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Old 06-21-2014, 04:39 PM   #1
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Black water leaking at macerator

The Interstate was in storage for 3 months with a very small amount of waste (liquid) in the black tank and over time a small amount leaked out onto the garage floor. When I discovered this, I looked underneath and could see that the drip seemed to be coming from the large hose on the discharge side of the macerator. I tightened the screw clamp about 1/2 turn and the leak seemed to stop. After a few days of use there was no apparent leakage from this area. But, I set up for a tank dump and as soon as I pushed the switch to open the blank tank valve, a lot of liquid poured out. I wasn't in a position to get underneath to check things out but will be lifting the van on ramps in a couple of days.

So, my question is: what are the common points of failure that might cause leakage in this area. What should I be looking for?

Thanks!
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneskid View Post
The Interstate was in storage for 3 months with a very small amount of waste (liquid) in the black tank and over time a small amount leaked out onto the garage floor. When I discovered this, I looked underneath and could see that the drip seemed to be coming from the large hose on the discharge side of the macerator.
The large hose is on the inlet side of the pump, 3" or 4" in diameter like a slinky. The small hose, about 1" or 1-1/8" in diameter is on the outlet side and leads to the hose reel.
Quote:
I tightened the screw clamp about 1/2 turn and the leak seemed to stop. After a few days of use there was no apparent leakage from this area.
There wouldn't be, if there wasn't a lot of liquid TO leak, which would be the case as long as the dump valves were closed.
Quote:
But, I set up for a tank dump and as soon as I pushed the switch to open the blank tank valve, a lot of liquid poured out. I wasn't in a position to get underneath to check things out but will be lifting the van on ramps in a couple of days.
My guess would be a split hose due to inadequate winterizing. It's also possible that a pump seal could have gone bad, again due to inadequate winterizing. Suggest filling the gray tank with CLEAN water, possibly with pink stuff antifreeze added to give it some color, so that you can more easily track down the leak when you open the valve again. It makes no difference whether you try to dump the black tank or the gray tank while troubleshooting; both drain lines come together before you get to the pump.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:09 AM   #3
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Check this out. My black water tank hose came off on my way to the Overland Expo. An RV repair shop in Kingman AZ crawled underneath and reconnected the hose for me, no charge! But the point of this story is that, over the past year, I've found many items that haven't been tightened when Airstream put the Interstate together. For example, the exhaust pipe for the generator fell off, the cable for the 2nd row seat adjustment fell off, and when I checked the other cable, it was about to fall off too. I just hope the interior plumbing doesn't start leaking.
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:51 AM   #4
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Just a side note:

We had to take apart the connection shown in David M's pictures to rebuild the macerator pump. Had a little time working the hose off as someone used a large quantity of silicone between the hose and fitting to seal it.

Ours did not have the rubber boot I think I see there. Just a section of hose.

On Edit, right hose, wrong end....
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:49 PM   #5
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Craftsmanship is more then shady. Lots of loose and missing screws. Even my service experience was disappointing in Jackson Center OH. I am not real happy with my purchase which I based on reputation and good looks. I guess Airstream is doing its best to ruin the reputation part.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:32 PM   #6
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I'm all for threads where a person has a problem they want help solving. I'm an engineer; I like solving problems. If I don't have a problem to solve, I have go go out and make one of my own.
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Craftsmanship is more then shady. Lots of loose and missing screws. Even my service experience was disappointing in Jackson Center OH. I am not real happy with my purchase which I based on reputation and good looks. I guess Airstream is doing its best to ruin the reputation part.
But if this is going to drift into yet another Airstream-bashing thread, I'm out of here.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:47 AM   #7
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I agree with problem solving but plain simple lack of attention to the job is inexcusable. Loose screws loose nuts and not cleaning up or preventing metal chips from flying all over is not problems we need to solve it is a quality of work concern airstream has to fix.
I sought the forum is to share experience and not only to hail Airstream.


