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Old 10-05-2015, 04:06 PM   #1
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Winterizing WITHOUT a water heater bypass ????

I'm dealing with winterizing my RV for the first time and could use some advice from the cold weather folks out there.

We live in a no-freeze winter climate, so I never winterize the rig. This year we are storing the rig in a freeze prone area, so I'm having it winterized by a repair shop before going into storage. We're on the road, so it's not a convenient do-it-yourself situation for me.

The shop suggests installing a water heater bypass set-up. I know how those connect, and I also know how tight the space is for adding any more plumbing. I don't want to pull the heater out and I don't want to butcher the cabinet for more clearance either. (I replaced that water heater myself and am intimately aware of it's plumbing and space limitations.)

Since I don't plan to store in a freeze prone area again....I'm tempted to skip the bypass and just pump another 6 gallons of antifreeze into the system.

Any problems with that approach???? Thanks for your inputs.


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Old 10-05-2015, 05:30 PM   #2
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Don't know what brand of water heater you have, but you can simply drain the water out of it. If your drain plug is also the anode rod, get a simple brass plug from Lowes, plumbing dept, with the same thread, and some teflon tape. Use it instead of the anode rod/plug. And than winterize it as normal. Run a few gallons of anti freeze in your fresh water tank and turn faucets on, hot and cold. Hot will run some anti freeze into your hot water heater.

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Old 10-05-2015, 09:19 PM   #3
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Doesn't hurt to put rv winterizing antifreeze in your hot water tank.
I put a hot water heater bypass on mine but have to have the slide out to get to it.
Do now I just put rv antifreeze in and don't worry about it.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:09 AM   #4
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Drain everything from low point drains. (open all faucets)

remove the water heater drain and drain it. (open the pressure release valve on the water heater).

If you can, use air pressure to blow out the lines. This will help push any water thats pooled at low points.
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:33 PM   #5
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I would just drain the system, blow out with air. I think you'll be sorry if you put antifreeze in your water heater. The antifreeze residue is hard to get rid of.
Or if this will be a yearly event, put in the bypass.
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:22 PM   #6
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I put some antifreeze in my hot water tank last fall by accident. Do not do that. It took a lot of purging this spring to get rid of the smell and frothy hot water.
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:40 PM   #7
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FWIW I did not know anyone built units without a bypass....
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
FWIW I did not know anyone built units without a bypass....
Agreed. Some just have a single handle and check valve.
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ru499 View Post
I would just drain the system, blow out with air. I think you'll be sorry if you put antifreeze in your water heater. The antifreeze residue is hard to get rid of.
Or if this will be a yearly event, put in the bypass.

I have never used antifreeze in my fresh water system and it has been stored outside through 19 Wisconsin winters.
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:44 PM   #10
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There are two ways to winterize described in the forum libraries.
Wet Method.. (Avoid)
Dry Method (Works great)

Start by dumping black and gray (And wash if you have one) tanks.

Modifications to dry method and recommendation.

In the dry method you use compressed air,, i'd set your air regulator at 50-60 PSI tops.. Open all valves including the low point drains and let it drain.. Pull the drain plug on the water heater and replace with threaded pipe, Plastic or metal matters not 1/2 inch Iron pipe thread. (Just long enough to get the water flow outside the RV) NOTE Do this with the water heater COLD. Now open the manual lever on the TPR valve at the top to let air in.

Once it's finished draining cap the pipe, Close the TPR, and blow the lines... When yhou run out of air on your compressor or when you no longer get any water stop and let Compressor re-fill.

Force cycle the ice maker (it will drain back) and uncap the water heater and open the TPR to drain what blew into it (NOTE you will do this often) Once the compressor is ready Cap and close the Pipe and TPR again and BLOW once more. Same duratin.

You will do this like five times. (or more) till you are satisified there is only a few drops left in the lines.

NOW... Pink the Drains, Traps and toilets

NOTE You should also flush toilets after every blow as well to let them drain down. (Yes it will be back flow but hey, Can't prevent that Or better yet flush 'em while your partner blows (Applies compressed air) You can disconnect the water line to the toilet from the valve on many models (how I did it)

I now use the method you used last year (S.E. GA and I( full time).

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