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Old 11-28-2023, 05:52 PM   #1
Jsweber82
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Winterize/water pump questions

Hey all, Iíll try to keep this explanation brief to get your thoughts and advice. I live in North Ga where temps are dropping into the mid-high 20ís for the next couple days so decided to go ahead and winterize my 2020 Bullet 287qbs following my same process since Iíve had it. A couple days ago I dumped approx 6.5 gallons of Antifreeze into the fresh tank, bypassed the water heater, drained that, then used the water pump to run AF through all the inside faucets, toilet, shower and outside hose/shower lines. I got to the last hose line on the outside of the camper and got just a few spurts out of it and assumed I ran out of antifreeze so went inside and turned off the water pump that was still running. Decided to call it a day and closed up the water heater drain plug and drained the low lines. After getting home it was bothering me that I ran out of antifreeze about 95% of job completion and I questioned whether I even pushed any AF through that water line or if I just sprayed out residual AF that was already in the hose. So I took another 2 gallons of AF, dumped that in the fresh tank, turned on the water pump which I can hear running but never built any pressure or worked. Thought maybe the fluid level in the tank was too low so added another 3 gallons and still no pressure from the pump. You can hear the pump humming but does not sound as loud as normal when itís building pressure and canít for the life of me get it to actually push the antifreeze. It worked fine my first round. So that all being said, I have 2 main questions. 1. Does it sound like I got enough AF through all the lines to rest easy about any line breaks (specifically to that last outside hose)? Iím hoping at a minimum I cleared any pressure from the line to hopefully prevent it freezing. And 2. Does is sound like my pump is shot or am I missing something? Maybe there is just not enough pressure in the system for the pump to pull? Or maybe I sucked up a bunch of air into the pump running it too lean? Iím stumped but have barely used this water pump at all outside of my annual winterizing so canít imagine itís bad already? What are your thoughts?
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Old 11-28-2023, 06:29 PM   #2
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The amount of AF you put in there should be MORE than enough. 5 or 6 gallons is all I ever do and I have plenty left. Did you leave a low drain point open? That can pump your AF right onto the ground

Has it been below freezing? Just wondering, cause that could have caused you to break something something and have a leak somewhere in the underbelly or walls.
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Old 11-28-2023, 06:49 PM   #3
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Admittedly I’m sure I ran an excessive amount of AF through the inside faucets, toilet and shower. I really just wanted to make sure all the lines were good, ptraps were full and there was plenty AF down in both the black and grey tanks so those don’t risk freezing. I didn’t think I’d run through 6 or so gallons that quick but it also doesn’t surprise me so I’m sure I did run out and really don’t think I have any leaks anywhere. The low lines were closed the whole time and this was all done this past Sunday before any freezing temps.
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Old 11-28-2023, 07:07 PM   #4
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FYI, the waste tanks are like giant ice trays. If your putting the trailer away for the winter, as long as the tanks arenít FULL, they wonít crack.
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Old 11-29-2023, 05:04 AM   #5
Glamper63
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This is a very popular topic and from what I've read it's not good to put antifreeze into your fresh water tank to winterize. You use a lot more antifreeze and your water will take a long time to be rid of the smell. Your pump went dry and it takes quite a bit more antifreeze to prime it again. There's other better ways to winterize and not waste any antifreeze. You can disconnect the hose on the water pump that comes from the from tank and attach a 3' clear hose that goes from the pump into a jug of antifreeze. When you turn the pump on you can see exactly what's happening. You use minimum antifreeze and none in the water tank. Blowing out the lines prior does a better job making sure no water mixes with the antifreeze. The traps and black and grey tanks will have enough antifreeze in them from winterizing, no need to add more. I use about 2 1/2 gallons of antifreeze with this method. The best method is the trailers that have a built in system for winterizing.
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Old 11-29-2023, 06:03 AM   #6
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This is a very popular topic and from what I've read it's not good to put antifreeze into your fresh water tank to winterize. You use a lot more antifreeze and your water will take a long time to be rid of the smell. Your pump went dry and it takes quite a bit more antifreeze to prime it again. There's other better ways to winterize and not waste any antifreeze. You can disconnect the hose on the water pump that comes from the from tank and attach a 3' clear hose that goes from the pump into a jug of antifreeze. When you turn the pump on you can see exactly what's happening. You use minimum antifreeze and none in the water tank. Blowing out the lines prior does a better job making sure no water mixes with the antifreeze. The traps and black and grey tanks will have enough antifreeze in them from winterizing, no need to add more. I use about 2 1/2 gallons of antifreeze with this method. The best method is the trailers that have a built in system for winterizing.
Yep, this ^^^. Even better, I had a three-way diverter in the pump intake line and a permanent hose in my past trailer. This way I could actually see the anti-freeze being sucked into the system. I don't like having anti-freeze in my fresh tank. My new trailer doesn't have a diverter I'm pretty sure but I will be installing one. I'm thinking if you did this you could maybe rule out some of the issues mentioned above.
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Old 11-29-2023, 06:06 AM   #7
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So.... you put 11.5 gallons of RV antifreeze into your fresh water tank and initially most of the lines were winterized. When you went back to repeat, the water pump continues to run and no water flowing out the line you were not able to clear.

