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Old 03-26-2005, 07:32 PM   #1
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busted pipes

Hey all

My Saturday started out like most. I started picking away at projects on my '73 Argosy. I finished the deadbolt installation and decided to install my new city water connector so that I could hook up and test the fresh water system for the first time. I haven't connected the new water tank so I soldered a brass cap on the end of that line. i thought that I could even try the water heater today too...

1. attach garden hose 2. turn off all faucets 3. turn on garden hose 4. run to trailer to check for leaks 5. investigate gushing waterfall sound

No leaks inside but outside water is pouring out of the belly pan

Is there a drain valve under there that I missed? (please, please, please)

The leak is somewhere between the water inlet (under the bathroom closet) and under the stove. I see that those 2 pipes actually run in front of the black water tank to around the front of the shower pan but directly behind the toe kick around the perimeter of the bathroom.

http://photos7.flickr.com/7525007_b2b3726c9a_o.jpg

HOW IN THE WORLD DO I REPLACE THOSE PIPES?



Thanks for any help that you can offer,

Steve
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Old 03-26-2005, 09:33 PM   #2
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hmmmm

Steve - on the off chance, is there a set of valves in the way dark back corner of your closet in the bathroom - almost under the counter? In my 26ft, there are two valves (that leak by the way) for draining my water system. They dump right behind the water heater (which is on the road side on mine) from the belly pan. I thought I had a good leak this year when hooked up to city water, but after MY initial panic, I found the valves.

However, your leak sounds like it's coming from inside the belly wrap. I'd PM Janet or Gary ("Janet's husband") who have a minuet. I know Gary re-did all of his plumbing with PEX. I'm sure he'd clue you in on how he did it.

Great job on the lock! I was looking over your install.

FYI - I've got just about all the paint off my Argosy now. It's starting to look good - I really like how the outside panels look in aluminum. I know it sounds weird, but the rivets and the panel lines really "pop out" and appeal to my mechanical appreciation of things..... I've got to get a life!
Happy Easter -
Marc
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Old 03-26-2005, 09:45 PM   #3
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Keep us posted on what you find. I've been taking out all kinds of pipig on My 76. They replace it with radiator hose. I've found only one drain valve @ the base of the potable water tank. (front mounted)
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
... I've found only one drain valve @ the base of the potable water tank. (front mounted)
I have 2 drain valves (hot+cold) just above where the city water comes in which is in the floor of the bathroom closet. I'll double check but the gusher was way over in the other corner...coming out around the shower drain water trap. And the huge trickling sound was under the tub. There is a plastic cover that covers the trap which drops below the belly pan. I'll remove it tomorrow and take a look.

Thanks guys,

Steve
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Old 03-26-2005, 11:33 PM   #5
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Steve,

The toe kick is easy to remove. You start by removing the toilet. Then the cabinet that contains the sink, the sink and cabinet are all one piece. Then the top of the toe kick (which is attached to the face) can come out after you find the three or more screws that are holding it to the floor either under or thru the carpet. The shower kick is easier, screws in the floor and a short section of trim.

There are a hot and cold water line that run behind the ABS wall behind the toilet. This requires less total removal of the interior, but many more rivets to remove. The trim in 80% of the bathroom would need to come out. These normally T off the lines to the sink in the bathroom


Good luck finding the leak
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Old 03-27-2005, 07:19 AM   #6
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Thanks Brett for the blow by blow. I guess I should try and figure out which lines are leaking: the ones to the shower or the kitchen. I'll do some more investigation before practically gutting the bathroom but I guess I'll do it if I have to. Although I'm not completely against the idea of surface mounting pipes either


Steve
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Old 03-27-2005, 07:44 AM   #7
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steve

does your trailer have a pressure regulator in it? how about the "pop off" pressure relief?

perhaps it is stuck open?

john
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Old 03-27-2005, 01:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfixx
Thanks Brett for the blow by blow. I guess I should try and figure out which lines are leaking: the ones to the shower or the kitchen. I'll do some more investigation before practically gutting the bathroom but I guess I'll do it if I have to. Although I'm not completely against the idea of surface mounting pipes either
Steve
Steve

My $0.02
Just a hint for finding the break with out getting drenched.
Make an adaptor for your air compressor to city water inlet. Charge the lines and listen for the leak might give you a better idea of the position. Help in winterizing also.
You can get the parts for a air chuck to hose adaptor at your local ACE hardware or the like.
You don't need a lot of pressure keep it down to 30psi or less. High volume is good though.
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Old 03-27-2005, 05:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
does your trailer have a pressure regulator in it? how about the "pop off" pressure relief? perhaps it is stuck open?
I looked, and unless it's hidden way out of site behind the tub I don't think that I have a pop off valve. I did just install a new city water connector which has a regulator built in.

