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  #1  
Old 01-11-2018, 10:13
Shortbread Shortbread is offline
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Default Site no longer offering drain down service

Hi all

It's getting to that time of year when we are thinking about closing down for the end of the season

Our site is no longer offering a drain down service - anecdotally, I have heard from other owners this is because last year several vans had burst pipes, despite having been drained down by the site contractors.

The neighbours either side of us don't do a drain down; one side live there all the time, the other side are holiday makers like us. Interestingly, the side that live there had a burst pipe last year during the close down period. However, they hadn't done a mini drain down and none of their pipes under or inside of the van were lagged. They have now lagged all pipes and will do a mini drain down at the end of the season - but they are not planning to get someone in to do a full drain down.

We don't have central heating in our van, all of our pipes inside and outside are lagged and we do a mini drain down every time we leave now. (Turn off the water, run all the taps, flush the loo and put down anti-freeze) So, my question to you knowledgeable folks is will this be sufficient? (Bearing in mind the site no longer offer a drain down service) or am I taking a huge risk?

We have a long season on our site, but we have always had full drain down done every year, meaning we always miss four months of going to the van. We quite fancied Christmas and New Year there this year and if we don't do a full drain down, this option would be available to us.

Thank you for reading this far, any comments and advice will be gratefully received!

Last edited by Shortbread; 01-11-2018 at 10:15.
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2018, 10:34
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Gerry1964 Gerry1964 is offline
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To be honest if your looking at shutting your caravan over the winter months then a full drain down is recommended, You can do a search on You Tube, its not really that hard.

What i did years ago was to disconnect the mains water pipe at the push fit connection. Open all taps, Including outside taps. and thats its. A splash of antifreeze in the cistern and traps and that's it.

If you can get underneath your Caravan you can just disconnect the Pushfit fittings and drain any standing water from the pipes.

Now we have central heating we leave it on the frost setting when we go home, but generally i'm there every spare moment i can get so don't worry about draining down.

Just while the weather seems to be pretty mild (Essex) Look underneath your van and check for missing lagging on Hot, Cold and heating pipes, Use Cable ties as opposed to tape to secure, and make sure you get a nice thick foam insulation, the thicker the better.



Can't see why on some sites people charge £70+ for doing something so easy and if you don't feel confident, then get a younger member of the family to help.

Remember to Lag the Mains water pipe where it comes out the ground also!!

Last edited by Gerry1964; 01-11-2018 at 10:37.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:54
Shortbread Shortbread is offline
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Thank you, that's really helpful. The whole drain down thing has always been a bit of a mystery to us - we've have just handed over the £80 every year and accepted that's what you have to do. The site mentioned in the past about blowing compressed air through the pipes - I take it that's either not necessary or only if you have central heating?

The tasks you mentioned sound completely do-able by us, thank you for your advice.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:57
Paul BK Paul BK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortbread View Post
Thank you, that's really helpful. The whole drain down thing has always been a bit of a mystery to us - we've have just handed over the £80 every year and accepted that's what you have to do. The site mentioned in the past about blowing compressed air through the pipes - I take it that's either not necessary or only if you have central heating?

The tasks you mentioned sound completely do-able by us, thank you for your advice.
The air through the pipes is through water pipes to get rid of any water lying at low points. I do a mini drain down every time I go from now until closure in January. My insurance insist on it. I get a full drain down on site closure.
The central heating is sealed and , as long as there is sufficient anti freeze in the system, should be ok left alone
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Old 01-11-2018, 16:13
Mosquito Mosquito is offline
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There have been several posts on other threads regarding Trace Heating system on water inlet pipes. That is a good idea as well as using the best pipe insulation indicated by Gerry. You say that all your pipes are lagged, hopefully, that will include the pipes to and from the boiler in the boiler cupboard. It's also possible to apply Trace Heating wire to those pipes. When switched on, the thermostat on the heating wire will operate when the temperature gets down to 5 degrees C and warm the water so that it doesn't freeze. You will know if it's working as the water from the cold tap will initially be warm when you turn it on. The Trace heating kits come with instructions on how to fit it. At least ours did.
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Old 01-11-2018, 17:32
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Angela B Angela B is offline
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You need to make sure a full drain down is not a requirement of your insurance policy, or you won't be covered. Many sites do maintenance throughout the closed season which may involve turning off electric. This would obviously affect trace heating.
May I suggest you look at a Floe drain down kit £26.99 we do our own every weekend now, and will do throughout the winter, especially as you don't have central heating boiler to worry about.
If you look on YouTube there are very good instructions on how to use one. They're easy to use honestly, and takes us a max 15 minutes to do

