Antifreeze in water heater - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-25-2020, 11:47 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Rick
Trailer: 1999 Casita Spirit Deluxe
Lawrence
Posts: 13
Antifreeze in water heater

I recently purchased a 20 year old Casita Spirit Deluxe. When I got it, it was still in winterized mode and I'm trying to learn all the systems. It's mostly straightforward but I do have a couple of questions regarding the hot water heater.

It appears that the previous owner did not bypass and drain the heater prior to putting in winter antifreeze. The anode was installed. When I took out the anode plug, there was water pressure behind it and it drained antifreeze mix. I've read that you're never supposed to allow antifreeze into the heater.

1. What are the repercussions of allowing antifreeze in the heater?
2. I moved the bypass lever to the bypass position so I could pump fresh water through the faucets, shower, toilet etc. I turned on the 12v pump and the bypass valve is allowing a small amount of water past the valve and it's coming out of the heater (anode is still removed). Once the anode is replaced it won't leak out of the system, but is that normal and OK?

I'm a complete newbee on these systems. Any advice is welcome and appreciated.

Rick
Kansas
__________________

thunderworks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2020, 11:54 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 6,929
The reason for bypassing the water heater when winterizing is that you don't want to pump six gallons of RV antifreeze into the heater, wasting money. You also don't need to pump antifreeze into your fresh water tank for the same reason.

I bypass the water heater and pump antifreeze through the lines using a hand pump attached to city water inlet, and I fill the p-traps. Takes about two gallons of anti-freeze.
Attached Thumbnails
Hand pump.jpg  
__________________

__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2020, 11:58 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
AC0GV's Avatar
 
Name: Kenneth
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
Posts: 447
Registry
RF ANTIFREEZE

Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderworks View Post

1. What are the repercussions of allowing antifreeze in the heater?
2. I moved the bypass lever to the bypass position so I could pump fresh water through the faucets, shower, toilet etc Once the anode is replaced it won't leak out of the system, but is that normal and OK?
#1 IF it was RV antifreeze, cost is the only reason not to fill the water heater. It's another six gallons to buy.
#2 Not normal, but will not hurt anything until you winterize next fall. You will use some extra RV antifreeze. (It sounds like your "bypass" is just an off valve and not a complete bypass system< could the water have back feed through the faucet into the tank?)
AC0GV is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2020, 12:44 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
Posts: 647
Thorough flushing of the hot water tank ( not turned on to heat) then sanitation of your entire water system with one half cup of bleach, then flushing a couple more times with clean cold fresh water till you can’t taste it anymore will straighten your system all up. If you’re worried about the water “wasted” catch it as you drain it and use it to water your garden, flowers, trees and shrubs.

I water with plastic five gallon buckets placed on an area where water draining out will water the intended plants. I drill 2 or 3 5/16 holes near the bottom of the bucket. Then dump a full bucket of water into my watering bucket. I know how much water the plants are getting also.
I have lots of buckets and I always use the restroom before I start a project like this. There’s something psychological going on once the water starts coming out of those little holes.
Iowa Dave
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2020, 12:58 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
ZachO's Avatar
 
Name: Zach
Trailer: 91 Bigfoot 17
Montana
Posts: 2,236
Registry
Like Dave hinted at is also a taste thing. I screwed up the first time I de-winterized my trailer and opened the bypass before draining the antifreeze. The penalty was antifreeze smelling water the entire year. Unless you drain and flush the water heater (there's a cheap plastic wand made just for this), it never completely empties and refills. You're always just adding fresh water to the existing water in the heater, mixing them. So you slowly, slowly dilute it.

Draining and flushing is the way to go. With or without any bleach.

If water is getting past a closed valve, I'd replace the valve.
ZachO is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2020, 02:40 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Name: Rick
Trailer: 1999 Casita Spirit Deluxe
Lawrence
Posts: 13
Thanks for the info you all provided. Much appreciated.

Rick
thunderworks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2020, 08:14 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,062
"I've read that you're never supposed to allow antifreeze into the heater." This is a good example of how hearsay, or friendly recommendations, get passed along and become dire warnings of imminent doom.

The water heater bypass simply allows you to drain the water heater for winter, instead of filling it with antifreeze that must be flushed out later.

