Frozen black water and grey water valves!!!!

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sluggermike

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Sep 30, 2009
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I went RVing for the first time in the snow.  It wasn't my idea, but it just turned out that way.  Coming from southern California I'm pretty much a fish out of water when it comes to the snow and cold weather.  This morning after RV camping in North Salt Lake for a week and experiencing a wind storm and two days of heavy snow, I tried to disconnect my sewer line.  The black water valve was frozen shut and the grey water was frozen open.  I tried to thaw them out with a hair dryer, but it didn't work.  Later in the day when the sun came out I was finally able to open and close the valves.
I am now staying in camp 150 miles south, on my way home, where the temp is supposed to get down to 16 degrees.  I have the water hooked up to an outside source.  I'm not quite sure what to do with the water. The manager at the camp told me to disconnect the hose to prevent it from freezing, or should I let the water drip all night like I have done before. 
 

sluggermike

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What about the pipes in the MH?  I'm concerned that they might burst if I don't run some water threw them, or will the warmth in the MH protect them?
 

Larry N.

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sluggermike said:
What about the pipes in the MH?  I'm concerned that they might burst if I don't run some water threw them, or will the warmth in the MH protect them?

It depends on the design of your rig (you don't say what you have), but most will fare well when the freezing isn't for too long, and many rigs have the lines in heated areas. Certainly the water heater will be fine (if it's running), and probably some of the lines surrounding it, but some rigs have at least some lines in unheated areas. If you have areas you are specifically concerned about, you might be able to run a drop light (100 watt bulbs are wonderful) into the areas of concern.
 

warsw

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Central Oregon
My wife and I own a RV Park and we do not allow people to leave the water running as a form of freeze protection. Our park is on wells and septic systems. If water is left running it cycles our well pumps and will eventually flood our septic systems.

The best way to keep from freezing up while camping in cold weather is to fill your fresh water tank and do as the manager at the camp suggested. Disconnect and drain the water hose. I always pore a little RV anti-freeze in the black water tank to keep it from freezing up. The hair dryer should have worked to thaw the drain valves.

As far as your water lines and tanks, if you keep the heat on in the RV and keep your hot water tank running you should be ok for short term stays. If it is real cold I would open the cupboard doors at night to better expose the pipes under the sinks. For long term there are a few other tricks to keep the lines from freezing.
 

WILDEBILL308

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FORT WORTH TEXAS
I would follow the instructions posted above about the droplight in your unheated bay. You stated you were on your way home. I would shut the gray and black water valves fill your fresh water tank drain and role up your hose and store it inside. You should not need to dump for about a week. I f you are on the road longer than a week just dump when it warms up.
Bill
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
If it is a motor home with enclosed tanks do the following.

1: Fill on board fresh water tank 1/4 o 1/2 full (NOT ALL THE WAY!!

2: Disconnect and DRAIN outside fresh water hoses and store them

3: Dump black/gray tanks (NOTE: Do not leave vavles open except when dumping, always close valves after dumping) rinse, drain the stinky slnky, either cap the RV end or stow it. (I have a cap).

Put at least a 100 watt lamp in the waste bay (The compartment where the black and gray valves are)  a caged incandascent lamp.. OR if you have one a "World's smallest space heater" (150 watt) can be used as well.

On the fresh end of the compartment if  you can sneak in another 100 watts (I ran a string of C-9 Christmas tree lights under the fresh tank)

Use the furnace

You shoud be good a 16 with that set up. Provided the furnace heats the wet bays.
 

billwild

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This brings back what just happened on the way down to Arizona in October. Almost all the way down my wife kept nagging at me to get some water , we need water, we need water in the tanks. I did not want to carry any water for fear of freezing pipes. Finally in Cedar City, Utah I gave in and hooked up the water. As soon as | did I heard this very loud yelling from the coach. The high water pressure had blown apart a hoseline connection under the sink and it was flooding right onto the furnace power board and across the rug. In my haste, I had forgotten to attach the pressure reducer to the tap. Fortunately after a thorough drying with towels and a hair dryer the furnace worked fine again. I did not mention to my wife about the reducer, I just blamed her for the water line break. A guys got to do what a guys got to do. Lesson learned about the reducer though, always use it.

Bill
 

sluggermike

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I'm with you Bill.  My wife didn't agree, but "a guys got to do what a guys got to do".  When you screw up who better to blame than your wife.  On the more serious side I figured out the how to handle the freezing water situation.  Last night the temp was 16 degrees in Beaver, yes Beaver, Utah.  I filled the fresh water tank and disconnected the hose.  The water in the hose had already began to freeze.  By using the house the water and the pump I didn't have any problems.  Thank you everyone for your responses. 
 

BruceinFL

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billwild said:
As soon as | did I heard this very loud yelling from the coach. The high water pressure had blown apart a hoseline connection under the sink and it was flooding right onto the furnace power board and across the rug. In my haste, I had forgotten to attach the pressure reducer to the tap.

Bill

Been there; done that. You can leave the Watts regulator attached to the hose. That way, you won't forget it.
 

Jeff Brown

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So Cal
I have the regulator attached to the coach all the time, that is what I screw the hose into when I hookup.  No forgetting, ever.  I am fortunate, my wife doesn't care who's fault it is as long as it is repaired quickly!

Jeff
 

BruceinFL

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jeffbrown said:
I have the regulator attached to the coach all the time, that is what I screw the hose into when I hookup. 
Jeff

The regulator should be between the park's water valve and the hose. That way it protects both the hose and the RV.
 

mrschwarz

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Jun 7, 2009
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858
That's what I did with the first two regulators I had. The first one got left at the post. The second one froze. The third one is in the water compartment. It doesn't get forgotten or frozen. I replace the hose every 2 years and it doesn't have any problem handling the pressure.
 
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