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Old 09-30-2012, 03:07 PM   #1
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need winterizing help...

I have drained all my water lines, bypassed the hot water heater, trying now to put antifreeze in the lines. Put antifreeze in the freshwater tank as advised by the manual. In turning on the water pump the water lines seem to pressurize, but all I get is sputtering in the lines (hot or cold) and no return of the pink stuff. I've not detected any leaks in the system, the water pump is working, the water filter canister is not filling. Where do I go from here?
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
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I have drained all my water lines, bypassed the hot water heater, trying now to put antifreeze in the lines. Put antifreeze in the freshwater tank as advised by the manual. In turning on the water pump the water lines seem to pressurize, but all I get is sputtering in the lines (hot or cold) and no return of the pink stuff. I've not detected any leaks in the system, the water pump is working, the water filter canister is not filling. Where do I go from here?
Sounds as though you have not pumped enough AF at this point. Could be you pumped until the suction of the pump is exposed, thus the gurgling and air escape. Is the water heater bypassed? remove anode slowly to make sure, thats 6-10 gallons right there. It only takes a few gallons or less to fill the system, the tank could be 5 gallons of lost space though if the hose is not directly on the low point. A better way is to use the pump direct suction hose into the jug and pump direct.
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
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NO!! don't put antifreeze in the FW tank!
i don't know what manual you have, but you'll spend gallons and gallons of water to get the taste out, when you un-winterize.

you should have asked here, before you did it.
there's no need to winterize the FW tank, the water heater or your holding tanks, as long as they are empty.
what little water remains has plenty of room to expand.
it's the water lines that don't have the room, if residual water freezes and expands. that's why you put antifreeze in the lines.

that's why most buy a winterizing kit, to bypass the FW tank and pump the AF directly into the lines. of course, you also use the bypass valve on the water heater.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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NO!! don't put antifreeze in the FW tank!
i don't know what manual you have, but you'll spend gallons and gallons of water to get the taste out, when you un-winterize.

you should have asked here, before you did it.
there's no need to winterize the FW tank, the water heater or your holding tanks, as long as they are empty.
what little water remains has plenty of room to expand.
it's the water lines that don't have the room, if residual water freezes and expands. that's why you put antifreeze in the lines.

that's why most buy a winterizing kit, to bypass the FW tank and pump the AF directly into the lines. of course, you also use the bypass valve on the water heater.
I think you were 4 hours late! Between both of us maybe he'll convert over to the pump suction method. Actually the antifreeze sold now days is safe and diluted taste free. No big loss, sounds as though he put x amount in tank, then ran pump till it ran dry. But like I said it was hours before either of us noted it, my opinion, I blow dry with compressed air, done it for near 20 years and we have sub zero weather on occasion, never lost a fitting. I did check my Owners manual and on page 50 it clearly describes exactly what he did. Most of us who had units for awhile know better, but he's a new owner following Mfgs. instructions! Look ahead, he'll get it.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
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OK I'm real new at this... my impression was that putting RV plumbing(non-toxic) anti-freeze into the fresh-water tank allowed one to pump the AF into the trailer lines to prevent winter damage. I believe I have bypassed the hot water heater. After draining the water lines, I added non-toxic AF to the FW tank thinking to use the water pump to infuse the water lines with AF. With the water pump on and all lines open( except the water heater bypass) all I'm getting is hiss and sputter at the taps. The fresh water tank level remains constant at around 1/2 inch depth of non-toxic AF.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:35 PM   #6
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And yeah, I would like to learn the direct water pump method of winterizing... I'm just feeling my way through this with no trailer buddies yet...
Norm
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:15 PM   #7
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Yes!!! Thanks VinceU!!! I did follow the manufacturer instructions. Judging by the manuals I've been reading so far, one needs to be an expert before starting! The manuals tell little & leave one guessing. Thank goodness for folks such as you and bikendan willing to share your time and expertise with noobs like myself!

