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Old 06-24-2018, 11:42 PM   #1
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Dewinterizing need help Flagstaff t12rbst

Hello,
Newbie be gentle...I have no idea what I'm doing. I purchased a 2017 Flagstaff T12rbst. The previous owner left rv antifreeze in the fresh water tank.

Can somebody please provide me step by step instructions for de-winterizing my unit so that I can use the fresh water tank. I also want to test the hot water heater but am unsure how I fill that.

And... what do I do with the anti freeze? I am reading conflicting things about disposing of rv anti-freeze.

Thanks for the help
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:25 AM   #2
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Ouch, Anti freeze in the fresh water tank? I think the best thing to do is fill Fresh Water tank up with fresh water and empty it but you will have to do that many many times.
Do you know if your water lines still have antifreeze in them? If so I would assume your hot water system is bypassed to prevent antifreeze from being in the hot water heater. I don't want to sound rude but if the previous owner put antifreeze in the fresh water tank there is a good chance he/she may have put anti freeze into the hot water heater which isn't great.
If the hot water system is in by pass mode, connect hose to city water intake, turn on water and open all faucets until they run clear, including outside shower if you have one. Once the water from faucet comes out clear turn off all faucets and turn off the city water into the camper. **Ensure you do that step before moving to next step to prevent any antifreeze that might be in the water lines to enter the hot water heater**
Once you have done that, open up the bypass valve which is behind or very close to the water heater so water will flow into the hot water heater while doing the next step.
As far as your hot water heater goes, ensure it has no power going to it, not hot and open the relief valve to release any pressure which may or may not be in the tank.
If you have a Suburban hot water heater there is an anode rod near the bottom of the tank that you will want to remove before filling it with water being it has been sitting for awhile. Check to see if this needs to be replaced. If you don't have a Hot water tank cleaning wand, spray water into the hole and try to flush out any sediment and junk out of the tank, prepare to get a little wet.
If you have an Atwood water heater there will be a nylon nut that you can remove and empty any liquid from WH.
Assuming it was winterized properly, little to no liquid should come out. If pink comes out you know there is anti freeze in there, again not good, but not the end of the world and you will want to rinse all of that out several times. If nothing comes out use some plumbers tape on the anode rods threads and screw it back into the water heater. Connect water hose to your city connection and turn on the city water. With the relief valve still up, you should hear water filling the hot water tank. When water comes from the relief valve your tank is full and you can now close the relief valve.
As far as disposing the anti freeze you can place a 5 gallon pail under the fresh water tank valve(if you suspect anti freeze being in there) and get what you can. If previous owner put any in there I would hope there isn't a whole lot so a 5 gallon pail i believe would be good enough. Although I wouldn't want to drink RV/boat antifreeze it is made for your fresh water system, so when diluted it won't harm anything. You can also put a bucket near the hot water heater when you remove the anode rod if you think there is antifreeze in it.
I hope this helps you. There are many here that will hit on things I missed and I'm sure they will explain it better than I have.
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:08 AM   #3
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Okay so drain the anitfeeze. Then fill and refill several times the water tank running the water out of the faucet to clean the tank of the antifreeze correct?
The anode was not inserted when I checked the water heater Can you tell me what the by pass valve looks Like?
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:10 AM   #4
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Do I need to take the anti freeze to be disposed of? I’ve read that some people pour it down their household drains
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:20 AM   #5
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Under your unit close to where your fresh water fill port is there might be a little drain valve. If you turn the valve your fresh water tank will drain. Once drained close the valve and repeat several times to get that pink out.

Being that your anode rod wasn't inserted it is safe to say that there is no anti freeze in there but i would rinse the inside of the hot water heater out good before inserting it.

Here is a diagram of how your hot water system is in while normal use and bypass mode.

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Old 06-25-2018, 01:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedo View Post
Do I need to take the anti freeze to be disposed of? I’ve read that some people pour it down their household drains
You can pour it down the drain.
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:25 AM   #7
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Speedo, reread my first response to you. I edited it about 3 times and you replied before i fixed a few things. I hope I didn't make things worse for you, it does seem like a lot but after you do it once or twice it is a breeze.
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:28 AM   #8
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Hello Speedo and welcome to the forum.

Antifreeze in the fresh water tank is not the easiest to flush out.

