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Old 04-05-2014, 08:32 AM   #1
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Water heater bypass and antifreeze siphon

I am trying to locate two things on my new coach (Minnie Winnie 31KP).

1. The water heater bypass. The manual states "Beneath range. Open doors and remove panel to access." OK - we have the range but no oven. There is a storage compartment directly under the range. If I take items out (pans, etc.) there is a floor of the storage area but I don't think (have not searched completely yet) there is screws to remove. I do have a metal vent about 10 inches wide by 17 inches tall with two screws. I removed it and could just barely see part of the water heater but did not see a bypass value.

2. Waterline drains. The manual states "Two (2) values in galley. Remove bottom drawer under stove." Well, again there is no stove and no drawer. However, there is a cabinet beneath the range.

3. Antifreeze siphon. The manual states, "Your coach is equipped with a water heater bypass valve and an Antifreeze Siphon (Winterization) valve for winterizing waterlines using RV antifreeze. Refer to the Water System Drain Valve Locations chart at the end of this section for locations on your model."
In that section of the manual there is no mention of a location of a "antifreeze siphon" value. I would like to winterize with the antifreeze method and in the section on the manual on winterizing it only gives the air method - which is probably fine - just like the idea of antifreeze being throughout the system.

My experience with TT and 5th wheel is that the antifreeze siphon is near the water pump. I know I can add a kit for that with a valve that selects an alternate route for pumping into the system (and stick that hose in an antifreeze gallon as needed. I am familiar with that. My 5th wheel had a siphon option on the outside and it was easy. My TT I had to disconnect the intake from the potable tank and stick a line on into the antifreeze. The kit I mentioned would make that easier. However, this model is supposed to have that siphon but I can't find it and suspect the manual should have said "if so equipped" but did not have that wording.

Lastly, is there a system you can buy that will allow you to put a hose into the potable water tank input and 'pump' in antifreeze a few gallons and then use the water pump as normal but pump in antifreeze - I suppose that could take a bit of antifreeze to get enough into the potable tank deep enough to do the job?

Does the air method protect the water pump? In the manual winterizing method (air) the only mention of the water pump is to "empty the water pump strainer filter bowl to avoid water freezing and cracking the filter bowl."

I know this is a long post with many questions - any input on any of the above appreciated.

Gary and Karen Stone - stick home in Texas
LCMS Church - 2014 Minnie Winnie 31KP, 2014 Jeep Gary is N5PHT, Ham Op, Retired from Fed Gov
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:09 PM   #2
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As part of the air winterising procedure of taking the filter bowl off the pump intake, you also need to run the pump for a minute to make sure there is no water trapped inside. Works best if the outlet line is disconnected off the pump.

Tony Lee - International Grey Nomad. Picasa Album - Travel Map
RVs. USA - Airstream Cutter; in Australia - MC8 40' DIY Coach conversion & OKA 4x4 MH; in Germany - Hobby Class C; in S America - F350 with 2500 10.6 Bigfoot camper
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:26 PM   #3
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I'm a relative newbie, but I like the idea of sticking with an antifreeze flush rather than air, as the system was built to transport fluids, and at least you know and can see that the antifreeze has gotten everywhere it should. If you're familiar with the siphon technique, stick with that..and if you can't locate what is supposed to be there, just put your own in a convenient place. Mine was plumbed between the storage tank and the pump, and they you simply empty the freshwater tank. I also don't like the idea of putting antifreeze in the main tank, in case a funky taste sticks around longer than I care to deal with (I know there will be a little in the potable pex lines, but the surface area is much smaller and maybe they are more resistant to anything objectionable adhering to them (purely a guess).
FYI, the only mistake I made last fall, was the very last step when depressing the valve for the freshwater hose input...my directions from an RV place were clear, but I neglected to turn the pump off first and use residual pressure to let antifreeze exit. With pump on, the pressure was so great, that it almost blew out the o-ring seal entirely (dislodged it enough so the system now won't hold pressure until I fix that little assembly).
Like the OP, I too find the 'owner's manual' next to useless, because they make them for at least 4 different models in my case, but only print one manual. That is frustrating, because you end up with generic information only, and much that doesn't apply. For the price of these units, that should be the standard practice to give a decent manual...and it looks to be a common issue.
Good luck with your search for your siphon! Maybe should call up the salesman or his techie.
Bob and Manola
07' Four Winds Siesta 27', 2 slides
E-450, Turbo-diesel
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