winterizing

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mountaindent
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Re: winterizing

Post by mountaindent »

micabarry wrote:The water pump runs off 12v so you can run it off your house battery and you definately want to protect the pump by pumping antifreeze from the fresh water tank. I ve by passed the hot water heater now but before that I drained all the water the way described above, including taking plug off hot water tank, screwed a little plastic valve (Wal-Mart has them) on the hose input and used a compressor to blow out lines. Then I bought 7 gallons of antifreeze, dumped it into the fresh water tank using a plastic quart soda bottle with the bottom cut out as a funnel, turned on the pump and pumped until water came out all the faucets, flushed the toilet and sprayed the shower hose. Then I would drain it all into buckets placed under the vehicle to catch the anti freeze. Most will come out the hot water heater. I refill the empty jugs and end up with about 5 gallons for the following year. I live in Vermont so I need to plan on 20 below. Never had any problems doing this and I use the same procedure with the hot water bypass but obviously don't use as much antifreeze.
One other important preventive maintenance thing you can do during this process is to take the opportunity to wet vac the hot water heater. I have adapted a piece of tubing by running a bent coat hanger through a plastic pipe so I can snake it into the hot water tank through the drain plug and vacuum out all the sediment that settles in the bottom of the tank. I'm amazed at what comes out.
I will say good advice is when I first initiated the relief valve on the water heater before unplugging the drain to the water heater and even with doing that first the plug shot across yard for 2 feet. Do not stand in front of it was something I did right! I am pleased to know that the water pump would work off the house battery and given my doubts that I did everything right I am thinking of filling the fresh water tank with more anti-freeze and making sure everything got covered.

I am going to wet vac the hot water tank bottom too.
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skater
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Re: winterizing

Post by skater »

mountaindent wrote:I am going to wet vac the hot water tank bottom too.
Not necessary. The water heater manual states that as long as you drained it out the plug, any remaining water won’t be enough to cause a problem.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

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micabarry
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Re: winterizing

Post by micabarry »

Yes, I should have mentioned that about antifreeze in fresh water tank. Forgot because we have never drank water stored there, just a personal preference. Always had a few gallon jugs that we would fill at campgrounds and they store nicely on the step behind the second side door. It is hard to drain fresh water tank completely so I either leave the drain open on way to first campground(We often have to stay winterized until first stop going south) or I drive front wheels up on blocks, just enough to drain completely.
micabarry
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Re: winterizing

Post by micabarry »

And Skater, the wet vac isn't to get the remaining water it is to get all the deposits that settle in the tank and shorten its life, particularly if you have electric option. First time I learned about it I did mine and I'm guessing there was a 1/4" of crud on the bottom. Just passing along a preventative maintainence tip.
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mountaindent
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Re: winterizing

Post by mountaindent »

Well, it would be easier to not fess up but, not wanting to leave anything alone(which I should have). I decided to make sure positively that the camper was winterized. Soooo....I went and got more antifreeze and put in the fresh water tank(not reading Skater's text well till later). I figured this will definitely make me feel better about the fact TOMORROW NIGHT it will get down to 24 degrees. I turned on the water pump and turned on a faucet and initially the pink liquid coming through which I had already put it.....then the clear water kept coming. I was perplexed! How did this happen when not hooked up to water and having drained all water? I had drained fresh water I thought and just put in antifreeze. The hot water tank had been drained yesterday but, I was thinking....that I had not been thinking properly. Like for instance no matter how you drain the fresh water tank there is still some water. That maybe the hot water tank valve was not in proper position. I will keep this PG post but, after draining the pink stuff out of the water tank I realized that the valve allowed for the antifreeze to fill some of the hot water tank first? So, I spent some quality time flushing out the fresh water tank just to clean it out and thinking that I am only two feet away from a nice electrical plug so will run the ceramic heater tomorrow night until I can figure what the heck is going on!

