to protect pump, etc.

If you merely blow out system do you run the air long enough to thouroughly dry out the water lines? If not whatever wetted the inside of the lines will settle in the various lower points in the water system with possible damage occuring during a hard freeze. Just like when you empty a beer/wine bottle then notice the next day that there is still some left in the bottom when you get ready to toss it out.

Naturally the danger varies from climate to climate. SC may see freezing weather but how cold and how long. Go to places in Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc and when it gets cold it gets COLD and lasts more than a week or so.

Where I live it only gets cold (like 20 degees or so) for a week or so at a time and freeze damage is rare unless lines are totally filled with water. Considering the cost and effort of fixing freeze damage some RV Anti-Freeze is a minor expense, even if you do buy the "high priced spread".
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