Jump to content

New owner concerned about winter


Recommended Posts

Hello folks, 

We've just bought a new static ABI Arizona Premier though it's called a "Goscar" on the side. ABI say its a special that they make but is an actual Arizona. Maybe they rebadge it for a sales company? 

 

This is our first caravan of any type which we bought because we don't want to be going on a plane any time soon but I'm finding the winterisation a bit daunting, maybe I'm being overly concerned. 

 

Anyway, I've been reading about draining down and things like that. We have a gas combi boiler and the site says that all mains have to be off, ie, water, gas, electricity over winter, however the manufacturers handbook says that the boiler must be connected to gas and electric in order for the frost protection to work. In the same handbook it says to turn off electricity at the main switchbox and to turn off the gas supply!!!! 

 

The other thing is its saying to connect a compressor to the pipes to force the water out. Which is the best one to buy? 

 

Thanks in advance. I know it's early but I like to be prepared ;)

 

Cheers

 

Stay safe

 

Phil

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure why you would need frost protection. I would assume that the heating fluid itself has an antifreeze additive? If so the only thing in need of protection would be the water pipes taps etc. 

 

When you do drain down leave the taps open afterwards, and flush toilet to empty cistern. A bit of water freezing in the bottom of the cistern is unlikely to damage but if the float/syphon water freeze they might be damaged. 

Alan

 

2005 Nissan X-trail 4WD diesel and Swift Charisma 540 2012 Lunar Clubman ES  2018 Lunar Clubman ES

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is not a great deal of effort to prepare for winter, pity you can not leave the heating on at a low setting. Also see what your insurance specify.

 

The central heating should have anti freeze in but check just in case it has not been put in or is not strong enough. The hot and cold water systems need to be drained, always turn off the water supply when not there to avoid any leaks causing damage. You can pay companies to do the drain down but it is simply opening any drain valves underneath (not the heating ones), opening all the taps, at a shower the control might have a non return valve in so should be disconnected, empty cisterns, the toilet bowl put in some anti freeze or about 25% salt to  lower the freezing point, sink U bends could have some anti freeze put in but if they freeze probably would not get damaged. The water pipes could be blown out if you think they might not drain well enough. Inside you might want to drain a washer and a dish washer. Depending on the pipes, you might be able to disconnect the cold water supply pipe just above where it leaves the ground to the static. Check the bath hot water supply to see if it has a thermostatic valve - if so it might need to be drained rather than just opening the tap. Remove any food from the cupboards. Make sure gutters are clean and the down pipes are not blocked. Check the insulation of the pipes underneath is good. Clean the fridge out after it defrosts.

 

With the boiler drained there is no need for its frost protection to work provided the heating side has anti freeze in it and the gas and electric can be turned off.

Edited by Paul1957
Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a floe winter drain down kit connected to my outside tap and use our cars tyre compressor to blow all the water out.

 

John.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FLOE-WINTER-DRAIN-DOWN-KIT-for-STATIC-CARAVANS-CABINS-HOLIDAY-HOME-APT1101/112598584904?hash=item1a37660e48:g:sQMAAOSwwdtZ3jyv

Link to post
Share on other sites

We used to drain down ours ourselves but since having a very lively dog, and getting a bit more creaky ourselves, we pay the site to do it for the princely sum of £25...well worth it in our opinion. There’s a work sheet left in the caravan which tells us who did the drain down and what they did.

The shower thermostatic valve is removed too, something we never did.

Check the boiler has anti freeze in it, which it probably does, and it won’t need draining.

We used to use a mains powered tyre pump, apparently (I don’t do outside stuff) which did the job well. And we put domestic antifreeze, used on boats for their domestic water supply (bought from a nearby boatyard) in the toilet pan, after the flush tank had been emptied (by me with a big sponge) although I believe salt works well.

We turn our electric off at the fuse box inside the caravan, the gas is turned off at the cylinders outside, and the water is also turned off at the stop tap outside. The site do the rest for the drain down.

We empty and clean the fridge freezer a couple of days before closedown so it all has lots of time to dry, and on the day we leave we open the doors of both.

