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Old 02-19-2018, 11:37 PM   #1
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Frozen tank valve handles

Need a easy fix other than wait until in warms up (32 now going too 10 over night)water hose not connected have been emptying tanks at night
Thanks in advance
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:44 PM   #2
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Hair dryer?
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:39 AM   #3
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Thanks some we over think things ��
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:16 AM   #4
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Yes, hairdryer works and is relatively safe but it can take hours sometimes.
Take your time, don't yank on the handle.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:57 AM   #5
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If you expect this to be a problem in your future with lots of camping in freezing weather you might consider adding the heat pads to both 1-1/2 and 3" drain pipes and valves.


This company makes some heaters for drain pipes, elbows, and valves, that run a little hotter and are designed to just be switched on shortly before draining.

RV and Marine - Heaters & Warmers - Shop
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:14 PM   #6
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People overlook a common item. IPA -Isopropyl alcohol Just add to tank.

Often folks not in the know use such in the winter to add to the fuel tanks. Commercially sold as Heat.

The IPA will free the handle and is available at the dollar store for around $.75 per pint.
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TonyShope View Post
People overlook a common item. IPA -Isopropyl alcohol Just add to tank.

Often folks not in the know use such in the winter to add to the fuel tanks. Commercially sold as Heat.

The IPA will free the handle and is available at the dollar store for around $.75 per pint.
Gonna take a lot of IPA to do that to a tank with liquid in it, and no reason not to use RV antifreeze which is propylene glycol, same effect, freezing point depression.
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:37 PM   #8
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Never thought of using Heat to free up a Frozen Tank Valve Valve.. but next time you empty your tank. Poor a cup or 2 of RV antifreeze in after you close the valve..
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:46 PM   #9
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When it is going to be below freezing I put a 110 volt trouble light in the compartment with the valves and leave the light on. Assuming you are not dry camping. And make sure the bulb is incandescent, NOT LED.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:32 PM   #10
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Gonna take a lot of IPA to do that to a tank with liquid in it, and no reason not to use RV antifreeze which is propylene glycol, same effect, freezing point depression.
5 Gallons would unfreeze a 25 Gallon tank in less that 5 hours @ 10 degrees F

I live in the cold and have helped many a neighbor in the CG fix the draining issue.

RV antifreeze Gels which is undesirable.
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:12 AM   #11
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5 gallons is a lot of antifreeze ???
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:52 PM   #12
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5 gallons is a lot of antifreeze ???
If referring to me a few Gallons of IPA is nothing if you consider a valve/tank burst. I would never put RV anti freeze in the black water or grey water side as stated it gels. (Also Ammonia and Glycol do not mix well for safe breathing.) Gel does not drain in consistent below freezing temps it slowly oozes as it expands but does not free a clogged line.

Just my $00.02

If staying in the area of cold you place heat tape on the sewer line and a few inches under or on the side of the black tank. That with the toilet pods will keep it open.
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:09 PM   #13
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I wouldn't describe RV anti-freeze as "gel". It turns a bit slushy if anything.

Slush seems to flow out just fine from the machines at all the gas stations I visit. I like the cherry flavor the best.
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:16 PM   #14
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I wouldn't be to concerned with the temperatures the OP is in, but rv antifreeze will solidify if it gets cold enough and not flow at all.
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:33 PM   #15
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I wouldn't describe RV anti-freeze as "gel". It turns a bit slushy if anything.

Slush seems to flow out just fine from the machines at all the gas stations I visit. I like the cherry flavor the best.
Then I am doubting you have remained in the North. At 0 to - 10 F it is as thick as jello.

I live here full time in the north. At approx 14 degrees you have heavy pudding, At 0 to -10 you have something as thick as a Wendy's Frosty which cannot be sucked out of a straw for 20 minutes.

If you would like when I am at the store tomorrow I will pick up a gallon and leave it on the picnic table in front of the RV here in Wisconsin. I will open the top and nothing will come out. I will use the Walmart opaque hot pink version and my security cams to show dissipation which will be zero even when I open the dual seal on camera.
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:50 PM   #16
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With all of the IPA, how much do you worry about the alcohol vapors escaping and causing fire issues? It does sound like a good idea, though.

Not trying to poo-poo the idea (yes, pun intended), just asking the question. There shouldn't be any problem in the tanks, or even when dumping, and the vapors get dissipated pretty quickly out the vent, so I guess I might be answering my own question.
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:13 PM   #17
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For the Next-Time file ... If you're plugged into shore power, wrap a small "heat cable," around the valves. It will keep them from freezing. These come in various lengths and are available at most hardware stores.
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:30 PM   #18
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, so I guess I might be answering my own question.
You actually just did answer it. The IPA dissipates super rapid. Think touching the better halves finger nail polish remover. Part of what happens is rapid dissipation. The same think it does in a gas tank or black tank. As long as the roof vent is not closed and you not using a candle to check the process it works quick it raises the water to the top thus allowing it to concentrate on the ammonia in the urine which freezes at 12F add the compost in the tank paper poo etc and it opens the drain fairly fast and no damage.

I have actually studied this quite a bit so I can help my big rig neighbors. You would be amazed at the amount of folks camping at Ft. McCoy and other cold weather military bases.

I love the bases and live in a cold weather unit. I learned after my own failure and use science to figure it out.
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:30 PM   #19
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The IPA dissipates super rapid.

There's another "IPA" that dissipates rapidly too. Comes in brown bottles and it's amazing how fast it can "dissipate". Comes with many different names and flavors.

Drink one and and it seems like you'll be "dissipating" it into the black water tank. Wonder if THAT helps lower the freeze point too?
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:31 AM   #20
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There's another "IPA" that dissipates rapidly too. Comes in brown bottles and it's amazing how fast it can "dissipate". Comes with many different names and flavors.

Drink one and and it seems like you'll be "dissipating" it into the black water tank. Wonder if THAT helps lower the freeze point too?
Not sure about the freezing point,,,
but a bottle sure is good in a large pot of chili !!!
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