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Old 10-18-2020, 04:55 PM   #1
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Winterizing With Compressed Air

I have been winterizing my RVs using compressed air for many years. After draining, bypassing WH, and blowing everything with the compressed air (using city water connection) I have used the tee at the pump suction to put in a little RV antifreeze to protect the pump. It works fine.

My usage requires I do it at least two times each year. Some years more. When coming home to freezing temps I bypass the compressed air and use a little more antifreeze to fill all lines after draining.

I am wondering if I can simplify the compressed air approach by hooking the compressor at the pump suction tee. Will it blow through and thereby clear the pump, so I dont need any antifreeze?
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:13 AM   #2
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I have only used air to blow out our rigs as well.

I just let the pump run dry for a couple of minutes and it seems to do the trick. The few drops that remaine aren't enough to cause a problem.

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Old 10-19-2020, 01:14 AM   #3
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In the past all I've ever used was compressed air to blow out all my lines, drain water heater and run pump for a couple minutes then pour some RV antifreeze into the P - traps and never had a problem. "But" with our new to us coach it has an Aquahot so it needs to have RV antifreeze pumped into it to protect it. It does have a winterizing system built into it to simplify the procedure.
Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:46 AM   #4
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I have used only compressed air for many years without any problems. I do remove the filter bowl by the pump and run the pump a few seconds. Never had a problem this way. A few times I have forgotten to run the pump and have had no issues.
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:55 AM   #5
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I have used only compressed air for many years without any problems. I do remove the filter bowl by the pump and run the pump a few seconds. Never had a problem this way. A few times I have forgotten to run the pump and have had no issues.
The OP lives in Idaho. I expect his winters will be more severe than yours. I've used RV antifreeze since I started RV'ing in 2004, and have never had issue with the water system after I purged it in the spring. And of course no issues over the winter time either. Unless you absolutely don't want to be bothered with the process of putting antifreeze in your system, I would much rather have the assurance of protection over a cold winter rather than hoping that blowing out the lines will provide it.
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:10 AM   #6
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Given the downside of a leak, and the fact that RV antifreeze is cheap, I would suggest to the OP to stick with whats working for him.
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:38 AM   #7
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"The OP lives in Idaho. I expect his winters will be more severe than yours. "
I've often wondered about this. Why does it make any difference if it is 25 degrees or 0 degrees? Isn't freezing water the same no matter what the temperature?
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:43 AM   #8
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What I do ...

I have ready at the water bay 4 gallons of the pink rv stuff.

Open all the low drains including fresh water tank the day before. Open the faucets, next day all drained, I close the drains, then drain the water heater, reinstall the anoid or replace, bypass the water heater valves.

Remove the water filter element, fill the cover with the pink stuff, install, I ask very, very nicely my wife to come out to help, I stand by the water bay, following the instructions on The wall in the bay, open and close the correct valves, stick the hose into the bottle, yell thru the window very nicely something like darling Im ready, she opens and shuts the faucets, runs the shower, washing machine and flushs the toilet, I have control of the pump, so a bottle is used up I cut off the pump stick the hose into the next bottle, takes 3 1/2 bottles, she also runs the pink stuff thru the fridge water dispenser.

Besides the low water drains, the actual pumping takes a half hour maybe less.

I leave the half gallon on the counter, during the winter I add A cup to each sink, shower, and toilet, no flush, let it stay in the bowl.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:36 AM   #9
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I've often wondered about this. Why does it make any difference if it is 25 degrees or 0 degrees? Isn't freezing water the same no matter what the temperature?
It's more about time at temperature than absolute temperature. Tennessee does get its cold snaps, but not generally extended or extreme time at those temperatures. That was my main point.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:38 AM   #10
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The OP lives in Idaho. I expect his winters will be more severe than yours. I've used RV antifreeze since I started RV'ing in 2004, and have never had issue with the water system after I purged it in the spring. And of course no issues over the winter time either. Unless you absolutely don't want to be bothered with the process of putting antifreeze in your system, I would much rather have the assurance of protection over a cold winter rather than hoping that blowing out the lines will provide it.
Actually we have lived in TN only 5 years. Before that we lived in northern MN north of Duluth and i did it the same way On a couple of different rv’s.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:04 AM   #11
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I've often wondered about this. Why does it make any difference if it is 25 degrees or 0 degrees? Isn't freezing water the same no matter what the temperature?
It does not make a difference. When water freezes it expands (hence the danger to pipes). BUT, after that, as the temperature goes down, it CONTRACTS. The biggest danger to pipes is thus at just a few degrees below freezing, so it really does not matter if you are in Minnesota, Tennessee, Alaska, etc. given that many people have reported success with just blowing out the lines, I suspect the antifreeze is a belt-and-suspenders thing.

Aside, we just had our underground lawn watering system winterized. Same basic idea and need ... but all they do is blow it out with compressed air
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:15 AM   #12
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I'm not seeing how that simplifies the process much. You're just connecting in a different place and still need to access the pump area. But I suspect the pump would restrict the flow of air.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:35 AM   #13
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I've often wondered about this. Why does it make any difference if it is 25 degrees or 0 degrees? Isn't freezing water the same no matter what the temperature?
It matters. Mainly it matters because if you are only getting to 25 degrees overnight, there is not much time at the temp for the cold to fully penetrate the vehicle. Drop down to -20, and you'll see just how far the cold penetrates.

Believe me, people living in places like Wisconsin where we are will have much different and more severe problems than someone living where temps are not as cold.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:24 AM   #14
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It matters. Mainly it matters because if you are only getting to 25 degrees overnight, there is not much time at the temp for the cold to fully penetrate the vehicle. Drop down to -20, and you'll see just how far the cold penetrates.

Believe me, people living in places like Wisconsin where we are will have much different and more severe problems than someone living where temps are not as cold.


Agreed that 25 below overnight, rising above freezing does not put the system at the same risk as prolonged below freezing temps. BUT ... how to explain the OPs statement that while living in MN, they blew out the lines with no problems.? Im not saying there is no risk ... but if you are truly thorough about it, the risk should be low
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