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Old 11-04-2006, 08:22 AM   #1
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A friend that worked in the service dept. for a motorhome dealership was asking me about winterizing. I said I had drained the tanks, pumped antifreeze, drained the hot waterheater,etc, all the winterizing 101 stuff. He asked if I had siphoned the water heater and explained that there is still a considerable amount left after just draining.

I took one of those $1.99 sqweezy siphon kits and pushed the 1/4 flex tube into the water heater drain until there was almost no more tubing. Two or three sqweezes later I had a steady stream of water that continued for over 10 minutes. I'd guess over a gallon came out.

He said to also load the traps with antifreeze, shower and sinks.When in doubt add more.

Antifreeze is cheap, Cracks are expensive.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:22 AM   #2
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A friend that worked in the service dept. for a motorhome dealership was asking me about winterizing. I said I had drained the tanks, pumped antifreeze, drained the hot waterheater,etc, all the winterizing 101 stuff. He asked if I had siphoned the water heater and explained that there is still a considerable amount left after just draining.

I took one of those $1.99 sqweezy siphon kits and pushed the 1/4 flex tube into the water heater drain until there was almost no more tubing. Two or three sqweezes later I had a steady stream of water that continued for over 10 minutes. I'd guess over a gallon came out.

He said to also load the traps with antifreeze, shower and sinks.When in doubt add more.

Antifreeze is cheap, Cracks are expensive.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:49 AM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">asked if I had siphoned the water heater </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Freezing water cracks water lines, etc due to expansion when it freezes. I can't imagine how a small amount of water in the bottom of a large tank will hurt anything if it freezes as there is plenty of room for it to expand. Imagine a coke bottle lying on it's side with a small quantity of water in it ...it isn't going to break when the water freezes because the water expands upward. Yes, it is a more thorough job of removing water from the system, and we could no doubt make other arguments as to why that is "good," but I can't see any significant value from doing it unless you are getting paid by the hour. If you're really concerned about the small amount of water left in the water heater (before OR after you do the siphon process) just put some RV antifreeze in the WH just like you do the traps. It is a must in the traps.

I also make sure some antifreeze goes into the waste tanks. It is cheap insurance for the valves. But I've never worried about the fresh water tank where I know you never get ALL the water out ...again, same concept as a little water left in bottom of WH tank.

If there is concern for the WH, there needs to be equal concern for the fresh water tank. Easy solution if your are concerned is to put some RV antifreeze in the fresh water tank after you have drained all the water you can.
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:24 AM   #4
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I made the same points to him that you made to me. He said he fixed a few that had been drained and it wasn't cheap. For the effort involved I rather not take the chance. He said the plastic water tank is more forgiving to ice than the water heater.
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:11 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AFChap:
I can't imagine how a small amount of water in the bottom of a large tank will hurt anything if it freezes as there is plenty of room for it to expand. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are correct and the "friend that worked in a service dept. for a motorhome dealership" is wrong. It won't hurt a thing for the small amount of water in the water heater tank to freeze after it's been drained......

I've never heard of a tank that has split once it's been drained....

MORE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTION ABOUT DRAINING HOT WATER TANK
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:17 AM   #6
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When I winterize I always take the drain plug out of the water heater, then extend the jacks on the drivers side all the way down to get all the water I can out of the heater.
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:31 AM   #7
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One reason is to get the sediment out of the bottom of the tank. Take a look at page 5 of this link

http://engineering.marssociety.com/documents/Atwood_GE1...PD_93758_9.10.04.pdf
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:05 PM   #8
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Gee, next time I see him I'll pass on all your wisdom. I can't amagine why those (several) tanks he repaired split over the winter. For the minimal effort I'll keep it as a practice.
He was a friend offering advise, not a serviceman trying to ring out another hour of labor.
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:17 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">He said he fixed a few that had been drained and it wasn't cheap. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I wonder if they were not actually drained? ...and wonder if he would identify a particular brand/type of water tank?

Atwood states (on their web site mentioned above) the small quantity of water remaining after draining will not be a problem. I've never heard of it being a problem, and can't understand how it could be...

Oh, and just draining won't get the sediment out. That takes flushing...
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:59 PM   #10
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Hi all, Just thought I pass this on. A few years ago I winterzied the coach but forgot to drain the waterheater & it split open also the Gray drain line cracked between the tank & the gate valve.
Th below link will take you to the page I posted with pics of the waterheater tank.

http://wind.prohosting.com/~tgbwcoke/waterheater.html
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:49 AM   #11
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When water freezes, it expands in all directions. If you fill a 2 liter bottle with water and freeze it, the bottle will expand on the sides, bottom and top. If the water lines are not completly drained and there is a low spot with water in it, it will freeze in all directions and rupture your line. This is why MikeCoke's gray drain line cracked.
If you leave your HWH full and it freezes, it will rupture. But, if you drain it and a little water is left behind, when it freezes, it is not contained, so it will try to expand in all directions but, with no resistance above it, it will just expand up. Any residual water left behind after you drain your HWH should not rupture the tank.
If you are still concerned, empty the HWH and take the RV for a drive. My HWH is located on the right side of the RV. Every time I make a left turn, any residual water drains out.
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