First time dealing with freezing temps

Sapphire Steamer

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It's looking to be pretty cold this week, and this is my first time dealing with this machine and cold temperatures. Tonight it's going to be 40, but tomorrow will be 32 and low 30's the rest of the week. I park my truck under an overhang outdoors. Was considering putting a space heater inside, but chickened out after seeing a bunch of burned vans on another thread here. I'm going to drain the water box and pick up some thick moving blankets to cover the machine tomorrow. I'm running a Titan 575. I have a few questions if you guys don't mind,

- I was reading the manual regarding winterizing the machine, which I haven't done before. It calls for a recirculator connector, which I don't have. It calls for me to put 2 gallons of 50 / 50 antifreeze into the water box and run it through the machine using the recirculator fitting. I'm guessing this fitting sends the water back into the waste tank? If so, I have an upholstery tool that will do that.

- Unfortunately my heat exchanger went out recently and I have a new one on order, which is what I hear typically gets damaged from freezing temperatures. Are other components at risk from freezing or am I in the clear if I already have my heat exchange bypassed?

- Are space heaters a bad idea?

Thanks folks!
- Bret
 

AffordableCarpetCare

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I run a space heater or tank-top propane heater.(depending on how cold) we occasionally get down to single digits and 0*F. Aside from your HE you also have all your hoses, pump, sprayers, wands, chemicals to keep above freezing. Personally i dont let my truck get below 40* inside
 
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Sapphire Steamer

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Thanks for the advice guys. Here's what I prepped last night, will run it tonight.

I don't have the means to run antifreeze through the machine so going to get moving blankets to cover the machine and run this guy tonight. Pain to unload and load up though. What do you guys think? Coldest it will get is 32. Just running an extension cord through the window.

Off to work!

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Ed Cruz

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Thanks for the advice guys. Here's what I prepped last night, will run it tonight.

I don't have the means to run antifreeze through the machine so going to get moving blankets to cover the machine and run this guy tonight. Pain to unload and load up though. What do you guys think? Coldest it will get is 32. Just running an extension cord through the window.

Off to work!

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That space heater will probably work with those temperatures that arent too cold. As long as you monitor it and it don’t lose power. Pick yourself up some -20 degree windshield wiper fluid and fill your water box up with it and purge all the water from your system with it. You want it through all your lines and heat exchanger. Move all your tools and liquids in doors.
 
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mrotto

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no sweat! This past year I had to park my van outside a couple of nights when it was hovering around the freezing mark.

I clamped a moving blanket behind the seats, one in the side door and one on the back door. This kept the heat INSIDE the van. You may be ok with covering the machine, but for the cost of possible repairs, I went overboard.

Then put the space heater in.

Done.
 
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Sapphire Steamer

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Thanks so much for the help guys. I'm going for it!

I didn't run -20 windshield wiper fluid or antifreeze through the machine tonight, but am hoping this will be enough.

- Emptied the van completely
- Ran my machine, hooked up upholstery tool and bled out as much internal water as possible until pump was dry.
- Covered unit with 3 blankets.
- Picked up a oil pan to have something solid and metal to put the heater on. Running space heater on lowest setting, with the thermostat at 60 degrees (lowest possible).

I like the idea of pinning up blankets to keep more heat in, but I also have the retaining wall behind the machine, so I figured that would help. Crossing my fingers!

I should only have to do this for 3 nights this year, feel bad many folks have to worry about this on a regular basis.

You guys gave me some great advice. I'll let you know how it all went after my job tomorrow.

- Bret

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Ed Cruz

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Thanks so much for the help guys. I'm going for it!

I didn't run -20 windshield wiper fluid or antifreeze through the machine tonight, but am hoping this will be enough.

- Emptied the van completely
- Ran my machine, hooked up upholstery tool and bled out as much internal water as possible until pump was dry.
- Covered unit with 3 blankets.
- Picked up a oil pan to have something solid and metal to put the heater on. Running space heater on lowest setting, with the thermostat at 60 degrees (lowest possible).

I like the idea of pinning up blankets to keep more heat in, but I also have the retaining wall behind the machine, so I figured that would help. Crossing my fingers!

