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Old 04-02-2013, 09:27 PM   #1
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Running furnace overnight to help prevent freezing lines?

So, took the RV out for our first trip of the season over Easter weekend. While de-winterizing found that the water filter at sink (didn't know it was there) and the water line to the ice maker in the fridge had cracked. Needless to say, spent the first few hours cleaning up the mess. The rest of the weekend went on without a hitch. Returned home Monday to a chilly evening (rain but nothing too cold, I assume in the mid 30's). Forgot to drain the water heater before we left and no water in the tanks. Attempted to clean and re-tape a leaking fitting at the water heater, so I turned on the water pump and turned on the kitchen and bathroom sink and here comes the water again. Have a hard time believing that the lines froze overnight (it wasn't that cold) but it is what it is. Going to be chilly this evening too with rain and want to make sure I don't cause any more damage so I have the furnace set to kick on at 50 degrees. Is it OK to do this?

RV is sitting on the side of our house, propane tank is full, and our RV fixit guy is coming Friday to fix the leak. Supposed to be warm the rest of the week, just don't want to take any chances...
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:36 PM   #2
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Going to be chilly this evening too with rain and want to make sure I don't cause any more damage so I have the furnace set to kick on at 50 degrees. Is it OK to do this?

RV is sitting on the side of our house, propane tank is full, and our RV fixit guy is coming Friday to fix the leak. Supposed to be warm the rest of the week, just don't want to take any chances...
We winterize, but also kept the furnaces set to come on at 50 this winter - the key is, leave cupboard doors open under sinks, bathroom door open etc, so the warmth can get to the plumbing areas.

JoAnn
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:44 PM   #3
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We winterize, but also kept the furnaces set to come on at 50 this winter - the key is, leave cupboard doors open under sinks, bathroom door open etc, so the warmth can get to the plumbing areas.

JoAnn
Do you store your RV or do you keep it at home? Would having the furnace running throughout the winter months be considered safe and acceptable practice? The RV storage lot is only 10 minutes from here so I wouldn't have a problem stopping by every few weeks and paying to fill up the tanks but I'm not sure how comfortable I would be leaving the furnace running all winter.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:05 PM   #4
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I learned the hard way to turn off water to the icemaker; the fittings on the fridge side are exposed to the cold behind the outside cover and they freeze pretty much regardless of what you try.

I'm also running a 1500 watt heater in the basement, but some nights out temps here in Wyoming have dropped near zero.

Steve
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:42 PM   #5
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To run the furnace you need battery power. Batteries need charging Is that available at the storage lot. If so, you could then use electric heaters.

Even running the furnace, unless it has a heated air duct running down to where all the rest of the plumbing is, you will still get freezups there.

You might be better off fully winterising the rig at the beginning of the season and leaving it that way until spring has well and truly arrived. If you do want to use the rig before the thaw then leave all the water system winterised and use bottled water for drinking and hygiene and keep the grey tank open and use antifreeze for flushing the toilet.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:49 PM   #6
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We leave cold country in Jan. and the furnace runs for 48 hours before we hit warm country. Let the furnace run. Maybe even set the temp higher to protect the pipes in the outer walls.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:53 AM   #7
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We keep our motorhome, at home. It is plugged into ac, and we kept the thermostat at 50. We also ran one of those oil-filled space heaters set on low. We are in Eastern Washington and have had lots of below freezing weather. Our coach, a National Tradewinds was built for year around camping (skiing trips etc), the bays are warm and the ducting for plumbing, too. Of course, it is fully winterized as well - why be half-safe? Other reasons we keep the interior above freezing is LCD tvs, other electronics and canned goods, shampoos, lotions etc left in cupboards.

As for the safety of running the furnaces all winter. Why not? Ventilation is not a problem. It has used very little propane through the winter. We laid it up mid-Oct. Our coldest weather (where the furnaces might have had to kick in) were Jan and Feb.

JoAnn
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:53 AM   #8
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We store or rig next to the house, I have a 30 amp shore power. I run two 1500 watt heaters, a couple small (personal type) fans and a 100 watt light bulb in the wet bay all winter. I also leave the storage bay refer/freeze and Dometic refer on. I open some cabinets and move the washer/dryer so there is more air flow around the back (that's where the fans come in).
Haven't had anything freeze yet but our winters are really mild compared to other areas.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:33 AM   #9
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I store with shore power at home base. I set the main furnace at 40, and rear as low as it will go ...closer to 50. I do have furnace ducts into basement water areas. And I normally leave cabinet doors open under sinks. The furnaces rarely come on. We have probably a dozen or so nights a year below freezing here in East TX ...sometimes as many as 2-3 at a time.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:45 AM   #10
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I learned the hard way to turn off water to the icemaker; the fittings on the fridge side are exposed to the cold behind the outside cover and they freeze pretty much regardless of what you try.

I'm also running a 1500 watt heater in the basement, but some nights out temps here in Wyoming have dropped near zero.

Steve
I turned off the water to the ice maker and disconnected the line at the shutoff valve (under sink) but something behind the frig in the ice maker system still froze and broke something. My only guess is the line has a loop that trapped water that froze. Now I need to pull out the frig to see what is broken and make the repair. Not easy because the frig is raised up on a platform so I need to make something to slide it out on. Isn't RVing fun!
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:48 AM   #11
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Dont know if you did this already... but Check your lower fridge exterior access panel...before you pull the fridge...most of the icemaker components are right there with easy access...
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:30 AM   #12
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Dont know if you did this already... but Check your lower fridge exterior access panel...before you pull the fridge...most of the icemaker components are right there with easy access...
Thanks for the recommendation however I have a residential frig with no external access. The frig is on rollers and would be easy to move once I unscrew the holding brackets and make a platform to roll it out on but still a bit of a PITA so I need to figure out why the line froze and fix it so it will not happen again. I guess I could pump "Pink" stuff through the ice maker next winter?
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:44 AM   #13
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Thanks for the recommendation however I have a residential frig with no external access. The frig is on rollers and would be easy to move once I unscrew the holding brackets and make a platform to roll it out on but still a bit of a PITA so I need to figure out why the line froze and fix it so it will not happen again. I guess I could pump "Pink" stuff through the ice maker next winter?
You said you disconnected the line. Why not use compressed air and blow the line clear? May be better than tasting antifreeze in your ice for weeks.😫
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:10 PM   #14
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You not only have to drain the ice maker feed line but also the selinoid itself. You should disconnect the in feed and out feed lines to the selinoid and cycle it a couple of times. On my Dometic I have to pop the plastic side cover off the ice maker and use a screw driver to cycle the ice maker manually.
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