Static Caravans, Homes, Cabins and
Q - The compressor stops after a few
seconds, but no water comes out of the inside taps
A - If only after a couple of seconds the
compresssor stops, then there is a problem. First of all, make sure you are not
connecting to a non return tap (see below) or there is not a non return valve
after the point of your connection. When connecting the tool to a tap or
fitting, you should ensure that the tap has been opened and run dry before
positioning the tool. Also, make sure that the tap is open and that the tool is
seated well, to allow the compressed air to pass through. In addition,
sometimes older taps stick inside, so twist the head left and right to loosen
the inside of the tap. (These problems are discussed further in the Essential
Winterising Techniques Series of How-to DVD's)
A - With static caravans, sometimes a
compressor will stop at 30PSI(2BAR) or reach that pressure and continue very
quickly. Check your mains feedpipe and see if it lies on the ground before
rising up to the tap. If this happens, then when you turn the tap on not much
will come out and the remaining water in the line will be topped up to the tap
itself. Try opening a tap inside first, then compressing again. As the
compressor pressurises water should be pushed out of the tap inside. If not go
to the next step.
A - Another issue we have found is that
some older taps have a little closing lid inside the tap for the purposes of
shutting off the water when the tap in turned off. This lid disconnects from
the tap handle inside and falls down into the tap (ie it is broken). Ordinarily
this would not be noticed, as when the tap is turned on the water pressure
pushes the lid out of the way and water flows from the tap. However this is a
problem for winterising as when we apply pressure in the opposite direction, the
lid falls down again and acts like the tap has been turned off. You will know
this is happening if the compressed air pressure starts to reach a high level
very quickly. This is a faulty tap and should be replaced with a normal outside
tap and not a non return type. Remember to use PTFE tape on the tap
Q - I have a new house with a new tap.
I have tried to loosen the tap, but still nothing happens.
A - In the UK, by-laws now dictate that
"New Builds" should be fitted with non return valve outside taps, to prevent
back siphoning, a very rare phenomenon where if the end of the hose is left in a
bucket of old water, it can be sucked up, polluting the fresh water system.
These taps WILL NOT WORK. You will know it is a non return tap by noticing a
small nut between the tap outlet and the main brass body. There are three
solutions to this problem. Remove the tap and take out the little cir-clip and
white insert from internal body section, Remove the tap and replace with a
standard tap or, use a Self Cutting Tap (SCT01- available from us) or standard
tee type washing machine fitting.
Q - Ideally, where should I fit the
Winteriz-it Water Drainage System?
A - There are two types of properties,
those with direct mains water straight to all of the cold and hot taps in the
house or Static Caravan and those houses that use a cold water storage tanks,
header tanks and a hot press.
In Direct Mains Properties, cold water comes in to the property from
the street. It then splits into two branches. The first goes as drinking water
to all of the cold water taps, kitchen, bathroom, washing machine, dishwasher
etc and of course the outside tap. The other branches off to the boiler, then
to the hot taps in the property. When using the tool on direct mains
properties, you should connect the tool after the stopcock. It doesn't matter
if this is on the cold branch or hot, as long as it is before the boiler.
Therefore, when you pressurise the system and try a hot tap first, if water
comes out under pressure, the air is positively travelling through the boiler to
the taps. This is essentially winterising the boiler also however, it is
important that you contact your boiler manufacturer or a qualified tradesperson
to enquire as to other boiler winterising tasks required. In this example an
outside tap would be a preferred choice for fitting. If none present, then fit
a Self Cutting Tap (SCT01- available from us), or standard tee type washing
machine fitting somewhere local on the cold or hot line after the stopcock..
Static caravans have a similar system
On the other hand, if your property has storage tanks, then there are
a few places you need to winterise, however it must be iterated at this point
that you should consult a qualified plumber for first time use.
To explain, water enters from the street where it meets your stopcock. From
there it splits into two branches. The first will go to your cold water tap in
the kitchen, outside tap and utility room if present as drinking water. It will
also go to your washing machine and dishwasher. All of these outlets should be
disconnected and winterised as per instructions. An Outside tap, Washing
Machine Valve or Self Cutting Tap would be best to drain these pipes. In a
holiday home the dishwasher and washing machine should be left disconnected
until Spring for convenience on future winter visits.