I was able to get the toe kick off from in front of the black water tank under the toilet and I didn't see any obvious splits in the pipe. I'm thinking now that it's the shower pipes. Tomorrow I'll pick up fittings so that I can run air into the water lines and listen for the leaks. Thanks to Janet's better half for that idea

Steve

Update: connected air and found leak behind toe kick by shower pan. Can't see leak but it sounds like a big one
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Old 03-27-2005, 07:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
Keep us posted on what you find. I've been taking out all kinds of pipig on My 76. They replace it with radiator hose. I've found only one drain valve @ the base of the potable water tank. (front mounted)
I have pulled out more radiator hose repairs then what there is radiator hose in a car! I cannot believe the the PO's let it get as bad as it did! I have one split that is over two inches long!
I am replacing everything, right down to the shower lines, with PEX. I did, however, run CPVC from the freshwater tank back to the water heater. CPVC is more rigid and I like that better considering my pump is located in the front dinette cabinet.
In a Minuet you will find that there are fewer valves than what is in the standard Argosy. I restored a 1977 Argosy 22 and there were three drains in the plumbing. They were original as I had known this trailer since it was new.
I still have all of the old copper from that trailer. I am now amassing more copper. At 50 cents/pound I am gonna have a small fortune!
I hated playing with copper before the days of CPVC. Copper swells when it freezes and NEVER returns to its original dimensions. I have seen CPVC that had frozen and broke. You did not have to guess where it was broken and it wasn't all swollen and distorted for three feet in either direction. I just cut out the areas that was bad, put in a couple of couplings and a new section of CPVC and POOF! no more broken CPVC!
I like the PEX because it goes around the curves REALLY well!!!!
For all those that like copper, you can keep it. Ever try to use a micro-sized tubing cutter, (because there is NO ROOM for a regular-sized cutter), in a Minuet's corner closet? TOTAL horse-hockey! Out with the copper and in with the PEX!
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Old 03-27-2005, 08:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
Steve

My $0.02
Just a hint for finding the break with out getting drenched.
Make an adaptor for your air compressor to city water inlet. Charge the lines and listen for the leak might give you a better idea of the position. Help in winterizing also.
You can get the parts for a air chuck to hose adaptor at your local ACE hardware or the like.
You don't need a lot of pressure keep it down to 30psi or less. High volume is good though.
They do make a slick little adaptor for just that available from your local RV shop called a Blow out Plug

But the gadget Steve has built looks good to me.

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Old 03-27-2005, 09:35 PM   #12
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Steve,
Iíve got the entire interior out of mine. The PO re-plumbed ďpartĒ of the old copper with pex. He chose not to re-plumb the shower. After completely removing the shower, I found out why. The solder had failed on several of the old copper joints; specifically, the shower mixing valve. He had bypassed the shower with the new pex and the shower was not capable of being used. The only way to get to this mixing valve is to remove the entire shower/tub area. I hope this isnít your problem. The fix is tough.


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Old 03-27-2005, 09:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
The only way to get to this mixing valve is to remove the entire shower/tub area. I hope this isnít your problem. The fix is tough.
I hesitate to show this picture because its brutality may offend more sensitive viewers.

I beg to differ Jim...I will replace my valve from the front. I am going to cut a piece of aluminum to cover the gastly hole and mount a new mixing valve to. Of course it will be well sealed with Sikaflex.

I now have access to all my copper and am considering replacment with PEX.

Steve
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Old 03-27-2005, 11:08 PM   #14
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Steve's looks WAY cooler than the standard blow-out plug.
Plus you can attach the air nozzle away from the side of the trailer.
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