Winterize icemaker and Washer

Q: How do I winterize an icemaker and a washer/dryer?

A: Drain the water system by opening the main tank and low point drain valves. Open the faucets and disconnect the icemaker line and let gravity drain most of the water. Bypass the hot water heater, then remove the drain plug, and open the safety valve. Be careful if the water is hot. Purchase a blowout plug from an RV supply store, and connect it to the RV. Using an air compressor with the pressure set no higher than 40 psi, start with the faucets closed; apply the air pressure by connecting the air hose to the blow out plug. Have a helper inside to open each faucet one at a time until only air is coming out of the line. Don't forget to disconnect the shower hose, flush the toilet, and the washout hose next to it if so equipped. I do this procedure twice. Take about one cup of RV antifreeze and pour it into each P trap. For the washer/dryer, I put about one gallon of RV antifreeze into the washer and then run a cycle. Some models have a removable panel at the bottom front to access a filter where water can be drained. I also disconnect the plastic water tubing from the icemaker solenoid and blow air into the line. New coaches with the Sani-con system have water trapped between the shut off valves and the Sani-con pump. I disconnect and drain the three-inch line to prevent damage. Always check your owners' manual for the manufacturer's suggested winterizing method. The bay heater is meant to keep your plumbing from freezing. The heater will not come on until the temperature in the compartment nears 32 degrees. If I lived in Pennsylvania, I would winterize. Remember the Blizzard of '96 that hit the Philadelphia area. The temperature did not get above freezing for 30 days. We won't mention the 30 inches of snow. Good luck!

J. D. Adams, an RV technician at Elkhart Service and Collision.