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Old 01-31-2012, 05:52 PM   #1
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2011 International 25FB -- Freeze Damage to Shower Heads and Galley Faucets

Hello All,

First time posting here. Also, it's my first winter with my 2011 International Sig. 25' FB.

I thought I winterized it pretty well and did everything by the book. Well I'm planning a golf trip with a buddy and we're taking the trailer. I decided today, (since we're having beautiful weather here in NJ) that I would de-winterize it and run and flush all the lines. Well as soon as I filled the tank and turned the water pump on, I heard the shower running. I realized that the shower head was busted and water was spewing out the side of the shower head. I immediately tried to shut the shower valve, but it was in the off position. So to be clear, the shower head was running water with the shower valve in the off position. I then opened up the access panel in the interior closet to access the shower valve, and I was relieved to see no leaking. So I am guessing I need a new valve and shower head. Does anyone have any advice on this?



Also, I have an Elkay chrome kitchen faucet with single curved lever and the pull out faucet head. Well the head part is leaking. I read up that this faucet if over $500 and I cannot get the head piece separate. Can I replace this faucet with an average $200 name brand sink from Lowes or Home Depot?



I would appreciate as much advice as you all can generously offer.


Thank You

Rhys from NJ


2011 International Signature Series 25' FB
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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Curses - I can't "search" worth &%^$#

I know I read and contributed to a thread about shower control valves - but can't find the thread now.

There's some kind of cartidge in the shower valve and in the kitchen faucet. Both tend to get clobbered by freezing. They can be inexpensively replaced from the manufacturer, and (relying on my fading memory here) the one in the bathroom can be accessed from the front of the fixture. There's a plastic piece on the center of the handle that can be twisted or gently pried off - and the valve is behind it. It's removable with a screwdriver.

I think the shower control is Moen.

Others with more than three functioning brain cells please chime in.

Paula
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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I'm feeling a 6 pak of brain cells online...

Most of later model shower valves are Moen's, and owner's manual should have info on model number, and from there big box hardware or plumbing places can provide replacement valve "cartridge".. (That is term Moen uses for internals..) Is replaceable from front if valve body/casting not cracked or damaged.. If valve body leaking, the multiple pipe joints in very tight space may mean visiting dealer or real plumber...

As for faucets, we replaced both bath and kitchen faucets with single lever models from local hardware store.. Some mumbling about valve wear due to unfiltered water, but they worked fine, and are big improvements over little plastic dual knobs.. Only challenge might be mounting bolts behind deep sink with limited access, but do not need to be special RV or Airstream models...

>> And you may be fortunate not to lose toilet flush valve... Ours turned into "Rainbird-like" sprinkler with pulsing water pump after local (rare..) freeze here in California... Those plastic valve bodies can also freeze if not drained or protected...
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:42 PM   #4
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I just cut some firewood with my chain saw, so my brain has shut down too.

But why let that stop me?

Welcome to the Forum, Rhys.

Paula is correct (two people with 6 brain cells total though)—there is a cartridge that will come out the front of the shower faucet. There probably is an allen screw on the lever and when you remove it and the lever, there should be a nut holding in the cartridge. Remove it all and check the cartridge for obvious problems, find the number on it, or look for it in the Moen (or other brand) paperwork that came with the trailer, and see if Lowe's or Home Depot carry it. If not, the local hardware store or a plumbing supply house may have it. There are many different cartridges, so you may have to order one if it is a less common one.

The kitchen sink faucet is probably similar if you check the cartridge. But you can pull out the sprayer. It will come apart in some fashion. Check the insides for frozen and cracked parts. It could be a cracked plastic seal or washer, a cracked rubber washer, or something else. They should be standard parts (hopefully). A plumbing supply house may have an answer for you if you bring parts with you.

You can replace the fixtures with cheaper parts. They are all standard residential fixtures.

The shower head on ours kept breaking (not because of freezing) because it was made of extra cheap metal and after it was replaced on warranty 3 times, I went to one of the big box stores and found a much better one with a shut off valve on the shower head and massage and other settings for less than $20.

Other things that break easily in winter are the toilet valve—it is right behind the toilet on many models and you have to take the toilet out to replace it—and the sprayer on the Moen kitchen sink faucets. That one is separate from the faucet. I can't believe Airstream would put a $500 faucet in a trailer because they usually look for cheap stuff, but maybe yours does have a high end one.

