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Old 10-14-2020, 06:55 AM   #1
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Blowing Out Air Lines vs Pumping RV Antifreeze

Hereís a new video by RVProject on how effective blowing out the water lines is vs pumping in RV antifreeze.

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Old 10-14-2020, 07:19 AM   #2
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Duh. You canít get 100% of the water out of the line with air. Only about 99.999%

I donít expect to get 100%. But I also will go farther in attempting to than this guy ever did. He never demonstrated the extent you should go to in blowing out your lines if you are not going to use AF.

Either a bad job with air only or a bad job with air and AF will increase the chance of plumbing damage. I blow air out of all of my fixtures until the mist stopsóand then continue for a few minutes. I have never had a problem.

Others who use air only have reported using this method for years without issue. I have seen one single post here about someone using air only and reporting having to replace a valve.

Was it the method that was ineffective? Or the individuals application of the method? We canít know. My money is on the latter.

I am air only. I just do it better than the guy in the video does it.
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Old 10-14-2020, 07:33 AM   #3
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I do both because I can and I want the added level of safety for my system including the drain lines.
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Old 10-14-2020, 07:52 AM   #4
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I have seen one single post here about someone using air only and reporting having to replace a valve.
I've seen a lot more than just one.
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Old 10-14-2020, 07:58 AM   #5
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All comes down to where you live...where I am at, temps in the -30 range is common, and we usually won't see temps in the above freezing range from mid Nov to March....so with that, using RV antifreeze in my case is a no brainer. But I also blow out my lines prior to adding the antifreeze.
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Old 10-14-2020, 08:14 AM   #6
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I blow out the lines, use antifreeze, and then as long as I have the compressor right there, I blow out the antifreeze.

Crazy, you say? Well what it does is eliminate or at least greatly reduce the problem each spring of having to purge the lines of antifreeze -- waiting for pure, non fuzzy water to finally arrive.

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Old 10-14-2020, 08:22 AM   #7
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I've seen a lot more than just one.
X2. There have certainly been more then one on this site and plenty more on other sites.

And even at one... that's enough for me to use antifreeze.

Like someone else mentioned... I blow out then use antifreeze because I can.

To each their own.
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:12 AM   #8
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I blow out the lines, use antifreeze, and then as long as I have the compressor right there, I blow out the antifreeze.

Crazy, you say? Well what it does is eliminate or at least greatly reduce the problem each spring of having to purge the lines of antifreeze -- waiting for pure, non fuzzy water to finally arrive.

Rich Phillips
It's not like it's a huge chore to purge the lines of antifreeze each spring.

Hook up water hose, open hot/cold valves on each faucet until it runs clear. Un-bypass water heater. Done.

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Old 10-14-2020, 09:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by itat View Post
Hereís a new video by RVProject on how effective blowing out the water lines is vs pumping in RV antifreeze.

This is definitely a video shot to prove a pre-determined point, not to show proper steps on how either method can be successful.
A lot of time was spent on how you can't blow the pump. Those of us that only use air to blow the lines, usually disconnect lines to the pump and empty the strainer. Same with shower head hose, outside shower head, etc. I also use this time to inspect everything in those nooks and crannies. Which I do on a regular basis anyway, as my wife says I'm anal that way
I chose not to use antifreeze, even when I lived in Golden CO. It works for me and I'm comfortable with it. Some choose to use antifreeze. Nothing more wrong or right with either method.
Either option can be successful or a disaster depending on how you perform them.
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Old 10-14-2020, 10:17 AM   #10
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Duh. You canít get 100% of the water out of the line with air. Only about 99.999%

I donít expect to get 100%. But I also will go farther in attempting to than this guy ever did. He never demonstrated the extent you should go to in blowing out your lines if you are not going to use AF.

Either a bad job with air only or a bad job with air and AF will increase the chance of plumbing damage. I blow air out of all of my fixtures until the mist stopsóand then continue for a few minutes. I have never had a problem.

Others who use air only have reported using this method for years without issue. I have seen one single post here about someone using air only and reporting having to replace a valve.

Was it the method that was ineffective? Or the individuals application of the method? We canít know. My money is on the latter.

I am air only. I just do it better than the guy in the video does it.
What size compressor (tank gallon size) do you use? Thanks.
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:46 AM   #11
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I'm sure the purpose of the video is only to show that blowing out the lines with air cannot guarantee you won't have water somewhere in the system, especially when you have that octopus of piping and valves behind the Nautilus system like he does. I'm sure that's why Nautilus recommends you do both methods.

One thing he didn't mention is that some air compressors may actually introduce some moisture, dirt or oil in the lines.

That said, I know that lots of people have reported not having an issue with just blowing out the lines and that's great. The goal is to remove any water from places where it can't expand. A little water left in the grey and black tanks is not a problem because it has room to expand but valves and fittings are the likeliest point of trapped water that causes damage as it expands when it freezes. (Actually water starts to expand at 4įC or about 39įF.) RV antifreeze will gel but it doesn't expand.

I agree that how well you do either method is important. All it takes is to forget one point of potential damage from expanding ice.

I'm not convinced that living in an area that gets much colder makes a lot of difference. The damage can happen if you have sustained temps below freezing just once.

For me personally, RV antifreeze is better at displacing water in the system as long as you do a proper job getting it everywhere in the system. Its inexpensive insurance and takes less work than disconnecting the water pump and shower heads.
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:24 PM   #12
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It's not like it's a huge chore to purge the lines of antifreeze each spring...
It is a huge chore in the fall putting the AF in an r-pod 178. Making sure that the lines are well blown out is easy.
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:40 PM   #13
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I blow out my lines with air through the city water connection and pour anti freeze in all traps. To make sure the water pump is winterized, I take off the supply side hose leading to the pump head, put a another hose on it that runs into a jug of anti freeze and turn the pump. If you have an anti freeze port on your RV it makes this job easier.

I've never had an issue... Trick is to set your compressor to no more then 40 pounds of pressure so you're not going to blow out any lines. Once it's pressurized, open each faucet one at a time alternating between hot and cold. I do each side 3 times open it, let the water get blown out, shut it off to let it the pump pressurize the line again open it again..

Once everything is blown out, take and leave out the water heater anode, open the low point drains, open up all the spigots and your done.
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:50 PM   #14
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It is a huge chore in the fall putting the AF in an r-pod 178. Making sure that the lines are well blown out is easy.
First of all, that doesn't make my statement any less true.

Second of all, the person I was responding to implied that they pump AF in all their lines and then blow it out later. So they already go through what you consider to be a "huge chore".


Bottom line is that these threads come up every single year and the same exact points are made over and over again every single year. More often than not nobody changes their mind and they do whatever works for them.

So do whatever works for you.
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:44 PM   #15
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It is a huge chore in the fall putting the AF in an r-pod 178. Making sure that the lines are well blown out is easy.
I can see from videos of your 2017 R-Pod 178, that the bed doesn't flip up to give you easy access to the water pump. The pump looks to be behind the furnace. If you wanted to use antifreeze, is there any way you can mod it by adding a 3-way valve on the input side of the pump in a relatively easy to reach place? I did that on our Roo 23SS but it was easy to access the water pump on that unit.
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:48 PM   #16
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It is a huge chore in the fall putting the AF in an r-pod 178. Making sure that the lines are well blown out is easy.
I have never seen a water line blown out "well" with air. In fact over several winters, I've seen water lines freeze when they are first blown out for 30 minutes, then blown out every hour for 5 minutes at a time.
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