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Old 10-18-2011, 03:02 PM   #1
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Trouble winterizing hot water heater

We have a 1989 Coachman Classic Fifthwheel. How do you winterize the hot water heater. We just got this camper a few weeks ago & have no idea. Help
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:10 PM   #2
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Unscrew the drain plug !
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:10 PM   #3
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If you look at the water piping going to/from the water heater, you may find three valves. If so, there will be one on the cold water supply to the water heater, one on the hot water outlet of the water heater, and one on a bypass line between the cold and hot water lines.

During normal operation, the cold water supply and hot water outlet valves are open and the bypass valve is closed. When winterizing, close the cold water supply and hot water outlet valves and open the bypass valve. You can then drain the water heater tank and circulate your RV antifreeze through the bypass line without having to purchase enough antifreeze to fill the water heater tank.

If your RV isn't plumbed with three valves, post back with what you have and we'll go from there.


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Old 10-18-2011, 09:36 PM   #4
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If it's a Suburban WH, take the anode rod out and open the manual override on the pressure relief valve. The water will empty itself. If it 's an Atwood, which doesn't need an anode rod, there's a drain plug at the lower edge of the tank (about 6 o'clock position.) Same procedure.

Having done that, look down below the tank inside the rig. On mine, there's one hand valve. When turned off, no water goes to the WH.

Personally, I choose to blow all the lines free of water using an air compressor. WalMart and other stores selling camping stuff will have an adapter that has a tire-valve sized stub in the middle of a plug that goes in the female end of a water hose. hook that up to the city water inlet, connect your compressor chuck to it and get the output air pressure to about 40 psi.

Go round and open each faucet until it blows air out (no more water) closing each one after it has been blown. Don't forget the toilet and the outside shower (if you have one). Finally open all the faucets and verify there's no water coming out of any of them when the air is blowing.

All you need to do then is pour a bit of the "pink stuff" down each sink to prevent freezing up of the P-traps, and you're done. On my rig, the whole process takes less than 45 minutes.

Note that, where we live, we don't get the horrible minus temperatures that other places get. It's rare to see an overnight low much less than 24F and almost every day gets into the mid 30's for a high.
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