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Old 06-11-2016, 11:38 AM   #1
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No-Fuss Flush failure - and a question

During our first trip of the season, my DH tried to flush out the black water tank with the tank washing system. That resulted in water pouring out of the belly pan, and a small amount of water leaking under the bathroom cabinet, etc.

Well, we know what caused it - a failure of the cheap plastic no-fuss flush system valve "thingy". In our case, we think the valve got filled with silt which wouldn't let all of the water drain out and it froze over the winter and cracked. (We do use a water filter all the time, but there was a lot of silt in the broken valve itself and it's a bit of a mystery as to where it came from, especially since this system is really not used that much.)

Airstream mounted that valve high up inside the bathroom cabinet, so when it blew, it poured water onto the floors. Bad planning if you ask me! If you are going to install such a thing in a place like that, there needs to be some plan / barrier for it to fail without potentially ruining the floors.

We've replace that water line and are going to use a backflow prevention valve on the OUTSIDE of the trailer from now on.

Anyway, if you are still with me, we didn't know about the existence of this troublesome little valve until it failed. So my question is, are there any other weird little valves that we don't know about but should? This valve was barely mentioned in the manual - what else aren't they telling us?


And BTW, add "blow out the no-fuss-flush system" to your winterizing list. with all that silt, it may or may not have helped us, but it wouldn't hurt to blow it out.
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:43 PM   #2
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Sorry for your troubles!

This problem and many others in our FC20 model have been discussed on the 20-footer thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f516...rs-127845.html

We have the exact same model, with the same problem, but fortunately discovered it early. Our 1990's 25' AS did not have this system, so we do without it until we can replace the vacuum breaker. Did you have to remove the dinette seat to access the bad valve?

Vacuum breaker posts in 20-footer thread linked above: 381, 559

Also: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f444...sh-147672.html

One odd-ball item worth mentioning is that our Pioneer radio's "disco light show" is a real energy drain on the batteries when boondocking. You may have a different radio like CruizinDux?

Pioneer radio disco light show, on/off, issues etc. -- Post 627 etc. on the 20-footer thread plus:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f450...em-148311.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...ts-121105.html


Thanks,

Peter
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:29 PM   #3
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Re: Did you have to remove the dinette seat to access the bad valve?

No. There is a metal piece behind the toilet that covers an opening in the front of the cabinet. I always thought that piece covered the wheel well, but it doesn't - it covers an opening in the front of the cabinet and in the floor of that step that the toilet sits on.

Anyway, if you take that off, you can see a lot of the plumbing and electrical wires. I had to reach in there and unscrew the valve to remove it and fix the line since we had no intention of putting that valve back. I could get in there to do the work (I'm 5'9") but my husband absolutely could not have gotten his larger arms and hands in there.
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:41 PM   #4
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Thanks sally, good reach to be able to do that valve removal! Not an option for these arms . . .

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Old 06-11-2016, 08:27 PM   #5
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actually. . .

Otra15 - re: "good reach to be able to do that valve removal! Not an option for these arms"

Actually, you don't really need to remove that valve to bypass it. If you remove that metal piece that I described above, you will see where the flush system comes through the outside wall. Once you ID that, you can unscrew that connection to the outside and that connection is easy to reach, just be careful of the sharp edges of the inside AL skin.

Now, locate the pex tube that goes into the black water tank, and cut it off, leaving it as long as you can (you can always cut it shorter later). From here you just attach the cut end of the pex to a new connection fixture to replace the one you unscrewed. Screw it back in so it connects back to the outside, and you have basically bypassed that valve without removing it.

I removed our valve, just because we weren't really sure whether we were going to bypass it or remove it altogether.

Anyway, you have a 2014 and so do I, so this should work for you if you want to get rid of that valve.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:39 PM   #6
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Radio

RE: "One odd-ball item worth mentioning is that our Pioneer radio's "disco light show" is a real energy drain on the batteries when boondocking. You may have a different radio like CruizinDux?"

Funny you should mention that radio. Ours seems to keep turning itself back on. I turn it off, and it comes back on by itself. When I first went into the trailer this spring, lo and behold, the radio was on all winter!

