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Old 02-13-2020, 01:56 AM   #1
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Winterizing a 22M using the blow-out method

To keep my water lines clean, I purchased a new oil-free compressor and a new hose.Here is the process I used.
  • Assured that the Black and Grey tanks are empty, and then close their dump valves.
  • Open the 45 gallon Fresh Water Tank Drain (found under the water pump) and leave it open.
  • Remove the 6 gallon Hot Water Heater Plug with a 1&1/16" socket.

  • Open the 3 Winterizing Drains

Also open:
  • The Hot & Cold of the kitchen sink
  • The Hot & Cold of the bathroom sink
  • The Hot & Cold of the shower, with the shower head lowered to the shower floor.
Once gravity-drained, close ...
  • ... the kitchen sink valves
  • ... the bathroom sink valves
  • ... the shower valves
  • ... the Winterizing Valves
Reinstall the Hot Water Heater Plug with fresh Teflon tape.
  • Leave the 45 gallon Fresh Water Tank Drain open for the winter.
  • Screw-in the Blowout plug to the City Water connection.
  • The Compressor hooked-up and ready-to-go:
  • Set the Compressor regulator from 20 psi to 40 psi.

Open the valves to blow-out the water, but just one fixture at a time:
  • The kitchen sink
  • The toilet flush lever
  • The bathroom sink
  • The shower
  • The three winterizing drains
Repeat the above sequence one extra time to assure that the system is purged.
  • Remove the compressor.
  • Re-open all of the valves.
  • Remove the water pump filter to allow it to drain too, then replace the filter.

Add RV antifreeze to:
  • one of the kitchen sink traps
  • the bathroom sink trap
  • the shower trap
  • Pour an adequate amount into one of the sinks to treat whatever remains in your grey water tank.
  • Add RV antifreeze to the toilet, letting some wet the floor of the black tank, and leave some to cover the flush ball valve.

When Recharging the system for use:
  • Hook-up to City Fill to purge the air out of the system lines and the hot water tank.
  • Completely fill the fresh water tank with 45 gallons.
  • Switch-on the water pump and re-purge.
IMPORTANT: You must completely fill the fresh water tank to get the water level high enough to prime the water pump. Because the water filter of the water pump was drained, the pump will not self-prime with just a few gallons in the fresh water tank.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:35 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Eagle5 View Post
To keep my water lines clean, I purchased a new oil-free compressor and a new hose.
Nice description. I would just suggest a few things.

First, the order that you blow out fixtures should be from the closest to the fill to the furthest if you can determine that. Also, don't forget the outside shower if you have one.

Second, if the water heater has winterization bypass valves I would set them to bypass. Otherwise you're going to need to reinstall the water heater plug and it would take a ton of air to blow out the hot water side. I can blow out my entire system with just the air in my compressor (I don't have electricity where I store.)

Finally, I'm just not comfortable using just the blow out method. I use the water pump siphon hose to put a bit of antifreeze into the pump and lower lines. I don't do enough to get antifreeze to any fixture. My main concern is the pump.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:16 PM   #3
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I totally understand the concern about clearing the water out of the pump. I think that in this 22M application, the only water trapped in the pump is drained with the above process, but I'm not 100% sure. I do run a pancake heater in the motorhome year-round, and it stays next to the water pump area. Also, it usually doesn't get that much below freezing in South Bend, as we are only 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean. If we do get an Easterly wind and it gets down into the 20s, I turn on additional electric heat, just to be sure.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:19 PM   #4
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I'm not sure about mine either, but since I need antifreeze for the drains it's not that much harder to run a bit through the pump. Also another thing I'm not sure of--it might make priming the pump easier when you fill with water???????
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:21 PM   #5
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The pump will self-prime, but only if you totally fill the 45 gallon fresh water tank first. Just a few gallons in the fresh water tank will not do it.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:23 PM   #6
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Nice write up. I’m sure it’s pretty much what everyone does. There are two schools of thought on blowing out the lines. Some say furthest lines first and others say closest first. I go furthest but it probably doesn’t make any difference. After the lines are blown out the only water will be in the traps and whatever went into the gray tank. Neither will cause a problem and there is no need to add antifreeze. The only way water lines will break is if they are full and the weather expands at freezing and cracks the pipes. PEX pipe will normally expand enough to prevent breaks but we don’t take chances so we blow them out. The water in the traps will not damage them because the water has room to expand if frozen. If you fill up a plastic milk bottle half full and put it in your freezer it won’t split. I know it’s hard to not put in the antifreeze but it’s really not necessary.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:53 PM   #7
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We did break a tub trap, or at least its caulking material, in our beach cottage in 1965, due to freezing weather. I suspect that the material used for the trap back then was less flexible than modern materials. What you say does make sense.
Thanks, Eagle5
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Old 02-19-2020, 07:36 PM   #8
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Small point but I do not favor leaving any drains open, especially the fresh water tank as it may lead to ants moving in!
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Old 02-19-2020, 10:57 PM   #9
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The ants certainly could be a concern in some regions. I was leaving the drains open, because when I maneuver the motorhome to park it, some trace amount of water wetting the bottom of the fresh water tank would still drain-out. I guess once it is in its final parking place, it would be save to close all valves, as further tank & line draining would be unlikely with the vehicle in a static state.
Thanks, Eagle5
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Old Yesterday, 08:53 AM   #10
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nice write up. i set my air pressure to about 15-20 psi when doing my view.
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Old Yesterday, 10:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 09 harley View Post
Nice write up. Iím sure itís pretty much what everyone does. There are two schools of thought on blowing out the lines. Some say furthest lines first and others say closest first. I go furthest but it probably doesnít make any difference. After the lines are blown out the only water will be in the traps and whatever went into the gray tank. Neither will cause a problem and there is no need to add antifreeze. The only way water lines will break is if they are full and the weather expands at freezing and cracks the pipes.
Even though I disagree with you on the order to blow out, I agree with your overall analysis and that it probably doesn't make much difference due to your freezing analysis. The reason I like closest first though is you won't possibly be pushing water further back after you've cleared it. Unless there's an extended low spot though I don't see that it matters.
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