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Old 09-27-2015, 12:52 PM   #1
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Another trip and two new problems.

On every extended trip, it seems that something breaks or has to be fixed when I return.

This time, it was two things after a 12 day boon docking trip.

After I returned, and was cleaning up, I found this:



just in front of the refrigerator and on the street side. Obviously, something caused it to leak as it was still damp. The question was, where was it coming from?

I removed the refrigerator to see what was going on behind it. My first thought was perhaps condensation from the refrigerator, since Airstream pays no attention to the required opening needed for air space. To remove the refrigerator, there are four black plugs on the face of the housing when you open the door. Pop them out, and the box is held in place with four screws. You have to remove the door to get to the hinge side. To do that, simply unscrew the small bolt on the top hinge and pull it off. Then the door can be removed by lifting up and setting it out of the way. The box itself is not very heavy and is easily moved out. I just pulled it out enough to inspect behind it. It looked like this:



it appeared to me it had come from the fresh water inlet. So to test it, I attached a hose. But no leak. However, it was obvious this was the source. Just in case, I left the fridge on for several hours, in place, and the hose on under pressure, and then pulled the box again. No leaks or moisture.

But I remembered that the last night I stayed in a park that had extremely high pressure. Now, Airstream tells you that there is a built-in pressure regulator so I have not been using an external one. Bad idea.

The problem was the inlet. Both the hose connection on the inside was not very tight, nor were the four screws that hold the housing itself together. I figured that under high pressure, it leaked. In fact, I could see mineral deposits directly underneath the housing so this wasn't the first time. So that was the culprit. I tightened the four bolts that held the housing together, and the screw on connection as tight as I could.

I'll again go back and use an external pressure regulator, after realizing all that keeps the van from being dry and flooded is a cheap plastic part.

The fridge was not guilty.

The second issue I had is after I dumped three times was the macerator started leaking. Since I made a modification to the plumbing, I was concerned it was something I did.

Removing the macerator, I found that it is held together with four stubs that use a cap nut to hold it together. One stub was missing a cap nut, and for that matter, some of the stud itself, as it had sheared off.

I called Xylems's tech support, who told me that this will happen if the outlet becomes plugged, as the pressure can cause the studs to shear off. So much for a good design.

I will replace the stud, and clean out the pump, and see if that fixes the issue. I don't believe it had anything to do with my modification. However, I may add some support to the pipe where it attaches to the macerator to be sure that the water, sitting in the hose after it's dumped, isn't causing it to bounce around and put pressure on the macerator housing. I estimate there's a good gallon of liquid always sitting in the lower plumbing that can never be pumped out by the macerator, as it sits level with the impeller, and the pump can't pump air and half water. The only way to completely drain it all it is to remove the hose (and the reason my first macerator froze even after pumping pink antifreeze through it as we had a very extreme winter that year and the anti-freeze/water combination was not enough to protect it.

I post this to suggest that in spite of Airstream's stating a pressure regulator is already in place, it would be a very good idea to ignore that and use an external one as well as a safeguard to what I experienced.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:20 PM   #2
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Thank you for posting

I don't own an Interstate, but I found your post thorough and clear. It should be a big help for others troubleshooting the same issue. All too often we hear about the problems - without knowing how they got resolved. You deserve a gold star on your chart today.

I carry a pressure regulator and even though I know Airstream has an internal one on the trailer, I use it if the water pressure in the camp seems high. An ounce of prevention and all that.

Paula
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:40 PM   #3
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Regarding liquid remaining in the plumbing system: I drilled a 7/8 hole in the bottom of the black CPVC pipe between the tank valve and the macerator - just before the flexible hose connecting the rigid plumbing to the macerator. I put a 7/8 sink drain plug in the hole. It fits very tight and I don't think it will come out on its own. But just in case, I put a 3" hose clamp around the CPVC and over the drain plug to hold it in. In the winter after draining all I can through the macerator I reach underneath and remove the hose clamp and remove the plug to empty the last gallon or so. By holding up the drain hose you can completely empty the macerator too. You can pour antifreeze backwards down the sewer hose until it runs out the drain hole - to be absolutely sure that all water is out and that the macerator is filled with antifreeze. You have to turn the macerator pump back and forth with a screwdriver to get liquid to run through it.
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
I carry a pressure regulator and even though I know Airstream has an internal one on the trailer, I use it if the water pressure in the camp seems high. An ounce of prevention and all that.

Paula
I carry a pressure regulator with a dial, so I can actually see how much pressure there is. I've been to two campgrounds so far, one in New Mexico and one in Florida, where the pressure was in the red zone of the dial (over 40 psi). I install the pressure regulator right at the service pedestal, so that it protects my hose and filter as well as my Airstream.
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
I carry a pressure regulator with a dial, so I can actually see how much pressure there is. I've been to two campgrounds so far, one in New Mexico and one in Florida, where the pressure was in the red zone of the dial (over 40 psi). I install the pressure regulator right at the service pedestal, so that it protects my hose and filter as well as my Airstream.
Anyone have any preferred sourcing / brand suggestions for this item? Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:50 PM   #6
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I've owned five AS and two Avions and have never taken a trip where nothing went wrong. It's just the way it is!
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
Anyone have any preferred sourcing / brand suggestions for this item? Thanks.
Having read this thread, I just ordered one on Amazon:
Camco 40064 Brass Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge, $12.76
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:36 PM   #8
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Only a very expensive pressure regulator will keep the pressure down in your camper. Feet inexpensive ones only work on line pressure being used. In other words when you use nothing in your camper the campground pressure will come all into your camper.

Suggestion. Determine campground pressure using a pressure gauge. If too high just fill your fresh water tank. Then use the pump. Then no worries.


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Old 09-28-2015, 10:46 PM   #9
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Had the same pribken

We had the same problem and blamed water pressure. The culprit was the O-ring on the water pump wasn't fully seated. We thought the slide "lock" was fully pushed in - it wasn't.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlundell View Post
Having read this thread, I just ordered one on Amazon:
Camco 40064 Brass Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge, $12.76
I just thought I would share this next bit with everyone because it is SO very cool. I loaded that exact item into my Amazon cart but then had to respond to an email before completing the check-out process. Just a few short minutes later, I see this flag on my Amazon page, which I copied and pasted verbatim here:

Important messages about items in your Cart:
1 item in your Cart has changed price.
Camco 40064 Brass Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge has increased from $12.76 to $20.38

Yyyyyeah, I could spring for the extra eight bucks, but on general principle, I really hate being played like a fine violin. So if anyone has any additional product recommendations, I'd love to hear them.
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Old 09-30-2015, 01:01 PM   #11
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I order this unit as soon as I got my Interstate.

Amazon.com: Camco 40055 Brass Water Pressure Regulator: Automotive

Seems to work ok.
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