Draining water system for winter (1 Viewer)

Rob and Val

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Oct 17, 2010
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I just came across this piece of advice. Seems like a good idea: -
“After draining the boiler, grey & fresh water tanks I open all the taps fully including the shower. I then blow up a large balloon and fit it on each tap - hot and cold. This blows any remaining water out of the pipes.”
 
Jul 6, 2016
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Or you could install a more convenient and more expensive drain down system....called Floë.

It presurises the system with air and ensures you get rid of all the water in the pipes.

You could of course build your own system quite cheaply. Purchasing the parts might be a tad time consuming.

I have installed the Floë drain down system. It's also useful for clearing debris that collects in the pipework. My toilet flush solenoid valve wasn't closing properly and leaking water into the toilet bowl. I deduced there was debris present at the valve seat. Pressurised the system with the Floë and this cleared it. Just as well, as we were on tour at the time and were already on to our second reserve cassette.
 
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two

Aug 4, 2011
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Why blow?
The water should drain out under its own weight.
Just remember to remove filters.
... and replace them before re-filling.
 
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pappajohn

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Why blow?
The water should drain out under its own weight.
Just remember to remove filters.
... and replace them before re-filling.
Won't flow out of any dips in the pipework though.... It needs a bit of assistance hence the compressed air to force it out of the dips.

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two

Aug 4, 2011
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To do that properly would require opening only one tap at a time, then closing it again, and repeating with all taps until no water comes out, unless you are very familiar with your plumbing. I don't think anyone does that.
I'd grant that they may not have suffered frost damage after whatever they've done, but think the blowing bit is just a placebo.
I just open the taps. I also keep my motorhome in a garage. I've not had a problem (yet) with freezing but cannot say, for sure, why that may be.
 
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Jun 30, 2011
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After draining down and opening the taps to get the last of the water out has anybody then had a problem with freezing damage?
 
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Apr 27, 2016
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Swimming pool maintenance professionals blow out all the water out of the recirculation pump and pipes at the end of the season, ready for winter. If there's no water there, there's no frost damage, simple.

I installed a schrader valve near the pump output, and use a digital car tyre with automatic cutoff at 20 psi to pressurise the system, opening each tap one at a time, including the toilet flush solenoid. Maybe the pipes are badly routed, I don't know, but plenty of water comes through after I've opened all the drain valves.

Just wish I'd thought of using a balloon, it sounds a lot less trouble than teeing into the pipe above the tank.
 
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pappajohn

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On my old yank tank I opened all taps, switched to city water which bypassed the tank and feeds the pipework direct from the mains and plugged my airline into the water fill point.
30psi for 5 minutes cleared all the water out.
Remove the drain bung from the boiler to drain the six gallons from that and check the sacrificial anode for wear.... Job done
 
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ABZSteve

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Or you could install a more convenient and more expensive drain down system....called Floë.

It presurises the system with air and ensures you get rid of all the water in the pipes.

You could of course build your own system quite cheaply. Purchasing the parts might be a tad time consuming.

I have installed the Floë drain down system. It's also useful for clearing debris that collects in the pipework. My toilet flush solenoid valve wasn't closing properly and leaking water into the toilet bowl. I deduced there was debris present at the valve seat. Pressurised the system with the Floë and this cleared it. Just as well, as we were on tour at the time and were already on to our second reserve cassette.
Or, you could use the nice, cheap and quick balloon method

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JockandRita

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Aug 2, 2007
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After removing the water filter, I just remove the shower head (the last in the line), and with all taps opened and lines drained, blow down through the hose until I can't feel resistance anymore. Job done. (y)

If you are struggling with puff, then the party balloon with the hand pump, is a good substitute.

Cheers,

Jock. :)
 
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Aug 11, 2018
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The boiler and the pump are likely to be the (only?) casualties.

As long as you've:
Emptied the fresh water, grey water, toilet cassette and flush tank (if you have one), then opened the boiler drain valve and taps, most of the water will drain out.

If there is a small amount of water left in the pipe dips, this should be OK (assuming that they are plastic pipes). I can see that it'd be good to get the stuff out of the dips, but in my experience - I've never had an issue.
 
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Duck Truck

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I looked on you tube hoping ro see a vid of someone using a balloon to no avail
Anyone know of a link?
Be interesting to see how simple it is
 
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two

Aug 4, 2011
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Using a balloon sounds like a right faff. It might be easier to access the end of a tap, rather than trying to get your head below it, but then you'll need to get a decent seal and not all taps have a round shape... And, whilst you're getting the balloon around the tap, you'll need to keep all the air in it. And you may then need to squeeze it to increase the pressure. How many hands do you have?
Do people really use balloons? Or is it simply what seems like a good idea until someone actually tries it and owns up?
 
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Duck Truck

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two
That's exactly why I wanted to access a video showing it being done :D

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Oct 8, 2009
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I employed a different "low-tech" solution to do this.

I cut a narrow cycle inner tube in half and then sealed one end by folding it over and fixing it with a food-bag clip. To the other end of the tube I attached one of the hozelock tap adapters that push on and are secured to the tap by a jubilee type clip, I always carry one in the MH in case the tap I am filling from does not have a thread.

I then attached the tap adapter to the tap and used a floor-standing bike pump to pressurise it through the inner tube valve. Opening the taps in turn, and operating the toilet flush with the pump off, caused water to be ejected even though the system had already been drained and left to stand for a while.

It seems to work OK for a virtually cost free solution, I already had a used inner tube that was spare.
 
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138go

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Drained ours down yesterday closed all the valves / taps and put 10 ltrs of white vinegar in the tank and switched the pump on to fill the system. Left it overnight and drained it today. Filled with water and ran the taps till the taste of vinegar was gone. Then emptied everything out.

So that should have sorted out any lime scale in the system / boiler. This was the cheapest I could find and still got 10 ltrs left.

Amazon product ASIN B00TZT6GQE
 
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WESTY66

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Drained ours down yesterday closed all the valves / taps and put 10 ltrs of white vinegar in the tank and switched the pump on to fill the system. Left it overnight and drained it today. Filled with water and ran the taps till the taste of vinegar was gone. Then emptied everything out.

So that should have sorted out any lime scale in the system / boiler. This was the cheapest I could find and still got 10 ltrs left.

Amazon product ASIN B00TZT6GQE

Do u have to dilute it or use neat, thanks
 
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JockandRita

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Do u have to dilute it or use neat, thanks
I use it neat for descaling our stainless steel boiler, and sterilising our pipework. (y)

I do operate the boiler for 30 x minutes, then leave it to cool down overnight, before draining and flushing through.

Cheers,

Jock. :)
 
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ABZSteve

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No chance that will work, what a load of rubbish; Have I tried it? no! but it just won't work. I know others have tried it and say it works but what a load of rubbish, they are liars, it won't work. :rolleyes::doh::rolleyes:
 
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