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Old 01-21-2019, 03:04 PM   #1
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3 inch sewer hose in sub freezing temps

As a die-hard Sewer Solution user from California now living in very cold Missouri, I've found that the 1" sewer outlet hose tends to freeze easily. I don't own a 3" hose, but may buy one if it will work better in the super-cold situation we are now in.

What's the consensus? Can I use a 3" hose with my grey water valves open to continuously drain my grey tank?

Cold in St. Peters,

Tom
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:21 PM   #2
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As a die-hard Sewer Solution user from California now living in very cold Missouri, I've found that the 1" sewer outlet hose tends to freeze easily. I don't own a 3" hose, but may buy one if it will work better in the super-cold situation we are now in.



What's the consensus? Can I use a 3" hose with my grey water valves open to continuously drain my grey tank?



Cold in St. Peters,



Tom
I would say yes as long as you have a good slope. But why are you leaving your gray tank open? I think it's better to close it until you need to dump, no chance of freezing then...
STAY WARM
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:21 PM   #3
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Draining while freezing...

Thanks Witch Doctor-

I have a TT and the very ends of the tanks are heated but then the black and grey tank valves are exposed and froze last night at 11 degrees. I do have heat tape and insulation around them, but my execution was not very through and so ineffective.

I am thinking if I leave them open and have the volume of the 3" to drain into, there should always be a clear path to the sewer connector.

Slope is important and so I'll need to gin something up for that, but should be doable.

Tom
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:25 PM   #4
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Thanks Witch Doctor-

I have a TT and the very ends of the tanks are heated but then the black and grey tank valves are exposed and froze last night at 11 degrees. I do have heat tape and insulation around them, but my execution was not very through and so ineffective.

I am thinking if I leave them open and have the volume of the 3" to drain into, there should always be a clear path to the sewer connector.

Slope is important and so I'll need to gin something up for that, but should be doable.

Tom
imo you should fix the heat tape and insulation around the valves so they do not freeze . if you hook up a 3" and leave open ice will build up in the hose very fast causing other issues . leaving them closed and only dumping when needed is your best bet .
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:43 PM   #5
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Just my opinion based on being old and experienced: 1) Why is your 1" hose for the Sewer Solution freezing up? Are you leaving some liquid/water in it when you finish or are you "walking" it down to remove any remaining liquids from it? 2) I also disagree with leaving the grey water valve open as it is normally used to flush out the black water discharge after dumping the black tank. 3) Years of experience with using electric heat strip/tapes in industrial settings taught me that you are not "supposed" to wrap the heat tapes around anything. I was taught that winding them around something allows the tape to build up a magnetic field which impedes the tape from properly heating and it does not get hot at all, just warm. 4) I'm thinking that you should buy some of the roll type black foam tape with the sticky back side and wrap the black ABS plastic drain lines with this material. It's quite a good insulator actually. It's flexible to the point that you can wrap the lines from where they protrude from the underbelly, out to the drain valves, around the drain valves and to the connection point. Wind has turned out to be the biggest culprit I have seen with outdoor piping freezing although I'm sure that just pain out really cold will do it also. Good Luck
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:45 PM   #6
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One other trick...

After you drain either the black or gray (or both)...in freezing weather close the valves and then dump some RV antifreeze in there to fill up the exposed pipe.

Worked for me in 2 1/2 months of below freezing temps last winter.

