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 Post subject: Winterizing
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:29 am
Posts: 56
Location: Bakersfield, CA U.S.A.
Nice to get back. Ashamed of long absence :oops:

I have a two or three-fold question:
1) How do you blow out water pipes? Using compressor, is air pressure a concern? How much to set compressor for? Where do you insert the air?

2) I drained holding tanks and water heater, poured RV antifreeze in toilet, opened all cupboard doors, opened all faucets and set heater on 55 during our recent 25 degree nights. Used tank of LPG in one week, using every night.

3) Was that enough or was I still taking chance on water freezing in pipes?

Jess

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Jess & Bonnie Dixon
2002 Born Free, 26 ft rsb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:59 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Roswell, NM
I have blown the water out with 15 to 20 psi set on air compressor and have had good luck.Just take your time in opening the different drains so the air will move the water.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 1:38 pm
Posts: 598
Location: Monroe, NJ
Jess;

Rv supply stores and probably WalMArt sell a screw on fitting that goes on the fresh water hookup inlet. The fitting has a fitting that allows a standard connector used for putting air in your tires to connect to it. I use a compressor and set it for 40-50 psi. Then go around and open each faucet until all the water is blown out. I do both hot and cold at each faucet. Don't forget the toilet and the sprayer, and the outside shower, and the low point drains.

Just to be extra safe I then pump some antifreeze through the line also, just in case any water is left and seeps to a low spot in the line.

Of course that's after draining the hot water tank, and bypassing it.

Hope that helps.

John

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and our 2 German Shepherds
2006 RSB - sold
2008 Jeep Wrangler X


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 Post subject: Re: Winterizing
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:21 pm
Posts: 165
Location: Woodinville, WA
Fourwinds wrote:
I have a two or three-fold question:
1) How do you blow out water pipes? Using compressor, is air pressure a concern? How much to set compressor for? Where do you insert the air?

2) I drained holding tanks and water heater, poured RV antifreeze in toilet, opened all cupboard doors, opened all faucets and set heater on 55 during our recent 25 degree nights. Used tank of LPG in one week, using every night.

3) Was that enough or was I still taking chance on water freezing in pipes?

Jess

From your description of what you did, it looks like you still had water in the pipes as I did not see where you had either pumped antifreeze through them or blown them out with air. In that case, you still had a chance to have them freeze. Heating the RV is one way to keep them from freezing, but as you have found out, it can be expensive. Most people either pump antifreeze through the lines or blow them out or both. There are many opinions as to which is best. Since you asked the question about blowing the lines out, I'll confine my answer to that topic. You can buy a small fitting for a couple of dollars, either at CW or online, that screws into your fresh water pressure line and allows you to connect and air hose. The specially made fittings that I've seen required you to keep the air hose pressed tight to the fitting to maintain the seal. This makes blowing out the pipes a two person operation. In my case, I made up a small jumper line using an industrial air fitting which locks on so that I could connect my air hose to it and drain the system by myself. You can then use an air compressor to blow out the lines with 15-20 psi air. You should not use high air pressure and you should be careful that the air compressor you use is what is called the oiless or sealed type as opposed to the type with an open oil sump. Air from the latter can contain oil which you would then be blowing into your fresh water system. After pressurizing the system, you want to open each fresh water fitting, one at a time and keep it open until only air comes out. You can tell by the sound when it is clear. I like to start with the fittings farthest from the source and work back to the source. You should bypass the hot water heater so that you can get the air through the hot water pipes too. Perhaps someone else will post about filling the system with antifreeze as I do not use that method.

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Zoey the mutt
2005 Born Free Built for Two
2001 VW Cabrio


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 Post subject: Winterizing
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:29 am
Posts: 56
Location: Bakersfield, CA U.S.A.
I appreciate the replies. Think I'll have to formulate the questions I
have based upon what you've shared already.

If I'm understanding this, this air-connector allows you to first fill the
fresh water tank with air; and that pressure blows through the system?

I'm still a bit confused on how to bypass the hot water tank. I'll have
to stick my head in and see if I can figure it out........along with seeing
if the manual has any underestandable diagrams. It's poor on how to's
for the beginner, in my estimation. Needs clearer graphics.

