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Old 10-23-2008, 04:13 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: rockfalls
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M.O.C. #8885
Insulated water lines

I am going to be a New owner of a 2006 3500RL, this question may have been covered before.
I hear you all talking about heated/insulated water lines away from the frame rail in the underbelly. How do i know when they switched during construction to this procedure? Or does that not apply to my 2006. I guess they switched to this procedure due to the fact of lines freezing but when??? I do have the arctic package on mine if that helps. Is their a look up for the V.I.N that would tell you this info??

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Old 10-23-2008, 05:31 AM   #2
stiles watson
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M.O.C. #2059
I would suspect that you have the Arctic package. I had it on my 2003 unit. The furnace runs through the belly of the unit and heat radiates into the belly. There is a layer of insulation in the belly pan. As long as you keep the thermostat set on 55 or above, it should keep the internal lines from freezing.

In winter, my external lines are protected with heater tape. Last winter there was no problem with freezing. We are full timing in the unit. In Illinois, if your unit will be stored, then you need to winterize it. You probably knew that, but I mention it just in case.
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:52 AM   #3
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My 2003 had it, so I'm sure your 2006 does.
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:26 AM   #4
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Adamsfamily, I think you are referring to the change that moved the water lines in the belly to their own insulated channel between the floor and subfloor. Older models had the lines running in the open part of the belly, often laying on the steel frame where they would more quickly freeze.

The only way I know for sure to tell is to take a look. You should be able to remove three or four screws from the belly pan and shine a light inside to see if you see water lines.

Another way to tell... if you have low point drains hanging below the belly but not at the water connection center, then your lines are laying in the belly. If your low point drains have valves inside the basement storage area with the pipes hanging below the belly at that point, I'm not sure and you'll need to look. If your low point drain valves are in the water connection center (only newer models have this connection center) then chances are good you have the insulated lines. But I'd still look to make sure.

Even if you have the older style with lines loose inside the belly, you'll be ok if the furnace runs occasionally. The exception is if you have the low point drains hanging below the belly. These usually do not have valves, just a cap on the end of the line below the belly. There will be two lines, next to each other. My experience with these on our 2003 Montana was they'll freeze solid at around 22 degrees (that cold for a few hours) despite the furnace running. These freeze outside the belly but then tend at that temperature to freeze up into the belly where they tee into the main lines. At that point the frozen water blocks the flow thorugh the main lines. If this happens to you, a hairdryer will thaw them out. Insulating those low pint drains didn't do the job for me. I ended up heat taping them, the part below the belly, then wrapping that with insulation and duct tape (to keep it all together). I wired the electrical cord from the heat tape so it would not drag the ground and left those low point drains heat taped year round.

Good luck. Your question is a good one. I have no idea exactly when the switchover took place.
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:32 AM   #5
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M.O.C. #8885
Thanks that was the exact insight we were looking for. The info makes sense
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