I also agree that it is not a good idea to leave your gray tanks open...even when it is not freezing outside.
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:39 PM   #7
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Flowing water will not freeze. I always leave the gray tank open when hooked up. The only water that flows will be from the shower or sink and will not be in the hose long enough to freeze. It is the same thing with the fresh water intake. We leave the bathroom sink turned on, more than just a trickle, the water is always moving as well as the water that is being constantly drained from the gray tank. Fifteen years on the road early spring at Yellowstone for eight years, Rock Mtn and Grand Teton. The only times (twice) is when I forgot to turn the water in th esink on at night (now have a sign on the bathroom mirror
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:14 PM   #8
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When I was living/working in Illinois for 2 1/2 years, I bought a rubber converter and then hooked up 3 inch PVC pipe for the drain. Never had a problem with freezing. Kept the black tank closed except for emptying, left the gray water open all the time since it was mostly hot water from the shower or doing dishes. No heat tape on the valve and it never froze up - even in -30 below weather. I usually emptied the black tank on sunny days so it was not likely to be frozen. The antifreeze is a great idea also, I had other chemicals in mine so it probably served the same purpose. The most important thing was to keep the wind out as that would freeze anything in a few minutes. Had to skirt the RV in winter and keep the heat going.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:33 PM   #9
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Just don't do it with the black tank; you can end up with a 3" poopsicle. And yes, I write with experience.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:34 PM   #10
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Flowing water will not freeze. I always leave the gray tank open when hooked up. The only water that flows will be from the shower or sink and will not be in the hose long enough to freeze. It is the same thing with the fresh water intake. We leave the bathroom sink turned on, more than just a trickle, the water is always moving as well as the water that is being constantly drained from the gray tank. Fifteen years on the road early spring at Yellowstone for eight years, Rock Mtn and Grand Teton. The only times (twice) is when I forgot to turn the water in th esink on at night (now have a sign on the bathroom mirror
Flowing water will freeze . depends on temps if it's cold enough in the teens or less .
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:32 PM   #11
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Flowing water will absolutely freeze.

I operated a car shredder for 26+ years. We used a 18' x 3" hose to feed water to the shredder to eliminate dust and weight down the seat cushion foam and cloth from the interior of the cars. Every winter, we would shut the shredder down 2 or 3 times a day to clear the hose so water would flow. Some days the ice would be froze enough that we would have to remove the hose from the top of the shredder, disconnect it at the mid point and at the wall of the building. The hose was disconnected and drained at the end of the day and reconnected every morning.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:39 AM   #12
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I would say yes as long as you have a good sloop. But why are you leaving your gray tank open? I think it's better to close it until you need to dump, no chance of freezing then...
STAY WARM
x2^^^^ what he said! You are not in Sunny Warm CA any longer.

Moving water will not freeze.

You recall the old saying...."When in Rome.........."
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:43 AM   #13
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Flowing water will absolutely freeze.

I operated a car shredder for 26+ years. We used a 18' x 3" hose to feed water to the shredder to eliminate dust and weight down the seat cushion foam and cloth from the interior of the cars. Every winter, we would shut the shredder down 2 or 3 times a day to clear the hose so water would flow. Some days the ice would be froze enough that we would have to remove the hose from the top of the shredder, disconnect it at the mid point and at the wall of the building. The hose was disconnected and drained at the end of the day and reconnected every morning.
Was it flowing constantly or intermittently? I lived in AK and had an instance where a 3/4" copper pipe had to be exposed all night to sub Zero degrees due to construction.

We kept the water running a bit in the house, NO freezing
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:42 AM   #14
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Flowing water will freeze, it's all about temperature. Think of hoses and pipes like a heat exchanger. If your exposed pipe length isn't too long for the incoming water to cool below freezing, your fine. There are many variances on this as well. Input water temperature, water additives, contact with frozen surfaces all will also play a factor. With the proper assessments flowing water can be kept from freezing but just merely having flow may not always be enough.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:01 PM   #15
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Draining while freezing...some more

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts on the topic.

I'm not able to keep the valves unfrozen with my current set-up of foam tape and heat tape. Perhaps with more time and a better picture of what needed to be heated/protected I could, but I'm working everyday and the time after work is a little tight. besides, it's no fun to crouch or sit in sub-freezing temps with 20 knots of wind and try to get heat tape, sticky foam tape and my gloved fingers to move in the right ways.

The sun has been my biggest help and on the days that have been mid-high 20's but sunny, the radiant heat warms the pipes and valves and allows for flow. The very cold nights, in the single digits, has frozen the fresh water line inside the trailer so that no water reached the faucets, the hot water heater or the shower. This is with a 250 w mini heater in the plumbing cabinet under the bathroom sink, the two heat pads under the tanks and on the outlet stubs and the doors to the area under the kitchen sink (with the back of the water heater and the furnace) open to the saloon AND the furnace going 30% of the time and 3000 watts of electric heat blasting away...

A night of no flowing water in the trailer and no flowing hot water until 2PM and no drain-able grey tank until 4 PM the next day has helped us decide to speed up our plans to move into our new home. And so we will tonight.

Next I'll winterize the trailer (for the first time) store it away someplace local and see what the spring brings!

Thanks again!

Tom
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