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Old 12-16-2010, 07:38 AM   #1
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Hot Water Heater Bypass

New to RV ownership, did my own winterization, but now have a question. Drained everything including the HWH. Aired the lines with 35PSI several times until water stopped showing. Turned the Hot and Cold lines off to the HWH. Filled all lines with antifreeze through the pump, open all valves until AF showed. My question is I don't have any on the hot side, because the valves are closed. Any risk of trouble? Stored indoors, without heat.

Thanks
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:24 AM   #2
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If you have blown air through your lines you do not need to pump antifreeze through afterwards. Just put a cup of antifreeze in all the "P" traps, shower and toilet bowl. If you have an ice maker you will need to drain the supply solenoid valve and if you have a washer/dryer you will need to cycle that with the compressed air on. You say you turned "off" the water to the hot water tank but you should have bypass valves which would allow air to come out of the hot water taps. If neither air nor antifreeze came out of the hot taps then you still have water in the pipes. Check that the 2 valves have a short pipe connected between them and that both valves are turned to point to each other. I assume you drained the tank by removing the zinc anode.
If you skip the antifreeze in the future don't forget to drain the water pump.

Further discussion on this subject at Good Sam Club.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:45 PM   #3
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All - putting air pressure in the lines WILL NOT empty all the water in the HH unit. The company does not warranty these units if they discover you did not use RV Rated Antifreeze in the water lines. The best way is to just pump it in via the city water fill. If your coach does not have that, you can then pump/pour it into the fresh water tank, or force it into the fill hose (read APEX). I was lucky the first year, and blew out the water and it did not freeze. However, there are low points in these units which won't clear of water by using air pressure. To have the unit fixed after it freezes at the factory is around 6000.00 dollars. A new one is around 12K, so the fix is cheaper. Please do not just use air pressure, fill the water system with RV Rated Antifreeze and be safe.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:58 AM   #4
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Been using the air pressure method for many years in northern MD, gets down to single digit at times, never had anything freeze. You have to do it right.

RV Winterizing….Blowing Out the Lines Method.
You will need an air compressor or some source of air with an air hose.
An air hose chuck.
A water inlet / air adapter.
And less then a gal. of RV antifreeze.
1. Drain fresh water tank, close valve.
2. Drain hot water heater replace drain plug.
3. Dump and (flush if possible) both black and gray water holding tanks, leave gray water valve open.
4. Screw compressed air adaptor into the fresh water inlet. The adapter is available from Camping World, Walmart, or most RV dealers.
5. Apply compressed air, keeping the pressure at 30 PSI but less than 40 PSI. You may need someone to hold the air hose on the adapter.
6. Open then close each faucet, hot and cold, one valve at a time, allowing the compressed air to force the water out of the line. Don't forget the shower and toilet and outside shower. Run the water pump with a faucet open for a few seconds to clear out all the water. Remove and replace the ice maker hose on the outside if equipped. Open both low point drains and close.
7. Remove the drain plug from the hot water tank and allow the compressed air to blow out the remaining water. Reinstall drain plug.
8. Remove the compressed air source and adapter. Close gray tank valve.
9. Pour a few cups of RV antifreeze down each drain and toilet.
10. You’re done.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:12 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info, I did do both. Air and antifreeze.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:12 AM   #6
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Thanks, that is what I did do. Both air and antifreeze.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:45 AM   #7
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LostAgain,

We use have used the same method for over 30 years. I picked up an air chuck at Auto Zone a few years back that locks on the valve stem. It makes winterizing a one person 10 minute job.

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Old 12-17-2010, 08:16 AM   #8
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One of these items is also good for a 1 person job.
Worldwide Merchandise Company - Blow Out Hose - Winterizing - Camping World
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:27 AM   #9
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Old RV'er, you are correct in the need for antifreeze in a Hydro-Hot system. However, it is not clear that Todd49 has one of these in his coach. He just mentioned a hot water heater, so I assumed he had the standard Suburban tank. Anyway his original concern was that antifreeze did not come out of the hot taps. If he does have a Hydro-Hot system wouldn't you expect to see antifreeze?
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Algoma View Post
if you have a washer/dryer you will need to cycle that with the compressed air on.
I don't know if you have to get some of the anti-freeze into the washer drain lines or somethng, but this is the manufacturer's recommended proceedure:

washer_Winterize_QuickGuide.pdwasherf.pdf
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:35 PM   #11
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Yes I only have the standard HW Tank. I really appreciate everyones information. Playing with this coach is about as much fun as i have had in a long time. We have 2 at PSU and have enjoyed tailgating with the kids. Now it is time to plan what I would like to work on next. Maybe an outside TV set up? Has anyone done an upgrade on an older coach?
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:58 PM   #12
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It would help if you created a signature with details of your coach. That way you may get more relevant answers.
So if you have the standard tank you can ignore all that about the Hydro-Hot and you really can skip the antifreeze.
Have you turned off the electric heater to the tank? There is a switch close to the anode. Now write a note and leave it close to the heater switch near the sink saying "the tank is empty, do NOT turn on the heater(s)". Only takes a few seconds to burn out the electric element if the tank is empty. (Don't ask how I know.)
When you de-winterize don't open the bypass valves until the water runs clear. Then you can fill the hot water tank and you won't get that frothing that seems to last for days.
We are heading South after Christmas so I have to de-winterize on the way.

You may want to open a new thread if you want specifics on upgrades.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:28 PM   #13
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When adding RV AF, you should get that fluid coming out of all the taps, both hot and cold. Don't forget the washer and the inside/outside shower as well. Camping World sells a pump arrangement which is not too much money, and allows you to put a pipe into the jug and pump it into the city water fill of the coach. Another method would be using another fresh water pump, and let it pump it into the system by connecting directly to the city water fill. The pressure switch of the pump will stop it once 40PSI has been reached. It would be nice to have two people doing the job, since one can be inside, and one can be outside making sure the pump always has a supply of the RV AF. Using a 5 gallon paint bucket and a long enough hose to the bottom would almost make the second person not needed provided you filled it with about 4 gallons of the RV AF.

APEX owners would have to put it into the fresh water tank unless you have installed a bypass valve and then you can use the water pump and pump it directly into the coach fresh water system. I have not done this as we try to be in warm weather when it's cold.

The air pressure method will work for a non Aqua Hot/Hydro Hot based water system, because I used that method on my 5th wheel trailer and plumbing systems are pretty much straight forward. It gets complicated when there is a HH/AQ system. I saw lots of tanks which had frozen on the factory tour, and it's not a pretty sight. I don't remember for sure the year without checking my notes, but if you have the ones with the green antifreeze in it, then you’re hot water plumbing is on the outside of the heat exchanger, if you have the red boiler fluid, then you’re hot water system is submerged into the heat exchanger area. The red Boiler antifreeze is not the kind which will hurt you if there is a leak between the two, the green antifreeze kind will kill you. Be aware (Alpines I don't think this applies) some model MH's and trailers have a valve which controls which was the fresh water enters the coach, one way fills the tank, one way allows city water into the coach directly.
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Rv'er View Post
Be aware (Alpines I don't think this applies) some model MH's and trailers have a valve which controls which was the fresh water enters the coach, one way fills the tank, one way allows city water into the coach directly.
Monty:

If you are talking about the fresh water fill system, not the HH, then yes, we have the diverter valve to either fill the tank or send the water straight to the faucets. Are Apex's different?
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