The second branch goes to the attic where it fills the cold water storage
tank. This tank will have two outlets (possibly three), both with gate valves
to be turned off at the tank to stop water coming from the tank. The first
outlet for cold water, will go to the cold water taps in the bathrooms and
ensuites etc. If you open these taps, gravity will take its course and the
majority of water will run from them, however the pipes will still have water in
them. By fitting a Self Cutting Tap (SCT01- available from us) or standard tee
type washing machine fitting somewhere on these pipes and following the
Winteriz-it Instructions, you can purge the remaining water from these taps and
The second outlet for hot water, will run to your hot water cylinder and then
continue to your hot taps. You will not be able to drain the cylinder without
disconnection as it fills from the bottom, so it is advisable that you fit a
Self Cutting Tap (SCT01- available from us) or standard tee type washing machine
fitting somewhere just before the gate valve connection with the cylinder. At
this point you can use gravity to drain the pipe from the tank to the cylinder.
If you open the gate valve into the cylinder, you can also now drain the
cylinder, however this wastes a large amount of water. To prevent the cylinder
from freezing, you could place an electric light nearby, as a few degrees can
just be enough to prevent frost damage. A similar lamp should be placed beside
the tank in the attic to do the same.
Where the water then travels from the cylinder on to the hot taps in the
property, bathroom, kitchen and washing machine etc, you need to winterise these
taps and fittings. By turning off the gate valve at the cylinder and all the
taps and fittings you will seal the system. Again by fitting a Self Cutting Tap
(SCT01- available from us) or standard tee type washing machine fitting
somewhere in this system, you can use gravity initially to purge the water and
then the Winteriz-it Water Drainage System.
As mentioned, there is one final outlet that is sometimes found coming from
the tank, depending on the type of boiler system you have. This is an outlet
that fills a header tank which feeds the boiler system. As mentioned, it is
recommended that you speak to your plumber about this system if present. Also
discuss with the plumber about the removal of potential airlocks A battery pack
type compressor is ideal for winterising this kind of property, as it is
Finally with both types of properties, as always, leave all taps open after
the winterising procedure to allow for any residual water to freeze and expand
up the pipes not burst out of them.
Q - How long should the compressor
A - Depending on the size of the property,
times will differ, however, the water system in a static caravan or 3 bedroom
house should take at least 20 seconds to be pressurised. This time will increase
to 45-60 seconds as you purge taps as there is less water in the system to be
replaced with compressed air. A digital compressor is best as it will stop at
the right pressure.
Q - Why use a self cutting tap or
washing machine tee valve tap.
A - Self Cutting Taps are a fantastic
invention. They can be fitted without turning the water off and placed almost
anywhere on a 15mm copper or plastic pipe. Standard washing machine tee
connectors are better in the long run as they are a more solid tap; however,
they require you to cut your pipe at exact dimensions. If you are unsure, ask a
qualified Plumber. Both of these taps have a 3/4" threaded connection, the same
as an outside tap, therefore they can be used for the same purposes as an
outside tap, such as the Winteriz-it Water Drainage System or indeed to act as a
hose connection if you don’t have an outside tap
Q – When I turn off my stopcock, water
still comes out of my outside tap
A – This is more likely to happen on Static
Caravans than would in built properties. It simply means that the feed pipe
from the street has been tee’d off to the outside tap before it gets to the
mains stop cock. There are a few solutions to this.
Most favoured would be to fit a stopcock before the outside tap or remove the
tap and fit it after the stopcock. As the tap is live even with the stopcock
turned off, it is vulnerable in winter and the pipe to it may burst. Lagging the
pipes would also help
If this is not possible then it might be advisable to fit a Self Cutting Tap
(SCT01- available from us), or standard tee type washing machine fitting
somewhere after the stopcock and before the boiler. This will gain you access
to the water system. Therefore, when you turn off the stopcock and open the new
fitting, gravity will push most of the water out, after which, you can carry out
the winterising process as normal.