You may be enjoying blossoms or digging out the piles of snow, no matter what your current situation is, an RV season is not far. If the spring has sprung, it’s time to de-winterize your RV!
Moreover, in a cold climate, changing your trailer’s antifreeze is crucial as it prepares your camper for a cold-weather. Winterizing protects your trailer’s plumbing system from freezing.
If you do not add antifreeze, the water in the water lines and tanks can freeze. Hence, the expansion of water may burst fittings and lines.
So, can RV Antifreeze go down the drain? RV Antifreeze used on your RV water lines can be safely dumped down the drain, its nontoxic, and is in fact used in many cosmetics. Automotive antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol) is toxic and should be disposed of safely.
Table of Contents
Antifreeze or engine coolant combine with water and maintain the engine’s temperature. It significantly lowers the water’s freezing temperature and also raises the water’s boiling point.
When the temperature fluctuates, the coolant in the engine stabilizes the temperature. Moreover, this deicing fluid also wards off corrosion.
Checking antifreeze levels is mandatory every six months. It is essential because, over time, antifreeze becomes acidic and can cause corrosion. Hence, it damages the components of your trailer’s cooling system.
Anti-icing solution contains chemicals such as methanol, ethylene glycol, and propylene glycol. Ingesting deicer in minute quantities can be hazardous as it is poisonous for animals and humans alike.
The smell of antifreeze usually attracts pets; therefore, it is vital to dispose of the used or tainted antifreeze properly.
It would be best to never dispose of your old antifreeze in any sewer or nature, i.e., rocks, grass, or lakes.
Your engine coolant is toxic, and it can negatively influence the bacteria used in water purification.
Furthermore, it can also make the situation worse by contaminating your local lakes. Also, it causes extreme contamination and soilage in underground sewage systems.
Glycol containing antifreeze can create toxicity in animals and humans when taken in a certain amount. The two kinds are as follows:
Ethylene Glycol Deicer
It is a potentially hazardous material that can cause reproductive damage, congenital disabilities, or death.
Therefore, it should be handled with care, as its sugary flavor and odor appeal to small children and pets. Moreover, ethylene glycol attracts mammals, but it is deadly.
Propylene Glycol Deicer
This kind of chemical is most commonly used in the boating industry and an RV. This solution is not extremely poisonous.
It is slightly less lethal than E. glycol. However, it is fatal if someone ingests this solution in significant quantities.
Minute accidental dosages are not lethal, but keeping this solution out of the way of pets and children is recommended.
Furthermore, the FDA permits propylene glycol in various cosmetics like lipsticks, food additives, food coloring, and drugs, but in small quantities.
You should never use automotive antifreeze in your camper’s water system because it is toxic, and the solution will contaminate your system.
Make sure to use non-toxic antifreeze. You will find various types in RV shops and auto stores. Ethanol and alcohol-based deicer are generally available at all hardware shops and stores such as Walmart.
These solutions are inexpensive; however, they can make your water taste bad and produce a foul smell. Furthermore, the presence of alcohol dries out the toilets and faucets rubber seals, and that can cause leaks.
These deicing solutions are very flammable, and you should never dump these types on to the ground.
The other solutions are a blend of ethanol and propylene, and they are non-toxic. But, they can also create a bad smell and taste in the water. This blend also has the potential to dry out the rubber seals and cause leakage.
The good thing is they are non-toxic, but they are flammable; therefore, you should avoid dumping it on any ground.
The other antifreeze, propylene glycol, is solely available in recreational vehicle shops. It is slightly toxic, non-flammable, and it is quite safe to use it for RV plumbing.
This deicer prolongs the lifespan of the toilet and faucet’s rubber seals and prevents leaks. Besides being safe, you should not pour the solution on to the ground.
By following steps, you can quickly clean the antifreeze spills outside:
- First, it is crucial to wear the mask and protective gloves to prevent yourself from inhaling the solution’s smell.
- Use an absorbent substance like sand, kitty litter, or baking soda to cover the splash.
- Now cover the material you used above with a paper towel. Allow it to rest, but not keep it there beyond three hours.
- With the dry paper towel, wipe and pick up the paper towel and material and put it in the sealable bag. Throw this bag in the trash, and ensure to wash your hands thoroughly.
- Scrub that particular area with water and soap.
- Air-dry the wet area, or you can place paper towels or newspaper for quick drying.
Before removing your old antifreeze, always use safety equipment. Wear gloves, mask, and goggles to remove or replace antifreeze.
To de-winterize or remove the tainted antifreeze, use two, twenty gallons of storage tubs underneath the exhaust to collect the used trailer’s antifreeze solution.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has no regulations about antifreeze. However, several auto parts stores, recycling centers, and service shops treat, accept, and dispose of motor oil, antifreeze, and other oils.
Once you spot a service shop or the dumping location, follow these recommendations for safe disposal.
- Remember to store your old or tainted antifreeze separately. It needs a different disposal treatment because a tainted deicer might contain hazardous heavy metals. These solutions are considered hazardous waste; therefore, a particular facility will accept it.
- Either take the material to an appropriate disposal premise or call a waste hauler to collect this solution.
- Several facilities have a coolant recycling machine that removes glycol from engine coolant. Moreover, the machine adds an additive to make these solutions reusable. This process will only work if the deicing solution is untainted with an oil, and other substances.
You might have thought that RV antifreeze is much safer in comparison to an automotive antifreeze? Right?
However, that’s not the case.
The most commonly used RV antifreeze is propylene glycol. It is used in potable water systems of boats and RVs.
Propylene glycol comes under the heading of non-toxic; however, it affects the environment significantly because of its high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).
The high BOD level indicates that there are a high number of microorganisms in wastewater. These incredible levels of microorganisms suggest high levels of pollution.
This solution isn’t completely non-toxic. But it is less harmful than E. glycol and can be fatal if ingested in substantial quantities.
Other regular antifreeze such as ethylene glycol is toxic for animals and humans. It is specifically used as an engine coolant and for various non-consumable applications.
Since antifreeze solutions contain poisonous heavy metals, never pour them into the drain hole. It can contaminate the septic system.
Similarly, never dump it on any ground. Antifreeze has a sweet taste, and it attracts mammals, and this solution can cause death if ingested.