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Old 01-08-2015, 10:04 AM   #1
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Hoping I dodged a bullet!

We started RV'ing in 2001, went through three 5ers and now the MH. We have never winterized because we sometimes camp in the winter months. We have always kept the RV plugged into AC and kept low heat inside and in the storage compartments where there was pipes. During all this time, we've never had anything freeze and burst.

Last night is was 10 degrees here. I woke up this morning and a horrific thought popped into my head! Even though all the compartments had heat, the water heater was sitting there full of water with only a ventilated door between it and the 10 degree weather! I do have a low-wattage heater in the other end of that compartment for the pipes, but it still concerned me! I went out there (in my pajamas) this morning and turned on the water heater!

What are your thoughts on this? Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:27 AM   #2
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Joe, I wouldn't go outside when it's only 10 degrees in my pajamas. You could get frostbite in some places i wouldn't want frostbite.

When the water heats up you will know if there's damage.
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:27 AM   #3
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Hopefully you will OK. Did you test your water pressure, did the pump hold pressure?

The water heater is jacketed by thick Styrofoam insulation, very tight. The problem with this is that it will both retain the heat in when operating but also reject heat from the out side. Given enough time in below freezing temps I'm sure it would freeze but it would take a while. Leaving the water heater on in this very cold weather is probably the best thing to do.

In anticipation of this cold wave I decided to go ahead and winterize when we got back from FL a couple weeks ago. I drained everything and blew all the lines & put antifreeze in the traps. Probably a smart move. I even went to the extra step of hooking the compressor back up this last week end and checking to make sure I didn't have any accumulate in low spots.

It got to ~4F in East TN this morning
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:55 AM   #4
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Sounds like you may have dodged a bullet if it was only one night of deep freezing. Did much the same thing thing as I got caught with one night of freezing to get me on the move. Living here in Las Vegas, I don't do a full winterizing. I usually keep a quarter tank of fresh water, but come late December to early January I open a couple of faucets and and the low point drains and leave it empty until late March or early April. This past year, I replaced the water heater drain plug with a brass petcock valve like you find on radiators.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:01 PM   #5
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Mustang652, I really like that idea of the drain plug. Keep 'em flying.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry koenn View Post
Joe, I wouldn't go outside when it's only 10 degrees in my pajamas. You could get frostbite in some places i wouldn't want frostbite.
X2 squared !!!
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry koenn View Post
Joe, I wouldn't go outside when it's only 10 degrees in my pajamas.
Quote:
You could get frostbite in some places i wouldn't want frostbite.
When the water heats up you will know if there's damage.

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Old 01-08-2015, 02:36 PM   #8
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Think I got mine a from RV section at the local Cal-Ranch store, but even CW has them.

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...alve-1-2-/6315
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:59 PM   #9
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You will be fine. If yours is like mine, the majority of the heater is exposed to the warmer temperature of the MH living space...and the tank itself is pretty well insulated.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:18 PM   #10
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IF it is not leaking... Bullet dodged.

When my Rig was new (As in they had yet to install the base plate and brake system on my towed) I walked through the shop in the company of the write up guy and an insurance aduster. He stopped at a water heater,,,, I looked at the write up guy "Forgot to drain it when he winterized?" YUP was the response.

Thus I learned my lesson.. The easy way.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:41 PM   #11
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Geez Joe;
Running around in your pajama's in the morning. Are you trying to hurt yourself or scare the neighbours? LOL Must have been quite a sight.

Water heater may be OK. It likely had some ice in it but would depend upon when it was last heated. There is some insulation around the water jacket so it will be slow to cool down and freeze. There is room for expansion at the top so it might take a couple really good freezes before something breaks. If you turn the water pump off (likely) and opened a tap (??) to let the pressure in the lines off there will be even less pressure generated in the tank by the water expansion.

Freezing it even with the expansion at the top would not be high on my list of things to do.

Tell us the tank is OK.
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:31 PM   #12
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Don't for get the Ice Maker Valve! To tell a story on my BIL, He winters in Phoenix. Last Spring he headed back to the PNW, and spent the night in the cold mountains, the valve did not survive the night.
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:58 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone! I appreciate you comments and suggestions!
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:02 PM   #14
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Joe , you "might" be ok as has someone said the tank portion of the WH is inside and just the controls are quasi exposed via the vented door. If it was not below 32 for an extended period you should be ok. However, if not and the tank has split any good aluminum welder can repair it and save you the cost of an entire new heater.
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