Winterizing your 320 TaB plumbing

About this time last year, I posted a tutorial on how to winterize our TaBs for the novice owner.  We just finished the task and I have updated the 2018 version.  It went much easier this year and I think I simplified the steps for ourselves and everyone:)  I will see if we can replace last year's version.  Hope this helps!

Sharon

  
Sharon
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

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Comments

  • ScottGScottG Posts: 2,338Moderator
    FYI, last year's version has already been replaced with this update.
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    Thanks Scott!
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • EdwardDanaEdwardDana Posts: 1Member
    Thank you!  Newbie here and was a little anxious about getting it done correctly. 
  • DurangoTaBDurangoTaB Posts: 749Member
    Thanks for sharing (Sharoning?)...nice job.  Our first winter I did the pink stuff and it went OK; a little bit of a pain to drain the Alde then be sure it’s bypassed (and unbypassed next Spring).  Last 2 years I’ve blown the lines out with my small compressor...I just did it yesterday (freezing temps coming this weekend) and did it all in 20 minutes, including having to jockey the [email protected] to a level spot.  One small recommendation along those lines, I don’t strive for “level”, but slightly tilting to the left (portside) as all the lines and drains are left of center.

    J.D. & Sue

    Durango, CO    2014/15 S [email protected] :  "Dory's [email protected]"  Keep on swimming...

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    Fresh water tank drains to starboard.  It went quickly for us this year, too.  @DurangoTaB, since you are now only blowing out the lines, do you bother with turning the Alde bypass valve at all?  We don’t.
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • dhaufdhauf Posts: 147Member
    edited October 17
    First time for me also as a new owner.  I just winterized mine this last weekend as well, hooked up the compressor and blew out all the lines.  Drained the fresh water tank, grey and black also fully, drained ALDE and bypassed it.  I put the antifreeze in the kitchen sink, shower drain and toilet and flushed a bit of it down also.  I quickly opened the grey and black gate valves and closed them to make sure the pink stuff got on them.  I also ran the 12v water pump dry for a min or two and emptied the filter basket of water.  The only thing I didn’t do was put the antifreeze in the fresh water tank.  What does everyone suggest on that?  I have heard it’s not necessary and some say it is.  I live in a colder climate in CT, I would appreciate any wisdom anyone can offer on this. I have a 2019 [email protected] 320S, thanks!  :)
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Posts: 854Member
    @dhauf, we are in Michigan. Plenty of snow, ice and ccccold. If you thoroughly blow the lines, even if there are a few ounces of water left in the tank, it freezes, expands with plenty of room in the tank, and does no harm. We leave the fresh tank valve open through the worst months and close it before critters become active as spring approaches. No pink stuff in the fresh tank for us. Have been through 2 Michigan winters, heading into the third and no freeze damage so far, but because of our proximity to the big lakes we can sometimes sneak in a camping weekend in December. Then again, it takes us longer to thaw in the spring.
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2005 gmc envoy xl. Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    @dhauf, the purpose of bypassing the Alde is to be able to add antifreeze to the plumbing lines and avoid the hot water tank.  But, since you already bypassed it, you are in a perfect position for the springtime sanitizing with bleach - thus avoiding the Alde. Why didn’t I think of that!
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • DurangoTaBDurangoTaB Posts: 749Member
    @Sharon_is_SAM...our 2014/15 FW tank drain is portside...changed with model years?  And we don’t open the Alde bypass, nor do we sanitize in the Spring (but maybe we should)...just flush the lines well.

    J.D. & Sue

    Durango, CO    2014/15 S [email protected] :  "Dory's [email protected]"  Keep on swimming...

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    If portside is driver’s side, then that us the first I have heard of the tank draining on that side.  
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • ScottGScottG Posts: 2,338Moderator
    edited October 17
    IIRC somebody else with an older model (@jkjenn, maybe?) mentioned a driver's side FW drain.
    My 2015 (manufactured in Dec. 2014) has the drain on the passenger side under the step, so that suggests the change was made in the late 2014/early 2015 production runs.
  • ChanWChanW Posts: 2,010Member
    Ours is as @DurangoTaB's is. Front left corner FW drain valve. Note we only have the 5-6 gallon (interior) FW tank.
    Chan       --         Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 'S' Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl Access Cab
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    Good to know guys!
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    Good to know guys!
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • dhaufdhauf Posts: 147Member
    Thanks @dragonsdofly and @Sharon_is_SAM appreciate the input, really did not want to put the pink stuff in the fresh water tank.  I will take @dragonsdofly suggestion of leaving the fresh water valve open on the holding tank during the winter months.  I appreciate everyones input on this.
  • ArwenArwen Posts: 38Member
    edited October 17
    I've been working on this weatherization process for the first time.  We have a 2018 320 S Boondock with the newer 3020 ALDE heater.
    I just received the air compressor connection thingie (sorry, cannot recall the offical term) that screws into the city water connection, so I am now ready to actually do this.
    I've read though all the forum posts and the guides on this (at least all the ones that I've found here), and I'm pretty sure that I understand most of what I'm suppose to do . . . except for the ALDE part. I don't understand how to drain this into a 2.5 gallon bucket. When the hot and cold drain valves are open, where does this drain out?
    Arwen: Littleton, NH; 1/2018 [email protected] 320S Boondock, silver/blue; TV: blue 2018 Jeep Cherokee V6 4x4
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    Under the driver side bench, look at the plumbing that goes through the floor of your TaB.  There is a Cold Water Drain Valve (on a blue pipe) and a Hot Water Drain Valve (on a red pipe).  They allow water to drain out of the corresponding TaB pipes and if you look underneath the TaB, you will see the drains protrude.  The Alde Hot Water Tank has it’s own valve that exits through the floor and also drains underneath the TaB.  There should be a flat, yellow, plastic tab resting on top of a blue pipe that also goes through the floor.  That yellow tab flips up and opens up the Alde Safety Pressure Relief Valve/Drain and the hot water tank then drains out underneath the TaB.  Place your bucket under the protruding drain.  All 3 of these drains are pretty close together.  To identify a drain, briefly open up the Cold Water Drain first and note which drain the water exits, then do the same with the hot water drain.  

