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Old 08-15-2015, 10:43 PM   #1
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Anti freeze in fresh tank?

I hear some people put anti freeze in the fresh water tank over winter, and flush several times come spring.

Is this a common practice?

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Old 08-15-2015, 10:48 PM   #2
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There's a whole procedure - you drain the tank and lines then put antifreeze on the lines. I don't have the link but do a search by typing "winterizing" above.

Bill & Jenny - 2016 Winnebago Itasca Ellipse 42HD, 43 ft, Cummins 8.9 ISL - Blue Ox and SMARTCAR. Once/month traveler in Midwest and (as ofen as possible) Southern US. Home - Nashville, Indiana (Beautiful Brown County)
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:18 PM   #3
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Prestone RV/Marine Antifreeze - Walmart.com

You need to use NON-toxic antifreeze.

Winterizing: Part 3 - Antifreeze In Fresh Water System | Roadtrek BlogRoadtreking : The RV Lifestyle Blog

Yes it's a fairly common practice although I've never done it....seldom freezes where I live.
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:49 PM   #4
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One regular automotive antifreeze has been used in the system and let sit over winter the only way to be sure you won't be poisoned by it is to COMPLETELY replace the entire water system, including the tank. That was published in one of the RV magazines a while ago.
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:57 PM   #5
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What is trying to be said is there are two types of antifreeze. One is regular auto antifreeze and the other is RV antifreeze. Auto antifreeze is poisonous - the pink RV antifreeze is what you use because it is drinkable. Do the search and read the links.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:34 AM   #6
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fresh water antifreeze

if you have a drain at the lowest point in the fresh water tank,

open it and drain the tank and leave it open., i see no need for


one other thing to do is write what you did in the fall and reverse it in the spring.

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Old 08-16-2015, 07:42 AM   #7
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Drain the fresh water tank. Do NOT put anti-freeze in it. Then use the city water valve to push anti-freeze into the lines until you see pink fluid coming out of the faucet inside. Every rig is a little different as to how to do this. Read up on it.

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Old 08-16-2015, 07:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by sprayman View Post
if you have a drain at the lowest point in the fresh water tank, open it and drain the tank and leave it open., i see no need for antifreeze.
one other thing to do is write what you did in the fall and reverse it in the spring.

For Wisconsin winter storage I simply gravity drain everything in the fresh water system, (including the WH tank and fresh water tank).
I have never used antifreeze in the fresh water system or in the water tank... (and I do not "blow out" the water system).
However I do use a cup full of RV antifreeze in each of the 4 P-traps...
and I run 2 cups full into/through the drain pump of the Splendide washer.

BTW that is not a recommendation...(just what I do).
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:06 AM   #9
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Most trailers/coaches have low points along the way in the water system. However, there are often places in the water lines, both supply and drain, that do NOT have drains. Typically,

1) you run all the faucets using the on board water pump until you don't get any more water.

2) Turn off the water pump ( I also generally pull the circuit breaker on the pump as well which will prevent the pump running dry if someone accidentally turns on the pump prior to re-filling with water).

3) Hook a up one of the fittings to your water supply line that allows you to pressurize with air pressure. And it doesn't take a lot of air pressure, maybe 10 lbs or so.

4) Run through all the faucets, toilet, shower, outside shower again until you just get air.

5) I detach the inside shower line at the wall, disconnect my water pump supply and pressure line as well.

6) Remove the drain plug on the hot water heater and drain the water, leave the drain plug out. (turn off the electric hot water heater circuit breaker, and tape over the propane hot water heater switch to prevent it from being turned on with no water in the hot water tank)

7) Remove all the low point drain plugs as well.

8) Drain grey and black water tanks and let set open for awhile.

9) And here's the only place I personally use the RV antifreeze. Pour about a cup or so in each sink drain trap, as well as in the shower drain trap. I also pour some in the grey and black tanks so it works it way to the drain valves, preventing drain water buildup there from draining.

10) After a day or so of sitting, I typically loosely reinstall the low point water drain plugs to keep any critters out over the winter.

To put back in service, (in no particular order) tighten the low point drain plugs, reattach the shower line, water lines to pump, reinstall hot water heater plug, fill with fresh water, turn on water pump circuit breaker, run all the lines (both hot and cold) until you get only water coming out, then and only then, turn on the hot water heater electric CB and remove tape from propane hot water heater switch, verify that both are working correctly. Re-drain grey and black tanks and you are on your way.

Typically doing it this way I use less than 1 gallon of RV antifreeze to winterize my coach. If you do it by dumping RV antifreeze in your fresh water tank and running it through the water system, you will use 5 to 10 gallons of antifreeze and will have to rinse and flush multiple times to get rid of it. It's supposedly safe, but I still don't want to be drinking it!

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:12 AM   #10
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Some folks get by with air because they put a large compressor on the system and let it run for a half hour or more. It takes a lot of air, technique, and some luck dry out a plumbing system.

The rest of us blow out most of the water, or not, then fill the plumbing with food additive grade antifreeze affectionately known as "the pink stuff". If one does it correctly there is usually a way to do it without putting it in the fresh tank fill.

Our old unit had a port in the panel of valves, the current one has a standpipe type tube and valve at the pump inlet. I'm sure there are other ways. The point is to use the pump to push the antifreeze through the system displacing all the water so it gets in the pump as well. The hot water tank has a bypass arrangement to avoid the need to fill it with antifreeze. I pull the plug and set it in the area around the heater so it does not get lost. YMMV.

I get a jug of antifreeze plumbed into the pump inlet with the valve to the tank closed and the HW tank bypassed and the system is pressurized. I then open *each*the valve long enough to get antifreeze flowing through into the sinks, toilet and shower with a bit of extra to make sure the traps have antifreeze in them. That includes each HW bypass valve and the fresh blocking valve to make sure there is antifreeze in the ball valve core. Valves are what usually get broken because they can trap water. I leave gravity drain twist valves mostly open for the same reason. Part way closed lets any water pass through instead of getting trapped. Look at ball valves at your favorite hardware store if you need a picture. Push pull plunger valves do not have that problem.

In the spring I push the antifreeze out with air or the city water fill before filling the fresh tank. Then I sanitize the system as the bleach mix gets the residual out of the system. The stuff has a musty taste if I do not.

FWIW - the antifreeze used is food grade propylene glycol. I used to have a choice of mix or straight antifreeze for about a dollar difference. My choice was the straight stuff because any water in the system would still end up a reasonable blend. Last year I did not have a choice and looking this year I see blends with glycol and denatured alcohol already cut with water as the only common choice. Food grade propylene glycol has jumped up to $20 or so a gallon in 5 gallon buckets. In my mind it is even more important to get the water mostly out first as dilution could be an issue with the pre blended stuff. It also means I will pay better attention to my sink & shower traps.
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:22 AM   #11
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I've never put antifreez in the fresh tank. If you have a valve by the water pump that lets you switch to a hose end, go that route. Just drain the fresh tank.
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