Anything you think might freeze and potentially cause a problem, like cleaning stuff under the sink, handwash and toiletries, tinned stuff in cupboards, either take home or put in the washing up bowl so if they do blow you won’t return to lots of leaky things (I once left a small bag of frozen peas at the back of a freezer drawer, boy did it stink!!)

Most importantly, ask lots of questions, people are very happy to help, we all had to start somewhere, and most of us are still learning.

And enjoy your new purchase 👍😁

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it a Morco combi boiler?  If it is, they recommend keeping gas and electricity on during the winter.  This allows the automatic frost protection to operate if very low temperatures occur (this is recommended even if the system contains antifreeze); also the pump siezure protection system which runs the pump briefly once every 24 hours.

If the site insist on gas and electricity being turned off, then these systems will not be able to operate.  Might be worth discussing it with the site management, particularly if they sold you the caravan.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Scorpio said:

Is it a Morco combi boiler?  If it is, they recommend keeping gas and electricity on during the winter.  This allows the automatic frost protection to operate if very low temperatures occur (this is recommended even if the system contains antifreeze); also the pump siezure protection system which runs the pump briefly once every 24 hours.

If the site insist on gas and electricity being turned off, then these systems will not be able to operate.  Might be worth discussing it with the site management, particularly if they sold you the caravan.

Morco Boilersrecommend that to winterise the system is drained down and anti freeze strength checked. Those of us with Alde heating in tourers know that there are two types of antifeeze. Ones with a 2 year life for anti corrosion value and ones with 7 years. 

http://www.morcoproducts.co.uk/resources/Winterisation_of_Centrally_Heated_Holiday_Homes.pdf

Alan

 

2005 Nissan X-trail 4WD diesel and Swift Charisma 540 2012 Lunar Clubman ES  2018 Lunar Clubman ES

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Easy T said:

Those of us with Alde heating in tourers know that there are two types of antifeeze. Ones with a 2 year life for anti corrosion value and ones with 7 years.

 

Blue 2 year life, magenta 5 years?

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front - Discovery 4. Wheels at the back - Bessacarr 845.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Griff said:

 

Blue 2 year life, magenta 5 years?

Yep I think it is 2 or 5 years Griff

10 hours ago, Easy T said:

Morco Boilersrecommend that to winterise the system is drained down and anti freeze strength checked. Those of us with Alde heating in tourers know that there are two types of antifeeze. Ones with a 2 year life for anti corrosion value and ones with 7 years. 

 

'to winterise the system is drained down and anti freeze strength checked' That reads badly! I mean the water system drained down not the heating system. 

 

 

Alan

 

2005 Nissan X-trail 4WD diesel and Swift Charisma 540 2012 Lunar Clubman ES  2018 Lunar Clubman ES

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Phil66 said:

The other thing is its saying to connect a compressor to the pipes to force the water out. Which is the best one to buy? 

 

 

For many years I have used  a simple hand operated inflator (for airbeds and toys) to push residual water out of the pipework.  Never had a problem.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be a good idea to leave yourself a note in the van reminding you all the taps are open so you remember to close them before turning the water back on, after turning the water back on just partially open the cold water taps one by one to get rid of the air in the system. It is advisable to remove the thermostatic valve on the shower as just leaving the taps open will not empty the cassette in the valve, this is quite easy to do, just undo the two large nuts where the valve is fastened to the incoming pipes. The U bend for the shower is generally outside the van under the shower tray and is susceptible to freeing , just add some anti freeze, I use concentrated windscreen washer fluid. As advised on other posts leave fridge/ freezer doors open, I also leave the oven door, cupboard and wardrobe doors open and pull all cushions and mattresse s away from outside walls to prevent them getting damp. To avaid taking all clothes etc home  I pack some in the vacuum bags, this keeps them dry and not taking up too much space.

Edited by terve
Link to post
Share on other sites

We don’t leave clothes there over the shutdown period but do leave an electric under blanket, pillows and duvets. We’ve never bothered with vacuum bags but instead put the bedding in large thick black plastic bags, squish the air out of them and wrap parcel tape round to kind of seal the opening.