1. You can dump it on the ground, or if your on city sewer, without any problems. I would suggest you raise the side opposite the drain on a couple of 2" x 6" x 6' boards under the tires to get most of it out.

2. It's going to take a lot of flushing to get it out of the tank. The best you can do is drain the tank and then fill it with water a couple of times. This water you can dump on your lawn without worries. Every time you fill it with clean water you will be diluting what is left.

3. Put a gallon of household vinegar in the tank and fill the rest with water. The vinegar water will help remove any AF aftertaste. Let the vinegar/water set in the tank over night, then drain and flush with water a couple of more times. If you have an on-board water filter, now is a good time to remove the cartridge and put the filter housing back on.

4. Pour in 1/8 cup of chlorine for every 20 gallons your tank holds. Example, pour in 1/4 cup of bleach if you have a 40 gal FW tank. Fill the rest up with water. This should be done every time you de-winterize at the beginning of the season. From here on until your finished you will have chlorinated water going through the plumbing so don't worry about the chlorine smell.

5. Now find the low point drains and open them. Turn on your water pump until you have chlorinated water coming out of the drains. Turn off the pump and close the drains.

6. Turn on the pump again and open the faucet farthest from the pump until you get chlorinated water , close the faucet and move to the next one until you have chlorinated water through all of them. Don't forget the outside shower if you have one. Also, don't forget the toilet or ice maker if you have one on the refrigerator (Ice makers have filters so you will have to remove it).

7. Once you have finished with the faucets, turn off the pump and refill the FW tank and let the chlorine solution set in the plumbing for a minimum of 4 hours. Over night is better but not necessary.

8. Drain and flush out the chlorinated water with clean water doing the low point drains, faucets and the FW tank again. You shouldn't have to worry about the toilet at this time.

9. Now is the time to find the by-pass valves and the drain for the water heater. Remove the WH drain plug and flush the water heater with clean water. Put the drain plug back in with teflon plumbing tape on the threads. Do not wrap the teflon tape on any more than the threads of the plug. In fact, you can leave the first thread without tape on it.

Below is a diagram of the various by-pass valve configurations used in RV's and the anode rod for Suburban WH's. Hope this helps get you started. Any other questions you have are welcomed.
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Old 06-25-2018, 02:10 AM   #9
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So after all of that I am going to break it down step by step to simplify my initial response which honestly was a bit confusing.

1- Fill your fresh water tank and drain from beneath camper via fresh water drain valve. Do this several times until you believe the anti freeze is flushed out, this won't be easy and will take lots of flushing. I didn't mention this earlier but when you are clear of antifreeze you may want to fill tank with fresh water and run your pump which will remove any anti freeze which might be in there. Also by running your water pump, if you have an on-board water filter it will clear out any antifreeze which may be in it. Once done turn off water pump before moving to next steps. **you should never have water pump on when you are using city water connection.**

2- Ensure your hot water heater is in by pass mode as per diagram in earlier post.

3- Connect city water to your camper and turn on city water.

4- Open all faucets (Hot and Cold) running water until clear of any possible anti freeze in lines. Once clear, turn faucets off. Now would be an ideal time to sanitize your water system but we won't go there. If you search the forum there are hundreds of threads on sanitizing.

5- Turn off city water.

6- Place the hot water by pass to normal use as shown in diagram in earlier post.

7- Ensure hot water heater is turned off and no power is supplied to it.

8- Rinse inside of hot water heater tank to remove any possible debris.

9- Place plumbers tape on threads of anode rod and insert into heater.

10- Turn on city water (which is connected to city water connection on camper)

11- At this point you should hear water filling the hot water tank. You can open the relief valve and when water shoots out you are full. Close relief valve, check to see if you have any leaks from anode rod and if not you are done.

12- At this point you can turn on your hot water heater using LP or electric. **Whenever using the electric on your hot water tank ensure you have water in the hot water tank or you will fry the heating element.**

I hope this helps you, good luck.
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Old 06-25-2018, 02:15 AM   #10
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Excellent, Scrapper nailed sanitizing the tank and he is right on. Like he said it takes a lot to get the antifreeze out of the fresh water tank. When it's time to winterize just drain the water out the best you can and never, never, ever put anti freeze into FW tank.
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