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 > It's time to winterize...

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Durb

NW

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Posted: 12/07/21 06:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I winterize the same as you. However, I feel no need to heat the trailer. Never have in 5 years and we sometimes get into the teens. I also make sure my water pump is dry and the outdoor shower is blown out.

PartyOf Five

Wheaton, IL

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Posted: 12/07/21 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My cousin burned out half his garage using a space heater to warm it rather than keeping the car batteries on a trickle charge, hence my concern.
You're right.. that GFI circuit would only cut power if the wiring overheated- I'll have to ask what they traced his back to, was years ago.
You've done plenty of preparation, and agree that you're probably better prepared than some of us in colder climes. Kudos for keeping the toys in good shape, so they'll be ready to go when you are :-)


PartyOf5 appreciating our Creator thru the created. 5 yrsL 50k, 49 states & 9 provinces.

May you find Peace in all you endeavor.

Desert Captain

Payson

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Posted: 12/08/21 09:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GD,

After I drained the water heater I stuck my garden hose in and blasted the debris from the anode rod out. After flushing a couple of times I just let it drain, replaced the rod and buttoned it up.

As far as keeping the coach warm {mid fifties} after winterizing and eliminating water and adding RVAF... There are lots of components in a motorhome that do not do well in freezing temperatures. When things freeze they expand/contract. Seals can be compromised and control boards and other sensitive electronics can be damaged. IMHO: it is far better to keep a reasonable temperature and this is easily done. While unusual that forecast for a low of 25 can easily become single digits while you sleep.

As to keeping my fuel tank full it is simple... I always do. Any possible condensation is greatly reduced and the coach is ready to go at a moments notice. As noted we will be taking off in January for a week or so and perhaps sooner than that. Gas prices have risen about 25 cents a gallon since I topped it up after our last trip so that is working out nicely as well.

Even when fully winterized we can be gone in about 15 minutes as all we need do is fill the water tank, load a few groceries and turn the key. This mode also works during fire season as well as short notice for an evacuation could easily take place.

As always... Opinions and YMMV.

[emoticon]





Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

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Posted: 12/21/21 11:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PartyOf Five wrote:

You're right.. that GFI circuit would only cut power if the wiring overheated- I'll have to ask what they traced his back to, was years ago.


Well, that's not the way GFCI's work. GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) are devices used to protect humans from electrical shock. They DO NOT offer any protection for over current situations. That's what a circuit breaker/fuse is designed to do.

A GFCI will "trip", that is, disconnect the power to the hot line, when the difference current between the hot line and the neutral line exceeds about 5 mA (5 thousands of an amp). Normally, those two lines carry the exact same current. But IF there should be an imbalance more than about 5 mA, the device will open to protect against line-to-ground shocking hazards. That imbalance of current means that somehow current is being returned to the source by a path OTHER THAN the neutral, and it quite likely could be through a person. The 5 mA imbalance is in effect whether the GFCI is passing 1/10 of an amp or 15Amps. It doesn't matter to the device. Only the difference in the current in each line determines whether it will trip or not.

For comparison, possible heart fibrillation can occur at about 100 mA at 60Hz AC. Most 120VAC breakers are 15 or 20 Amps, so lethality has set in long before the main breaker would trip...if it ever tripped. At 5 mA, when the GFCI is set to trip, the person will feel the shock but voluntary muscle control is maintained, so they can let go of whatever is shocking them, though the GFCI should open the circuit in less than 1/10 of a second.

Someone had noted above that the resistance might change in a device and the GFCI would offer protection. That is untrue. The resistance of a heater element varies constantly with temperature. It's "cold" resistance is less than its "hot" resistance. With age electrical characteristics also change, but there's no "shocking" hazard associated with this UNLESS the insulation of the appliance is somehow compromised. A GFCI would not respond to a change in resistance (load) of an appliance or device. The GFCI only reacts to a slight imbalance of current between hot & neutral. Now if the insulation in the appliance had a failure and that allowed the hot line voltage to be contacted by someone, the GFCI should sense that and shut-down the circuit. IF the appliance had a wired ground connection to it's chassis (3-prong circuit), and the insulation fault allowed the line voltage to contact the grounded chassis, THAT would (should) cause the circuit breaker to trip back at the panel as the current would spike high with the short circuit. BUT...the GFCI will probably not do anything in this case.

And just to complete matters, there are circuit breakers which include GFCI's in their construction which reside in the electrical panel. These devices provide over-current protection via the breaker and shock protection via the GFCI.

In general: GFCI's protect people, Circuit Breakers protect the wiring.

Oh, one last thing. GFCI's do, on occasion go bad. They should be tested at least once per month using the "Test" and "Reset" buttons on them. Just be aware that other outlets downstream might also be wired to be protected by that GFCI outlet and testing (tripping) it will disconnect power to those outlets as well. Not funny if the person is jogging on a treadmill plugged into said protected outlet at the time. Well...not funny at the time. NOW it's funny as heck to think back on!!! LOL

Be safe everybody!!!

~Rick

* This post was last edited 12/22/21 09:44am by Rick Jay *   View edit history


2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (25-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (20), 2 boys (21 & 18).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.


rjstractor

Maple Valley, WA

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Posted: 12/21/21 07:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^^^ Good explanation Rick, there are misconceptions about what GFCIs do and don't do. To the OP, I don't see any concerns using a space heater in a motorhome as long as everything is up to par, and with a 30 amp service it likely is. It's no more likely to cause a fire than using a space heater in your house. I don't know what happened in your cousin's case, but in my more than a few years in the fire service, most space heater fires are caused by items too close to the heater. Sometimes they cause issues if there is faulty wiring due to the high current draw (actually happened to me in my house), but if your wiring is good you should be fine using a space heater.

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