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Old 02-24-2014, 03:51 PM   #1
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winterizing question

My wife doesn't want my using anti-freeze in the water tank and pumping it through the lines. That means blowing out the lines with a compressor. I don't own an air compressor and don't need one except for this one job. Shopping on line for a compressor brought up dozens of options from 12v tire inflaters to more powerful 110v models. I realize I need to regulate the pressure to no more than 25psi and might need to purchase a regulator. My intincts tell me to get a 12v portable one that might get used to inflate a tire or something. I was wondering if anyone has any input or advice on the subject. Can a 12volt tire inflator be used for winterization?
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:03 PM   #2
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The 12V models will not produce the volume of air needed to blow out the lines. They do produce enough pressure to inflate a tire, but it is painstakingly slow. If you know a woodworker, they most likely will have one to borrow. You just need the adapter to hook to your water inlet.

Either one like this that uses a tire inflator.



Or one like this that you can hook the air line directly to.

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Old 02-24-2014, 04:05 PM   #3
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But your wife can rest assured that if you use a true RV antifreeze, then rinse it out good in the spring, it is not at all harmful, and if any residual taste is left, a good cleaning with a cup of bleach to a tank of water will fix that. Then rinse.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:13 PM   #4
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I bought a small portable compressor that has adjustable output-- like $90 -- at Home Depot. Besides winterizing, it's also handy for the trailer tires, and bike tires, and blowing off things that need cleaning.. I'm happy I got it.

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Old 02-24-2014, 04:21 PM   #5
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Harbor Freight shows a 1/3 hp pancake for $60. For occasional use it may suffice. 1cfm at 40 may be enough oomph.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:37 PM   #6
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Just a side note if your worried about antifreeze and are sold on blowing out your lines make sure you have a oil filter/trap if you have a oil cooled/lubricated compressor otherwise you could be blowing an oil mist in.

I installed a winterizing valve on my 19 and once I have displaced all the water with antifreeze I then drain the lines thus if a small amount of liquid is present somewhere it will not freeze. In the spring I simply flush the system for 2 or 3 minutes and aside from the chlorine in the water I find no taste left behind.
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:02 PM   #7
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Yes, make sure it is an oilless compressor if used for rv lines.
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:21 PM   #8
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Thats a great idea to use anit freeze and then blow it out, there would be next to none left in there and if there is a small little place that doesn't get drained its antifreeze so it wont wreck anything
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:55 PM   #9
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I just bought an oil filled compressor for just this reason. Never thought about the oil mist. Where can I get an oil filter trap? I didn't know there was such a thing, but now feel that I need one. PGDriver Your comment makes sense
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:58 PM   #10
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You can get the filter at most stores that sell compressors. Here is a couple links to ones at Rona. I use one on my 60 gal shop compressor, so it doesn't stain the wood. There is not very much put out, but still worth being careful of.

Mini Air Filter | RONA

This is the one I use in my shop.

http://www.rona.ca/en/air-filter
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:05 PM   #11
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Thanks again Jim!! We have a Rona store in Cranbrook.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:49 PM   #12
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I'm sure you can operate the compressor without adding the oil, the oil protects the tool and when you use an oil less pump you are supposed to add oil to the tool. With the oil compressor set up there is an oil reservoir, just empty or by pass when using to winterize.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
The 12V models will not produce the volume of air needed to blow out the lines. They do produce enough pressure to inflate a tire, but it is painstakingly slow. If you know a woodworker, they most likely will have one to borrow. You just need the adapter to hook to your water inlet.
We have been using a small 12 volt compressor (Bon-Aire DD25CN 12V Direct Drive Vehicle Air Compressor/Inflator) we bought at Costco and it has worked very well for inflating tires and also blowing out water lines. The compressor has a built in air pressure gauge. You can pressurize the water system to 30 psi, then open the taps one at a time, and it seems to blow out most of the water, as far as I can tell. I had to remove the washer and screen from the water intake and replace it with a regular hose washer before installing the blowout plug, as otherwise it was not possible to pressurize the water lines.

This compressor is small and portable and we take it with us for adjusting tire pressures when needed.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:29 PM   #14
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I've always had luck blowing out the lines in my Scamp with a Black and Decker air station and a Schrader valve. I'm I just fooling myself and feeling lucky?
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:31 PM   #15
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Does that work with one go, Brian? It would seem that it would build pressure, but with little air behind it. I do carry one of those small compressors too, it has come in handy.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I'm sure you can operate the compressor without adding the oil, the oil protects the tool and when you use an oil less pump you are supposed to add oil to the tool. With the oil compressor set up there is an oil reservoir, just empty or by pass when using to winterize.
With an oil compressor, it is the oil in the compressor that you are filtering out. You are likely thinking about compressors with tool oilers in-line, that do lube the tools. These are used mostly in mechanical shops. In setups that use the filters like I listed, you are trying to remove all the oil from the compressor out of the line, as you would not put and oiler, and an oil filter, in-line with each other.

Even the site compressor I use, uses an oil filled compressor, and even though there is a bit of oil in the line, I still have to lube my tools, though some of the new ones no longer require it.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:19 PM   #17
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Does that work with one go, Brian? It would seem that it would build pressure, but with little air behind it. I do carry one of those small compressors too, it has come in handy.
Jim

No, I need to pressurize the system several times and blow out until no more water comes out in each line. I have an accumulator in the water line, so once the system is pressurized there is quite a bit of air to help blow out the lines.

I drain the hot water tank separately and pull the anode rod.

I use RV antifreeze just in the P-trap under the kitchen sink since we don't have a toilet or shower in our little trailer.

This has worked fine for three years so far.

When we were winter camping in January we bypassed the hot water tank, hooked up to the water supply, then re-winterized when we got back. Fairly easy to do.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:33 PM   #18
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With compressors its all about CFM at PSI.
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