I think a few sites were caught out last year with an early frost.
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Last edited by Angela B; 01-11-2018 at 17:35.
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Old 01-11-2018, 18:47
slattster slattster is offline
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You need to be opening the drain off taps under the van as well , have you got the manual for the water heater , if not google how to drain it. The floe device is Great for a full drain downs , you can get a more automated version for £225 - watch the videos and see which one suits you best - though if you havenít got ch you may not need one if the water heater is easy to drain.
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Old 01-11-2018, 20:07
treetopper treetopper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela B View Post
You need to make sure a full drain down is not a requirement of your insurance policy, or you won't be covered. Many sites do maintenance throughout the closed season which may involve turning off electric. This would obviously affect trace heating.
May I suggest you look at a Floe drain down kit £26.99 we do our own every weekend now, and will do throughout the winter, especially as you don't have central heating boiler to worry about.
If you look on YouTube there are very good instructions on how to use one. They're easy to use honestly, and takes us a max 15 minutes to do

I think a few sites were caught out last year with an early frost.
Good thinking about the eleccy...some compressors have battery back up,and some can just be powered from car ...presume 26.99 floe uses one of these? As regards Trace heating it sounds a great idea if you are at van,but not needed if van is drained down?..no water in pipes to freeze?

Last edited by treetopper; 01-11-2018 at 20:12.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:07
Paul BK Paul BK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela B View Post
You need to make sure a full drain down is not a requirement of your insurance policy, or you won't be covered. Many sites do maintenance throughout the closed season which may involve turning off electric. This would obviously affect trace heating.
May I suggest you look at a Floe drain down kit £26.99 we do our own every weekend now, and will do throughout the winter, especially as you don't have central heating boiler to worry about.
If you look on YouTube there are very good instructions on how to use one. They're easy to use honestly, and takes us a max 15 minutes to do

I think a few sites were caught out last year with an early frost.
I have trace heating but still do a mini drain down from November onwards, just in case there is a problem with the electricity. I'm the last four years I have done the same and even though we have had extreme weather conditions, we have had no problems.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:23
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Gerry1964 Gerry1964 is offline
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I think people panic when they here "Compressed Air" and think its beyond them to do a drain down. Compressed air is something which i think people throw into the mix to justify the money they charge

What i did when i shut down for the winter was

1. Shut of Mains
2. Open all taps, Showers etc
3. Get under Caravan and pull apart the Pushfit fittings for the Hot and Cold Water, Underneath the Kitchen area and bathroom
4. Connect it all back up (or fit drain off tees)
5. A small splash of Antifreeze in your kitchen and bathroom traps and loo.

Thats it, If theres some left in the pipework it don't matter as when water freezes it expands, Thats where the damage happens but if there is space for it to expand, ie, in a drain down, then there will be no damage and the stagnant water will only free along the internal length of the pipe as opposed to pushing outwards.

Remember if you have Central heating and its a sealed boiler you should already have some inhibitor or antifreeze, perhaps get this done if your not sure.

Another thing i've seen done is some people spray the Fittings that they use to drain down, A Spray of Red paint on the fitting will easily identify the fitting to disconnect for the drain down, or if you dont want all the hassle of disconnecting the fitting you could fit tee's with a valve so its as simple as opening the valve.



Just cut one accessible cut in both the hot and cold and pushfit these tees, Then its easy to empty the pipework.

Finally don't be pushed to pay £70 or £80 to the park owners for doing this, If your not up to it get a younger family member to help, for the sake of £80 you could add the draindown tees, Any insulation, and even a mains stop switch which will save you turning off the water from outside


Last edited by Gerry1964; 02-11-2018 at 11:26.
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