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Old 01-16-2016, 08:45 AM   #1
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How do I know if my lines are busted?

How do I check for broken lines? Long story short, our STR hasn't been winterized yet and we've had a few hard freezes. We were living in it up until 2 months ago. We have an appointment this week to get a couple of things repaired (we were supposed to get it winterized last month) and I guess I'll ask them about winterizing it now instead, but is there any way for me to check before the appointment to see if our lines froze?
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Old 01-16-2016, 08:50 AM   #2
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If you have been having the below zero temps that we have, I would say your lines are busted. Probably the water pump to.
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Old 01-16-2016, 09:58 AM   #3
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You might try pressurizing the water lines with air. Make sure the water heater is bypassed, close all faucets and add about 20-30 lbs of air. You can buy the fitting at the hardware store which will screw onto the fresh water hose inlet. It should hold pressure if all is OK.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:03 AM   #4
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As Lloyd said,
may have damage depending on how low the temps and how long it was cold... if 30 degrees for two hours, probably ok, if 20 for 10 hours.... well...

you could pressurize the system with air and see if it holds the pressure...
get an air compressor that you can set the pressure to 40 or 45 psi (here's mine), drain all lines you can, get one of these, and build pressure to see if it holds...

If your compressor shuts down and doesn't cycle, you are probably good, if it cycles on and off, you have a leak...

on edit - Stan beat me to it
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:04 AM   #5
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We haven't had below zero, but definitely into the 20s a few times. How do I bypass the water heater? It's a STR 32FR, probably a 2013.

It was supposed to be winterized on Dec 10, but my dad passed away on the 8th and we had to leave town for a month, and this is our first winter here so I'm not familiar with the weather.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:08 AM   #6
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The lines should be PEX and should not be damaged. The fittings are much more likely to fail and even the cheap plastic faucets since water sits in them if the lines weren't drained. The outside shower faucet is also susceptible along with the toilet valve. Finally, the fresh water tank pickup tube since it is not PEX.

You can check everything by putting water in the tank and then turning on the 12V pump, or hooking up to city water. In either case, good to have two people, one at the switch/faucet and one checking each fitting for leaks.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:10 AM   #7
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Sorry for your loss !

It's only parts that can be replaced easily enough...
our redwood froze AT the dealer after 5 days below freezing when they DIDN'T winterize it like they were supposed to...

all it broke were the icemaker line and shower controls and they replaced them.

and IMHO, it's much easier to clean up air, than water if it leaks
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:11 AM   #8
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You might try pressurizing the water lines with air. Make sure the water heater is bypassed, close all faucets and add about 20-30 lbs of air. You can buy the fitting at the hardware store which will screw onto the fresh water hose inlet. It should hold pressure if all is OK.
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As Lloyd said,
may have damage depending on how low the temps and how long it was cold... if 30 degrees for two hours, probably ok, if 20 for 10 hours.... well...

you could pressurize the system with air and see if it holds the pressure...
get an air compressor that you can set the pressure to 40 or 45 psi (here's mine), drain all lines you can, get one of these, and build pressure to see if it holds...

If your compressor shuts down and doesn't cycle, you are probably good, if it cycles on and off, you have a leak...

on edit - Stan beat me to it


I don't know if I agree with you guys pressure theory or not. If the lines have water in them, and it's frozen solid, it would probably hold pressure also.

Anyway , I hope you find out all is well.
Let us know the out come.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:58 AM   #9
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just an fyi...after use and if you havent had time to winterize , just open all taps and open low point drains and flush toilet (push down petal for a few secs) and on outside of water heater,lift pressure relief valve and leave open. Drain water tank then run pump for a bit to spit out water there. Leave taps and low drains open.
do not forget out shower
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Old 01-16-2016, 03:20 PM   #10
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Just to add one comment to Harley's good guidance is the turn off BOTH sides of your water heater (the DC and propane switches) when you're draining the water heater. If you're water heater has a switch on the unit itself, you can also turn that one off.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:01 AM   #11
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I don't know if I agree with you guys pressure theory or not. If the lines have water in them, and it's frozen solid, it would probably hold pressure also.

Anyway , I hope you find out all is well.
Let us know the out come.
Well they won't have ice in them, it doesn't stay cold. Just trying to figure out how to power my air compressor where the camper is stored. We can't bring it to our house (we have absolutely no room to park it even for a half hour without blocking neighbor driveways). I may just have to let the RV place figure it out :-(
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:59 AM   #12
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Get a car air compressor use that it will work
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:16 PM   #13
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Get a car air compressor use that it will work
Or use this as an excuse to get the generator you want! 😊
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Old 01-18-2016, 02:42 AM   #14
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Or use this as an excuse to get the generator you want! 😊
I actually have a generator, it's just in Florida LOL.
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:04 AM   #15
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Well they won't have ice in them, it doesn't stay cold. Just trying to figure out how to power my air compressor where the camper is stored. We can't bring it to our house (we have absolutely no room to park it even for a half hour without blocking neighbor driveways). I may just have to let the RV place figure it out :-(
If you travel with an RV, a portable air compressor is almost a mandatory piece of equipment, both for keeping good tire pressure and also for winterizing your water lines. It's also a good way to clean off your equipment, chairs, etc. from time to time.

I recommend the Viair 400P-RV Automatic and, for those with 5th wheels, the Viair 450P-RV Automatic. These aren't cheap but they have the hoses to reach from your tow vehicle to your rear tires, have an auto-off when there is no pressure demand on the pump, have a gauge that is accurate and easy to read, and comes with a very nice carrying case. We personally own the 400P-RV Auto and wouldn't be without it.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:43 PM   #16
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Just an update, my TT DID freeze, but did not break (YAY!) They thawed it out and it's safely winterized now. We WILL learn how to winterize it ourselves this summer :-)
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:32 AM   #17
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Hey, GREAT news!!
Thanks for the update.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:40 AM   #18
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Very lucky.
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