Prepare yourself for the inevitable tire "discussion" and tongue weight absolute value numbers, that are lurking in your future.
__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2020, 08:59 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 6,929
Somebody is certain to sell you one of those trestles to hold your stinky slinky up off the ground and on a slope. This will allow you to leave your black tank trap open, resulting in a poop pyramid in your black tank because the liquid has all drained.

Don't do it.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2020, 09:31 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Name: Skip
Trailer: Jayco
Arkansas
Posts: 11
Sounds like you may have a leaking valve. I guess you could replace it (them)...UGH!
Flydog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2020, 10:19 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
ZachO's Avatar
 
Name: Zach
Trailer: 91 Bigfoot 17
Montana
Posts: 2,236
Registry
Well in the spirit of continued unsolicited advice, know this: in my experience, camper trailers are constant work. Whether because you screwed up or just because something isn't working right. It's fine, and obviously we all think they're still worth it. Just be prepared.
ZachO is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2020, 10:37 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
Posts: 647
Good Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
Well in the spirit of continued unsolicited advice, know this: in my experience, camper trailers are constant work. Whether because you screwed up or just because something isn't working right. It's fine, and obviously we all think they're still worth it. Just be prepared.
Good observation. Maybe this is not valid but I believe that folks who get some personal satisfaction from modifying, repairing, or remodeling things are likely to be most happy in owning campers, boats, old cars and motorcycles. Of course when repair frequency exceeds trouble free use frequency, irritation follows. Remodeling and modifying are usually optional, so better planned with no surprises. (Until you open things up). With normal monitoring of systems the most disappointing development of finding a problem just as you’re ready to take off on a trip can be alleviated if not totally eliminated. I always remember the words of an old friend Boge Johnson who was a flagman at the Marion County Speedway in Knoxville Iowa. He said “It costs money to go racin”.
Iowa Dave
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2020, 10:43 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
ZachO's Avatar
 
Name: Zach
Trailer: 91 Bigfoot 17
Montana
Posts: 2,236
Registry
Agreed. My above advice is one of the first things I tell any friend considering a trailer. It's a rare camping trip with 2 or more campers/trailers where some part of the weekend isn't spent trouble-shooting an issue with someones camper.
ZachO is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2020, 05:25 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,062
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
Well in the spirit of continued unsolicited advice, know this: in my experience, camper trailers are constant work. Whether because you screwed up or just because something isn't working right. It's fine, and obviously we all think they're still worth it. Just be prepared.
Good observation.

I'm the type that likes to tinker, redesign or upgrade stuff. Now that we are all mostly staying home, I've done a amazing amount of work to my new Black Series trailer. No trailers are perfect. And yes, I still like it, in spite of it being imperfect.
__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2020, 08:02 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 896
Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderworks View Post
I recently purchased a 20 year old Casita Spirit Deluxe. When I got it, it was still in winterized mode and I'm trying to learn all the systems. It's mostly straightforward but I do have a couple of questions regarding the hot water heater.

It appears that the previous owner did not bypass and drain the heater prior to putting in winter antifreeze. The anode was installed. When I took out the anode plug, there was water pressure behind it and it drained antifreeze mix. I've read that you're never supposed to allow antifreeze into the heater.

1. What are the repercussions of allowing antifreeze in the heater?
2. I moved the bypass lever to the bypass position so I could pump fresh water through the faucets, shower, toilet etc. I turned on the 12v pump and the bypass valve is allowing a small amount of water past the valve and it's coming out of the heater (anode is still removed). Once the anode is replaced it won't leak out of the system, but is that normal and OK?

I'm a complete newbee on these systems. Any advice is welcome and appreciated.

