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Old 12-02-2020, 07:56 PM   #1
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Where did the antifreeze go?

So there I was crammed in the basement of my 5th wheel, trying to figure out where the antifreeze puddle was. 3 gallons of antifreeze just doesn’t disappear.
Or does it?
Back story: first time winterizing the new rig with the fancy water control panel (Nautilus P4). I read the directions (I’m a militant direction reader and follower...I have found in life that the people that built it know how to use it) and confidently begin the op. I have winterized campers for 20 years with no issues so “how hard can it be?”
Pump picks up slow or not at all at first but eventually I get it primed and the antifreeze is disappearing from the bucket only it’s not coming out of the faucets. There must be a leak somewhere behind the control panel...no antifreeze puddle anywhere. 3 gallons later I’m stumped. There isn’t 3 gallons of volume in the piping. No antifreeze pouring out from under the camper. The water heater is bypassed and the plug is still out. I have the valve levers in the correct positions....
Only place the antifreeze can be going is into the fresh water tank. Only way this happens is the sub-genius that hooked up the nautilus system has the piping/valve configuration wrong. I have not checked the fresh water tank yet. Easy to verify my supposition but really what else can it be?
Antifreeze leaves bucket, reappears somewhere else...easy concept to grasp.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:29 PM   #2
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The only 2 places I can think of is the Water heater or the fresh tank, I guess you need to open the drain on the fresh to see if the anti freeze comes out, if not I am as stumped as you.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:23 AM   #3
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Shower miser?
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Old 12-03-2020, 06:42 PM   #4
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Shower miser?
That is a strong possibility. The Showermiser (or “Dump antifreeze into the FW tank” valve may be the culprit. I will do some sleuthing this weekend to confirm where the missing antifreeze went and why it went there.
My guess is I will find it all in the FW tank.
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:48 PM   #5
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you sure bypass valves are correct? did you pull the anode rod to see if it is going in the water HEATER tank. 1 wrong valve position will send it to w/ heater .
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:07 PM   #6
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you sure bypass valves are correct? did you pull the anode rod to see if it is going in the water HEATER tank. 1 wrong valve position will send it to w/ heater .
In the OP it was stated that the anode rod is still out and not installed in the water heater.
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Old 12-04-2020, 03:03 PM   #7
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The only 2 places I can think of is the Water heater or the fresh tank, I guess you need to open the drain on the fresh to see if the anti freeze comes out, if not I am as stumped as you.
Check your water heater bypass valve
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Old 12-04-2020, 03:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rlocicero View Post
Check your water heater bypass valve
OP says "The water heater is bypassed and the plug is still out. I have the valve levers in the correct positions...."
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 5thwheelinfireman View Post
So there I was crammed in the basement of my 5th wheel, trying to figure out where the antifreeze puddle was. 3 gallons of antifreeze just doesn’t disappear.
Or does it?
Back story: first time winterizing the new rig with the fancy water control panel (Nautilus P4). I read the directions (I’m a militant direction reader and follower...I have found in life that the people that built it know how to use it) and confidently begin the op. I have winterized campers for 20 years with no issues so “how hard can it be?”
Pump picks up slow or not at all at first but eventually I get it primed and the antifreeze is disappearing from the bucket only it’s not coming out of the faucets. There must be a leak somewhere behind the control panel...no antifreeze puddle anywhere. 3 gallons later I’m stumped. There isn’t 3 gallons of volume in the piping. No antifreeze pouring out from under the camper. The water heater is bypassed and the plug is still out. I have the valve levers in the correct positions....
Only place the antifreeze can be going is into the fresh water tank. Only way this happens is the sub-genius that hooked up the nautilus system has the piping/valve configuration wrong. I have not checked the fresh water tank yet. Easy to verify my supposition but really what else can it be?
Antifreeze leaves bucket, reappears somewhere else...easy concept to grasp.
Same as Doug W said. Slow pick up could indicate a valve not closed or a leaking check valve on city water inlet.
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 5thwheelinfireman View Post
..I have found in life that the people that built it know how to use it
I wouldn't bet on that assumption.