We never boondock and are connected to shore power even when parked at home, so it's not a battery problem, but I still have to pay the electric bill!
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallye View Post
Otra15 - re: "good reach to be able to do that valve removal! Not an option for these arms"

Actually, you don't really need to remove that valve to bypass it. If you remove that metal piece that I described above, you will see where the flush system comes through the outside wall. Once you ID that, you can unscrew that connection to the outside and that connection is easy to reach, just be careful of the sharp edges of the inside AL skin.

Now, locate the pex tube that goes into the black water tank, and cut it off, leaving it as long as you can (you can always cut it shorter later). From here you just attach the cut end of the pex to a new connection fixture to replace the one you unscrewed. Screw it back in so it connects back to the outside, and you have basically bypassed that valve without removing it.

I removed our valve, just because we weren't really sure whether we were going to bypass it or remove it altogether.

Anyway, you have a 2014 and so do I, so this should work for you if you want to get rid of that valve.

Sallye, Congratulations on the workaround. Any chance have some photos of the before and after that could be posted?

So I understand the function of the vacuum breaker is serves as a back flow preventer, is that correct. I presume you'll use an exterior hose connection BF preventer since yours has been removed ??

Thanks

Bob
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallye View Post
RE: "One odd-ball item worth mentioning is that our Pioneer radio's "disco light show" is a real energy drain on the batteries when boondocking. You may have a different radio like CruizinDux?"

Funny you should mention that radio. Ours seems to keep turning itself back on. I turn it off, and it comes back on by itself. When I first went into the trailer this spring, lo and behold, the radio was on all winter!

We never boondock and are connected to shore power even when parked at home, so it's not a battery problem, but I still have to pay the electric bill!
Sallye, if you're on SP you can go dark. Do you have a Pioneer or Sony as turning off the demo may be different. We have a Sony and I can walk you thru turning off the demo. I suspect the Pioneer is a similar process. Note if you go to " store" (vs use) the settings will revert to factory....light show again.

BTW to clarify "...the radio was on all winter!" I presume you're referring to the light show and not the function...tuned to a station and playing?

Take a look at this thread also posted by OTRA above. The late great IRDOBA goes into great detail re the radio in post #27.


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f450...em-148311.html

You can also remove the face plate (Sony for sure...not sure about the Pioneer) to eliminate any power to the unit.

Bob
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruizinDux View Post
Sallye, Congratulations on the workaround. Any chance have some photos of the before and after that could be posted?

So I understand the function of the vacuum breaker is serves as a back flow preventer, is that correct. I presume you'll use an exterior hose connection BF preventer since yours has been removed ??

Thanks

Bob
Sallye, So I understand what you did, using the image provided Peter from his earlier post, you're connecting the pex at the far left (incoming water supply ( w/ new exterior BF preventer) that heads downward... to the pex line at the far right which appears (looking at Peter's schematic) to be the flow towards the BW tank.


The middle line is the supply to the air gap and is (OEM) connected to the thru wall connection pex connection at the far left via a loop below and out of view at the bottom of the picture

Thx

Bob
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:32 AM   #10
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Bob, just to clarify the photo of mine you just posted -- I think that yellow trim ring is on the CITY water inlet, not the black water tank back-flush system inlet (which is lower out of the photo shot). I get what you are asking sallye, but your description in words may not make total sense to her IMO.

Sallye, are you going to add some kind of backflow preventer to your hose when you hook up to use the black water tank back-flush system? Without such a backflow preventer, you are running the risk of your sewage going backwards directly into the city water supply, as I understand your original post on this (regarding the bypassing of the vacuum breaker).

On our Pioneer radio, yes Bob we can remove the face plate to shut off all power to the unit. That is now SOP, as the steps necessary to turn off the disco light show are too complicated. A new user-friendly radio is the plan . . .

Thanks,

Peter

Quote:
Originally Posted by sallye View Post
. . .
Screw it back in so it connects back to the outside, and you have basically bypassed that valve without removing it.
. . .
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:59 PM   #11
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Yes, and yes, and yes

Peter is correct - that connection in the picture is the city water inlet. The flush water inlet is below that. (Seems like a good idea to have the black water flush lower!)