    In the instructions I created, I noted that it was helpful to pressurize the plumbing system using the pump prior to emptying the Alde Hot Water Tank.  If you do this, you should get a more rapid emptying at least initially, then it will taper off.  Just be patient and let it drain.  Raising the tongue may speed things up, too.

    Sharon
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • ArwenArwen Posts: 38Member
    Sharon, Thank you so much for those excellent instructions!  I just got home after a late evening at work, so I'll have to wait until this week end, when I will be able to look at our [email protected] when it is daylight.  The weatherization process has been a bit overwhelming for me, as I've never done anything like this before.  But no, thanks to you, I'm pretty sure that I can handle it. 
    I live in the NH White Mountains, where it gets way below zero, so I really need to get this right.
    Arwen: Littleton, NH; 1/2018 [email protected] 320S Boondock, silver/blue; TV: blue 2018 Jeep Cherokee V6 4x4
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    Once you do it, it makes sense.
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • CanyonWrenCanyonWren Posts: 2Member
    Thanks for sharing the great instructions, Sharon! A few weeks late to this conversation, but I am in Northern AZ at 7,000' and the cold is coming on fast! Last year I winterized (in a mad and stressful rush right after purchasing) with the pink antifreeze. I'd like to use air from now on. @DurangoTaB, @Sharon_is_SAM, and anyone else... I don't have an air compressor, but might buy one tomorrow in town. I've researched all day including on the forum. What brand/model works for you? 12v accessory, or one that connects directly to the battery terminal of tv? I do have a hand pump for bike tires, which would be so much easier, but won't be able to both pump and watch for water coming out by myself. Guess I can recruit a friend, but is this possible to do solo? With a bike pump, is it necessary to monitor the pressure? How? Can you attach your air compressor, with the 50 psi water regulator, and safely leave it running unattended while you open and close valves? Also, I have the U model with only a sink and already the water is mostly drained from everywhere. Maybe just a bit of vodka down the sink, per MandyLea?!
    2018 [email protected] U Outback with Solar towed with a 2008 Tundra across the desert southwest and beyond!
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    We got this one on Amazon.  Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor.

    I know @Verna has used a bike pump - not sure if she had another pair of eyes to help or not.  We do it at home with the TaB plugged in, then we plug in the compressor into the 12 v outlet in our rear galley (CSS).  I can tell you that the pressure does not rapidly rise, so I think if you had to do it yourself, you could watch it rise up to 40, then open the tap - easy.  I think if I only had the one faucet, a bike pump would do it.  Just get it up to the pressure you need then go inside and open the tap.  You may have to do it more than once, but that won't take long.  And I would save the vodka for a martini.  Use the pink stuff:)
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • CanyonWrenCanyonWren Posts: 2Member
    Thanks for the quick response, Sharon. Only trouble is, I can't reach electric from my camper's parking spot so I think I'd need a bigger model with clamps to run direct from the battery of a running vehicle. I might see if I can get it to work with a bike pump first. 
    2018 [email protected] U Outback with Solar towed with a 2008 Tundra across the desert southwest and beyond!
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    edited November 7
    Let us know how the bike pump works!
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • VernaVerna Posts: 4,748Administrator
    The bike pump works with one person—it takes a few more trips inside. I used a red one that seems to be at every Walmart I checked.

    If you buy the $50 Slime tire inflator from Walmart (approx price), you can open the front window and slide the cord inside to plug into a 12V outlet. Or, Battery Tender has a 12V plug that can be attached to the battery in the front tub, if that is easier.
    Verna, Indianapolis, Indiana; 2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite white/red; towed by a red 2015 Toyota Tacoma V6 TRD 4x4; [email protected] Administrator.  If not now, when?




  • BrianZBrianZ Posts: 530Member
    Thanks, @Sharon_is_SAM,  for the update!

    I got ahead of myself and did my antifreeze in the pump technique with pieces of tubing with screw-on fittings at the ends, before doing the blowout..

    Then when I connected the air compressor to blow out the lines, the disconnected water line from the right/exit side of the pump started hissing at me, reminding me that the backflow check valve that isolates the two water supplies is inside the pump, not the line.  I temporarily plugged that disconnected line in order to finish blowing out all the other lines. 
     
    Hopefully next year I'll remember to do the blowout first before doing the antifreeze in the pump.  This is only my second time winterizing, so not quite automatic yet.  I did leave the 3 Alde bypass valves set for bleach sanitizing in the spring, so that was a good tip to learn.  Thanks again.

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    @BrianZ, so you opened the bypass valve and closed the hot and cold water in line valves?
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • BrianZBrianZ Posts: 530Member
    Yep, after blowing out all the lines.  Hope I will remember to switch them back again next spring.  If not,  guess I would discover it after finding no hot water.  Still better than bleaching the hot water tank I suppose.
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 2,986Moderator
    I see a large reminder note in our future😆
    Sharon
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    2017 TaB CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan

  • TabottoTabotto Posts: 1Member
    Thank you for this guide. It made winterizing my Tab for the first time really easy! Not as overwhelming. :)
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