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Old 10-01-2013, 09:30 PM   #1
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Winterizing with antifreeze v air

I have always (previous travel trailers and our first Itaska coach) winterized with antifreeze, feeling that there was too much risk that despite purging with air the remaining moisture in a line (or condensation) would collect in a low point and freeze. Our current coach (2004 Inspire) does not appear to have either a water-heater bypass or pickup line at the water pump. Why not? Is CC that confident of the efficiency of the low-point drain, upstream plumbing, etc. that such features are not standard on the coach? The manual, of course, indicates the need for antifreeze in the p-traps but beyond that no mention of using this common method of winterizing. I am also surprised the manual does not state a "not to exceed" air pressure, which I thought was rather common so as to prevent breaking a coupling or something.

I did a search on this forum and it seems I am the only owner worried about such matters. But of course there are perhaps few of us who must store our coaches without power and in a climate as cold as Colorado winters sometimes are!

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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The pump pickup and the water heater bypass are in the wet bay on my 2005 Inspire. The pickup is a fitting on the panel and the bypass is a single valve handle, a little different than I was used to took a bit to figure it out.

Have no idea if the 04 is the same.

I do prefer the air method myself, never had a problem. I use 45 psi.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale C View Post
The pump pickup and the water heater bypass are in the wet bay on my 2005 Inspire. The pickup is a fitting on the panel and the bypass is a single valve handle, a little different than I was used to took a bit to figure it out.

Have no idea if the 04 is the same.

I do prefer the air method myself, never had a problem. I use 45 psi.

Good Luck!
Thanks, Dale. I will look again but I do not recall these features in my wet bay. I have not removed the inside panel to access the water heater so there might by a bypass in that location (but i doubt it). And there is a plugged tube near the water pump but I can't tell where it goes (but it could be a pickup line).
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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Feel like such an idiot. After moving hoses around I did find both the valve for the water heater and the pick up connection in the wet bay as Dale said. Sorry to take up the time of other forum members relative to what was a nonissue.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colo.kids View Post
Sorry to take up the time of other forum members relative to what was a nonissue.
I don't think it's a non-issue. It's time for the yearly discussion of the two (actually four) methods anyway.
I've never heard/seen a post about broken pipes using the anti-freeze, but I have seen them when using the air method.
Two other methods are: head for warmer climates or keep heat in the rig all winter. I use the latter since we rarely have long cold spells. Light bulb in the wet bay and a heater or two inside with cabinet doors open works for us. But I do have three gallons of anti-freeze just in case.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:09 PM   #6
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It's OK Russ, maybe somebody else has questions. I already took the photo so, here is my wet bay, even though it is a non-issue! Shows pump suction and water heater by-pass valve on my 2005 Inspire.

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Old 10-04-2013, 05:00 PM   #7
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Thanks again, Dale. The photo would have been great. My bay is the same.

I did the air method and then used antifreeze for the water pump as I could not rationalize the air method working correctly to protect that valuable piece of equipment. I noted a fair amount of water coming out the outside shower nozzle during this stage, which caused me to be less than comfortable about using only the air method.

The only other thing I encountered that seemed odd was I could not get the refrig ice maker to cycle, perhaps since I had previously disconnected and drained the feed line (therefore no water pressure). I doubt, however, that this will cause a freeze problem in the unit.

Again, thanks fellows for the response.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:44 PM   #8
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When I had my icemaker installed, the service guy told me to make up a jumper to activate the solenoid (male plug with spade connectors ). Disconnect solenoid, use jumper, blow out. DONE!
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:54 PM   #9
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First.. Let me put your mind to rest about "That little bit of moisture/condensation"

PEX, freezes well, in fact there is a video of a plumber filling some pex tubes with water, capping them off, he says he tosses them in the freezer and a week later he cuts 'em open and pours the ice out. Looks legit.

The fittings and valves and such, THAT is what freezes and breaks.

With the exception of the low point drains, they are NEVER the low points on the line.

How I did it:

Bypass and drain water heater

Open all valves (Save the two to the water heater (If you have a 3-valve system like I do, 3 valve is best after all). including outside shower, Remove head on shower.

BLOW, at 50 PSI till you either run out of air or get no more water.

let compressor recover, 3-5 minutes, Blow again, Do this 5-10 times till you get no more water out. and no longer hear any spitting or gurgling.

IF there is any water left it won't bother you.

Compared to getting all the pink stuff out and killing the taste... This is simple.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:27 AM   #10
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Thanks for this update and sharing your method.

Given the extremes of winter weather this year it will be interesting to see what MH folks experienced in its aftermath.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:28 PM   #11
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I use air only when winterizing and I have the Samsung 197 frig and getting to the water for the ice maker is a problem so I just pull out one of the bottom drawers and have a heater blowing warm air under the frig but my frig is on all the time so it puts out some heat when running I just turn off the ice maker and a light bulb in the cabinet for the washer dryer combo.
Right now it is snowing at about 1" and hour and in the low 20s
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