HOW TO WINTERIZE A RESTROOM TRAILER
As part of a restroom trailer maintenance it is important to understand how to winterize a restroom trailer. If a restroom trailer will be stored in freezing temperatures it should be winterized to prevent damage to the plumbing system and components. Freezing damage can harm any component of the system, including the water tanks, toilets, urinals, pumps, or restroom trailer piping.
Before you begin to prepare the restroom trailer for cold weather storage, a brief explanation of the plumbing system will help you to understand the operation of the restroom trailer as part of the restroom trailer maintenance.
The plumbing can be divided into two separate systems. The fresh water system consists of those items which are used to deliver water for your use, while the waste water system is made up of the drains and tanks which store and remove water that has been used on the restroom trailer. Both systems and components require some "winterization".
If your new restroom trailer was built with an on board fresh water holding tank then the plumbing system has the dual ability to be self contained with on board storage, or use facilities provided by an external pressurized source. In either case, the components of the restroom trailer plumbing system operates like those in your home. Components of the plumbing system consist of strong, lightweight, corrosion resistant materials that provide long life and easy cleaning. By following the instructions outlined here, you can expect efficient operation with a minimum of restroom trailer maintenance.
(It is important to note that if your restroom trailer was manufactured during the fall or winter months the factory has anti- freeze placed in the water lines to protect them from freezing. The anti-freeze liquid can be recognized by its pink color. This anti-freeze should be flushed from the system after trailer is heated and before each time the trailer is placed into service).
WINTERIZATION - The winterization of the restroom trailer can be accomplished by “adding anti-freeze to the plumbing system” OR by “draining and blowing the water out of the system”.
INSTALLING ANTI-FREEZE IN A RESTROOM TRAILER
The first common method to winterize the restroom trailer is to remove the water and replace the fresh water system with an RV trailer brand anti-freeze. (This is available at any large retailer or RV dealer).
Level the restroom trailer to help system drainage. Confirm you have a proper electrical source to the trailer.
DRAIN EXISTING WATER OUT OF RESTROOM TRAILER SYSTEM
Begin this process by first draining as much water out of the on board fresh tank and water lines as possible. The fresh water tank will have a drain located on the bottom of the tank which allows the water to be drained into the waste holding tank below the floor or if allowed, to drain to the ground outside.
1. If your restroom trailer has a water heater, first confirm the electric is turned off to the water heater so you don't burn up the heating element in water heater when water is removed from your restroom trailer.
2. Turn the water pump switch on.
3. Open all faucets. (Can begin with faucet or toilet farthest from water supply)
4. Run water until all water is drained from the fresh water tank and water lines. This water will be drained into your restroom trailer waste water tank.
5. Drain the waste water tank to remove as much water and waste from the restroom trailer as possible.
6. If the water heater has a drain, open and drain out water, then close the water supply valve and open the bypass valve to allow antifreeze to flow bypass the water heater. If there is no drain (which is common with small water heaters) the water heater will need to be removed or filled with antifreeze.
ADD ANTI-FREEZE TO RESTROOM TRAILER WATER SYSTEM
An RV anti-freeze (propylene glycol)is recommended for your restroom trailer maintenance. To add anti-freeze to the restroom trailer plumbing system it can be drawn from the existing on board water tank by dumping anti-freeze in the tank or by drawing from an individual container. It will take several gallons to be added to the system.
1. After anti-freeze is dumped into the restroom trailer fresh tank, turn on the water pump and open all of the fixtures until the pink anti-freeze flows out. (Can begin with faucet or toilet farthest from water supply)
2. Close each faucet as the pink solution flows freely from it. This also includes the water line to the toilet.
3. Perform this process with every restroom trailer sink and toilet.
4. Confirm anti-freeze is in every p-traps for the toilets, flushing urinals (if applicable) and sinks. An amount of anti-freeze left in waste tank will prevent the restroom trailer waste tank from freezing.
DRAIN & BLOW OUT WATER
To use the compressed air method to winterize the restroom trailer, begin with the steps above to drain the existing water out of the system.
1. In order to clear the fresh water lines with air you will need an air compressor and a fitting to attach to the fresh water lines. Connect the air hose to the city fill connection.
2. If the restroom trailer has an on board fresh water tank, open the fresh tank fill valve and let the compressed air clear the fresh tank supply line. Once the water has cleared this line, close the valve.
3. Open the city fill valve. Then go to each of the sinks, toilets and urinals and let them run until only dry air comes out. It may be helpful to begin with the fixture farthest from the air supply. It may take several tries of opening the restroom trailer toilets & sinks until only air comes out and water has been removed.
Even though the water may have been removed from the fresh water system, you will still need to add anti-freeze to any P-traps where water may be trapped in the waste water system. This includes sinks, toilets or urinals.
