The weather is cooling down. The leaves are getting crisp as they fall to the floor. Children making thousands of Frosty the Snowman. Jack Frost being a little mischievous by going around and nipping noses. All good and fun generally speaking, but we don’t want Frosty the Snowman or Jack Frost as houseguests. So you might be asking, “How can I keep my mobile home warm enough when I leave for the winter? How can I keep it pleasant inside without turning up the heater and turning up my electricity bill while I am gone?” Answer… It’s time to winterize!
Turn Off That Cold Water!!!
The first step from keeping Mr. Frost from being your guest is to turn off the water. The valve might be tricky to find. There are two key places to check.
- The valve can sometimes be found behind the skirting on your mobile home. They are not always under the same spot in every manufactured home, so you will have to check for it.
- If you live in a place that gets very cold, often there is a master valve somewhere in your yard, somewhere just before or after your meter.
Regardless of the location, make sure to tighten the water valve very securely.
Let it Go: Empty the Water Heater
You need to empty to out your hot water tank. There are a couple of steps to this process;
- Turn off the gas, or the breaker if it is an electric water heater.
- Firmly attach a hose to the drain valve on the hot water tank, allowing you to drain the water outside (no need to water our mobile home).
- To allow the water to flow freely, open the pressure release valve as well.
- Open up all the faucets in the house because this will allow more oxygen in the pipes, resulting in a quicker drain!
We are making our way to winterproof home, keep going!
Drain Your Water System Via Washer
We want our home to nice and dry while we are gone. So, the next step will be draining out our washer:
- Remove the hoses from the washer.
- Next, attach an air compressor to the cold water valve on the washing machine. This allows water to be blown out of the water lines in your house.
- Repeat the air compressor process with the cold water valve as well.
- Make sure to close the other valve that you are not doing, since you don’t water to blow out through there.
No Solids, Keep it Liquid
Empty lines are better than lines filled with water while you are gone during the winter. But, you should also prep your water system for those chilly winter nights (you don’t put your kids to bed without a blanket during the winter do you):
- Go out and buy some RV Antifreeze.
- Pour about a cup of the antifreeze into your sinks, that way your water traps do not become frozen. Repeat this process for your showers and tubs.
- Next is the toilet. Make sure to flush it first. Pour the antifreeze into the water tank and flush valve, and this will push the antifreeze through to the toilet bowl. Next, flush the toilet with RV antifreeze. This can be done two ways:
- Put roughly a gallon of antifreeze in a bucket. Dump it into the bowl, which will put pressure on the trap and allow it to open and distribute the antifreeze into the water system.
- The other way is taking the antifreeze bottle itself with maybe a gallon or so of antifreeze left in it, jamming into the bowl and squeezing hard. Your hands could get a little messy, but the pressure from this method is stronger, meaning it will push the antifreeze more effectively through the water system.
Good job everyone, great work so far!
Prep Your Appliances
The final step is to winterize your appliances that have water commonly flowing through them:
- Put about a half-gallon to a gallon of antifreeze into your washer and run a rinse cycle.
- Pour a half-gallon of the RV antifreeze into your dishwasher and run a rinse cycle.
- If your Refrigerator has a water dispenser or icemaker, you will want to remove the water line and drain the appliance. If it also has a water filter, remove it and store it someplace warm while you are gone, so it doesn’t freeze.
Still a Little Confused?
Maybe you learn more by example, or just need a visual walk through. Here is an excellent video walking through the steps I have described to you:
During this winter season, I want you all to remember two things. Enjoy the trip and protect your mobile home!