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Old 05-17-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
West Monroe , Louisiana
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Constant leak beneath the Kitchen 73 31ft Sovereign Advice desperately needed

I have a 1973 31ft Sovereign rear bath. The trailer is in fantastic vintage shape. I was very happy to purchase it, but I had no idea about the plumbing issues. The trailer water lines had "obviously" been full of water during a freeze. I had leaks in all the copper and faucets. Now I have one final leak that I can not seem to stop.

The leak is directly beneath the kitchen. There is a small plastic pipe that comes out of the belly of the trailer that leaks constantly while the trailer water is turned on. I know that there are three valves on the inside of the unit, "in the cabinet on the floor". I have tried all combinations imaginable with those three valves to make the water stop leaking from under the trailer. One combination fills my fresh water tank up then the water starts leaking from the side of the trailer, "from where you usually fill the fresh water tank."

i am really hoping that this leak is not related to the "freeze". Can anyone help?
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:56 PM   #2
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I was thinking it might be, by coincidence, the A/C line dripping.... But if your luck is anything like mine, it isn't that easy. Though I have no ideas for you, I wish you luck!

Laura
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:38 PM   #3
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Maybe there is a drain valve that has been damaged by the freeze and it is leaking.
Can you find the same line on the inside and trace its path?
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:02 AM   #4
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Thank you for the responses!

Laura,

The a/c just got replaced. They did a less than satisfactory job. Apparently no one in my town, "North Louisiana" works on Airstreams. They did not hook up the drip line for the a/c, it is definitely dripping down the side of the trailer now.

Wsmith,

I am hoping that is not one of the valves. I am here to tell you...Winterize your trailer! You do not want to got through this! I had no idea that this unit had so many problems prior to purchasing it. I have tried to trace the path, but I have not came up with any solutions.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:57 PM   #5
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One of those three valves is used to empty the holding tank thru that plastic tube in the belly pan, I believe. I suspect the valve is either cracked or (hopefully) it's just the washer has worn out. Washers are pretty easy to replace. Lothlorian (Brian) still has all of the original valves under the sink in his '73, I believe. You might PM him and ask which valve does what. I haven't reconnected the lines to the fresh water tank in mine yet so I haven't had the chance to tackle this one yet.

Jim
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:06 PM   #6
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Water Leak

I have a 72 Ambassador and I would think the plumbing is similar. The hose coming through the bottom is the exit for the drain valves. If I crack one of the valves open slightly, it will act just as you describe. I think it is one of the three shut off/drain valves located under the sink, near the fresh water holding tank. I have replaced all of my copper with pex and learned more than I wanted to about my system. It sounds like one of your valves is not shutting completely. Hope this helps.

Tharon
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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The three red taps under the sink in my '74 Sov are as the following
  • two of them are "low-point" drains for the hot and cold lines
  • the remaining one is a drain for the fresh water tank
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Thank you all! I am hoping that it is a washer now. I have repaired so many leaks already! I will keep you updated on what I find out. You have all been very helpful!
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Old 05-20-2011, 02:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barender View Post
then the water starts leaking from the side of the trailer, "from where you usually fill the fresh water tank."
Just a little clarification here.

Does the water come out of the spot where you put the hose if you were to fill the tank from the outside? If so, it sounds like the tank is being overfilled. This causes the water to run up the fill spout and out the little weep hole in the cap meant to let air in as water gets used. there is no check valve in this hose to prevent this. You must turn the water fill valve you mentioned off before the tank is full. Classic MH with the autofill option will stop filling the water tank at 3/4 full for this reason.

Does the water leak on the inside wall of trailer but at same spot? Sounds like the same cause, but the water is getting through the flexible tube that is between the tank and exterior fill spout. This can be repaired by tightening the hose clamp. Check the hose 1st for any cracks either from freezing or old age. I also used a food safe caulk on the tube and fill spout on mine. This can be found in pet stores for fixing aquairiums.

Is the inside wall at fill spout dry but water runs out under AS near the fresh water tank? Same cause and fix. Only look where the fill hose attaches to the tank.

Hope these ideas help you in you quest for a dry AS.

Ricky
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:48 AM   #10
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Just to follow up. I took apart the red handled shut off valves and replaced the two gaskets inside. It seems to have worked. I am keeping my fingers crossed for now though.

Ricky,

Yes the water does leak from the outside spot that you are referring to, but only when one of the shut off valves is open on the inside. I have all three closed now and I believe this is how I should keep them until winter, right?

The hose on the inside is not currently leaking, but it has popped off before and I purchase a hose clamp for that reason. That is part of my to do list.

I really appreciate all of you, this has been a big project to take on. I am living in this trailer now and working on it every chance I get.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:15 AM   #11
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barender, Just monitor the fresh water gauge when filling the tank via the shutoff. This way you can shut it off at 3/4 without water coming out the spout. The water needs a place to go after the tank gets full. It's like filling a bucket with a garden hose. If you don't shut the hose off when the bucket gets full, it runs out over the top. There are no check valves big enough to go in the fill tube from the outside to the tank. Unfortunately there is no automatic way of doing this. The valve on the MH's don't last long & I replaced mine with a manual valve like you have. I'll be doing the same when replumbing the Tradewind.

This is a great way to get water when at a rally where everyone has to daisy chain the hoses. Multiple users at the same time can cause low water pressure. I do this to fill the tank at night when water use by others is low. Then use the pump to give yourself good pressure when you need it.
This is also an easy way to fill the tank before leaving a CG. Otherwise you would have to disconnect the hose & reinsert it into the exterior fill spout.
Ricky
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