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Old 10-26-2011, 04:12 PM   #1
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Winterizing Minnie - No HW Heater bypass

I had to winterize my Minnie last night due to a severe cold front coming in - supposed to be 16 degrees tonight. Our HWH is located under the sofa. I searched and searched but could not locate a bypass switch. I plan to order one but in the meantime, I had to winterize it. Moving as fast as I can, I pumped pink through all the lines hoping the HWH wouldn't chug up all the pink. It worked well and I only drained about 1/2 gallon from the HWH when I was done.

My question is, how bad is pink for the guts of the water heater and do I need to rinse it somehow this weekend (it's supposed to be in the 60's again). If so, do I just run a bunch of water through the whole system to clean the HWH? I hate to have to do this because then I have to re-winterize BUT I don't want to ruin the water heater.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:35 PM   #2
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Can't say for certain but I really doubt that the pink will hurt your heater. I believe the main purposes of the bypass is, as you suggest, to prevent having to use 5 or more gallons of the anti-freeze and secondly to make it easier to get antifreeze out of you lines when you de-winterize. You could call a rv dealer and ask.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:55 PM   #3
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How much antifreeze did you pump through and was the tank drained? You would need to pump a lot to displace all the water and fill it. Assuming the HW tank is at least six gallon I would guess seven or more gallons of pink stuff if empty.

If it doesn't have a bypass, you can buy an aftermarket kit that will be worth the money and trouble to install.

We owned a boat that didn't have one but we could drain it then connect the in and out hoses with a piece of pipe to fill the rest of the lines with antifreeze.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:05 PM   #4
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The pink stuff certainly won't hurt your water heater, but it still would take at least 6 or 7 gallons to pump through the lines and fill the W/H. The water heater had to be FULL in order for your downstream hot water pipes to get any antifreeze in them.

What I'm saying is if you only drained 1/2 gallon out of the W/H, then you have hot water lines that never got any antifreeze in them

The W/H bypass is just so you can drain the W/H completely and still fill the water lines, saving gallons and gallons of expensive pink stuff.
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senior Chief View Post
The pink stuff certainly won't hurt your water heater, but it still would take at least 6 or 7 gallons to pump through the lines and fill the W/H. The water heater had to be FULL in order for your downstream hot water pipes to get any antifreeze in them.

What I'm saying is if you only drained 1/2 gallon out of the W/H, then you have hot water lines that never got any antifreeze in them

The W/H bypass is just so you can drain the W/H completely and still fill the water lines, saving gallons and gallons of expensive pink stuff.
Oh crap! I hope it survived the night. It was VERY cold!
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:53 PM   #6
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A temperature of 16 degrees for 3 or 4 hours probably won't cause enough heat loss to freeze your hot water heater even if there was no antifreeze in the HWH ... 16 degrees for 24 hours would be different ... and remember that as long as there is fluid in your HWH you can turn it on for a little while to warm it up so that it will stand more heat loss ...

You can get a pretty good sense of how warm the water is in the HWH by feeling the pressure relief valve ...
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:13 PM   #7
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The optional method is to get a blow out connector for your city water supply connection. First you drain the system, including using the WH drain plug. Then reinstall the WH drain plug and use 30# air to blow out remaining water in the system. Disconnect air hose. Afterwards, you pour a cup of pink stuff into the kitchen and lavatory sinks to purge the P-traps of water. Place rest of gal of pink stuff in the fresh water tank. Now, go have a brew. Don't forget to dump grey/black tanks before doing all this.

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