Where did the water go.

Answer....
'
It went to your water heater. Check your water heater. I have a feeling it really is not in by-pass. Pull the anode rode / drain plug and see if the antifreeze pours out. If so, that is your mystery. The air in the tank, and the tank not getting completely full will not allow the system to pressurize.

You really need to learn how to winterize without putting the antifreeze in your fresh water tank. There is always water in the bottom of the tank that never gets completely emptied, even when you empty it. That water will dilute the antifreeze. Plus, you have a horrible time clearing the antifreeze from the tank when you unwinterize.

Learn how to use the winterizing port (if your camper has one), or learn how to attach a separate hose directly to your water pump. You should be able to winterize completely with 2 gallons or less.

It took me 3 gallons of RV antifreeze to winterize this year. 1 gallon was needed to winterize the washing machine. It's always done last.
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Old 11-29-2023, 02:20 PM   #8
Jsweber82
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Originally Posted by dutchmensport View Post
So.... you put 11.5 gallons of RV antifreeze into your fresh water tank and initially most of the lines were winterized. When you went back to repeat, the water pump continues to run and no water flowing out the line you were not able to clear.

Where did the water go.

Answer....
'
It went to your water heater. Check your water heater. I have a feeling it really is not in by-pass. Pull the anode rode / drain plug and see if the antifreeze pours out. If so, that is your mystery. The air in the tank, and the tank not getting completely full will not allow the system to pressurize.

You really need to learn how to winterize without putting the antifreeze in your fresh water tank. There is always water in the bottom of the tank that never gets completely emptied, even when you empty it. That water will dilute the antifreeze. Plus, you have a horrible time clearing the antifreeze from the tank when you unwinterize.

Learn how to use the winterizing port (if your camper has one), or learn how to attach a separate hose directly to your water pump. You should be able to winterize completely with 2 gallons or less.

It took me 3 gallons of RV antifreeze to winterize this year. 1 gallon was needed to winterize the washing machine. It's always done last.


I will definitely check the water heater but truly donít think thatís where it went. The first thing I did before pumping any antifreeze was flip the WH bypass, then drained the WH completely and I left the pressure switch open and drain plug out the whole time I pumped the first 6 gallons and no antifreeze came out of the WH. I never flipped the bypass switch back off when I was done, just closed the pressure relief valve and put the drain plug back on. So I donít see how it would just start going to the water heater on the 2nd attempt without touching it? Itís worth a check for sure though. Iíve used this method because quite honestly(up until now) itís been the easiest for me and I am not concerned with AF taste or smell in the fresh tank. We really never use the fresh tank as weíve only camped at sites with city water and donít forsee ever boondock camping so it just hasnít been an issue. Totally understand why people who regularly use the fresh tank would be against this method.
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Old 12-03-2023, 11:39 AM   #9
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I used to use the fresh tank to winterize with my Jayco before I installed a diverter for the intake of the pump. I can say that there can be a lot of undrained fresh water due to the fact that the tanks are big in area and shallow in depth. A little tilt of the tank can trap a lot of water. I like the diverter method for feeding antifreeze. You can also get another quick connect for your Flowjet and add a few feet of hose for the antifreeze bottle. If your Flowjet has a wormgear clamp, you can attach a length of hose to get by until you get it done right. Don't forget your lowpoints, your outdoor shower and ? and your toilet and Utraps. You can also pump some air into the black tank rinse opening to get water out.
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Old 12-04-2023, 05:19 PM   #10
Jsweber82
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Quick update, after spending more time on this over the weekend, I’m pretty sure my water pump is shot. I double checked everything at the camper, confirmed no antifreeze went to the water heater and tinkered with the pump for awhile, took it apart and inspected it but everything looked ok visually, no debris or blockages that I could see. I ended up pulling it from the camper and brought it home to work on it where I had more room and could run a line from the inlet side straight into a water bucket. I did get it pumping water but it’s very low pressure and not a steady outflow. I got tired of scratching my head with it so just ordered a new one on Amazon for about $70. I’ll try and fix the old one and keep as a spare. Just seems very weird the pump would fail so quickly. The camper is only 3 years old and we rarely ever use the pump. Maybe the minimal use is what caused it to fail? Hopefully the new pump will solve the issue and it’s not something else going on.
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Old 12-04-2023, 06:25 PM   #11
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You may simply have an air leak in the inlet hose from the fresh water tank to the water pump inlet fitting or the fitting, if your pump is a FloJet pump, has an O-ring on it that seals the fitting against the pump orifice. If that O-ring is damaged or not well fitted (I always use silicone grease on them) it can leak air and fail to prime (draw water up from the tank). Before you go to buy a new pump, double check that it is not a simple air leak that's causing your problems.
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Old 12-05-2023, 06:42 AM   #12
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Glad you figured it out. Replacing a water pump is not so daunting, it's just aggravating and frustrating to identify that the real issue is the pump and then convincing yourself you've identified the real problem.

