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Old 04-27-2007, 08:07 PM   #1
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Help- leak in black tank (photos)

After seeing a leak in a access panel that appeared directly underneath the toilet, someone suggested it was probably due to bottoming out and creating a break and or crack the the line.

Here are a couple shots of where the access panel is (PO installed) under the junction between the black water tank (actually blue in picture) and the drain line.

I had previously noticed water dripping from this access panel and decided to unscrew it. There was pink insulation around the pipe and it was "muddy". I quickly tossed that part out and washed up. Since I don't have much ground clearance, it's hard to poke my head up in the cut out to see much.

I'm guessing the best way to trouble shoot is to fill the gray and black tank or flush and see if a leak is noticable....any suggestions? If I do see it, I'm guessing I'll have to cut a much bigger access panel as well.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:11 PM   #2
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Suggestion? Yes. Fill one tank at a time, there's no need to add to your confusion by filling both at once.
Also, put the tongue jack all the way down (up) so the nose is down, you will have more room to work. Also, if you still don't have enough room to work, you can back your trailer up on 3 or 4 2x6's to add to ground clearance. Once you can fit under the trailer, you can see where the leak is coming from.
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:36 PM   #3
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You may need to drop part of the belly pan to isolate the leaking area. We had a gasket leak in the black tank. The symptoms were water was leaking from around the drain pipe (our pipe looks just like your photo) but it could be coming from anywhere. Once we dropped part of the belly pan, we were quickly able to zero right into the leaking gasket.
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:58 AM   #4
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Be sure to check the neck of the tank carefully. Those tanks can and do fatigue and cracks in the neck mean a new tank. The valve may need replacement or rebuild as it has gaskets that can deteriorate. And, yes, you are in for better access to the area. Take the belly pan down to get enough room to work in there. None of this is rocket science, just messy.
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Old 04-28-2007, 02:53 PM   #5
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When everyone says "take down the belly pan" are you suggeting I drill out all the rivets holding it up and removing the entire piece front to back? Or, just cut out specific sections?

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan S
When everyone says "take down the belly pan" are you suggeting I drill out all the rivets holding it up and removing the entire piece front to back? Or, just cut out specific sections?
Yes, you will be drilling them out. You only need to remove as many rivets as it takes to expose the area you are interested in looking at. The rivets are easy to put back with a rivet gun and rivets. To drop the belly pan, start at the area of the trailer where the black tank is located.

For our black tank, we only needed to drill out a dozen rivets to expose the black tank.
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:02 AM   #7
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Just be sure to use aluminum rivets to reinstall the belly pan. Our Overlander had steel rivets in some places on the belly pan, they will rust and contribute to dissimilar corrosion issues.
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Old 04-29-2007, 10:27 AM   #8
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Why not cut a larger access panel? I've seen several threads (both here and the main Airstream one) suggesting a cut out. If I recall, the pan, for the most part, was one continious piece, I don't recall it sectioned off.

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Old 04-29-2007, 12:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan S
Why not cut a larger access panel? I've seen several threads (both here and the main Airstream one) suggesting a cut out. If I recall, the pan, for the most part, was one continuous piece, I don't recall it sectioned off.

Dan
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Cutting a small hole works but I hate to work through a hole in this situation.
On your Minuet I found that forward of the rear bumper about 4 or 5' there is a cross member under the belly pan. Look for the rivet line and cut side to side with a cut off wheel. Make sure your cut has enough meat left to pop rivet the belly pan back in place. then seal with Vulkem or like sealer. You will need to drill a few pop rivets in the bumper box and remove the bumper bolts, then slide the whole section forward to remove it. It took me about an hour to remove the section of the belly pan but is was well worth it. On a Minuet it is very tight where you'll need to work and having the room is nice. I also found a cracked drain pipe from the kitchen after it was exposed.
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Old 04-29-2007, 01:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan S
Why not cut a larger access panel? I've seen several threads (both here and the main Airstream one) suggesting a cut out. If I recall, the pan, for the most part, was one continious piece, I don't recall it sectioned off.
Cutting a larger access panel is an option too. It is just an option I personally would not choose as our belly pan dropped quite nicely in the back.
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:30 PM   #11
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Its easier to pop the rivets by drilling them with a 3/16 drill than it is to cut holes in the metal.
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:34 AM   #12
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Another thing you can do is fill both the black and grey water tanks with water along with different color food dyes. I did this and it told me immediately where the problem was.
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Old 05-06-2007, 05:18 PM   #13
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I took the easier way, for me that is, and took the trailer to a guy that has a small RV shop here in Seattle. I'm hoping he has it done by this next weekend so we can finally camp in it for the first time.


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