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Old 09-26-2020, 12:37 PM   #1
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Winterizing: drain lines after AF

Hi all. New here. Need a second opinion on this winterizing tip I got from a seasoned RV owner.

Claims once I blow out the lines and fill the system with antifreeze, i should then drain everything and blow out again. Essentially, whatever may be left in the pipes at that point will be antifreeze and therefore no risk of damage caused by the slushing up of Antifreeze in -40 or lower.

Any thoughts about this... ive heard of draining only, as a winterizing option but never of both AF then drain.

Cheers from Canada
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Old 09-26-2020, 12:44 PM   #2
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After the first step, blowing out the lines, you are nearly done. Then pour some AF int the drains to protect the traps. I don’t see why you would want to fill lines with AF after they have been blown out, and I especially don’t see why you would want to blow it twice.

The main benefits for me in blowing out lines with air is to avoid even needing to use antifreeze in them.
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Old 09-26-2020, 12:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the lightning response.

It does seem like overkill. I guess the concern is that there may always be a drop of water left somewhere critical, like a valve or threading, even after draining or blowing out. Pumping AF first further mitigates that risk.
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Old 09-26-2020, 01:11 PM   #4
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Since your in Canada, put AF in your RV and leave it. BehindBars post doesn't address the problem of water in your toilet flush valve. When frozen, less than 1/2 teaspoon of water will crack the valve.
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Old 09-26-2020, 01:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for the lightning response.

It does seem like overkill. I guess the concern is that there may always be a drop of water left somewhere critical, like a valve or threading, even after draining or blowing out. Pumping AF first further mitigates that risk.
I learned the hard way 2 years in a row. I blew out the lines, but apparently some water remained or accumulated in the toilet valve, froze and burst the valve, $$$! Since I started pumping antifreeze through the lines, I have had no more problems. Yes, it is more work to flush out the lines in spring. Also, the dealer recommended putting antifreeze into the tank and then pumping it though the pipes to keep the water pump from possibly freezing up.
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Old 09-26-2020, 01:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Eschatologist View Post
Hi all. New here. Need a second opinion on this winterizing tip I got from a seasoned RV owner.

Claims once I blow out the lines and fill the system with antifreeze, i should then drain everything and blow out again. Essentially, whatever may be left in the pipes at that point will be antifreeze and therefore no risk of damage caused by the slushing up of Antifreeze in -40 or lower.

Any thoughts about this... ive heard of draining only, as a winterizing option but never of both AF then drain.

Cheers from Canada

you can blow out first then add the antifreeze , no need to do it twice . also if you open the low point drains first then pump the antifreeze no need to blow out the line also . the antifreeze will push any remaining water out then the pick will start to flow . fill your traps and good to go
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Old 09-26-2020, 01:32 PM   #7
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Since your in Canada, put AF in your RV and leave it. BehindBars post doesn't address the problem of water in your toilet flush valve. When frozen, less than 1/2 teaspoon of water will crack the valve.
When I blow out lines, I open valves one at a time until only air comes out, including the toilet flush valve. Maybe I’m missing something; is the toilet valve harder to blow out than the faucet valves?
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Old 09-26-2020, 01:47 PM   #8
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I learned the hard way 2 years in a row. I blew out the lines, but apparently some water remained or accumulated in the toilet valve, froze and burst the valve, $$$! Since I started pumping antifreeze through the lines, I have had no more problems. Yes, it is more work to flush out the lines in spring. Also, the dealer recommended putting antifreeze into the tank and then pumping it though the pipes to keep the water pump from possibly freezing up.

