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Old 10-15-2022, 04:33 PM   #1
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Air blow out AND antifreeze?

Hi all.

Normally, I've just done the 'ol bypass HWT and charge the lines with antifreeze but this year, I picked up a air blow out plug as my friends swear by them.

I live in Vancouver BC. It's not a cold place, even in winter. Any opinions on whether I should still do the antifreeze after the blow out?

Someone said there are seals etc that may dry out and therefore needs the antifreeze, but I'm not too sure about that. ANd since it's never really cold here, am I just making work for myself?

Is the blow out sufficient for winterizing a trailer in a damp but not very cold climate?

I appreciate any replies!
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Old 10-15-2022, 04:44 PM   #2
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We open the low point drains along with the faucets and open the water heater pressure relief valve to empty everything out first, bypass the water heater, blow out the lines, pump antifreeze through them, dump a couple of cups down the traps, and a cup on top of the toilet flush ball. Cheap insurance for us here in New York State where it does indeed get pretty cold. The antifreeze goes on sale fairly early in the fall, so we pick up a few gallons when we see it.
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Old 10-15-2022, 04:55 PM   #3
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It only takes a little water to settle into an elbow and if it freezes you have a problem. As JFlightRisk said using anti-freeze is cheap insurance.
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Old 10-15-2022, 05:09 PM   #4
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A friend I used to work with only blew out his lines, never used anti freeze, and we're in Michigan with many days well below freezing. I'm not that brave, I blow out my lines AND use anti freeze.

"The west coast is the only part of Canada in which the average temperature remains above freezing (0 įC or 32 įF) even in winter, and Vancouver is the only major city not having a freezing winter".

With that, if you can blow it out well you may be OK.
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Old 10-15-2022, 05:14 PM   #5
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We arenít on the coast, but have mild winters too. (Hey, it was 101* yesterday in mid-October!) Iíve drained the WH and all the lines like JFlight, then blow them out well with the compressor. I then pour antifreeze down all the P traps and put valve lube followed by a little AF in the black tank. We rarely get below 30*, if that, in winter and the coldest Iíve seen in 50 years here was a couple of nights around 19 or 20. Should that ever happen again, weíll get enough warning Iíll pull antifreeze into the lines. Otherwise Iím comfortable with just using air. YMMV.
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Old 10-15-2022, 05:32 PM   #6
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In no way questioning folks here who have many, many more years experience than I do with RVs, but I have to ask as Iíve wondered about this every time I clear the lines for winter. I drain the HW tank, the fresh water tank, then blowout the lines and bleed the low valves. I then keep all of the taps open.

If there is any moisture by chance left in any space and it freezes, as there is no pressure (water or air) on either side of the moisture as it would freeze how would it crack a pipe as I would think the ice would simply expand in either direction?
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Old 10-15-2022, 05:59 PM   #7
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Put me in the camp of just blowing out the lines with some antifreeze in the p-traps. Seems to work well here in PA and we do get some extended time well below freezing.

With that said, the extra insurance of some antifreeze is cheap if it will make you more comfortable.
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Old 10-15-2022, 06:09 PM   #8
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It only takes a little water to settle into an elbow and if it freezes you have a problem. As JFlightRisk said using anti-freeze is cheap insurance.
X2, & Iím in Bellingham and have thanked my lucky stars from that cold blast youíve sent down to me over the last 10 years.
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Old 10-15-2022, 08:07 PM   #9
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Winterizing with RV antifreeze only takes a few minutes and is The least likely between the two to end up causing grief next spring. It’s so cheap and so easy, I cannot imagine doing it any other way if you get even a few hard freezes the last 10 or 12 hours.
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Old 10-15-2022, 08:12 PM   #10
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I have always just blown out the lines, no antifreeze. Only put some in the p traps. I leave all the faucets open. We have many days in deep freeze. There have been temps in -19F a few times. Never had a problem whatsoever. I don't like the idea of putting chemicals in my water lines. I watched a video of what actually breaks the lines when it freezes. It's the air pressure that the water expansion causes, not the direct expansion itself. Nice demonstration on This Old House.