Good luck. When you are done, use the search function for threads on winterizing. I know about some of these broken things because one year I forgot to drain the sink sprayer and the toilet valve. Here is one thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f458...rize-7222.html

The trailer is now broken in and be glad you didn't back into a tree to do it.

Gene
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Condoluminum View Post
Only challenge might be mounting bolts behind deep sink with limited access, but do not need to be special RV or Airstream models...

>> And you may be fortunate not to lose toilet flush valve... Ours turned into "Rainbird-like" sprinkler with pulsing water pump
A basin wrench is the tool for the bolts under the faucet. It is easier with them than a regular wrench, but not easy, just easier.

A good description for the busted toilet valve. I too have seen it.

Gene
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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Thanks Gene for official title of "Basin Wrench".. It is a long gizmo with half circle pegs used to reach up behind deep sink and loosen or tighten the roughly 2" diameter nut holding faucet to the countertop...

IN addition to knowing what to call them, you should also know they are very expensive for 1-time use ($60 or more..) but can be rented at a lot of tool places, and sometimes even loaned by plumbing supply places... Really not worth buying unless you are considering taking up sink faucet replacements as a hobby...
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:37 AM   #7
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I paid somewhere around $20 for a basin wrench at Lowe's a year or two ago. I had cursed many times while tightening bolts with a channel locks, but by the time I was at a store, forgot to buy one. Barb finally reminded me and I bought one. Maybe a $60 one would work better.

I have used it once and it was easier. When under a sink with the edge of bottom of the cabinet hurting my back, anything that makes it easier to turn those bolts is appreciated. I expect I'll use it again.

Gene
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:41 AM   #8
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I have looked at the underside of the galley faucet in our 2006 Safari and continue to be completely baffled as to how the faucet assembly is actually held in place. it is loose at the moment and would like to tighten it up but i can find no discernible nuts to tighten or even a hex screw for that matter? Anyone?
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:04 PM   #9
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Galley sink faucet

I have found it is easier to take out the entire sink first. Simply disconect drain and the supply lines. I have done it on 3 Airstreams.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:24 PM   #10
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I have found it is easier to take out the entire sink first. Simply disconect drain and the supply lines. I have done it on 3 Airstreams.
That may be the only way. Now that I think about it, there is a shelf just below the sink in our Safari. No one could get under the sink and use any kind of wrench (perhaps a 6 year old could be trained to do it). Maybe with a mirror you could see the bolts, but you'd have to maneuver a wrench under there and may need to be triple jointed to do it. Nonetheless, I'd try that first because it may be easier than removing the sink if you can get a wrench on the nuts.

Taking a sink out has it's own rewards. It will either be clamped down or glued down (or both). If there are clamps, there will a screw on each that holds it in place and you have to release each one. It may be glued down or sealed anyway to keep water from running under the sink edge into the cabinet. You will have to break the seal by sliding a knife (narrow putty knife may work best) underneath. It may simply have caulk under the lip around the edge of the sinkóthat'll do a pretty good job of holding the sink in place until it dries out. It would be a simple, cheap way to do it and the Airstream factory always looks for the cheapest way to do things.

Goal', maybe it is bolted from the top. Does the cover plate on top come off? Can you remove the spigot from the top? I suppose it is possible this faucet is made for installation from above because of the shelf below the sink.

It sounds like different assembles have been used over the yearsóno surprise from Airstream. Heslin's post indicates a standard installation with bolts on the bottom. Goal's sounds different.

The worst possible outcome may to remove the counter top with the sink in place and then tighten the bolts. Bolting the faucet to a sink in place before a countertop is installed is standard practiceóit is quick and easy. Before you bolt the faucet to the sink (that holds the sink to the countertop) you run a bead of caulk under the lip of the sink to seal it to the countertop. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets should not have shelves under a sink so you can remove or fix water lines and faucets. Airstream ignores a lot of basic rules of carpentry, plumbing, floor installation, etc., when building these things, so expect the unexpected.

I suppose I could walk 150' to our trailer and look at our sink, but that would be too easy.

Gene
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:09 PM   #11
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Gene

yes it would be too easy... and besides, you'd have to take the chainsaw and cut some trees down along the way just for fun...

Dana
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