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Old 01-05-2014, 03:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Johnson City, Texas
Posts: 60
Fresh Water Low Point Drains

With temps below freezing is there a huge concern for the low point drains freezing. I cannot see the 86 gallon tank freezing but the small lines and the little plastic valves I would think will freeze. Does simple black insulation provide much protection? I plan on disconnecting the city water but want to make sure we have water from the tank. Can anyone provide suggestions?

I though about insulating the lines and building a small metal box to protect the valves.

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Old 01-07-2014, 02:18 PM   #2
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Location: Fredericksburg, TX
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Hmm, interesting concern. I never thought about those. We camped last Thanksgiving in Fredericksburg and it froze for a few days and it didn't break those valves, altough it has been colder the past few days in Central Texas (ours is winterized now).

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Old 01-07-2014, 04:06 PM   #3
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Hummm, I thought I had replied to this thread.

You are correct to disconnect your city water connection. You do not mention how long you expect to be below freezing and how cold, nor if you are using the TT. If you are using the TT, I expect you will have the furnace running, so the internal piping will be fine. I do leave the doors to cabinets that have plumbing in them ajar just to be safe. I also like to keep the FW tank full at night, because water freezes from the top down, and the pickup tube is at the bottom of the tank. At night if we get up to use the restroom, we turn on the kitchen faucet for a moment as it is the last fixtures on the line, just to move a little water to ensure they do not freeze up.

If the pipes are all inside the TT the internal heat of the TT will keep them warm enough and from freezing. If for some reason the pipes are run on the outside of the TT or through an unconditioned area such as a cargo hold you may want to look at some pipe insulation. Just remember if you make a box, residual heat from the TT will be blocked from getting to the valve and it may freeze as your only opening would be to the outside where the cold is located.

If the TT is empty and just sitting at a season site or at home, I would drain the entire system include pulling the low point drains and open all the faucets. As for the low point drains freezing while using the TT with the heat on. I would not be concerned as there is almost no cold surface temperature in contact with the valve, and what there is in overwhelmed by the warmer valve body within the TT. The valve and water has a lot of thermal mass compared to the small amount of cold air. One of the things I did do to my TT, is caulk the area around the low point drain pipe and the floor, I did this to keep critters out (mice), which will also help keep the cabinet that the valve is in warmer.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:23 AM   #4
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Location: Maplesville, AL - Home Base
Posts: 2,524
It has been below freezing here for almost the past 72 hours. Yesterday morning we had a low of 9 degrees and the high yesterday was only 22. I full time and do have my city water unhooked and am operating on my fresh water tank. I too have wondered about this low point drain valve, but it hasn't broken yet and I have seen 13 degrees at night before a couple of years ago.

Last night I was wondering what temp my fresh water tank is so I measured the temperature of water coming out of the kitchen tap and after it stabilized it was 56 degrees. Obviously the furnace is heating the fresh water space since I haven't seen temps here above 22 in almost three days.

I'll report back on the health of this fresh water drain valve later today after the temp warms up to the forecast 45'ish. I hope it survives. If it does I can't help but wonder "why". Maybe it being exposed to the 56 degree water on the "inside" is enough to keep it from freezing?

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