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:20 PM   #8
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OK I'm real new at this... my impression was that putting RV plumbing(non-toxic) anti-freeze into the fresh-water tank allowed one to pump the AF into the trailer lines to prevent winter damage. I believe I have bypassed the hot water heater. After draining the water lines, I added non-toxic AF to the FW tank thinking to use the water pump to infuse the water lines with AF. With the water pump on and all lines open( except the water heater bypass) all I'm getting is hiss and sputter at the taps. The fresh water tank level remains constant at around 1/2 inch depth of non-toxic AF.
You can see the tank level, thats good. Since the hose is about 3/4" diameter its probably just barely at periscope depth, meaning its sucking air. You have found the heater and its "piping" and valves, have you found the pump also? If you have the suction side will have a strainer (small filter) on the inlet of the pump. Follow that hose back, if fitted with set of valves and a length of teed in hose with capped end, that will be the winterizing line. If not fitted, you can add one per Bikendans advice but may be too late this year, you'll loose all your AF.
BTW the book provided to me from FR shows exactly what you did, add AF to tank. I use compressed air in lieu of AF, no problems. Here's a dumb idea, if you can temporariily list or tilt your camper to get the fluid over the suction you can probably finish up.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:23 PM   #9
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Nammy,
In order to help you get a visual, go to u-tube and google rv winterizing. There will be several different video's. Watch several because not all rv's are exactly the same and not all video's show the same exact way. Hopefully they will help you out to locate specific items and help you with your procedures. After looking at video's you may have more questions to ask, but having the visual helps.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceU

You can see the tank level, thats good. Since the hose is about 3/4" diameter its probably just barely at periscope depth, meaning its sucking air. You have found the heater and its "piping" and valves, have you found the pump also? If you have the suction side will have a strainer (small filter) on the inlet of the pump. Follow that hose back, if fitted with set of valves and a length of teed in hose with capped end, that will be the winterizing line. If not fitted, you can add one per Bikendans advice but may be too late this year, you'll loose all your AF.
BTW the book provided to me from FR shows exactly what you did, add AF to tank. I use compressed air in lieu of AF, no problems. Here's a dumb idea, if you can temporariily list or tilt your camper to get the fluid over the suction you can probably finish up.
If you are going to go down the route of putting in a bypass line yet this year, it might not be too late. If your FW tank still has all of the RV anti-freeze in it you might be able to use the FW tank drain to drain it back into the anti-freeze jugs. Will take some careful positioning of the jug, but a funnel in the top of the jug might help. If this works you can then use it with the winterizing kit. Just a thought.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:57 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies... VinceU, I'm thinking your idea is not so dumb. Perhaps 1/2 inch is not enough depth for the AF to be drawn into the system. I'll look at it tomorrow and either add more AF to the tank or tilt the trailer to pool the AF over the drain, or both.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:01 PM   #12
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Thanks VinceU and racerx for your replies! I'm thinking Vince is onto something in that maybe my AF supply may be a little low for the intake. I'll have a look tomorrow and either add more AF or tilt the trailer to pool the AF over the intake, or both. I've got 3 gallons in the system so far. Water heater is bypassed and water pump is working. With any luck this'll be solved tomrrow! Thanks again...
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:25 PM   #13
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that's another reason for not putting AF into the FW tank, you'll use way more AF trying to get the pump primed.
much less AF when using a winterizing kit and drawing from the jug into the pump.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:44 PM   #14
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bikendan, I hear you on that, it is something I will certaily be looking at
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:29 PM   #15
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hey, sorry to bug you folks, but here is where I'm at. My HW tank is Suburban with anode rod.(HW is bypassed for winterization) I've drained all the lines and replaced the existing anode. My manual said put antifreeze in Fresh Water tank & use water pump to prime lines with AF.(from viewing the forums I will install a bypass enabling me to pump AF directly into the system) I've repositioned the trailer to maximize flow of AF into the system. My problem is as follows... even with the AF about 1 3\4" above bottom of FW tank all I get is sputtering in the lines & no return of AF from FW tank into the lines, the sinks, traps et al...the water lines pressurize but the AF doesn't flow. Do I need to buy more AF and fill FW tank higher to get flow? Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:14 PM   #16
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hey, \ My problem is as follows... even with the AF about 1 3\4" above bottom of FW tank all I get is sputtering in the lines & no return of AF from FW tank into the lines, the sinks, traps et al...the water lines pressurize but the AF doesn't flow. Do I need to buy more AF and fill FW tank higher to get flow? Thanks for your help.
Norm
Three questions, I assume this FW system with pump was in use this season?
Pls explain your last comment the lines are pressurized by no AF flow.
Can you post pics of the pump and tank suction piping etc? Whats the rating of the AF as purchased? Can you dilute it if local conditions will not reach the declared value. Just wondering.