Be sure to read the literature supplied with restroom trailer plumbing components, such as the pump, for troubleshooting tips. Also remember that it is possible for an electrical problem to cause water system problems. Lack of power to the pump can be caused by a variety of reasons. If you are unsure of how to locate and/or repair a plumbing problem, it is best to have a qualified plumber handle the job.
Before using the system again in warmer weather, completely flush the restroom trailer systems with water, flush the toilet, and sanitize the entire fresh water system. In the event that when using the restroom trailer during cold weather, the water in a tank or drain line should happen to freeze, you should take immediate steps to thaw it before damage to the system occurs. DO NOT continue to use water system components if such a condition exists. If damage has occurred, make sure to have it repaired before using again.
MAINTAINING A WATERLESS URINAL?
As described, the waterless urinal is just that,” waterless”. There is not a restroom trailer fresh water plumbing line connected to the urinal or a flush valve installed at the top of the urinal. The urinals don't flush but instead, they drain by gravity into the waste tank of the restroom trailer.
The key to the waterless urinal is the special cartridge trap at the bottom of the urinal.
Because the urinal cartridge does collect uric sediment, it is recommended to replace the cartridge of the waterless urinal in the restroom trailer every three months or about 7,000 uses. When the old cartridge trap is pulled and before the cartridge trap is placed in the urinal, it is recommended to clean restroom trailer urinal piping by pouring gallons of water into the urinal and down the drain into the restroom trailer holding tank. The cartridges are easily changed with a tool provided with the cartridge and they are readily available on the internet. Maintenance and Cleaning of "Waterless Urinal" in a Restroom Trailer:
• Perform cleaning once a day, or as needed
• Remove any litter in the bowl and clear cartridge holes
• Use mild disinfectant cleaner on a cloth to wipe the bowl
• DO NOT use aggressive/concentrated detergents or any other chemicals on your restroom trailer.
• DO NOT dispose of water into the restroom trailer urinal.
OPERATION OF TOILET IN RESTROOM TRAILER
Add water to bowl
To add water to the restroom trailer toilet, press the flush pedal part way down. Water flows into the bowl while flush ball remains closed. If the flush ball moves, let up on the pedal slightly. Adding water to an empty restroom trailer toilert bowl helps prevent holding tank odors from entering the living space. Adding water is recommended prior to flushing solids and toilet paper in the restroom trailer toilet.
Flush toilet on a restroom trailer
To flush, press pedal down until it contacts the floor. Release pedal after complete flush.
• When flushing liquids, press the pedal for 1-2 seconds.
• When flushing solids in a restroom trailer, press pedal until contents are rinsed from bowl. Flushing longer than necessary will cause holding tank to fill too quickly.
A small amount of water will collect in the bowl after a flush to create an airtight seal
To prevent holding tank odors from entering the living space, make sure a small amount of water remains in the toilet bowl of the restroom trailer.
There are two ways to monitor the waste level in the Rich Specialty Trailer waste tank: either with an electric monitor or visually with a site glass. The restroom trailer was built with an electrical sensor that will determine how full the tank is. This monitor panel is located in the trailer mechanical room. Its sensor board has 5 lights which will show whether the tank is E (empty), ¼ (1/4 full), ½ ( ½ full), ¾ (3/4 full), or F (tank if full). One of these lights will come on when the trailer “TANK” button is pushed. Before the monitor can operate it must be calibrated with the tank empty and with the tank full.
The electrical sensor monitor should be calibrated with the trailer as close to level as possible. Depending on where the sensor strips are located on the restroom trailer tank, the readings may be somewhat sensitive to the pitch of the vehicle (due to the fluid sloshing either against or away from the sensor elements mounted to the tank wall). Keep this in mind when interpreting what otherwise might be a malfunctioning sensor or display.
HOW TO CALIBRATE THE MONITOR PANEL:
RESTROOM TRAILER TANK MONITOR
This monitor panel in the trailer features a smart chip calibration algorithm.
Note: You can calibrate either empty or full first but you need to have the tank at the level you want calibrated (i.e. empty for empty or full for full).
When you are calibrating the empty level, start with an empty tank. Hold the tank reading button. While you are holding the tank reading button, press and hold the empty calibration button for 5 seconds (this button is marked with an “E”) lights should then note you have an empty tank.
When you are calibrating the full level for the restroom trailer, fill the tank with water repeat the same procedures above but press the “F” button. The lights should then note when you have a full tank.
The second method to check the level of the restroom trailer tank is to simply open the rear door on the trailer to expose the tank. There is a site strip built into the restroom trailer tank which will allow you to see how high the waste level is against the rear of the tank.
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