If you use the Antifreeze, then you would have to repeat the process using the air to blow that out? Or fill it with water and drain till it all runs out?

Jess

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Jess & Bonnie Dixon
2002 Born Free, 26 ft rsb


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 Post subject: Winterizing!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 1990
Location: Spencer, IA
For us up North BF owners who have to winterize every winter, I think the simplest process is to just pump your water lines and water traps full of pink non-toxic RV antifreeze.

First, drain your water heater and then set the various water heater feed valves to bypass mode - depending on your BF model, there may be 2 or 3 valves involved to bypass the water heater. If you don't bypass the water heater, it will take 7.5 gallons instead on the normal 1.5 gallons of antifreeze required to complete the job since you will also be filling the 6 gallon water heater!

Then disconnect the water line fitting feeding the input to your water pump (first make sure that your fresh water tank has been drained!) and connect the 3' to 4' opened ended hose that BF supplied for this purpose and stick the open end of this hose down into the opening of the antifreeze container and then turn on your water pump.

Then one at a time, open all cold and hot water faucets until pink antifreeze appears. Do this to the shower, toiler, and also outside shower. Also do it to all water line drains in the floor to the outside - usually 2 cold water line drains and 2 hot water line drains. Normally I can complete this job in my 26' BF RSB using only 1 -1/2 gallons of antifreeze.

Much cheaper and safer in my opinion then spending the money on a special oil-free air compressor to try to blow out the lines. If not done properly when using that method, you could still end up with water possibly trapped somewhere in a line that could freeze and burst.

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Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


Last edited by whemme on Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Winterizing
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:29 am
Posts: 56
Location: Bakersfield, CA U.S.A.
I appreciate the steps, Bill. Incidentally, I already have the right kind of compressor.

J.

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Jess & Bonnie Dixon
2002 Born Free, 26 ft rsb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:38 am
Posts: 80
Location: Near Salt Lake City
Agree with Bill.

One problem with an air compressor only approach to winterizing is that you cannot know you got all the water out of the low areas of the plumbing since you cannot see them. RV antifreeze is the safest approach.

If you want to you can always blow out your plumbing with air first and then run in the pink stuff. That way you could use less of it since it won't have to displace the water before the system is full of mostly antifreeze.

The hot water system in our coach has a very nice bypass system installed by BF. Once you see how it works the valves make sense. Just be sure to fully drain it by taking out the drain plug and allow all the grunge to come out before you bypass it. If you don't it could freeze in there and crack your heater chamber.

Don't buy cheap RV antifreeze. It will leave a nasty taste in the plastic pipes that is a bear to get out. Spend a couple of more buck per gallon and get the good stuff. If you blow out the tubes first you could get away with less. I would think you could do the plumbing and the drains with a bit less than 2 gallons. Don't skrimp on the water system since it is very hard to replace water damage to some part of the coach from a split water pipe. When you run the antifreeze into the pump bypass tube make sure you let it run out of each faucet for a few seconds (longer if you don't blow out the water first) to be help get out air pockets and possible water left in the tubing and low spots.

Very cold temperatures (-20 F) can even freeze diluted antifreeze so full strength is desired if you expect to see anything near those temps. Lower than that and you better run the pink stuff longer and use more of it to be sure you get all the water out.

Good luck and welcome to the club.


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 Post subject: Re: Winterizing
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:21 pm
Posts: 165
Location: Woodinville, WA
Fourwinds wrote:
If I'm understanding this, this air-connector allows you to first fill the fresh water tank with air; and that pressure blows through the system?


That is not quite correct. The fitting I mentioned attaches to the outside fresh water fitting you use when you pressurize the fresh water system with water from an outside source/spigot, not the fitting you use to fill the fresh water tank. It is set up so that the fresh water tank itself is not pressurized. The fresh water tank is not meant to hold much over static pressure and would likely split its seams or explode if filled with compressed air. Although the fresh water tank has a vent to keep it from being over pressurized in normal circumstances, that vent could be overwhelmed with 40-50 psi compressed air.

