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Old 12-13-2016, 07:34 AM   #1
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Winterizing made simple. Am I right or wrong

I was going to post on a thread about winterizing but decided to let it go. My comment was referring to the need to drain lines in the water system if your pumping antifreeze.

So here is my thinking. It is not necessary to drain the lines if your pumping antifreeze throughout the system because the antifreeze will push out the water in the lines. It is also not necessary to blow out lines if your pumping antifreeze throughout the system. It's two extra unnecessary steps.

FWIW, I've owned boats for more years than cars and never blew out lines. Rarely added antifreeze. The pitch of the boat on blocks or trailer allowed the water system to be gravity drained into the bilge by unscrewing a few fittings. This year for my TT I drained, blew, and filled.

So....drain holding tanks, drain water heater, pump antifreeze to push out water. 123 done simple.

Right or wrong.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:43 AM   #2
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Yes you should blow out the lines first . if you don't, you will mix the two together and then antifreeze will not give you the same protection.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:52 AM   #3
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Solid color pink coming out of all the fixtures tells me water is evacuated and pure antifreeze is throughout. No?
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:20 AM   #4
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I think theoretically, you may be right.
But draining lines is pretty easy to do and takes little time.
Same with blowing out lines, although I generally don't do it.
It doesn't bother me to do a bit extra and be sure.
But then, that may be my OCD kicking in.
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:24 AM   #5
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If you blow all the water out of the lines there is nothing left to do that will enhance protection. If you blow out the lines but do not get out all the water, why did you blow out the lines?

I think these are different methods of doing the same thing and there is no need to mix them together.
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:30 AM   #6
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...
So....drain holding tanks, drain water heater, pump antifreeze to push out water. 123 done simple.

Right or wrong.
Gman1372,

What you've stated is a valid way to winterize a trailer, as long as you make sure antifreeze is pushed out all faucets, low point drains, toilet, outside shower, etc.

Though from a "rather safe then sorry" perspective, I still drain, blow out, and fill as part of my winterizing process.

The other thing to remember with RV Antifreeze is, the -50F antifreeze has a freeze point of +12F while the -100F antifreeze has a freeze point of -60F. However, as the temperature drops the solution begins to solidify and expand, it can put pressure on pipes that could lead to damage.
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:47 AM   #7
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Gman1372,

What you've stated is a valid way to winterize a trailer, as long as you make sure antifreeze is pushed out all faucets, low point drains, toilet, outside shower, etc.

Though from a "rather safe then sorry" perspective, I still drain, blow out, and fill as part of my winterizing process.

The other thing to remember with RV Antifreeze is, the -50F antifreeze has a freeze point of +12F while the -100F antifreeze has a freeze point of -60F. However, as the temperature drops the solution begins to solidify and expand, it can put pressure on pipes that could lead to damage.
X2! From another belts-and-suspenders kinda guy.

Opening all the drains to let the water out takes near zero effort and limits dilution of the antifreeze.

Blowing out the lines gets even more water out.

Considering the cost of repairing an ice-damaged line, fitting or fixture... I'll take the time to practically guarantee that my water system will be ready to roll come springtime!
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:12 PM   #8
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Same here. Around here, temperatures of -30* for extended periods of time are not unheard of, and the extra time and effort in the fall to blow out the lines first, then pump the antifreeze, is a lot cheaper and easier than having to repair a leak from a ruptured line or fitting in the spring. I've been doing it for years this way, and never have had to fix a leak.
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:34 PM   #9
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For nine of the last ten years, I've only blown out the lines. No antifreeze.

The one year I did antifreeze, I didn't drain the lines first, just pushed the pink stuff through the lines.

No issues yet.
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:58 PM   #10
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You want simple, this is how I do it.

I simply open all faucets, low points, and tanks (fresh, black, gray) then step on the toilet flush until its just airflow; I leave everything open thru the cold months. I also briefly run the pump. Perhaps I should - but I don't - break open the hot water tank drain.

Y'all may think this is risky but we have very little below freezing weather, even less that extends beyond a few hours.

Of course YMMV, as may your tolerance for risk.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:15 PM   #11
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I moved 1600 miles south. That seemed easy enough.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:20 PM   #12
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If you open the low point drains and open all faucets its surprising just how much water drains out just with gravity. Thats what I have always done then pump through the pink stuff.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:36 PM   #13
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If you open the low point drains and open all faucets its surprising just how much water drains out just with gravity. Thats what I have always done then pump through the pink stuff.
That's how I do it every year. After all the pumping is done, I'll depressurize the system and open a low point drain briefly to make sure nothing but pink stuff comes out. You'll know by touch, it has that greasy feeling to it. Don't forget the p-traps.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:43 PM   #14
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The other thing to remember with RV Antifreeze is, the -50F antifreeze has a freeze point of +12F
It is my understanding that the -50* antifreeze has a freeze point of 0* and it will not actually freeze but turn to slush and will not expand to harm pipes. Correct me if read it wrong.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:52 PM   #15
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Yep it gets slushy.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:21 PM   #16
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My view is why not drain, blow & add antifreeze, it takes a little time, doesn't cost much & you save the cost of possible repairs.
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Old 12-29-2016, 07:30 AM   #17
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X2. The fitting costs less than $2. Blowing out the lines adds very little time and effort. Cheap insurance.

I'm honestly not sure what the "savings" is by not blowing out the lines first.
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:05 AM   #18
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X2. The fitting costs less than $2. Blowing out the lines adds very little time and effort. Cheap insurance.

I'm honestly not sure what the "savings" is by not blowing out the lines first.
Not everyone has a compressor in his garage.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:40 PM   #19
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What works for the person in Alabama decidedly won't work for the person in Winnipeg! You have to take your local conditions into account.

Here in the great north, getting the maximum water possible out is critical. In more temperate climes, not so much. It's not the ice that bursts pipes - it's the trapped air compressed by the ice that gets to extreme levels and breaks the pipes. So if the water/antifreeze mix just turns slushy, it still provides a way for the air pressure to get past. And the expansion coefficient of the antifreeze itself is much less than water, so even if you use -50 stuff in -100 conditions, it won't expand and compress the air near as much.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:01 AM   #20
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I've owned 5 campers since 1996 and none of them had antifreeze pumped through the lines. Never used air to blow them out. My practice has been the same (as some of yours) on all of them. Open all the faucets, unscrew and remove the handheld shower heads. Unscrew and dump water from the pump strainer, then pull the plug on the water heater and let gravity take over. Never had a problem with the lines. Now 2 years ago, the kitchen sink pull out faucet froze and cracked the plastic innards. I replaced it and thus began the practice of removing and vigorously shaking the water out of the shower heads and sink faucet. Some have said I'm nuts and maybe so but it has worked for many years.
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