I should only have to do this for 3 nights this year, feel bad many folks have to worry about this on a regular basis.

You guys gave me some great advice. I'll let you know how it all went after my job tomorrow.

- Bret

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I’d never purposely run a pump dry…… did your manual advise this? I know there are run dry pumps out there but I just dont like air in the system because it can cause issues.
 

Sapphire Steamer

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I’d never purposely run a pump dry…… did your manual advise this? I know there are run dry pumps out there but I just dont like air in the system because it can cause issues.
Maybe I won't do that next time, I had saw a video online of the legends guys winterizing their machine and the first step is they sprayed all the water out of the machine until it was dry before putting antifreeze in, recirculated through the unit, then sprayed it all out into a bucket.

Do you just pour in the fluid in the water box, run it a bit so it gets into the internal plumbing, and leave it there until the next day?

Trying to do the right thing but been fairly confusing!
 
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keep it clean

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They sell thermometers that are remote and save lowest/highest temps. So you can monitor it from your couch. 32 aint bad. Space heaters will keep up with that. Not comfy but above freezing. Using blankets is a good idea. As you can reduce space and insulate at same time. Going forward I’d put in a double receptacle as close to where you park as possible. Then run 2 separate home runs to 20a breakers. Ive had single heaters crap out over night or reach their limit overheat and quit. Leaving the entire night with nothing. All the while thinking everything was good. Having 2 will give you better chances. My old van i put a pvc pipe in floor that i could cap off to pass cords through so i wasnt crushing them in the doors. Pinched wires and under sized cords cause hot spots. I used to set heaters on medium setting too. To help reduce hot cords.
 

keep it clean

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So thankful for my shop, dont miss the days of space heaters whatsoever
One thing i hate is winter and water. Cold weather just breaks sht. Even my carpet seam sealer. I shook it sounded like liquid. Thought coool. Nope damn water froze glue dried out and hardened and water thawed. Making me think it was good. Suminabit!
 

keep it clean

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Ya im not a fan of cold weather at all brother, with me it always seams like something breaks and i gotta work on it in the field wich always results in banging a frozen hand on something sharp and or metal lmao
Or climbing an aluminum ladder in the snow and your hand freezes to it :oops: pushing for deer with sticks raking your face and ears. I hate that lol.
Mike Gaure is always telling me to move out his way to arizona. Sending me pics of dogs playing with kids outside in shorts. Im sending pics of frozen earth and instafreeze windshields. Starting to sound tempting though. I just dont know how I’d handle oven type heat lol.
 

Sapphire Steamer

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Going forward I’d put in a double receptacle as close to where you park as possible. Then run 2 separate home runs to 20a breakers. Ive had single heaters crap out over night or reach their limit overheat and quit. Leaving the entire night with nothing. All the while thinking everything was good. Having 2 will give you better chances. My old van i put a pvc pipe in floor that i could cap off to pass cords through so i wasnt crushing them in the doors. Pinched wires and under sized cords cause hot spots. I used to set heaters on medium setting too. To help reduce hot cords.
Thanks, actually I have an outdoor double receptacle right next to my parking spot. Noted the electrician jargon haha, not sure if they are on their own breaker. Last night went well. Literally only have to make it three nights for the whole year with these temps out here. By the time they come around again next year, I'll be able to garage the van.
 
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mrotto

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I found a bit of space in between the two rear doors on the bottom along the rubber door gasket that allows for an extension cord. Again 32 degress or even 25 is not an issue. Two heaters is ideal with remote sensor to monitor but for a couple days I woundnt bother.

Draining the machine seems overkill for a couple nights.
 
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keep it clean

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Thanks, actually I have an outdoor double receptacle right next to my parking spot. Noted the electrician jargon haha, not sure if they are on their own breaker. Last night went well. Literally only have to make it three nights for the whole year with these temps out here. By the time they come around again next year, I'll be able to garage the van.
If its only dipping into just freezing for a few hours overnight. It usually doesn’t hurt anything. Its enough to create ice but not long enough for it to expand. A single heater on medium should be fine. 10 and less for days and weeks straight destroys stuff.

Garage is always best bet (y) Protect everything from all weather.