We take all nets/voiles home to wash them. First year we had the static, we did this and then couldn’t find the stretchy things to hang them back up. Eventually we found them...hanging from the hooks at each window so we wouldn’t lose them 🙄

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Always done ,my own drain downs last 6 years never used a floe device never had an issue, let gravity do its thing shut off water open all drain down taps and leave open open all taps flush the loos and syphom off any water in the u bend take off shower head and unscrew mixer tap,  always left the heating on frost setting though last 2 sites havent had an issue with leaving gas and electric on i dont know what your insurance would say about that to be honest,

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for these replies, I hadn't got a single notification of replies in my email, unless I missed it as you only get notified of the first reply usually, I was starting to think you were a miserable lot but spotted the tab still there in my browser and clicked it and here you all are:D

 

We bought the static from the site owners, it is an ex dem with full manufacturers warrenty. It was on dem at a caravan sales place. 

Is only a small site in a Welsh valley with a 10 minute walk into a lovely town and 10 miles from the coast. 

 

Is a Morco GB24, it doesn't say anything in the combi boiler manual about leaving it on over winter, just to drain everything except the central heating. In the ABI owners handbook (see attachment) it says in the winter maintenance to turn off gas and electricity, in the "Draining the Water System" section it says about having the boiler connected to the gas and electricity for first protection to work, this is all on the same page. I suppose it's just saying that the first protection will only work when connected to electric and gas, which is obvious, but it's not saying you have to do it, in fact it's telling you to disinfect both :lol:

 

I would think that the anti freeze is in there as the door to the cupboard that the boiler is in has the sticker of the registered installer which has the name of the bloke who does all the onsite maintenance. 

All leading should be good too. 

 

Thanks for all the advice, it's appreciated. 

 

Stay safe

 

Phil

1596131169578-275128097.jpg

Edited by Phil66
Link to post
Share on other sites

You can check if there is anti freeze in the heating by bleeding a bit out of a radiator (as you do to remove any air from the bleed screw). If you have a refractometer you could check its strength or you could put the bit you collect in the freezer and check it does not freeze. The anti freeze could be coloured or clear but will feel a bit greasy. Do not get it on any paintwork or carpets and it will probably be toxic depending on what type has been used.

 

When looking for drain points underneath, they might look something like the attached with points at each end of the static. There should be 3  at each location covering hot water (red pipe), cold water (blue pipe) and the heating (white pipe) so the heating one should not be used.

Drain points.JPG

Edited by Paul1957
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, 

I'm sure I read in the handbook that "the drain down point is usually beneath the kitchen area" which made me think that there is only one but I'm probably wrong. 

 

This is the caravan, you can walk around it if you click the little man in the bottom left. It looks lie it's going to be a film but when you click play it opens up the viewer. 

 

https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=krMM1cqPrPu&back=1

 

Cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some statics have only one hot and one cold drain point (not including the central heating circuit which will have its' own drain points).  Have a good look under the van to check, use your phone camera if that is easier than crawling around.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

All the statics i have had have drain down taps for all items ie under each sink has a drain down the shower has a drain down also, cant see how one drain down could possibly cover several taps and showers in different parts of the van.

the frost protection on my old morocco boiler was set to come on at 5 degrees, the closed system does have anti freeze although  should be checked with the yearly gas check the frost protection is more for the pump than the central heating pipes 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our static doesn’t Harrison. It just has hot and cold water drains under the kitchen sink, and a drain under the boiler. That’s why air is pumped through, to push all the water out.

When  we did it ourselves it involved opening and closing various taps to make sure all the water, from all the pipes, was pumped out.

Too much of a faff now we’re older and creakier, so that’s why we pay the site to do it 🙂

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Vaguely said:

Our static doesn’t Harrison. It just has hot and cold water drains under the kitchen sink, and a drain under the boiler. That’s why air is pumped through, to push all the water out.

When  we did it ourselves it involved opening and closing various taps to make sure all the water, from all the pipes, was pumped out.

Too much of a faff now we’re older and creakier, so that’s why we pay the site to do it 🙂

Our Pemberton is like that, all domestic water pipes connected to a single pair of drains at the lowest point.  Gravity draining works well, but I blow air through the pipework just to make sure it is all clear.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...