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Old 05-03-2004, 02:39 PM   #1
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Bad Leak in rear of coach...help me!!!

I purchased my 77 Excella 500 in October via Ebay from a man in Iowa. Since then, I have replaced tires, bearings, bearings packed, converted disc brakes to electric drum brakes, installed break away switch, a new converter, and new 30# propane tanks. I have gotten all of the lights and fans working etc and have not yet camped in my rig.

Saturday, I went to pick up my trailer from a man doing some work on it. I hooked up the trailer to the truck, paid the man and came home. After driving for an hour or so, I stopped at a rest area and walked in the trailer. The water pump was running. I frantically looked around and found the switch on the box above the stove. I flipped it off and it stopped immediately.

I walked to the back of my rig and noticed that water was all over the floor. I mean it was soaked in front of the toilet, shower and the hot water heater.

I went on to the place where I store the trailer and I ripped out the carpet immediately b/c I was going to replace it with linoleum squares anyway.

I figured that a faucet must have been running the whole time and maybe the water overflowed onto the floor until there was no more. I called the man who did the repairs thsi morning and he said it sounds like the pvc pipes on the new water heater that the p.o. installed are cracked....He told me to let it dry out and get in there with a flashlight and start looking around. I also noticed that the floor was wet under the sink near where the holding tank is.

My question is.....should the pvc plumbing off of the new hot water heater be converted to Copper? And, if the holding tank is cracked and leaking, how much is that? Worst case scenario, If I had to replace the plumbing, what are we talking in money????
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:58 PM   #2
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I believe pvc and cpvc are too brittle to use in a RV.

You can use soft copper. It takes the motion and vibration of the coach quite well. If the rest of the plumbing is copper, it might well be the easiest fix.

All, or practically all RV makers today, including Airstream are using PEX. It stands freezing/thawing much better than copper. There is a lot of information on PEX in the archives.

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:59 PM   #3
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Hard PVC pipe going from the flexible copper will not stand up to the flex that can be applied to the fittings/pipe. That is why copper and then PEX was used. Based on your description of the events I would assume that the PVC is the culprit too. There are flex copper lines with threaded fittings available that have a sufficient diameter to allow flow available at HD and Lowes.

I would not worry the black tank being the source of the leak. There may be some seepage from the flange where the toilet sits on the floor, but I would get it dry before digging too deep. I had a WH burst on me and the water went everywhere.

If a faucet had been running and pumped the entire fresh water tank into the grey holding tank, the shower/tub would have been filled with water too from the backup from the gray tank.

On replacing the hook up for the WH I would say if you can DIY you are looking at less than $50.00 and three trips to the store.

All plumbing takes three trips One to get what you think you need, one to take 60% of what you bought back and get the other stuff that will fit, and the last one to return all the stuff that you bought that did not fit at all and to buy the one last piece to make it work
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64
Hard PVC pipe going from the flexible copper will not stand up to the flex that can be applied to the fittings/pipe. That is why copper and then PEX was used. Based on your description of the events I would assume that the PVC is the culprit too. There are flex copper lines with threaded fittings available that have a sufficient diameter to allow flow available at HD and Lowes.

I would not worry the black tank being the source of the leak. There may be some seepage from the flange where the toilet sits on the floor, but I would get it dry before digging too deep. I had a WH burst on me and the water went everywhere.

If a faucet had been running and pumped the entire fresh water tank into the grey holding tank, the shower/tub would have been filled with water too from the backup from the gray tank.

On replacing the hook up for the WH I would say if you can DIY you are looking at less than $50.00 and three trips to the store.

All plumbing takes three trips One to get what you think you need, one to take 60% of what you bought back and get the other stuff that will fit, and the last one to return all the stuff that you bought that did not fit at all and to buy the one last piece to make it work
Spoken like a man who has actually done 3 trip plumbing....haha...and you are right, it takes 3 trips.
I took my trailer to a family reunion last August. Upon arrival, I noticed nothing unusual. However, the next morning, I was sitting quietly reading a book and taking it easy when I hear a short burst of the water pump running. Thought nothing of it, but in only a few minutes, it happened again. It then dawned on me that the only reason the water pump would be coming on is that the system is losing pressure someplace....which means that there is either bad diaphrams in the pump, or a leak someplace.
I opened the cabinet under the sink where the water heater is located to find that everything under there was soaked, and water was dripping at a steady rate from the waterheater's tank. So I activated the bypass of the waterheater, and drained the leaky tank. Replacement of the waterheater was done by a dealer at about $657.00.
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