I know itís sacrilege on here lol, but I know a lot of people up here in -40 country that do it as well including me. I flush the tank well in the spring plus we take bottled water to drink and make coffee anyway.
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Old 09-26-2020, 02:33 PM   #9
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When I blow out lines, I open valves one at a time until only air comes out, including the toilet flush valve. Maybe Iím missing something; is the toilet valve harder to blow out than the faucet valves?
You can run air through the lines until it looks like nothing but air and still have water in the lines. since you can't get it bone dry with air unless you let it run maybe an hr or 2 moisture in the system will collect . even in a valve you may think it's dry but only a drop or 2 of water in the wrong place and cracked valve , ruined seals etc . using antifreeze is a no brainer .
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Old 09-26-2020, 02:35 PM   #10
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I learned the hard way 2 years in a row. I blew out the lines, but apparently some water remained or accumulated in the toilet valve, froze and burst the valve, $$$! Since I started pumping antifreeze through the lines, I have had no more problems. Yes, it is more work to flush out the lines in spring. Also, the dealer recommended putting antifreeze into the tank and then pumping it though the pipes to keep the water pump from possibly freezing up.
If you have a winterazation valve that sucks up the anti freeze no need to add any to tank . if you don't have one cheap to install and then the pump runs the antifreeze through the system right from the jug . no need to put it in the tank .
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Old 09-26-2020, 03:24 PM   #11
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I learned the hard way 2 years in a row. I blew out the lines, but apparently some water remained or accumulated in the toilet valve, froze and burst the valve, $$$! Since I started pumping antifreeze through the lines, I have had no more problems. Yes, it is more work to flush out the lines in spring. Also, the dealer recommended putting antifreeze into the tank and then pumping it though the pipes to keep the water pump from possibly freezing up.
Since the water pump is used to pump antifreeze into the lines there is no point in adding the stuff to your fresh water tank. I would think a dealer would know something as basic as that. Blow the lines and run antifreeze via the antifreeze intake line that's just before the water pump intake side. There should be a T connection, with one valve to isolate the fresh water tank and another valve to isolate the antifreeze intake line. If you have an older RV that isn't set up that way, it's a pretty easy install. I live in Alaska and I blow once and run antifreeze once. What little water remains in the line after blowing the lines not going to dilute the antifreeze. But there certainly is no need to repeat the entire procedure.
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Old 09-26-2020, 03:30 PM   #12
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Since the water pump is used to pump antifreeze into the lines there is no point in adding the stuff to your fresh water tank. I would think a dealer would know something as basic as that. Blow the lines and run antifreeze via the antifreeze intake line that's just before the water pump intake side. There should be a T connection with one valve to isolate the fresh water tank and another valve to isolate the antifreeze intake line. If you have an older RV that isn't set up that way, it's a pretty easy install. I live in Alaska and I blow once and run antifreeze once. What little water remains in the line after blowing the lines not going to dilute the antifreeze. But there certainly is no need to repeat the entire procedure.
Not all units come equipped with a winter valve , but it can be easily added
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Old 09-26-2020, 04:02 PM   #13
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Here's what I know about water in hoses and pipes in winter. Before I retired I operated a car shredder. We used a 3 inch hose to supply gravity fed water into the shredder to keep the dust down and wash the material. During the coldest weather the 3" hose would freeze solid even with water flowing through. Three years before I retired we installed a pressurized variable speed system pumping through two 1 inch hoses at 10 to 100 gpm. At the end of the day the system automatically blew air through the hoses for 15 minutes, then once an hour for 5 minutes. We were told there would never be a problem with frozen water lines again. They were spewing the biggest line of bull. Wherever the hoses had a sag in the run the water would collect and freeze. We solved the problem by wrapping heat tape and pipe insulation around the hoses.

We even had to heat tape and insulate the hydraulic lines because the oil would get stiff enough to blow the hoses from the fittings. We even had a stainless steel supply line rupture when the oil found a flaw in the pipe.

That first winter was the "best" fun I ever had trying to wrap the heat tape, wrap the insulation then apply zip ties to hold it together with bare hands in the coldest part of winter. Some pipes barely had an inch space to work around.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:00 PM   #14
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It seems for the past 3 weeks we've had this topic in at least 3 different threads.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Eschatologist View Post
Hi all. New here. Need a second opinion on this winterizing tip I got from a seasoned RV owner.

Claims once I blow out the lines and fill the system with antifreeze, i should then drain everything and blow out again. Essentially, whatever may be left in the pipes at that point will be antifreeze and therefore no risk of damage caused by the slushing up of Antifreeze in -40 or lower.

Any thoughts about this... ive heard of draining only, as a winterizing option but never of both AF then drain.

Cheers from Canada

Grab a few gallons of RV antifreeze and drain your hot water heater. Switch hot water bypass. Using the water pump which I hope has a hose attached just for this purpose to pump antifreeze thru the system. Open closest faucet the next closest and so on. Do not forget the outside faucet, shower and toilet. Pour antifreeze down all drains, use enough to cause the traps to be full and flow into the holding tank to be against the drain so it does not freeze.
Pour it down the toilet and let it rest against the drain valve as well.
Lastly crack your low point drain a little to be sure antifreeze is there and close the drain.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:12 PM   #16
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So best to leave the AF in the pipes than draining it after (once full of AF).

Roger that.

TY
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:13 PM   #17
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It's that time of year i suppose ��
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:15 PM   #18
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It seems for the past 3 weeks we've had this topic in at least 3 different threads.

Seems like the last 5 yrs we have had this topic every fall for a month or 2 . education for the newbies and something for the old timers to hash over again and again . you never know someone may change their minds on how to winterize
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Old 09-27-2020, 02:41 PM   #19
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Seems like the last 5 yrs we have had this topic every fall for a month or 2 . education for the newbies and something for the old timers to hash over again and again . you never know someone may change their minds on how to winterize
It just shows you how many new campers join the site including me. I have found that the search function works great instead of always asking questions
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Old 09-27-2020, 03:51 PM   #20
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No that not so bc all you doing is wasting af. Drain then blow out then add your af once thats all you need to do
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