WINTERIZING: updated Oct. 29, 2013 - Page 10 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-21-2014, 11:20 PM   #91
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Antifreeze used to contain propylene glycol or methanol, both toxic in small amounts. Ethanol is now used since it also causes freezing point depression. At 20% ethanol the solution will freeze at minus 9 deg C, 40% at minus 23 deg C, 60% ethanol at minus 37 deg C.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:43 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Frozen toilet valves seem to be the most worrysome trouble spot because they are expensive to replace and hard to get to. This hedge has been posted before: install toilet feed shut off.
But make sure the ttoilet
valve is good and dry/drained or you just lock the water in and crack the valve when it freezes!!
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:54 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by gharper View Post
Antifreeze used to contain propylene glycol or methanol, both toxic in small amounts. Ethanol is now used ...
... as well as propylene glycol (which is still commonly used). Propylene glycol is not good to drink, but is not toxic is moderate quantities. Ethylene glycol (the stuff normally used in automotive engine coolant) is toxic.

I'm surprised that plumbing antifreeze would have ever contained methanol, but perhaps methanol-containing products were intended only for drain pipes (not potable water supply systems). Current products do tend to be described as "non-toxic", suggesting that in the past some may have been toxic.
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Old 10-22-2014, 04:36 PM   #94
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I did all my winterizing this morning. Always a little nerve-wracking for me since I am afraid I will forget a step, and won't know about it until next spring. I like the idea of running anti-freeze through the lines and then blowing it out. Makes me wish I had gotten the winterizing "T" which I decided to forgo since I was successful just blowing the water out last winter. I figure that doing my own winterizing two falls has now paid for the cost of the small air compressor I bought last fall.

But I have a couple of questions.

1) last year, for some reason I don't remember, I poured a bit of antifreeze into the toilet bowl, and just let it sit there for the winter. But I don't see the point of doing that if there isn't any water in the toilet bowl. Can anyone think why one would put anti freeze in the toilet bowl? I think I just was overly conscientious last year, but would like to make sure.

2) Although I have blown out the water lines, and poured antifreeze into the sinks and the shower drain, I haven't emptied the gray and black tank yet. I will empty those tanks tomorrow when I take the trailer to storage. As a result, any antifreeze in the tanks will be emptied as well. I think that is OK, and maybe even better than OK, since it will allieveate Eric's concern about the various harmful ingredients in the antifreeze corroding the rubber seals on the tanks.

by the way, I got some "peak" RV -50 antifreeze at Menards today. $2.99 a gallon with a coupon for a $1.00 per gallon rebate, so net price $1.99 per gallon. The down side is the ingredient list is vague and says only that it uses one or more of the following "Ethyl alcohol, or glycerine, or polypropylene glycol" So it is hard to know exactly what I am putting in the traps.

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Old 10-22-2014, 04:41 PM   #95
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... as well as propylene glycol (which is still commonly used).
Used - unfortunately - in colonoscopy prep...
"LABEL: GOLYTELY - polyethylene glycol 3350, ..."

Now, who really wanted to know that little tidbit?

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Old 10-22-2014, 05:44 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
1) last year, for some reason I don't remember, I poured a bit of antifreeze into the toilet bowl, and just let it sit there for the winter. But I don't see the point of doing that if there isn't any water in the toilet bowl. Can anyone think why one would put anti freeze in the toilet bowl?

2) Although I have blown out the water lines, and poured antifreeze into the sinks and the shower drain, I haven't emptied the gray and black tank yet. I will empty those tanks tomorrow when I take the trailer to storage. As a result, any antifreeze in the tanks will be emptied as well. I think that is OK.
The only thing I get a bit concerned with on the toilet, taking for granted all the water is out, is the seal. It can stick come spring if left dry, a little cooking oil or Vaseline keeps it from happening.

I see no problem with leaving nothing in the tanks, I know some leave a bit of antifreeze in them just to guard the dump valves, your choice.
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Old 10-22-2014, 05:59 PM   #97
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Every version of winterizing that I have read says to pour quite a lot of antifreeze in the P-traps, which would then end up in the tanks and trap.
I'd leave it there to protect the valves, as suggested above. It would take forever to ensure every last drop of effluent was out of the tanks if all you did was drain them.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:08 PM   #98
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polyethylene glycol the laxative is not the same as propylene glycol. MSDS sheets for propylene glycol indicates a moderate risk health hazard and small amounts have been shown to cause severe illness: "Propylene glycol toxicity: a severe iatrogenic illness in ICU patients receiving IV benzodiazepines. Wilson KC, Reardon C, Theodore AC, Farber H, Chest. 2005;128(3):1674". Just think the RV antifreeze I find only has ethanol in it and I would search it out if the container indicated otherwise.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:16 PM   #99
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But, if you only put the anti-freeze in the drains and the tanks, it shouldn't affect any of the water that you use for drinking/cooking/bathing, right? So if it is slightly toxic (even though the label says it "GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe)", it shouldn't hurt anything. Or am I missing something?
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:27 PM   #100
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Interesting thing about the internet - lots of conflicting information.

Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol Toxicity: What is Propylene Glycol | ATSDR - Environmental Medicine & Environmental Health Education - CSEM
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