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Old 12-02-2003, 12:31 AM   #1
JLD
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Water leak from either hotwater heater or toilet

Hello again.

To add insult to injury, we not only have a seweeeer valve problem, but a water leak from somewhere in the bathroom.

We arrived at 6:00 pm the day before Thanksgiving. At that time there was no dampness in the hallway or the bathroom. I can safely say that the hotwater tank was full when I lit the tank on our return for Thanksgiving.

(Note. this is a '76, 31" Sovereign with a central bath.) At about 9:00 p.m. the floor from the bathroom, down the hall and between the two bunks was sopping wet.

We mopped up and turned off the water at the outside tap. Thanksgiving we had enough water out of the floor to start blasting it with an electric heater. We used the internal sustem to provide water.

As far as I can see there was no water coming from under the hot water tank (That strip, maybe two inches of floor, seemed dry, but I can not see way back to the wall. I felt and it seemed dry) but it continued to be slightly wet to the hallside of the toilet. Remember, we were not under the same pressure with the internal pump (It is the original '76 pump ) as we were formerly with the big pump outside in the pumphouse and our only means of moping up and drying out was inefficient; towels and extra bedding.

By the time we left for home today the carpet was relatively dry everywhere and we still don't know where the water came from.

The seal on the toilet itself was changed a year ago.

Temperatures had dropped to 27 one evening during our absence so it is possible a line froze, but if so, why didn't other lines freeze as well? We do not seem to be getting more water on the floor as long as we are not under pressure.

Any ideas about where the water is coming from and how to fix the leak would be helpful. I think the toilet is the old Thetford, It is brown and tan with two peddles on the floor, one to fill and rinse the bowl and one to open the trap.

JLD
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Old 12-02-2003, 12:56 AM   #2
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I am having the same problem on the M/H, carpet gets wet in bathroom and sometimes in the hallway. looked everywhere for a leak inside and could not find one.... turned on water in bathroom sink and went outside and saw water dripping between rear wheel and tag axle, straight up where bathroon is but so far up between tanks that I can't find source unless drain or water line came loose and spraying up toward bathroom. Love to know also where this might be coming from ?
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Old 12-02-2003, 03:42 AM   #3
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Water Freezes at 32 Degrees

Any time water turns solid there is a danger of permanent damage.

Could be a split in the lines, a cracked fitting (ell, reducer, termination, etc.), or just a joint leaking.

Unfortunately, many of these lines (as you know) are well hidden behind panels and facias.

You might try to isolate the hot and cold water system, and pressure up on one, inspect for leaks, and then the other.

With a slow leak it may well take several attempts to isolate the area of the leak, and then you still have to get at it for a repair.

Always a difficult decisiion. Do you spend time isolating the bad area, or, knowing you will have to remove panels to get at it for a repair, start disassembling the interior to find the leak.

Whichever method you decide on, you may want to consider future access to the area. I always replace panels with Stainless Steel screws whenever possible rather than rivets. Makes the repair areas a lot easier to get to the next time around. It's been my experience that if one leak is found, others soon follow, and the entire system ends up getting replaced.
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Old 12-02-2003, 06:04 AM   #4
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JDL,

Sounds to me like the tubing, flex hoses or a valve on the toilet may be leaking due to age. There is a small hose/valve that goes to the foot valve that tends to leak. The only way to get to all of this is to pull the toilet. The plumbing to and from the water heater is all copper so a reduced pressure would not necessarily stop the leak there. The feed to the toilet is copper too, but the toilet has a few plastic vales and that plastic tubing. One way to verify that the toilet is the culprit is to remove it. Cap the line. And apply pump pressure to the system and look for water. Also with the toilet out you would have easier access to the back side of the water heater if you do need to get to it, but my bet is on the OEM toilet.
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Old 12-02-2003, 06:41 AM   #5
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Check the closet

Have you checked in the closet under the subfloor?
That is where all of your plumbing comes together. There are many connections, adapters, reducers, pumps, filters, drain valves etc.......

I have had problems with increased pressure in this area before.
The water will run under your carpet and you will be led to think it is eminating from the bathroom.
It is worth a shot.
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Old 12-02-2003, 04:57 PM   #6
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Unhappy Water Leak from Bathroom area

Thanks to everyone for their input. Uffduh. sounds like Christmas break is going to busy and we will have to bring the porta potty.

I have a question or two as follow up. A fellow in an other post earlier in the year mentioned something called ball sockets on the pedals of the old OEM toilets. I am confused as to whether this may be the problem and if it is, how does the ball allow water to leak. I don't understand how a mechinism for opening and closing the water valve can leak.

Next, most of the descriptions of taking the old toilet out mention two bolts that hold it in and clamp it down and how difficult the back bolt is to get out, but no one talks about what one does once the toilet is free. I figure there is at least one water tube of some type of plastic or worst scenario, rubber, leading from the copper tubing to the fixture. Are they long enough to allow the toilet to be pulled out? Do the hoses come directly up under the toilet or are they behind the panel that is behind the toilet?

Is there a separate piece of tubing that leads from the water to the spray hose and can it be left alone?

The whole job sounds like it is straight forward, but has all the usual Airstream pitfalls, like spaces big enough for a baby's hand with a fitting only Godzilla can get loose. I have a wrench type tool that works on an extension like a socket set. It is about a foot long. I bought it to help tighten the kitchen sink faucet handles from underneath. Would this help get the bolt out of the back side of the OEM.

Thanks for the idea Smiley. I thought of that as well, but there appears to be no water in that area. There is also no water under the starboard side bunk. (That is the side where the toilet and water tank reside) There was water along the skin side of the port side of the trailer at the curve and water under the edge of the storage bins, but I think that was because the trailer is just a tiny bit out of level side to side.

Thanks again. You are all super. I just sent in my aplication to join the Northwest Washington Cascade chapter. Perhaps a day will come when I meet some of you and say thanks in person.

Oh yes. Should I startr saving my pennys to replace the OEM with a new toilet since I am pulling it out anyhow or do you think the fittings are probably ok?

JLD
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Old 12-02-2003, 05:24 PM   #7
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Save pennies

New Bravura toilet about 170 dollars or more.

As for bolts, yes, babies hands needed or remove side panel to left of toilet. Bolts are just like house toilet. they have big flat head that slide into flange.


As for pipes, just one that is connected to gate or "ball valve" at rear of toilet. This a prime candidate for leak under pressure.

You will find toilet is very corroded when you lift it and you will be inclined to replace.

Start drilling rivets out on panel to left and you will be rewarded with a great view of hot water heater. This way you can check all water connections on this curb side of trailer, at least bathroom wise.

Smily

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Old 12-02-2003, 06:37 PM   #8
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Hi Smily. I looked at the pictures of your Sovereign and can see a lot of similarity between your refurbished rig and my own. I like the idea of taking the panel out of that side anyhow and replacing. I figure Airstream put in all those pop-rivets because the owners weren't into do-it-yourself. Thanks for the help. the sink you have in the bath looks a whole lot like my own. did you refurbish or replace? JLD
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