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Old 01-05-2022, 06:13 AM   #1
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Thumbs down Power went out, floor heater reset, icicles in sink

We are dealing with a pretty hard hit from the recent winter storm here in Louisa, Virginia. We've been on generator power for a few days now and the MiFi is providing backup internet access.

All is well except one thing: we have a Pelonis floor heater that runs in the TT set for about 55-60 degrees. It keeps the inside nice and warm during the winter months because we do a good bit of winter camping with our trailer. With the addition of the winter insulation package, we've never had to run the propane heater when the floor heater is used because it retains heat so well.

When power went out, during the transfer to generator, the floor heater reset. I didn't realize it for a day. I went to check on the travel trailer and it was 16 degrees inside. I spit out my coffee and it froze to the floor too!

I had icicles hanging out of the kitchen sink and the pipes were hard as rock. Not good at all. I immediately reset the floor heater, got the propane heater set to 60 F, and turned on the heated tank pads. I let that run for about an hour until everything was defrosted and the pipes were pliable. Once I was able to run water through the hot and cold water lines in the shower, bathroom, and kitchen via the onboard water pump to relieve the built up pressure, I turned on the hot water heater and let it warm the water. I then ran hot water through all of the hot water lines.

The plumbing lines are fairly thick. Even in the summer months, they are hard to move and handle. I'm concerned about cracks and water leaks. Nothing has shown for 24 hours now inside the TT, but outside it is still 26F so anything dripping in the underbelly won't show for some time.

Are there any "common" leak spots? Any areas I should check?
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Old 01-05-2022, 07:05 AM   #2
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Usually the fittings will crack before the lines. I'd leave the pump on to see if it cycles. If it doesn't you probably don't have any leaks.
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Old 01-05-2022, 07:24 AM   #3
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Usually the fittings will crack before the lines. I'd leave the pump on to see if it cycles. If it doesn't you probably don't have any leaks.
Oh that's a great idea. I never thought to listen for the pump cycling. Thanks!
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Old 01-05-2022, 10:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Usually the fittings will crack before the lines. I'd leave the pump on to see if it cycles. If it doesn't you probably don't have any leaks.
X2, the fittings are the weak point. I always pay attention to the pump cycling. If it cycles for no reason, there is a leak somewhere. Very frequent cycles, indicate a bigger leak, cycling every hour or so is a very small leak (probably more like a weap).

If you are not camping right now, might be best to drain all the plumbing. If you do not have RV antifreeze, for the P-Traps make up a solution of very salty water, and pour down the drains.

Good luck.
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Old 01-05-2022, 11:11 AM   #5
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I have not had it so cold inside that the lines froze solid but one elk hunting trip it got to 10F and a line fitting near the pump cracked. As Grumpy said the fittings don't flex like the line and cracks show up there first.



I had several times over the years of high mountain, back country camping where a T junction would ice up due to a pickup line or drain line below the coroplast freezing up. The ice wicks back up the drain line to the T and stop water. The sign was when the pump started up at 2AM and no water was on, or you flushed the toilet, the pump came on and did not stop and no water came up the line. I learned to wrap anything below the coroplast and super insulate the UDC.
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Old 01-10-2022, 08:43 AM   #6
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Update on this: I think we were lucky (again) in the fact that I didn't let it get below freezing for a significant amount of time. No leaks (so far). The underbelly is nice and warm thanks in part to the heated tank pads and the hot water lines radiating heat.

No pump runs, no puddles, and no drop in water capacity. Lesson learned for the future.

Headed from one snowy part of Virginia to a more snowy part this weekend so we'll get to actually use travel trailer fully. Should give me a good idea on what, if anything, is broken and needs some TLC.
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