Rick
Kansas
The worst part of putting anti-freeze in the hot water heater is the expense and trying to get the smell and taste out of it. We bypass our hot water heater and drain it when we winterize. When we de-winterize we hook the water to the city inlet, open the faucets, toilet, etc and rinse it good. Then we put about 1/2-1 cup of bleach diluted into the fresh water tank, fill it full and pump it through all the lines. We drive around a few blocks to swish the bleach water around then let set for about 2 hours to sanitize it. Then we drain the tank put in fresh water and run that through the lines and drive around again to swish clean water around, let sit a few minutes and drain. If you have anti-freeze in your hot water heater you may have to put bleach water in it or something to get rid of the taste which can be done at the same time you are doing the rest of the system. I'm not sure about the reaction of bleach in the water heater. Either way you'll have to rinse and re-rinse the water heater. Get one of the little wands for rinsing water heaters out. They are worth their weight in gold. Use fairly high pressure on the hose when rinsing the tank out through the anode rod hole. We do this when we de-winterize every year. We drink the water out of our tank since we know it is clean and it tastes fine. We filter the water when we fill our tank to use it and check the taste of water at campgrounds before we fill.
Jann Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2020, 09:01 AM   #15
Member
 
Name: Tony
Trailer: Scamp
Ohio
Posts: 91
For what its worth, Scamp guidance for winterizing has you do the hot water lines last and run the antifreeze through the hot water tank to get the pink stuff where it needs to go.
Tony D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2020, 06:37 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony D View Post
For what its worth, Scamp guidance for winterizing has you do the hot water lines last and run the antifreeze through the hot water tank to get the pink stuff where it needs to go.
Bypassing the hot water heater puts the antifreeze in all the lines perfectly and doesn't use the 5-6 gallons of antifreeze either. Plus then when taking the antifreeze out you don't deal with the smell or problems of trying to get it out of the tank which is a little more difficult than just the lines. When winterizing all you need to do is drain the hot water tank and leave the rod out of it. We put a rag in the hole to keep critters out of it. After 40 years of doing it this way if it ain't broke don't try to fix it.
Jann Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2020, 07:15 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 6,929
I drain the water heater and flush it with a wand, inspect the anode and replace it if necessary, or re-install. Nothing will happen to it if it is installed over winter in an empty tank.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2020, 03:59 AM   #18
Member
 
Name: Tony
Trailer: Scamp
Ohio
Posts: 91
I did just rewatch the Scamp winterizing video, It says when you drain the hot water heater you also drain the hot water lines except for the line between the pump and the hot water heater. So that is the line you need to push the antifreeze into in order to push out the H2O. To do this you turn on the hot water faucet in the sink and wait for some of the pink stuff to come out. And yes some antifreeze ends up in the tank.

I used 2 gallons of RV antifreeze last year using these instructions. The video says you will need 1-2 gallons of it.
Tony D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2020, 03:45 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I drain the water heater and flush it with a wand, inspect the anode and replace it if necessary, or re-install. Nothing will happen to it if it is installed over winter in an empty tank.
All very true and good. We just don't put the rod in so that the tank will dry out and not take a chance on dampness making it musty. We do put a rag in the hole so critters can't get in it. Of course we don't have to worry about dirt or critters to much since our Casita is pampered and sits in a garage on carpet on the concrete. One time we had a tank get terrible smelling and had to drain and rinse it at a campground. Never knew why for sure so we put the rag in instead of the anode rod. Our fresh water tank didn't have the smell.
Jann Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2020, 03:52 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
The reason for bypassing the water heater when winterizing is that you don't want to pump six gallons of RV antifreeze into the heater, wasting money. You also don't need to pump antifreeze into your fresh water tank for the same reason.

I bypass the water heater and pump antifreeze through the lines using a hand pump attached to city water inlet, and I fill the p-traps. Takes about two gallons of anti-freeze.
This method does not put anti-freeze into the pump which could have water in it. We take off the inlet line to the pump and put a hose in the anti-freeze with the hose attached to the inlet to the pump and turn on the pump. When all faucets and toilet line shows pink for a few seconds we shut off the pump and reattach the line that is coming from the fresh water. Of course you have to drain the fresh water tank first. Also need to catch a little water in the line from the fresh water tank and what comes out of the pump with a towel. That way the line from the fresh water tank is drained, the pump is protected and we know all lines are full.
__________________

Jann Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Preserve Antifreeze and use camp ground supplied water? Dsironi Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 9 02-12-2014 10:30 AM
Hot Water Tank Smells Like Antifreeze kdhanso Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 3 03-24-2012 11:07 AM
RV Antifreeze Legacy Posts Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 1 10-15-2002 12:04 PM
RV Antifreeze Legacy Posts Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 9 09-27-2002 11:04 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×