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Old 12-21-2010, 11:20 PM   #1
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water heater bypass valve for winterization

Can someone tell me where exactly the water heater bypass valve is on my water heater? I have a 2011 32 BHDS TT and will be winterizing it in the next day or two as we have a front coming in and it's supposed to freeze on Christmas eve. The trailer is out in storage, so I can't go out and check it out....

I'm planning on pumping antifreeze in through the 12V water pump. Any other tips/tricks to get this done easily/quickly?

Thanks!!!
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:06 AM   #2
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Not sure about your model but on mine the bypass valves are right by the water heater on the inside of the trailer, not the outside hatch that you open up so find the inside access to the water heater first. You close the 2 valves that go into the water heater and open up the one in the middle that bypasses the water heater. Be sure and drain the water heater from the outside by removing the plug.

Open up all low point drains including fresh water tank and allow them to drain. Close low point drains. Insert hose at pump into antifreeze and turn on valve on hose, turn off valve coming from fresh water tank. Turn on pump and allow system to fill with anti. Turn on a faucet until pink anti flows out, hot and then cold. Turn faucet off and move to the next one, and do not forget the outside shower and toilet.

Pour some down sinks and tub to fill p traps and add a little to black/grey tanks which should be empty. Turn off pump. The whole process should take 2 gallons or less of anti freeze.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:15 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info! That was more of less how I figured the winterizing would go.

I figured that the bypass would be on the inside of the trailer and not part of the actual water heater because the water heater instructions said absolutely nothing about a bypass. I'll have to open her all up and go in to check it out.

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:52 AM   #4
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RV Winterizing - Antifreeze Method

You will need 2-4 gals. of RV antifreeze depending on the size of your RV.

1. If you have any inline water filters remove and bypass before starting.
2. Drain the fresh water holding tank, close the valve.
3. Drain and flush the gray and black holding tanks. If your RV doesnít have a built in tank flushing system clean the black tank out with a wand, or use a product like Flush King that allows you to clean both the black and gray tanks, close the valves.
4. Drain the water heater. Remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve, close the valve and replace drain plug. CAUTION (never drain the water heater when it is hot or under pressure)
5. By-pass the water heater. If you do not have a by-pass kit installed the water heater will fill up with antifreeze before it goes through the water lines, wasting six gallons of antifreeze.
6. If you have a water pump converter kit use it, if not disconnect the inlet side of the water pump (the line coming from the fresh water holding tank). Connect a piece of clear tubing to the inlet side of the pump and put the other end into a one gallon container of non-toxic RV antifreeze.
7. Turn the water pump on and pressurize the system. Slowly open each faucet one at a time until antifreeze appears. (Replace the antifreeze container as required).
Repeat this process on all faucets. Donít forget the inside and outside shower, if equipped.
Flush the toilet, open and close the low point drains, until antifreeze appears.
8. Turn the water pump off.
9. Pour a cupful of antifreeze down each drain. Pour a couple of cups in the toilet and flush into the holding tank.
10. If your water heater has an electric heating element make sure it is turned off. This will protect the element if the unit is plugged in while being stored.
11. Make sure all the faucets are closed.
Consult your owner manuals for winterizing icemakers and washing machines.
The unit is winterized.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:14 AM   #5
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Ignorant question -

If draining all of the low point drains essentially removes all water from the pipes, why is it necessary to fill them up with antifreeze? If the lines aren't full of water, there is no reason for them to freeze, right?
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasA&M View Post
Ignorant question -

If draining all of the low point drains essentially removes all water from the pipes, why is it necessary to fill them up with antifreeze? If the lines aren't full of water, there is no reason for them to freeze, right?
Condensation left in the lines will cause your fixtures to bust. ALWAYS use anti-freeze. $8.00 investment saves $$$$$ in repairs.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:10 AM   #7
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Good enough for me! I'll be tackling this tomorrow (hopefully without issue).
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TexasA&M View Post
Good enough for me! I'll be tackling this tomorrow (hopefully without issue).
Here's a valve position diagram and winterizing instructions are on here too.

http://parts.cunninghamcampers.com/?p=4711
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasA&M View Post
Ignorant question -

If draining all of the low point drains essentially removes all water from the pipes, why is it necessary to fill them up with antifreeze? If the lines aren't full of water, there is no reason for them to freeze, right?
Unless you blow out the lines with air pressure there could be water left in some of the piping even if you open up the low point drains, hence the need to run anti freeze through the system to be safe. Some use air pressure by using an attachment that hooks up to the city water fill and an air compressor set around 40 lbs. While one person is holding the air hose another inside the RV turns on each faucet until the all the water is out of the line. Then they move to the next one and all the low point drains. Since yours is in storage you may not have access to air and the previously stated method will work just fine. And as CCI said RV anti freeze is cheap unlike the toxic auto grade stuff. Either way it does not take long and after you do it once you`ll be a pro!
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:00 AM   #10
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Got her done without any issue. My only gripe is with draining the water heater... since Jayco/Atwood know that draining the water heater is an integral part of winterizing for EVERY trailer, why can't they put a valve on there? It's not easy to get a wrench or pliers in there. And what's the deal with the plastic plug? Is there a reason that they use plastic?

Otherwise, easy peasy. Took just two gallons, so now I'll know for next time. It will be much easier to do before we put it up from a trip, rather than having to go out to the storage lot and root around under the cover.
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