What I love about owning this camper is that I am totally a novice and have to think and think more and do not have it figured out yet.
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skater
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Re: winterizing

Post by skater »

D’oh!
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
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mountaindent
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Re: winterizing

Post by mountaindent »

Well, I decided to suck it up and go back and make sure everything was protected. Ego and money aside... Skater what is confusing to me is that 1) I drained the hot water heater no problem 2)drained the fresh water after driving in around no problem and confident. 3) drained the tanks which is easy so....I have the bypass connection to hot water heater so "bypassing" the hot water heater. So, I unscrew the winterizing connection and screw the winterizing tube with a full bottle of anti-freeze with plenty of bottles waiting patiently. Ok, turn on the water pump and easily the cold water faucets show pink. Yay, I am good. The toilet shows pink. When I attempt the hot water faucet with the water pump on it does not come out. ONLY, when I eliminate the bypass direction does the pink come out the hot water faucets. WHICH means that I have just filled up part of the hot water heater and will drain again tomorrow. It is a little frustrating because with making everything more user friendly this procedure should have gone flawlessly. I know the people at the Ace Hardware where I have bought copious amounts of anti-freeze say they have faith in me and so do the KOA people that let me use one of their sites for FREE to winterize(because I used to store a different RV there for a year and probably not a pain to them).
Do you see my thought process where it should have gone easily but, without reversing the bypass I could NOT get the hot water faucet to run pink. Perplexed but, glad it is winterized.
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skater
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Re: winterizing

Post by skater »

mountaindent wrote:Well, I decided to suck it up and go back and make sure everything was protected. Ego and money aside... Skater what is confusing to me is that 1) I drained the hot water heater no problem 2)drained the fresh water after driving in around no problem and confident. 3) drained the tanks which is easy so....I have the bypass connection to hot water heater so "bypassing" the hot water heater. So, I unscrew the winterizing connection and screw the winterizing tube with a full bottle of anti-freeze with plenty of bottles waiting patiently. Ok, turn on the water pump and easily the cold water faucets show pink. Yay, I am good. The toilet shows pink. When I attempt the hot water faucet with the water pump on it does not come out. ONLY, when I eliminate the bypass direction does the pink come out the hot water faucets. WHICH means that I have just filled up part of the hot water heater and will drain again tomorrow. It is a little frustrating because with making everything more user friendly this procedure should have gone flawlessly. I know the people at the Ace Hardware where I have bought copious amounts of anti-freeze say they have faith in me and so do the KOA people that let me use one of their sites for FREE to winterize(because I used to store a different RV there for a year and probably not a pain to them).
Do you see my thought process where it should have gone easily but, without reversing the bypass I could NOT get the hot water faucet to run pink. Perplexed but, glad it is winterized.
First, it's not a problem to have antifreeze in the water heater as far as I'm aware (in fact, that's how I did it for several years). So I wouldn't fret over that. Don't fire up the water heater until you flush it out come spring, because the smell is bad, but otherwise it should be fine.

I'm not sure why you're having this problem, unless the valve isn't installed correctly. There are two types of bypasses I'm aware of:

1. On my trailer, there are three knobs near the water heater. Two turn off the flow into/out of the water heater, and the third allows flow from the cold to the hot lines (and it is connected "outside" of the first two valves). So the first two valves should be closed, and the third one open. Diagram:
Image

2. The other option is a kit like this one. In this case, the brass valve/tee should be on the cold water inlet at the bottom of the tank, and the hot water outlet should have the other brass fitting, which is a a check valve that prevents anything from flowing back into the water heater. When you are winterizing, you switch the flow on that valve/tee to go through the bypass line. (This does the same thing as the diagram above, mainly by combining two valves into one.)
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
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mountaindent
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Re: winterizing

Post by mountaindent »

Thank you for all this information and I will not fret about the antifreeze being in the water heater now. Just more like why is it not behaving like the cold water faucet. I am sure it is a simple solution but, wanting to have my house inspector friend that has a camper look it over with me and slowly explain what happened and why it behaved that way. It occurred to me that perhaps the connections were not quite right and that would explain what happened but, will not blame them yet!
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mountaindent
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:06 pm
B190 Year: 1992
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Re: winterizing

