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Old 10-10-2017, 12:29 PM   #1
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Cardinal 3850 Winterization

I have a 2016 Cardinal 3850 and want to learn to "correctly" winterize it myself. Have reviewed the "How To" videos that come on line but it shows a coach--everything is always a little different. If someone can enlighten me ref the Hot Water Heater By Pass switch--even have a pic--that would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:36 PM   #2
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You might review this thread I did a year ago on this topic

Winterizing newer Cardinals with Nautilus P1 water management system
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:40 AM   #3
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i have a 2015 model 3825 but I think all the concepts are the same. here is what I do. put water heater valve into bypass mode. open filter canister and take out the water filter. reinstall filter canister without filter inside. go to refrigerator and take out water filter. replace it with a 'dummy' filter canister (it is a canister without any filter inside). open low point drains and drain all that comes out. replace caps on drains. connect air compressor to city water input (they make an adapter with male hose threads on one side and tire valve stem on the other that the air compressor attaches to). put regulator on air supply hose set to 20 psi. turn on air compressor and pressurize plumbing lines. go to every faucet (hot and cold) and open it and allow air pressure to blow out water in the line. do not forget washer hook-up valves, toilet, and outside shower valves. (I made a short hose to attach to the washer valves that I can stick down the washer drain in order to open these valves without water spraying all over). also exercise water dispenser valves on refrigerator to blow out refrigerator water supply line. disconnect air compressor. open low point drains and drain again. drain fresh water, gray, and black tanks of any water that got into them. close tank valves. switch winterizing valve to allow water pump to suck antifreeze from outside bottles rather than from fresh water tank. set antifreeze input line into a bottle of antifreeze (may need an extension hose) and turn on water pump. no go to every faucet again an open it until some pink antifreeze comes out. do not forget toilet.you may have to use multiple bottles of antifreeze. again, do not forget washer valves, outside shower valves, and refrigerator. finally, pour some antifreeze down each drain so that it gets into the trap. put some in the toilet bowl. just leave any antifreeze that drained into the water tanks. disconnect hoses and you are done. it sounds a bit daunting but it is not as bad as it seems. just make sure you get pink antifreeze coming out of ALL faucets or valves. some people say you can make do with just using the ari compressor to drain out the lines. others say all you have to do is pump the antifreeze and it is not necessary to blow out the lines with air. both make sense but why not do both? I just don't need the hassle of broken plumbing!
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:59 AM   #4
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First, do you have an air compressor? Make or buy a blow out fitting. Using about 10PSI start blowing out the lines. Remove the water heater anode rod, switch the bypass valves. Once no more water comes out of each faucet and toilet, stop the compressor. If you have a washer you will need to pump antifreeze thru the lines. No washer then bypass this step. Pour antifreeze downmthe P traps and into the toilet bowl. Close things up, you should be done.
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Old 10-12-2017, 05:01 AM   #5
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First, do you have an air compressor? Make or buy a blow out fitting. Using about 10PSI start blowing out the lines. Remove the water heater anode rod, switch the bypass valves. Once no more water comes out of each faucet and toilet, stop the compressor. If you have a washer you will need to pump antifreeze thru the lines. No washer then bypass this step. Pour antifreeze downmthe P traps and into the toilet bowl. Close things up, you should be done.
I used to do the compressed air only thing on my old TT which was pretty simple, but on this cardinal, and maybe the OP's, if you have the residential refridgerator with water/ice then you have to pump the AF through that too. Also, if you dont have the washer/dryer, you still have to connect a hose to those faucets, and include those in your blowout or AF process.

I'm still not keen on just Air only. The maze of water passages behind that nautilus waterpanel is pretty complicated.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:53 AM   #6
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on our model those washer valves are at least 25 feet away from the water inlet panel. to blow them out and then add antifreeze I made a short hose that screws onto the valve and is long enough to be slipped down the drain tube. that way when I open the valve the water is directed down the drain and not sprayed all over. no mess. again I will blow out with air and then pump antifreeze as I don't want any plumbing issues. you're right, there is a lot of plumbing that goes many places and I don't want to take any chances. an hour of effort and a few gallons of antifreeze is a cheap investment.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:58 PM   #7
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Cardinal 3850 Winterization