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David and Janice Potter
Zoey the mutt
2005 Born Free Built for Two
2001 VW Cabrio


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 Post subject: Re: Winterizing
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:21 pm
Posts: 165
Location: Woodinville, WA
Sam Ryan wrote:
Do you have a brand name, style number, source, and approximate cost for the oiless air compressor?


http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/itemDetailsRender.shtml?ItemId=1611627246

This one was recommended by others on the forum. I got it and like it as I have found many other uses for it. It fits nicely in the BFT storage compartment under the sofas. It is available from other sources on the web but I cannot vouch for them. Grainger is legit if you have accesss to a business account.

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David and Janice Potter
Zoey the mutt
2005 Born Free Built for Two
2001 VW Cabrio


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 Post subject: Winterizing
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:29 am
Posts: 56
Location: Bakersfield, CA U.S.A.
Point of info. Our lowest temp last week was 25 degrees. They announced this beat the former record of 29 set in 1929. As you can
see by the date and the temperatures, cold temperatures are not
common in central California.

We lived in WY and MT ~ no RV back then ~ and the lowest we experienced was minus 47 degrees below Zero. Our 1972 Toyota Land Cruiser refused to shift. People who had those plastic seat covers - - remember those? - - they shattered like glass.

Appreciate all the comments and info (education).

Jess

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Jess & Bonnie Dixon
2002 Born Free, 26 ft rsb


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 Post subject: Re: Winterizing
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:55 pm
Posts: 1295
Location: Escondido. CA
Dave&JanPotter wrote:
Sam Ryan wrote:
Do you have a brand name, style number, source, and approximate cost for the oiless air compressor?


http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/itemDetailsRender.shtml?ItemId=1611627246

This one was recommended by others on the forum. I got it and like it as I have found many other uses for it. It fits nicely in the BFT storage compartment under the sofas. It is available from other sources on the web but I cannot vouch for them. Grainger is legit if you have accesss to a business account.


I bought mine here for the same price without a need for a "business account" and am very happy with it.
http://2buyitnow.com/3jr69.html

Bill

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Barb & Bill
2004 Born Free 22' Built for Two (Sold)
no longer towing a 2008 Smart ForTwo

Escondido, CA


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 Post subject: Air Compressor
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 1990
Location: Spencer, IA
Although I think the mentioned Westward 125psi Air Compressor P/N 3JR69 is a fine portable air compressor that will work well in the application of provided a method of adding air to your coach's tires, it may not work so well for the purpose of winterizing your coach using it to blow water out of all of the coach's water lines.

Two characteristics of a compressor are important here to consider. One is the pressure being used and the other is the capability of the compressor to deliver a sufficient volume of air/minute. Since I am relatively sure that this small compressor does not feature an air storage tank, I question that it would have a sufficient air delivery rate to permit it to clear the water lines of all water. This small compressor is rated to deliver 2.5 cfm of air at 90 psi whereas my limited research on larger compressors equipped with air tanks are rated in the range of 5.5 to 10 cfm on air delivery rate.

Now, I may be all wrong about this and would appreciate anyone actually using this particular compressor to blow water out of their coach's water lines to post appropriate rebuttal comments.

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Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:55 pm
Posts: 1295
Location: Escondido. CA
Good challenge, Bill. Although I have that compressor, I live in San Diego County, and as yet, haven't had a need to winterize. :D:D :D

That said, having used this compressor to blow out parts, etc., I believe it does produce sufficient air volume to vacate the water lines in our BFs.

So, is there someone else that can run this test?

Bill

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Barb & Bill
2004 Born Free 22' Built for Two (Sold)
no longer towing a 2008 Smart ForTwo

Escondido, CA


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 Post subject: Re: Air Compressor
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:21 pm
Posts: 165
Location: Woodinville, WA
whemme wrote:
Now, I may be all wrong about this and would appreciate anyone actually using this particular compressor to blow water out of their coach's water lines to post appropriate rebuttal comments.


Been there. Done that. No problems.

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David and Janice Potter
Zoey the mutt
2005 Born Free Built for Two
2001 VW Cabrio


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