Post by mountaindent »

skater wrote:
mountaindent wrote:Well, I decided to suck it up and go back and make sure everything was protected. Ego and money aside... Skater what is confusing to me is that 1) I drained the hot water heater no problem 2)drained the fresh water after driving in around no problem and confident. 3) drained the tanks which is easy so....I have the bypass connection to hot water heater so "bypassing" the hot water heater. So, I unscrew the winterizing connection and screw the winterizing tube with a full bottle of anti-freeze with plenty of bottles waiting patiently. Ok, turn on the water pump and easily the cold water faucets show pink. Yay, I am good. The toilet shows pink. When I attempt the hot water faucet with the water pump on it does not come out. ONLY, when I eliminate the bypass direction does the pink come out the hot water faucets. WHICH means that I have just filled up part of the hot water heater and will drain again tomorrow. It is a little frustrating because with making everything more user friendly this procedure should have gone flawlessly. I know the people at the Ace Hardware where I have bought copious amounts of anti-freeze say they have faith in me and so do the KOA people that let me use one of their sites for FREE to winterize(because I used to store a different RV there for a year and probably not a pain to them).
Do you see my thought process where it should have gone easily but, without reversing the bypass I could NOT get the hot water faucet to run pink. Perplexed but, glad it is winterized.
First, it's not a problem to have antifreeze in the water heater as far as I'm aware (in fact, that's how I did it for several years). So I wouldn't fret over that. Don't fire up the water heater until you flush it out come spring, because the smell is bad, but otherwise it should be fine.

I'm not sure why you're having this problem, unless the valve isn't installed correctly. There are two types of bypasses I'm aware of:

1. On my trailer, there are three knobs near the water heater. Two turn off the flow into/out of the water heater, and the third allows flow from the cold to the hot lines (and it is connected "outside" of the first two valves). So the first two valves should be closed, and the third one open. Diagram:
Image

2. The other option is a kit like this one. In this case, the brass valve/tee should be on the cold water inlet at the bottom of the tank, and the hot water outlet should have the other brass fitting, which is a a check valve that prevents anything from flowing back into the water heater. When you are winterizing, you switch the flow on that valve/tee to go through the bypass line. (This does the same thing as the diagram above, mainly by combining two valves into one.)
Ok, yes the kit I have is the option number 2 you mentioned. However, something is amiss.....the mystery continues until I can figure it out. I have pictures and which I could upload them to an email however, only way to upload here is with an attachment URL correct?
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skater
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Re: winterizing

Post by skater »

mountaindent wrote: Ok, yes the kit I have is the option number 2 you mentioned. However, something is amiss.....the mystery continues until I can figure it out. I have pictures and which I could upload them to an email however, only way to upload here is with an attachment URL correct?
That's the easiest way, or you could also upload them to the Gallery and just link to the album.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit
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Choptop
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Re: winterizing

Post by Choptop »

skater wrote:
mountaindent wrote: Ok, yes the kit I have is the option number 2 you mentioned. However, something is amiss.....the mystery continues until I can figure it out. I have pictures and which I could upload them to an email however, only way to upload here is with an attachment URL correct?
That's the easiest way, or you could also upload them to the Gallery and just link to the album.
Just joined IMGUR photo hosting, very easy to use,
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mountaindent
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Re: winterizing

Post by mountaindent »

Here I go with everyone's help....this is the hot water heater bypass and the connection for the introduction of the antifreeze. What do you guys see??




https://imgur.com/a/Zdd13
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mountaindent
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Re: winterizing

Post by mountaindent »

Choptop wrote:
skater wrote:
mountaindent wrote: Ok, yes the kit I have is the option number 2 you mentioned. However, something is amiss.....the mystery continues until I can figure it out. I have pictures and which I could upload them to an email however, only way to upload here is with an attachment URL correct?
That's the easiest way, or you could also upload them to the Gallery and just link to the album.
Just joined IMGUR photo hosting, very easy to use,

Seriously, this one piece of advice has made my whole day with IMGUR photo hosting. Thank you!
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Re: winterizing

Post by micabarry »

I'm seeing a shutoff that stops the cold from entering hot water tank but I can't see a shut off on the hot water pipe coming out of the tank or a connection (by pass) between cold lines and hot lines like the diagram Skater posted. Do you see that arrangement? Somehow the cold line, after it routes past your shut off on the inlet to the tank has to connect to the hot lines to winterize them. Normally this connection is the tank itself so by by passing you eliminate the tank. But if you have a connection some where, you also have to have a shutoff of the outlet of the tank Otherwise the cold will bypass the inlet of the tank, go into the hot lines and fill the tank through the outlet pipe. If you trace out what happens once the water passes the shutoff in the picture you should be able to tell if you have it set up right. Glad you see figuring out the B as an enjoyable challenge. Rest assured that there are many of us out here that feel the same way. Let us know what you find.
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