Frozen toilet valve - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-09-2015, 12:16 PM   #1
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Frozen toilet valve

Two winters in a row now, our toilet valve has frozen and broken. This is despite draining the system for winter and following the directions in the Escape manual to the letter. We would prefer not to use RV anti-freeze in the system. Has anyone come up with a good method for blowing down the system with air? Do you have any other good ideas?
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:33 PM   #2
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I've used air for the last 3 years - winters going down to -10°F. My trailer is old enough that it has a low point drain, so that is the first step. After draining, I replace the low point drain cap.

I made an adapter that connects an air hose to the city water inlet. After draining (and cleaning) the water heater by pulling the anode plug, I replace the anode, set the air compressor for 30 - 40 PSI, and go through the trailer opening each faucet until all I get out of each is air. Same with the toilet. (Don't forget the outside shower if you have one). After that I let it sit a day, and repeat the process just to be sure I got all of the water out.

I still add antifreeze to the drains.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:38 PM   #3
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With my 19 I never blew the lines. Now the 21 is different because of no low drain point and I do blow the 21's lines. An adapter that plugs into the city water inlet allowing you to connect a pressure hose. The end of the adapter looks like a tire valve. Mine came from Menard's.

There are several winterizing procedures on this site, I follow one of them. Perhaps you are using the same?

Like you I avoid the anti-freeze except as Jon explains into the drain traps.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:46 PM   #4
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Here is the procedure I use and posted to the files section: Escape Trailer Owners Community - Downloads - Trailer Winterization Using Compressed Air
It's worked well for me for six winters.

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Old 07-09-2015, 12:51 PM   #5
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Not sure what you mean by the toilet valve breaking, but you can pour some olive or coconut oil down the toilet to lube the clean out valve as well as coat the toilet seal in the bowl itself. Our seal used to be stuck closed come spring till we started doing something similar to this. I used Vaseline but read somewhere it can distort the seal, not that it did. Tetford makes a product for this. Which I'm told, again 2nd hand info, is mostly coconut oil. I've also found lubing the rod that connects the clean out handle to it's valve helps keep it working smoothly.

While I blow out my water piping like Jon does, I do pour enough antifreeze down the toilet, sinks and shower drain, enough to keep any water still in the holding after the last dump from freezing as well as filling the traps if there is such on the Escape.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:21 PM   #6
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I winterize using the compressed air method to clear the water pipes. The toilet flush valve must be cycled several times to remove all of the water.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:37 PM   #7
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The valve cannot be reached by pouring anything down the toilet. We pump anti-freeze in through the city inlet and that will cover the toilet valve, when you see the anti-freeze come into the toilet from using the flush lever. Anti-freeze is also going into lines to the sinks. Then more anti-freeze in the drains. This seems much easier to us than blowing out lines. We do not blow out lines. The anti-freeze takes 10 minutes or less. The time spent winterizing is mostly draining the tanks.

There are a few other little items to cover when winterizing but as far as the toilet valve, there is no way to know it is covered that I know of unless you use anti-freeze. You have no way to know that the water is out of the toilet valve without taking it apart, unless you use anti-freeze.

We may have to do something different with the 21' with no low-point drain, but as far as yours, you have the low-point drain and can do it the way we did our 19' (after having a broken valve the first year.)
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:51 PM   #8
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Cathy,
Get the E-Z-Winterizing set up, put the tube in your antifreeze bottle and turn on your pump and then open each faucet and flush until antifreeze comes out, then you know the lines and vlaves and everything else has been treated, even the trap due to the waste going down.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Cathy,
Get the E-Z-Winterizing set up, put the tube in your antifreeze bottle and turn on your pump and then open each faucet and flush until antifreeze comes out, then you know the lines and vlaves and everything else has been treated, even the trap due to the waste going down.
Yes, we did order it and will do that! Sounds even easier than using the city water inlet.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
... as far as the toilet valve, there is no way to know it is covered that I know of unless you use anti-freeze. You have no way to know that the water is out of the toilet valve without taking it apart, unless you use anti-freeze.
If you blow out the lines, when only air is coming out while you hold the flush valve open, the valve has been blown out. Yes, there could be a bit of water in a corner of the valve somewhere, but I don't think that's going to break it.
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