Our valve was in pieces and I removed it before I cut the line because at first we were just thinking of replacing it. That meant that the correct line was the "free" one. But if you want to just cut the line and bypass the valve without removing it (because it's not easy to get hands in there) you could trace the line with your fingers from the inlet to the valve and then down and you'd know you have the right line. I'd hate to tell you which one to cut - that assumes they are all done the same!

And yes, we got a brass back flow valve and are going to use it on the outside of the trailer and we are adding blowing out this system to our winterizing check list.

Pictures - I could take a picture of what we did (the after) if that would help. It's just pex going into that connector. I didn't take pictures of the "before" - I tried to do that with my phone, but couldn't get a decent picture with just my hand stuck up inside that cabinet.

As for the radio - it's a Sony. Something is plugged into an outlet in the cabinet right beside the one that the radio is in. I've never unplugged that so I don't know if it's the radio or the DVD player. I guess I should try that. And yes, just the vampire lights were on all winter - the radio wasn't playing.

Hope this helps. . . .
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallye View Post
Peter is correct - that connection in the picture is the city water inlet. The flush water inlet is below that. (Seems like a good idea to have the black water flush lower!)

Our valve was in pieces and I removed it before I cut the line because at first we were just thinking of replacing it. That meant that the correct line was the "free" one. But if you want to just cut the line and bypass the valve without removing it (because it's not easy to get hands in there) you could trace the line with your fingers from the inlet to the valve and then down and you'd know you have the right line. I'd hate to tell you which one to cut - that assumes they are all done the same!

And yes, we got a brass back flow valve and are going to use it on the outside of the trailer and we are adding blowing out this system to our winterizing check list.

Pictures - I could take a picture of what we did (the after) if that would help. It's just pex going into that connector. I didn't take pictures of the "before" - I tried to do that with my phone, but couldn't get a decent picture with just my hand stuck up inside that cabinet.

As for the radio - it's a Sony. Something is plugged into an outlet in the cabinet right beside the one that the radio is in. I've never unplugged that so I don't know if it's the radio or the DVD player. I guess I should try that. And yes, just the vampire lights were on all winter - the radio wasn't playing.

Hope this helps. . . .
Salllye and Peter, thanks for the info and clarification. No need for new pics. I posted my response then went digging for Peter's post...I had saved link & the image for any future bad luck in the area.

Sallye, I think the adjacent dupe powers the DVD as it is 110V. The radio is hard wired which is why it is a parasitic draw...unless you remove the plate or install a switch like IDROBA did (remember he has a strong ele background and I think centennialman said it was a mess of wires behind anad I'm not going there). I don't have SP in storage so I simply disconnect one of the negative connections at the batteries as the propane detectors is also a hard wired parasitic draw.

If you need help changing the default to Demo, let me know and I'll dig out the manual and page numbers as it's all marked well for my quick reference. Personally I don't think it's too hard to change each time and not any harder than using a thumb drive full of music (internal or external) and I'm afarid of breaking the little tab when removing the plate. I don't need an excuse for a new radio...yet!


Bob
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:42 AM   #13
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One last ? and comment

Sallye, did you use the std pex connection for these repairs. Was everything exposed enough to get the tool to work or did you use an alternate method like shark bites?

I was always using an ext anti-siphon as I didn't really understand the how Peter's original post came into play and that the exterior was a duplicate barrier. This may be a proactive project.

As for the radio and going dark. Thinking about it the last few days, even though we moved from site to site and always had SP at each site, I never went to STORE (always in USE) so the manual change to turn off "Demo...AKA the light show" remained intact for the whole trip. It wasn't until we returned home to storage that I went to STORE and then disconnected the neg bat connection which I'm sure will trigger the default to light show/demo.

Bob
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:53 PM   #14
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The anti-siphon valve on the "No Fuss Flush" system on our '07 Safari LS FB broke while we were preparing for a two week trip. I called the manufacturer to try to get a replacement valve overnighted to us, but the manufacturer told me that the valve served no useful purpose and was mandated by some state regulations to prevent any back flow from the black water tank into the city water supply to which the hose was connected. An almost impossible scenario to conjure up under any circumstances. So I by-passed the valve with a short piece of 1/2" tubing, hose clamps and barb-to-thread adapters.
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