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Old 09-17-2020, 12:32 PM   #1
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Why anti freeze your plumbing in winter???

I am curious why anyone would add hazardous or any deleterious chemical to their plumbing even if touted as safe.. I dont see where its necessary and just another overdone or unnecessary maintenance chore.Prior to winter why not just drain all your tanks, water heater, filters etc , and then blow air through each fixture one by one to eliminate any water residual in the pipes. Leave all fixtures open and drains open .. done and done.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:39 PM   #2
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That is what I do.

I also add pink stuff to all drains to dilute or displace the water in them. I add some to the toilet bowl to protect the seals.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:43 PM   #3
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Compressed air works. It just takes some time to do it right. Any water remaining can freeze and if in the wrong place, do damage.

Your choice.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCR View Post
I am curious why anyone would add hazardous or any deleterious chemical to their plumbing even if touted as safe.. I dont see where its necessary and just another overdone or unnecessary maintenance chore.Prior to winter why not just drain all your tanks, water heater, filters etc , and then blow air through each fixture one by one to eliminate any water residual in the pipes. Leave all fixtures open and drains open .. done and done.
RV antifreeze is neither hazardous nor deleterious. It's nothing like automotive antifreeze. Have actually read up on RV antifreeze?
Living on Puget Sound, we don't get hard freezes and I clear my lines with air but I still put RV antifreeze in the traps.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:55 PM   #5
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Good question JCR, here are a couple of thoughts.

First off, RV "antifreeze" is propylene glycol. Non toxic, non corrosive, and is added to many food stuffs you most likely already consume. It is not the same composition as your car/truck antifreeze.

It does act as a lubricant and can help keep your seals and faucet washers from drying out and becoming brittle.

Secondly, not everyone has access to compressed air in the volume and time it takes to get all the air dried out of every nook and cranny. At least with the "pink stuff" you can see it flushing the water out of the faucets, hoses, tanks, toilet, the sink traps, and out the discharge pipe. I like the "insurance" factor of seeing the pink.

Not knowing where you hail from, here in NE Ohio freezing weather can beat up plastic plumbing in a heartbeat.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:18 PM   #6
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Definitely some good points..
However, I am not sure adding anti freeze to the pipes will make them any warmer if temperature is the deteriorating factor as mentioned.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:18 PM   #7
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We get freezing temperatures but not extended cold. I use about 4 gallons of antifreeze that costs under $15. Why? Because the cost to repair a frozen fitting would be many hundreds of times more expensive. I sleep good even though the temperature is below freezing and there is snow is snow all over the trailer. A good night’s sleep is worth the $15.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:20 PM   #8
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I respectfully disagree.

Air can do the job...IF the system is designed/installed and functioning correctly. That's a big "if". If not, water can be trapped in areas that will be damaged when frozen. Antifreeze will displace and/or lower the freeze point of this residual water.

I've seen ball valves cracked, a brand new tankless HW heater (dealer winterized) turned into junk and other perils of inadequate winterization. The most expensive were numerous diesel engines trashed because an uninformed know-it-all mechanic deemed his quick and dirty winterization process was "fine" for the yachts he serviced. (You had to witness the anger that broke out the following spring when owners launched their boats for the season. About 25% of the boat owners were ready to kill! True story!)

So...can just air do the job? Yep. Will I depend on just air in Upstate New York? No way. "Place your bets. Take your chances."

FWIW, I drain, use air, than antifreeze. (Belt and suspenders approach. )
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:22 PM   #9
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You live in Florida so you have no worries.
So why waste our time with a nonscense thread obviously meaning nothing to you.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:22 PM   #10
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I also shy away from adding propylene glycol to my water lines but not at all because I'm concerned about health risks. I would just rather not. As eye95 said, I do add it to all drain traps and a bit into the black tank and toilet bowl. One benefit of using glycol is you can be sure to have cleared out every line if you open every tap and wait to see pink. It's easier to forget something when working with air - like the shower wand tubing, the toilet supply, the outdoor wand, etc.