In a 5er, I'm curious to know how you know that the total volume is 3 gal or less. In my straight trailer, 3 gal barely makes it to the 2 gray and 1 black tank.
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 5thwheelinfireman View Post
So there I was crammed in the basement of my 5th wheel, trying to figure out where the antifreeze puddle was. 3 gallons of antifreeze just doesn’t disappear.
Or does it?
Back story: first time winterizing the new rig with the fancy water control panel (Nautilus P4). I read the directions (I’m a militant direction reader and follower...I have found in life that the people that built it know how to use it) and confidently begin the op. I have winterized campers for 20 years with no issues so “how hard can it be?”
Pump picks up slow or not at all at first but eventually I get it primed and the antifreeze is disappearing from the bucket only it’s not coming out of the faucets. There must be a leak somewhere behind the control panel...no antifreeze puddle anywhere. 3 gallons later I’m stumped. There isn’t 3 gallons of volume in the piping. No antifreeze pouring out from under the camper. The water heater is bypassed and the plug is still out. I have the valve levers in the correct positions....
Only place the antifreeze can be going is into the fresh water tank. Only way this happens is the sub-genius that hooked up the nautilus system has the piping/valve configuration wrong. I have not checked the fresh water tank yet. Easy to verify my supposition but really what else can it be?
Antifreeze leaves bucket, reappears somewhere else...easy concept to grasp.
Make sure the Anti-Freeze did not go through a filter as it will remove the color and look like plain water!
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by HDHNTR Chuck Felton View Post
Make sure the Anti-Freeze did not go through a filter as it will remove the color and look like plain water!
Good thought... except... the OP said NOTHING was coming out the faucets or on the ground. Pink, clear or otherwise.
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Old 12-04-2020, 06:18 PM   #13
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So is there an answer yet?
Hey, anybody out there?
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:16 PM   #14
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Good thought... except... the OP said NOTHING was coming out the faucets or on the ground. Pink, clear or otherwise.
Basic question, are you putting the antifreeze in the city water port and not the fresh water port?
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:18 AM   #15
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So is there an answer yet?
Hey, anybody out there?
Today is just Sat Morning, OP stated he was gojng to check it out this weekend. Patience boy, patience!
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Old 12-05-2020, 09:39 AM   #16
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Some rigs have an accumulator tank and inline filters. Not sure that they hold 3 gallons, but?
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Old 12-05-2020, 10:45 AM   #17
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Cant wait to see where this antifreeze went.
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:56 PM   #18
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Mystery solved...

After much sleuthing and trouble shooting the answer is clear.
If everyone sends me $5 I’ll reveal the answer....

Kidding.

Ok, it took one idiot (that would be me) one showermiser valve, and one open shower valve to “vanish” the antifreeze into the fresh water tank.
Turns out one of the shower valves rotates in the opposite direction than i think it should so the valve was open. The showermiser valve was bypassing into the FW tank and presto, antifreeze gone.

Redid the job today and it took 1.5 gallons to fill all the lines, filter casing, and get antifreeze to all the taps.

Interesting suggestion that the water filter would “scrub” the color out of the antifreeze. Could be legit, the liquid draining from the FW tank today was clear but smelled like antifreeze. I did soak the filter element during the first attempt the other night.

Learning curve steep on this one. Thanks for suggestions, this forum is very helpful!
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:03 PM   #19
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You said your shower valves turn opposite what you thought they should! Where does your shower hose screw on ,Top or Bottom of fixture? If installed properly should be on the bottom! Youroo!!
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:29 PM   #20
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Make sure the Anti-Freeze did not go through a filter as it will remove the color and look like plain water!
Glad you found the problem! About the filter thing. I had a hunting partneer who came to me and said he had gone through 3 gllons and no pink color appeared in the lines or valves when opened. 16' trailer. Should not have used over one gallon. Bypassed filter and took less than 1 gallon.
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