One very important part of RV maintenance is making sure the low point drains on your RV are clear and working properly.
I have used my low point drain to empty out my fresh water tank in situations where I needed to eliminate the weight or when the water pump stopped working and the basement was getting flooded with water.
But what exactly are low point drains? where are they located and why is maintaining them correctly so important?
Here is everything you need to know from a fellow full-time RV’er.
What Are Low Point Drains On RVs?
Low point drains are small valves located on the underside of RVs, their purpose is to drain any water that has collected in the low points of the RV. If these drains are not kept clear, the water can freeze and cause damage to the RV.
To keep your low point drains working properly, it is important to flush them out with clean water on a regular basis. You can do this by attaching a garden hose to the drain and running water through it until it runs clear.
It is also a good idea to add some RV antifreeze to the drains before winter to prevent the water from freezing and causing damage.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your RV in top shape and avoid costly repairs.
How Many Low Point Drains Does An RV Have?
Most RVs will have at least two low point drains, but some may have more or less depending on the size and model of the RV in question.
It is important to know how many low point drains your RV has so that you can properly maintain them. If you are unsure, you can always consult your RV owner’s manual or a professional RV mechanic.
However, they’re not hard to find. In fact, you can generally walk around the outside of your RV and see the low point drains marked on the side, much like your black and gray tank valves.
Where Are Low Point Drains Located In An RV?
Low drains are typically located on the under of the RV, near the lowest point which is usually the front or rear of the RV where water is most likely to collect, some are located in the middle. This can however vary depending on the size and model of the RV in question.
However, all of them will be underneath the RV, and you’ll have to crawl underneath to open and close them. They’re not as easy to get to as the black and gray tank valves.
You may also want to look under bathroom or kitchen sinks for the location of your low point drain, because they will sometimes be in these areas.
How To Open Low Point Drains On RVs
Low point drains are typically opened by turning a knob or lever. However, the exact method may vary depending on the size and model of the RV. While you pull a pin to open up your black or gray tanks, your low point drain will be different.
It’s not a large pipe like your storage tanks. It’s more like a garden hose. Simply twist the cap off of the hose or turn the lever.
Often, it’s as easy as turning on your kitchen faucet or outdoor spigot. To drain the water more effectively, you can shut the water off to your RV and then open up the faucets. This allows for more airflow, which can help your low point drain faster.
If you’re going to open your low point drain, make sure to attach a garden hose first and run it out farther away from your RV.
If you open your low point drain and let it empty underneath your RV, you’re just going to make a mud puddle. Also, if your water is on and you open up the low point drain without a hose attached, you’re going to make quite the mess.
When looking at your low point drain, you may notice that there’s not a convenient way to attach a garden hose. This is true for most low point drains, and it can be a pain.
You’ll have to come up with a makeshift solution yourself. When I open my low point drain, I usually use duct tape to attach a garden hose temporarily. It’s not a perfect solution, but it works.
How To Close Your RV Low Point Drain
To close your RV low point drain, simply turn the knob or lever in the opposite direction. Again, the method may vary depending on the size and model of the RV.
It’s as easy as turning off your kitchen faucet or replacing the cap on the hose. To close it, simply reverse the process for opening your low point drain. Remember to turn the water back on to your RV when you’re done.
You may also want to remove the garden hose from your low point drain if you aren’t currently draining it.
You may have wasted a bit of duct tape, but it’s better than having a hose attached to your low point drain all the time, which can be inconvenient and unsightly.
Help, My RV Low Point Drain Valve Is Leaking
If your low point drain valve is leaking, don’t panic! It’s not a big deal and it’s easily fixed. The first thing you need to do is turn off your water. You can do this at the campground spigot or by shutting off the water to your RV.
Once the water is off, open up your RV low point drain and allow the water to drain out. Once it’s drained, close the valve and turn your water back on. The leak should be fixed.
If the leak persists, you may need to replace the valve. This is a simple process that can be done by most RV owners. Simply shop for a replacement valve online, at your local hardware store, or at an RV supply store.
To install the replacement, follow these steps:
- Turn off your water and open up your RV low point drain to allow the water to drain out. This prevents any leaking while you’re trying to replace the valve. It will make the hose easier to work with if you ensure it’s dry first.
- Close the valve and disconnect the old valve from the hose. Closing the valve first prevents any water from spraying out when you disconnect it.
- Connect the new valve to the hose and turn on your water. The new valve should be screwed on tightly to prevent any leaks.
- Test the new valve by opening and closing it a few times. Make sure you installed the new valve properly by making sure it opens and closes like it should.
- Close the valve and turn the water back on. This will tell you if the new valve is working properly and creating a water tight seal. If the new valve is leaking, turn off your water and reinstall the valve correctly.
If you’re still having trouble, you can always consult a professional RV mechanic.
RV Low Point Drain Valve Replacement Tips
It may not be rocket science, but you’ll want to make sure you get your low point drain valve installed correctly.
Here are some quick tips when replacing your low point drain valve:
Get the right size. When shopping for a replacement RV low point drain valve, it’s important to get the right size. The size will be determined by the diameter of your hose. You can measure this with a tape measure or ruler.
Choose durable materials. It’s also important to get a valve that is made of durable materials. This is because the valve will be exposed to the elements and needs to be able to withstand them. Look for a valve that is made of metal or heavy-duty plastic. Choosing the best materials now will prevent you from having to replace the valve again later.
Make sure it’s easy to use. Finally, make sure to get a valve that is easy to operate. You don’t want to be struggling with it every time you need to use it. Look for a valve that has a large knob or lever that is easy to grip. These types are usually a big improvement over what your RV comes with.
Can You Drain Your Hot Water Heater With Low Point Drains?
Yes, you can drain your hot water heater with low point drains. Low point drains are located in the bottom of the hot water tank and can be used to manually drain any remaining water from the tank.
When draining a hot water heater with a low point drain, it is important to use a hose that can handle high temperatures as well as pressure.
This will ensure that the water is drained properly, and safely. It is also important to remember to turn off the power or gas supply before attempting any draining procedure on a hot water heater.
RV low point drains are an important part of your RV’s plumbing system. They allow you to drain water from your fresh water tank, gray water tank, and black water tank, preventing the tanks from overfilling.
They are easy to understand and operate, and it’s important to be aware of their location so you can drain them when necessary.
You’ll prevent leaks and keep your RV clean by using the low point drain properly.