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Old 10-17-2015, 06:23 PM   #1
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Draining water heater

We winterized for the first time yesterday, (only after perusing many a post here). I drained the water heater, flipped the bypass and blew out the lines with air. I thought I had done a good job. I was double checking a post on here and found one that stated to blow out the water heater too to get more out. So we did and ended up with what sounded like a large pocket of water within the heater. I ran the air for about 10 min and could hear it bubling thru the pocket. We got most of it out. We finished with running the antifreeze thru all the faucets, hot and cold, flushed the head, and poured some more in the p-traps.

Did I miss something with the water heater? Could I have done it different to get that final pocket out the first time?

Also, do you leave any antifreeze in the bowl of the toilet? I voted yes and the DW voted no. Can you guess who won?
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Old 10-17-2015, 06:35 PM   #2
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The thing with water in the pipes is if the water freezes it can't go anywhere and it pushes out on the pipes with tremendous pressure which can rupture the pipes. A little water in the bottom of the water heater if it freezes can't really exert any pressure on the walls of the tank so it is unlikely to do any damage.

If you are worried about the water that remains, get a wet dry vac and a tube that will go in through the drain hole to suck out the remaining water.

Whatever you do don't put antifreeze in your water heater.
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Old 10-17-2015, 06:44 PM   #3
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Even when an Atwood water heater is drained from the plug, there's still a quart or so still in the bottom. I stick a curved piece of vinyl tubing into the drain hole, trying to get the end to touch bottom-center of the water heater. A quick suck on the hose end will siphon the rest of the water out.
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:00 PM   #4
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We put antifreeze in the toilet to keep the gasket moist; if you use water, it freezes. I don't think that is good for the gasket.

Winterizing seems like such a challenge until you do it once or twice, and then...it's just another chore, don't you think?
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:25 PM   #5
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What I have done for the past few years is to drain the hot water tank (leaving plug out) with the pressure relief valve open just before leaving the last campsite of the season. By the time I get home, the tank is virtually bone dry. As I start to add antifreeze to the plumbing, I run some to the hot water tank, then bypass it and complete winterizing the whole system.
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:30 PM   #6
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us71na or anyone else, why should you not put antifreeze in the hot water tank?

I have put in a little in for years without any issues.
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:54 PM   #7
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So it was just on the bottom of the hot water tank. Good news. Overall, the whole process was fairly painless.

My in-laws were telling me I needed at least 4 gallons of antifreeze. I only used one and a little of the 2nd. I guess their grey tank is extra protected.
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:00 PM   #8
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My dad and I just winterized mine today. I'm recovering from shoulder surgery, so dad turned the valve for the HWH. I drained heater, and we pumped antifreeze through lines and out faucets, to include outdoor shower. Wiped up mess in shower so won't stain and done. Took about 20 min and 1 gal of antifreeze.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:41 AM   #9
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Yes a cup full of antifreeze in the toilet to keep the seal moist... a little water in the bottom of the HW heater is not a problem.. a full tank would be..


Meeker it is just a waste of antifreeze to fill the HW tank with it...


How do you make antifreeze?... hide her red woolies...LOL OK I will stop now..
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:33 AM   #10
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I have only accidentally put antifreeze in my water heater.

As for the toilet bowl, I put antifreeze in there, then I put a drop of mineral oil to keep it from evaporating over the winter, p traps too.
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