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Old 06-26-2014, 01:33 PM   #8
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You can start a new thread for bashing or just use one of the earlier ones and add to it. Jim
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Old 06-26-2014, 02:08 PM   #9
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Hi Wayne, everyone.

A couple of things to keep in mind.

Stainless steel hose clamps *will* loosen over time due to cold flow of the hose being clamped. Retightening them is part of preventative maintenance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creep_%28deformation%29

That is why the automotive industry has more or less switched over to various kinds of self-tightening spring-loaded clamps. There are some self-tightening stainless steel worm gear type clamps available as well as T-clamp type replacements:

http://i.frsimg.com//images/detailed...028_282029.jpg

http://img.directindustry.com/images...64-2878611.jpg

The problem in retrofitting such clamps is finding something that fits the available space and allows sufficient service accessibility.

Perhaps the mother ship should take note, but there are all kinds of costs that would come with switching over their production, for doubtful benefits, so I certainly wouldn't consider it a high priority compared to other quality matters.

As far as the OP is concerned, well, probably the pump housing is cracked. You might be able to find a replacement housing, but realistically, you're looking at $200+ for a new pump.
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Old 06-26-2014, 03:36 PM   #10
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I've been a member of these forums for several years now. In that time there have been many, many threads and countless negative comments on the build-quality of new Airstreams.

I agree with PS; this forum is to share experience, not only to hail Airstream.

People aught not to be made to feel they are "bashers" when offering critical comment.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe View Post
I've been a member of these forums for several years now. In that time there have been many, many threads and countless negative comments on the build-quality of new Airstreams.

I agree with PS; this forum is to share experience, not only to hail Airstream.

People aught not to be made to feel they are "bashers" when offering critical comment.
As the one to criticize bashing and accidentally hijack the thread in the process, please allow me to clarify…

Complaints that Airstream got it wrong aren't necessarily bashing in my book, as long as that comment is accompanied by a constructive comment on how to fix the problem in question.

But merely saying that something like "Heh, Airstream screwed up again," without offering a solution, that's what I consider bashing and it doesn't help the OP who wants his problem fixed.

For anyone who has a complaint about Airstream quality or lack thereof— whether they have a solution to propose for the OP or not— I offer my heartfelt apology if I made you feel unwelcome. It ain't MY thread, and I had no right to complain about your complaints.

And now you all can go back to what you were doing…
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:32 PM   #12
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Let's see, where were we......?

Oh, the leak! I found the problem. The Macerator is a stacked assembly. The housing part is held to the rest of the assembly by 4 studs. Two of the studs go all they way through to the motor housing and two (shorter ones) go to the pump body. One of the short studs had broken off at the pump body. I may be able to get a replacement stud but I may replace the Macerator with a new one. Looks like they cost around $200. This will be a project (one of several) for my next visit to the Interstate.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:33 PM   #13
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Wayneskid,

I don’t know if the Interstate uses the same JABSCO macerator that I have in my Sani Con system but you can probably buy a Service Kit for yours. If it’s the Model 18598-1000 you will be able to for sure.

Attached here are:

a listing for a Kit on Amazon
http://ec1.images-amazon.com/media/i...0000001280.pdf



the Data Sheet from Jabsco
http://www.amazon.com/JABSCO-18598-1.../dp/B00C1M3JBC


a really good instructional You Tube from Jabsco
Jabsco 18590 Series Macerator Service Kit Installation Video - - YouTube

This video wasn’t around when I installed a Service Kit a couple years ago, as far as I know, but the job is pretty easy to do. The video will explain it all for you.

In my case, one of those long brass bolts somehow entered the macerator - don’t ask me how that could be but that’s were I found it - and ate up the impeller!

Good luck,
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:37 PM   #14
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You may be able to pick up a repair / overhaul kit with a Jabsco label on it at a marine outlet....part numbers correlate. A kit comes with studs, but not sure if they will be longs or shorts.

When ours died my impeller had lost a fin and it caught in the outlet blowing fuses and my tanks were full...so I was in a hurry. <VBG>
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