Drain Down and Why It’s an Important Task This Winter

Drain Down and Why It’s an Important Task This Winter

When it comes to looking after your motorhome, caravan or static caravan, it’s not only the mechanics you need to worry about. With colder weather, there is a significant risk of burst pipes and issues with your plumbing if you do not drain down for winter.

Winterisation is actually a lot easier than you might think too. Some sites charge a considerable fee to do it for you, but what if you want to get the job done without the price tag?

What does draining down do to your static caravan?

When you drain your caravan or static caravan down, you are removing any water from the main pipes (excluding your central heating water). This means should the temperature drop significantly, you can protect it from burst pipes, that can cost thousands of pounds to repair.

This small task can make all the difference when Spring comes around again.

Why bother draining down your caravan or static?

If you’ve ever experienced freezing pipes – even at home – you will be aware of the issues it can cause. Water expands upon freezing, which can burst pipes very easily. When the ice thaws, you will get flooded, see potential water damage and of course need to replace your pipes.

Static caravans are most at risk, as being mini-homes, the pipes will be inside the caravan and even inside cavities in the walls, so it’s important to try and do what you can to help avoid a bad situation.

Tips for draining down your caravan or static

Depending on your caravan model, it’s best to check any manuals as each model can have different set-ups.

  • a.Switch off your heater and anything else that uses water
  • b.Find the stopcock (usually somewhere underneath your home) and turn off the water supply.
  • c.There should be drain off valves under your shower or bath (or they could even be under the home). Open these up.
  • d.Next find your water heater or boiler. There will be four drain-off valves here too. However, ensure you DO NOT drain the central heating valves. You do not want to remove water from these. Usually they are labelled – do not drain – or something similar so you know to avoid them.
  • e.Once opened the valves will drain any water out.
  • f.Next turn on all your taps and flush your toilets
  • g.Next connect a small compressor to the mains water inlet pipe and use it flush out any remaining water from the system. You can find a range of Floe kits that can help with this. They come in fairly cost-effective packs or you can even install a permanent fixture by way of a 24V Floe Draining System.
  • h.While draining ensure you turn the thermostat to your shower or mixer taps to cold, so that you can clear water there too.
  • i.Next pour non-toxic anti-freeze down the toilet and the sink plug holes. This will ensure that you remove as much water residue as possible from the system. Always be sure to use SPECIALIST caravan anti-freeze when doing this.

Finally, to reduce any other issues, remove the cushions in the caravan or static and it’s best to leave doors open to allow air to circulate.

If in any doubt, it’s always best to consult a professional or a qualified gas engineer / plumber to assist with any drain downs or winterisation tasks. 

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