Want to thank each of you for your contributions. However, one of my key points is the hot water cut off valve; I think I know where it is but not 100% sure I recognize it vs anything else. Last year I just did the compressed air; we have hookups for W/D but choose not to have one in rig; also, we don't use water or ice from residential type reefer so should be no water in the lines ???? correct??? I know my dealer should be answering some of these questions but due to distance and other problems with dealer, getting answers from owners seems to be a much easier solution. Thanks again.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:24 PM   #8
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would not be sure there is no water in the refrigerator unless you verify the shut off valve position. there is a small valve in the supply line that supplies water to the refrigerator. you will have to trace that line to find where it is. on our cardinal it is buried behind the water control panel (it is not part of that panel) and can only be accessed by taking an access panel off a basement bulkhead wall. if that valve is closed so not water is getting to the refrigerator then i'd assume no water in refrigerator. if valve is open you have water in the refrigerator. I'm not sure there is a 'hot water shutoff valve'. there is a hot water bypass valve that works with some built in check valves to allow cold water to flow into the hot water lines and keeps it out of entering the hot water heater. set this valve to bypass and now you can blow air or antifreeze through all the cold water and hot water lines while bypassing the water heater. in bypass mode you can take out the water heater anode rod and drain the hot water heater. the most critical thing is to go to every faucet, including outside shower, toilet, washer, and ensure that you are getting air or antifreeze out of each when blowing out the plumbing lines or pumping antifreeze in them.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:56 PM   #9
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If you have the same water docking station that I show a photo of in that attached link, the water heater bypass is just a valve setting on the panel. There is a winterization setting that pumps the af everywhere except the water heater. But you are going to want to use air to blow all those lines out as af won't go to the water heater.
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CHICKDOE View Post
i have a 2015 model 3825 but I think all the concepts are the same. here is what I do. put water heater valve into bypass mode. open filter canister and take out the water filter. reinstall filter canister without filter inside. go to refrigerator and take out water filter. replace it with a 'dummy' filter canister (it is a canister without any filter inside). open low point drains and drain all that comes out. replace caps on drains. connect air compressor to city water input (they make an adapter with male hose threads on one side and tire valve stem on the other that the air compressor attaches to). put regulator on air supply hose set to 20 psi. turn on air compressor and pressurize plumbing lines. go to every faucet (hot and cold) and open it and allow air pressure to blow out water in the line. do not forget washer hook-up valves, toilet, and outside shower valves. (I made a short hose to attach to the washer valves that I can stick down the washer drain in order to open these valves without water spraying all over). also exercise water dispenser valves on refrigerator to blow out refrigerator water supply line. disconnect air compressor. open low point drains and drain again. drain fresh water, gray, and black tanks of any water that got into them. close tank valves. switch winterizing valve to allow water pump to suck antifreeze from outside bottles rather than from fresh water tank. set antifreeze input line into a bottle of antifreeze (may need an extension hose) and turn on water pump. no go to every faucet again an open it until some pink antifreeze comes out. do not forget toilet.you may have to use multiple bottles of antifreeze. again, do not forget washer valves, outside shower valves, and refrigerator. finally, pour some antifreeze down each drain so that it gets into the trap. put some in the toilet bowl. just leave any antifreeze that drained into the water tanks. disconnect hoses and you are done. it sounds a bit daunting but it is not as bad as it seems. just make sure you get pink antifreeze coming out of ALL faucets or valves. some people say you can make do with just using the ari compressor to drain out the lines. others say all you have to do is pump the antifreeze and it is not necessary to blow out the lines with air. both make sense but why not do both? I just don't need the hassle of broken plumbing!


I do what you do with one exception: I remove the filter as I purge lines: ( remove canister, remove filter, re attach empty canister ). Once lines are AIR PURGED; then use pump to run anti freeze through. YES, canister fills with anti freeze. Once complete, I pour that canister anti freeze down the kitchen sink. ( no waste ).

Start to finish 30 minutes.
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:21 AM   #11
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CHICKDOE, would you consider giving me a call, at your convenience; maybe u can answer a couple of related questions. Tks. A. Hicks
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:21 AM   #12
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CHICKDOE, sorry, forget number: 256-361-4581
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:27 AM   #13
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would this afternoon be ok? wife and I have doctors appts this morning
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:44 AM   #14
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Perfect but I have Physical Therapy at 3:50 Central Time
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