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Old 07-18-2013, 06:13 AM   #1
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Antifreeze or air pressure

What are the thoughts on winterizing with antifreeze vs blowing out the lines.

I have a '94 tour Master 5th wheel and there is no bypass for the water heater. So I have to lay on my stomach and disconnect the lines which almost always have water in them even after draining. I hollar to the wife to throw me towels to sop it up. Then there is a gallon of water still in the heater tank that didn't drain out and it pours out the bottom connection. Now I hollar to the wife to get me a cup out of the cabinet while I hold my finger over the opening.

I've done this routine twice since I bought this unit. Not fun.....I think using air pressure and blow out the lines would be so much easier.

I have considered getting the plumbing parts to make a bypass, but there's not a lot of room in the water lines to cut and install shutoffs and a new line between the two.

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Old 07-18-2013, 06:17 AM   #2
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I've been blowing the lines on my MHs for the last 15 years or so with no problems. I remove the plug from the water heater and drain the water, then open all the low-point drains, and drain the fresh water tank. Then I have a hose barb with a quick-connect I attach to my air compressor set at 35 pounds. I close all the low-points and plug the water heater then open all the faucets until NOTHING comes out. Make sure and flush the toilet and the sprayer. Once all the water is out, I reopen the low points and water heater and make sure nothing comes out of there. Once done, I pour about a cup of pink down each trap and I'm done. The entire process takes maybe 20 minutes.

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Old 07-18-2013, 06:26 AM   #3
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I have done it both ways .They both work well .If we go south and have to winterize on the way home I use antifreeze ,because I have no compressor . last year I filled the hot water tank with A freeze as well I plan to install the bypass kit before fall . If I don't get that done it will get more antifreeze .
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:30 AM   #4
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I like to blow out the lines as the antifreeze taste is difficult to flush from the system. Don't forget the ice maker and water filter if installed.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:39 AM   #5
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I think I'll switch to blowing out the lines. Just seems like less mess. Plus every year you have to buy antifreeze all over again.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:23 PM   #6
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Pink stuff

I first blow out the lines - have been doing this for 20 years, and then follow up with the pink stuff. With the bypass open for the hew heater, it's amazing how little of it you use. Remember, using the pink stuff alone, if there is still water in the lines, it raises the freezing point quite a bit.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:35 PM   #7
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Used anti-freeze the first year PIA come next spring, been blowing out the lines ever since without any problem. Made it through sub zero winters without any of the pink stuff.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sdennislee View Post
Used anti-freeze the first year PIA come next spring, been blowing out the lines ever since without any problem. Made it through sub zero winters without any of the pink stuff.
Me to. I use HW tank as a air tank and blow all the lines clear. 2 fills does it. I also removed check at HW tank so air flows both ways. It also stops shower water temperature imbalance.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:12 PM   #9
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If you have a clothes washer using air to blow out the lines doesn't clear the washer pump, you have to use RV anti-freeze. I use both methods, and catch the anti-freeze for the next time I de-winterize- for re-use. I have done this for many years. I winterized our previous 40' 5er with washer/dryer using 2G of anti-freeze, never did have a water problem.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:45 AM   #10
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I connect an air pump to the city water connection and the black tank sprayer connection and blow them out. Open the low point drains, make sure the water heater and fresh water tank are drained. Then position the water heater bypass valves to bypass, connect the hose to put in the antifreeze jugs, and pump in the antifreeze while I open faucets one at a time until antifreeze starts coming out. I again open the low point drains to let any water or antifreeze drain out.

It only takes 2 gallons of antifreeze - including what I pour down the drain traps, so the cost is minimal. I believe this is really cheap "insurance" against a pipe freezing in subzero weather here in Minnesnowta. And it doesn't take much flushing to remove any antifreeze "taste".


In the spring I just run water through all lines to remove the antifreeze
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:54 PM   #11
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I bought a by-pass kit from Amazon ($18.39) when we had our 1995 Minnie. It doesn't take up any space because it goes between he cold and hot ports. As long as you're disconnecting the lines anyway, you can install this and be done!

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Old 07-19-2013, 02:25 PM   #12
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That does look a lot simpler than what I was going to try and assemble from pex PVC
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:34 PM   #13
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For fifteen years I have been pumping Vodka into my water lines. That's right, vodka. I buy the cheapest stuff I can find, bypass the water heater and pump vodka until it comes out of all the spigots. It does have some advantages.

1. Low freeze point.
2. You can buy it fairly cheap.
3. Leaves absolutely no taste.
4. Sanitizes the system.
5. You can have a party in the Spring.

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Old 07-19-2013, 02:35 PM   #14
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I use both methods: blow first and then suck up a gallon of antifreeze.

The only downside to only using air pressure, is if you have to head south in mid winter. It takes about 24 hours to melt the residual ice in the system before your water system will work.

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