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Old 12-07-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
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NEEDED- sugestions on how to go about clearing water from the water lines on our 1985 BURRO, before a freeze up, using compressed air. Is there an attachment for hooking some sort of an air fitting to the water line . Could compressed air damage the water system? Also, any sugestions for cleaning the water tank and water lines.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:03 AM   #2
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Read this for starters.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/winter.html
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:07 AM   #3
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We got an adapter for the city water hookup with our Casita that is the same as a tire stem. I have a small compressor that i set to about 30psi. I run the compressor while my wife opens faucets one at a time.

There was a post either here or on the Casita forum about one that someone made with the compressor fitting built in so it could be done with one person.

I think it as the same post that said limit the pressure to 40psi.

Better get done quick. I don't know where you are but it is only 23 degrees here North of Seattle right now.

Dave
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:02 PM   #4
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Hi Al,
As Dave suggested, we bought an adapter for our compressor which made the job pretty easy. We set it for 30 psi and turned the faucets on one at a time like Dave suggested. It seemed to work well for our Burro. We never had any problems with freezing even the temps got really low.

I am still enjoying the cake testers you sent! Sweet....

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Old 12-07-2009, 04:57 PM   #5
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I bought my city watter inlet adapter at a RV dealer.

Bill K

Quote:
NEEDED- sugestions on how to go about clearing water from the water lines on our 1985 BURRO, before a freeze up, using compressed air. Is there an attachment for hooking some sort of an air fitting to the water line . Could compressed air damage the water system? Also, any sugestions for cleaning the water tank and water lines.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:30 PM   #6
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Question

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I run the compressor while my wife opens faucets one at a time.
I noticed that the local RV store stocks two different fittings a plastic fitting (about $3), and a brass fitting ($7).



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I have always had the plastic one (purchased years ago at WallyWorld), but I asked what the difference was. What I had missed is the brass one is threaded, so with the correct to a nozzle like the one pictured below ($10) no one needs to hold the compressor adapter to the blow out plug outside the camper.

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This year winterizing became on one person job. It was a great timesaver.

Mike
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:17 PM   #7
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I hook an old sump pump up to the city water inlet and sit it in a 5gal bucket of plumbing antifreeze. open the taps till they run pink and it's done. I drain and bypass the hot water tank but make sure any ball valves are hit with the antifreeze too.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:02 PM   #8
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First year for our Boler so what I did was pull the drain on the water tank and let it empty. Put the plug back in, dumped a couple gallons of RV AntiFreeze into the tank, went into the trailer, turned on the pump and let the faucets and toilet run until the pink anti-freeze was coming out. Dumped a little more down the drains and hopefully that will do it for the winter. Have I forgotten anything?
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:06 PM   #9
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I hook an old sump pump up to the city water inlet and sit it in a 5gal bucket of plumbing antifreeze. open the taps till they run pink and it's done. I drain and bypass the hot water tank but make sure any ball valves are hit with the antifreeze too.

YUK! We had a sump in the basement of our former house.

Also, don't air compressers put oil mist into the air they pump?

I just pour pink antifreeze into the water tank*, run the faucet until it runs pink and out the grey water drain. Hold the valve open on the city water line and let the water drain out from the pink stuff in the neck of the faucet.

I made an adapter from a cleaned out pop bottle. Just cut a hole in the side of the bottle, hold the neck against the water inlet for the water tank, and pour pink stuff into the bottle. Works like a right angle funnel.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:40 PM   #10
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Just adding a few details to the "Winterizing" FAQ listed earlier.

First, I made my own compressor-connection fitting from a compressor fitting and plumbing parts I bought at Home Depot or Lowes.


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Before blowing my lines out I drained my water heater and fresh water tanks, ran the fresh water pump dry for a couple minutes, put the drain plug back in the water heater, then blew my lines out.

Because my old compressor hose wasn't long enough -- a couple feet short -- I used to use an air-carry tank to move compressed air to my trailer before this year. Now I have an extra length of hose, so I set my compressor output to 30 pounds, opened all my valves (hot and cold), ran the compressor for about 10 minutes, ran the water pump dry for another couple minutes, and blew the lines again for a couple minutes.

If you have a flush toilet or shower, don't forget to flush the toilet for a minute or more and open the shower valve while the compressor is running.


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After blowing the lines I also used a short length of flexible hose to siphon out the last of the water from the water heater, then put the plug back in again. There was still about a gallon (of pretty dirty looking) water in there.


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After all that I dumped my gray and black tanks, parked and leveled my trailer, and plugged in a 60w dehumidifier heater. I never did put antifreeze down the drains . . . with it being in the teens at night I worry a little about the shower drain, but I haven't had any problems with it. Yet.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:39 PM   #11
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I don't know about putting compressed air into the fresh water tank.

1. Air compressors put a tiny bit of oil into the air.

2. Fresh water tanks are made to hold fresh water, not compressed air.

3. The water lines leading up to the pump also are not made for pressure, in fact just the opposite, the pump is sucking water through them.

4. Is running a water pump dry harmful?

I would be interested at what pressure something would "let go" in a fresh water system.

Anyone have one they want to sacrifice in the name of science?

It probably would be a hose fitting, but...
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:30 AM   #12
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I agree, why use air? Simply drain all the water out of all the tanks and hot water heater. Put 2 or 3 gal of RV antifreeze into the fresh water tank. Turn on the water pump, pump through all facets until the output turns pink ( this includes toilet). Put some antifreeze down the drains to fill the traps and you're good for freezing weather.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:50 PM   #13
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First, you don't blow out the fresh water tank. Just drain it and leave the drain valve open. What you do blow air through is the pipes between the water pump and city water connection and the taps at the sink, shower, and toilet.

The whole purpose of the exercise is to get enough of the water out that, should the water freeze and expand (as water does when it freezes), there won't be enough water in the system for that expansion to cause damage to the taps, pipes, and fittings.

Blowing air through the system is one way to get the water out, pink goo is another. My take on air is it's cheap and doesn't leave a bad taste in the lines when you re-fill the system.

Roger is quite right to point out that compressed air has a wee bit of oil in it. I haven't found that to be a problem.

As for Roger's other two questions, running the water pump dry for an extended period of time could damage the pump because the water pumped through the system removes heat from the bladder mechanism that pumps the water. Running the pump dry for a couple minutes
doesn't cause much heat build-up, so I'm not terribly worried.

And at what air pressure would the plumbing be damaged? The PEC lines and fittings in my trailer are rated 180lbs/sq inch, but they are designed for static installations in houses and the like, and RV systems can be considerably more delicate.

Most RV water pressure regulators step the city water pressure (which is genarally 75-100psi) down to 50-60psi or less, and one I purchased (and no longer use because the water flow was too slow) kept it down to 40.

So while I don't think the full 100psi my compressor generates would be problematic, I prefer to stay under the limits allowed by my water pressure regulator. I know my plumbing can handle that much pressure, it does so all the time.

It's also worth noting that using higher pressure air would not do a better or noticeably faster job. With that in mind I used the 30lbs that is often mentioned on this board.

Not everyone has an output pressure selector on their air compressor. Small compressors with small air tanks -- or no air tank at all -- often don't have output pressure selectors, but they also can't put out the huge volume of high-pressure air that a compressor with a five or ten gallon reserve tank can. So if you have a small air compressor with a small one gallon tank and no output regulator, I wouldn't worry about pressure, and would just connect the output hose directly to the city water connection.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:57 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. Just bought a RV BLOW OUT PLUG. It screws into the city water intake fitting.It should do the trick. Thanks again. A.P.
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