For blowing out lines, I use the blower side of a shop vac rather than compressed air. I have a smaller unit so none of the line lengths are a concern, it's a lot easier than lugging my compressor to the storage place, I don't have to worry about screwing up and over-pressurizing anything, and I've convinced myself that the motor in the shop vac heats the air a bit for better drying. I do the same with my sprinkler piping at home.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:29 PM   #11
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Definitely some good points..
However, I am not sure adding anti freeze to the pipes will make them any warmer if temperature is the deteriorating factor as mentioned.
Just an FYI.

Antifreeze of any type does not make anything "warmer" It raises the freezing temperature of any liquid it mixes with or replaces.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:29 PM   #12
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I do it because it's waaay too easy to forget a step or not get ALL the water out every every little dip and bend in the pipes. An extra $10 and 20 minutes is worth it to me vs. having to replace a valve that froze and cracked over the winter.

Here's a perfect example:

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ll-185946.html
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:33 PM   #13
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I do it because it's waaay too easy to forget a step or not get ALL the water out every every little dip and bend in the pipes. An extra $10 and 20 minutes is worth it to me vs. having to replace a valve that froze and cracked over the winter.

Here's a perfect example:

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ll-185946.html
X2
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:34 PM   #14
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For blowing out lines, I use the blower side of a shop vac rather than compressed air. I have a smaller unit so none of the line lengths are a concern, it's a lot easier than lugging my compressor to the storage place, I don't have to worry about screwing up and over-pressurizing anything, and I've convinced myself that the motor in the shop vac heats the air a bit for better drying. I do the same with my sprinkler piping at home.
How do you attach the hose from the shop vac to the water inlet on your RV? Did you have to make an adapter yourself?
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Iwritecode View Post
I do it because it's waaay too easy to forget a step or not get ALL the water out every every little dip and bend in the pipes. An extra $10 and 20 minutes is worth it to me vs. having to replace a valve that froze and cracked over the winter.

Here's a perfect example:

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ll-185946.html
The same thing can, and does, happen with those who use antifreeze. If you forget to open a valve, like the toilet, outside shower, or shower hose, the same thing will happen as you have not displaced the water with antifreeze.
I say if you live where there are hard, continuous freezes, use antifreeze. Otherwise, blowing out all lines thoroughly works just fine.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:36 PM   #16
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I've been using air at 40lbs. to blow out my lines with pink stuff in all the traps for 5 winters now. NC winters are not too tough generally and I've had no issues...but we have had multiple days in a row below freezing in that time. I'd do the same in Vermont but you DO have to be careful to get ALL the water out of any nooks and cranny's...shower heads...including the one outdoors, toilet step on, waterpump strainer, water filter element etc.

Works for me.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:48 PM   #17
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Yep, I've got simple fittings to attach at a couple of spots in my piping network, including both water inlets (city and tank fill) and the pipe that connects to the pump outlet. Last fall I added another by T-ing in a hose connection at the outlet pipe from my FW tank. This pipe is a long run from tank to where the pump is in back and I was a bit nervous about making sure that's clear. Sounds like a lot of work but it goes very quickly now. The adapter to the shop vac hose is a combination of shop vac fitting, pvc pipe fitting and brass hose fitting. All cheap and easy to get.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:51 PM   #18
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My first camping trip after blowing out the anti-freeze in my new to me camper I fired up the water heater and took a shower and pretty quick notice something wasn't right. While toweling myself off the propane/CO alarm went off and I had the windows open. Whatevers in that pink stuff the alarm did not like and it is very sensitive. After that episode, I now make sure everything gets blown out.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:52 PM   #19
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The same thing can, and does, happen with those who use antifreeze. If you forget to open a valve, like the toilet, outside shower, or shower hose, the same thing will happen as you have not displaced the water with antifreeze.
It can. But the visual of say having AF in the toilet bowl is a good reminder that it has not been forgotten.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:54 PM   #20
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The adapter to the shop vac hose is a combination of shop vac fitting, pvc pipe fitting and brass hose fitting. All cheap and easy to get.
Got any pictures?

I use a portable compressor but your way sounds interesting and possibly easier.
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