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Old 06-22-2016, 06:03 PM   #1
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Winterizing with Air.

So this is an 'off season' question that I just decided to ask after reading another thread.

So one Winterizing method is to use compressed air. I've tried this approach with my former TT which had a pretty simple plumbing system. And even then I didn't feel like I was doing it right.

I have a portable air tank that I can take to the filling station and load up. But that tank doesn't have a regulator so if it has 200 lbs of pressure in it, when I start blowing out the plumbing it's putting 200lbs of pressure in there (yea-I know not to do that )

I also have a portable compressor. If I use that, it can't move enough air to even get up a few pounds of pressure.

So is there any option other than buying the type of commercial compressor used to drive power tools - which I have no other use for?? How do those of you who winterize with air do it? What equipment do you use?

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Old 06-22-2016, 06:11 PM   #2
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I used to use a 7 gallon Husky compressor without any issues. It's relatively portable, but not optimal. If you don't want to invest a couple hundred into a larger compressor, just use the on-board pump and antifreeze.

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Old 06-22-2016, 06:40 PM   #3
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The small 12V compressor works fine to blow out your lines. Just hook it to the nipple you put on the city water input and turn it on. A few lbs of pressure will start building up in the closed system. Go inside and open the sink, shower, toilet water valves one at a time. Leave one open until it spits just air and move on to the next. Don't forget to flush the toilet until you get air. I go back and repeat the process a second time on each faucet. If you drain the low point drains first, that will remove most of the water in the lines before you turn on the compressor. The low point drains need to be closed when you blow the lines. To finish pour a cup of pink stuff into each sink drain and shower drain. Oh, forgot the water heater. Bypass the water lines to the water heater and then remove the drain plug.

You do not need a big fancy compressor. The small low volume 12v ones work great and you are not going to blow up a line.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:55 PM   #4
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My experience... you need to push out the water and displace it with air. Air is not going to push all the water up a vertical pipe to the sink or shower, so you need enough air volume at 40 PSI to be able to push water from the lowest point in your plumbing system to a Low Point Drain. (That depends on how your coach plumbing is configured and how your plumbing drain lines are ran.)
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:56 PM   #5
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I can't locate the product that i have on Costco's website, but I know they still had some in the store this past weekend when I was there. It's a jump start/air compressor/emergency light in one unit. That's what I use to blow out the lines of our fiver. I also use it to air up the tires. It has worked flawless in the last 3 years that I've had it!
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:47 PM   #6
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I use a Husky 1.5 gallon 135 PSI 115VAC compressor. It cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 about 8 years ago. I'll run the pressure up to 35-40 PSI to blow the lines and then pour a bit of RV antifreeze in the P traps and toilet.
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Old 06-23-2016, 05:52 AM   #7
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A 110 volt compressor from Harbor Freight can be found for 49-99 dollars.. or you can get a regulator valve for your air tank that you can use to drop the pressure with
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Old 06-23-2016, 06:43 AM   #8
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Tried it. Don't like it.

I've got a 5HP commercial compressor with a regulator, so the blow-out was as complete as possible.

However, you can never get ALL of the water. The droplets will coalesce in the lowest point and form ice. Not my idea of a good time. And what do you do about the drains?

I'll spend the $20 for a couple of gallons of anti-freeze. Even if some water mixes with the antifreeze, it won't crystalize and expand. Plus, a 1/2 cup down each drain covers the traps and the waste tanks.
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Old 06-23-2016, 06:46 AM   #9
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We have several compressors at home for one job or another but I got one of these for about $60 one year for a Black Friday deal:
Shop Campbell Hausfeld 0.33-HP 2-Gallon 100-PSI Electric Air Compressor at Lowes.com

I'm surprised every time it works but it does. I dialed the output pressure down to ~20PSI and bought a quick disconnect fitting:

I originally had the Schader valve but that requires two people.
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:22 AM   #10
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I have an eight gallon compressor, since between the trailer, my truck and DW's car, plus various other things that require air, a compressor is a necessity in our house. Also, in the winter here, temperatures go down to -30* for extended periods of time, so proper winterization is mandatory. I blow out the lines using the compressor, pump RV antifreeze through them, them blow it out again. It's three times the work, but it's guaranteed to be done correctly. I'd rather spend the in the fall doing it right than dealing with the hassle in the spring fixing it.

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