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Old 10-15-2022, 09:56 PM   #11
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If it doesn't get below freezing in or under your RV, blowing is more than enough.

Where I live it freezes every year. For more than 30 years my dad just blew his, I blew mine for 8 years.

Then...I guess we missed getting all the water out of his toilet valve. It froze and broke. Wet bathroom floor.

An easy fix, but it could have really been anywhere.

For the last two years I blow and use anti-freeze.
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Old 10-15-2022, 11:33 PM   #12
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My first year with a Jayco... but my previous trailer, I'd blow it out with an air-plug, then bypass the water heater and pull the anode, then pump antifreeze through the rest of the system.

Probably overkill - but in 7 years, never had a problem - 10-12 bucks worth of antifreeze, and 2 hours work, is cheaper then the alternative.

EDIT - I'm in Ontario, Canada; we get freezing from late Nov to March/April ish.... we know winter.
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Old 10-15-2022, 11:46 PM   #13
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So what do you guys pour in the toilet to keep the rubber seal good do you put anti-freeze or just don't pour nothing?
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Old 10-16-2022, 05:25 AM   #14
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I watched a video of what actually breaks the lines when it freezes. It's the air pressure that the water expansion causes, not the direct expansion itself. Nice demonstration on This Old House.
Not always.
An older 5er I had had a 1-1/2" grey water drain pipe freeze and split right before the dump /gate valve, probably not much more than 1/2 -3/4 gallon of water had sat there and froze. No pressure there other than the ice itself. My fault for not pulling the gate valve after blowing out the lines.
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Old 10-16-2022, 05:34 AM   #15
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So what do you guys pour in the toilet to keep the rubber seal good do you put anti-freeze or just don't pour nothing?


Thetford RV Toilet Seal Lube and Conditioner - Toilet Seal Lubricant - 24 oz 36663
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Find it at Amazon
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Old 10-16-2022, 06:49 AM   #16
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I'm in the camp that just blows out the water lines and put AF in the traps & toilet. Don't like putting the chemicals in the lines. I also dump about a gallon of AF in each of the black & grey tanks just to keep the dump valves from freezing.
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Old 10-16-2022, 07:25 AM   #17
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I live down I-5 about 360 miles south. Guessing the weather is pretty close. I've never put antifreeze in my lines. I only blow them out. In 12 years I've never had an issue.
If you don't get a deep freeze that lasts for weeks on end like in the NE you should be fine with just blowing out the lines. Even when we get some snow it usually only lasts a few days and the daytime temps reach above freezing.
https://weatherspark.com/compare/y/4...uver-and-Salem
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Old 10-16-2022, 07:44 AM   #18
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Do you all leave the gray and black valves closed (so there's antifreeze up against the back side), or open fully (so there's no liquid at all in there), or...?

And what about the valves on the low point drains and the water tank drain? I'm thinking leave them open fully, and ziptie a sandwich bag over the end to keep out bugs.
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Old 10-16-2022, 08:03 AM   #19
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I first drain the WH, then open the low points, turn on all faucets including the outside one, connect the blowout device and blow the lines. I have my wife go inside the RV to make sure no water is coming out of the faucets.
Then I close the low points. Never worry about the tanks. There's not enough of anything in them to matter.
All my pex lines are above the floor except for the part that hangs down for the low points.

It all really depends on where you live as to the easiest and best way to winterize.
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Old 10-16-2022, 09:15 AM   #20
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snip.......pump antifreeze through them, dump a couple of cups down the traps, and a cup on top of the toilet flush ball. Cheap insurance........snip
X2

I've always used antifreeze....., and like the fact that my water pump is protected. I leave faucets open, and also pour 1/2 gallon antifreeze into each grey & black tank (valves closed).

Bob
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