Sounds like you are on it. Good deduction process. Do a final follow post when everything is successful!
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Old 12-09-2023, 07:47 AM   #13
Jsweber82
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Glad you figured it out. Replacing a water pump is not so daunting, it's just aggravating and frustrating to identify that the real issue is the pump and then convincing yourself you've identified the real problem.

Sounds like you are on it. Good deduction process. Do a final follow post when everything is successful!

Problem solved. Turns out it was the pump. Installed a new one and everything is working great. Still donít understand why the first one failed so quickly from minimal use? Just glad itís fixed. Now to decide whether itís worth trying to fix the original or just buy another for backup.
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Old 12-09-2023, 07:56 AM   #14
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Problem solved. Turns out it was the pump. Installed a new one and everything is working great. Still donít understand why the first one failed so quickly from minimal use? Just glad itís fixed. Now to decide whether itís worth trying to fix the original or just buy another for backup.
I bet the first time you use it the clock starts. Iíd get a new one unless you think you can completely refurbish the old one.

Thanks for the thread. Iíve liked following your journey.
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Old 12-09-2023, 12:02 PM   #15
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If you refurbish your old pump, it might come in handy as a water transfer pump, if you decide to get an external tank for transporting water if you are on a campsite that does not have full hook-up. But personally, I'd never install it into another camper. I'd find a different purpose for it. If fixable .... it's worth hanging onto for a new purpose.
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Old 12-09-2023, 12:51 PM   #16
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If you refurbish your old pump, it might come in handy as a water transfer pump, if you decide to get an external tank for transporting water if you are on a campsite that does not have full hook-up. But personally, I'd never install it into another camper. I'd find a different purpose for it. If fixable .... it's worth hanging onto for a new purpose.
After rebuilding, I would definitely use it again as a spare or a transfer pump.
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Old 12-09-2023, 02:45 PM   #17
Jsweber82
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If you refurbish your old pump, it might come in handy as a water transfer pump, if you decide to get an external tank for transporting water if you are on a campsite that does not have full hook-up. But personally, I'd never install it into another camper. I'd find a different purpose for it. If fixable .... it's worth hanging onto for a new purpose.

Totally agree, donít know that itís reliable enough to install back in the camper but Iím sure I could find a use for it or worst case as a sump pump. With having no clue what internal part(s) are bad Iím hesitant to just throw darts and buy replacement parts which could end up totaling much $$ as just buying a new pump. I plan to fool around with the old pump more tomorrow to see what I can figure out.
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Old 12-09-2023, 03:28 PM   #18
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Be looking for white plastic drilled shards. You may have been lucky enough to not be bothered until now. They can interfere with backflow and/or with building pressure to move fluids. There isn't much with the rebuild kits. Make sure that you use an inlet filter!
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Old 12-14-2023, 10:06 PM   #19
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We live in central ohio and havent used AF to winterize for the past few years without an issue! I bypass and drain the water heater, use a air compressor hooked up to the city water line, set to 50psi. Blow all the lines out multiple times to get all the water, then open low side valves to drain excess. Use the bypass Y on the pump and suck in about 1/4 gallon of AF into the pump, and again blow out... then dump remaining AF gallon into all the P trap drains, and toilet. Thats it. We dont ever taste antifreeze in the spring anymore.
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Old 12-15-2023, 06:04 AM   #20
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Thank you so much for your help!!!! It has been a long time since we had a camper and this is a refresher course. We had a 31 foot terry that we loved about a 1999. All we did before was put antifreeze in the pee traps and blew it out with air. We did ok. This was in Virginia where we camped full time. Thanks again!!!! Phil
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