One last suggestion before you have to go to far. Can you connect compressed air to the suction tubing. Be nice to see where the tank leve is with respect to the "tailpipe". Not unusual to be more than 2" effective height in tank. Pic of Shurflow pump is attached, the small clean device is connected to suction of pump, problem is the blue piping is discharge higher pressure piping. the discharge side is connected to tank suction, backwards as delivered from factory! 2nd pic is the bypass kit many install.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:45 PM   #17
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Okay, I feel like an idiot... after two evenings of trying to winterize by directions from manual, I called the dealer. there is an AF winterizing inlet at the back of the trailer. Took a few evenings off will try again on the weekend. Will drain the AF I put in FW tank into a big container I have and stick an inlet hose into it. Don't know why this wasn't pointed out to me in PDI. A common response from them was "It's in the manual"

Anyhoo, thanks to everyone who took the time to help me out...

Norm
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:04 PM   #18
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OK, here is where I'm at... plugged hose from AF into this... what tank valve needs to be closed? what inlet valve needs to be opened? Next compartment is into water filter... no valves at all, no valves seen underneath trailer... moving inside to the "guts" of the plumbing, this is what I see... at 2 o'clock and four o'clock I see HW water bypass valves... between them another valve... where does that valve lead? Should that valve be open or closed for winterizing? Proceeding clockwise we come to the Water Pump which moves fluid left to right... what is that filter for? So, at 12:35 there is another valve that I think should let AF into the system... At 12:40 is a valve that i think restricts flow into the fresh water tank.
My problem... even when I think I have all the stars (valves) aligned, I get positive air pressure in the lines, but no movement of anti-freeze...
Any help appreciated..... Norm
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:00 PM   #19
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OK, here is where I'm at... plugged hose from AF into this... what tank valve needs to be closed? what inlet valve needs to be opened? Next compartment is into water filter... no valves at all, no valves seen underneath trailer... moving inside to the "guts" of the plumbing, this is what I see... at 2 o'clock and four o'clock I see HW water bypass valves... between them another valve... where does that valve lead? Should that valve be open or closed for winterizing? Proceeding clockwise we come to the Water Pump which moves fluid left to right... what is that filter for? So, at 12:35 there is another valve that I think should let AF into the system... At 12:40 is a valve that i think restricts flow into the fresh water tank.
My problem... even when I think I have all the stars (valves) aligned, I get positive air pressure in the lines, but no movement of anti-freeze...
Any help appreciated..... Norm
In the box with the pump pictured and the small strainer. You have both inlet valves open to the pump. I can't tell from your pic but one is the tank and the other is the AF inlet where your hose is located. The way it is, you wouldn't be able to pump tank or AF cause one will draw air. Trace those two inlet hoses/pipes with the valves and figure which is tank and which is sidewall connection. You should have a very short hose for the antifreeze jug, the garden hose you have connected will take forever to pump all the air out. Almost there!
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:53 AM   #20
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Almost there was right, Vince! All I had to do was reverse 2 valves! (in the pic I posted there were indeed 2 valves open to pump inlet) so proceeding from that pic, I just needed to turn off the valve to FW inlet. The pink stuff is now flowing! Thanks for your help. I plan to make a post here, with pics, specific to the Mini Lite, to help other newbies avoid the frustration that I experienced.
Thanks again... Norm
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