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Old 10-07-2009, 09:27 AM   #1
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Fresh water disappearing fast-could it be a leak?

Hi,

My husband and I have been traveling in our 2008 International 23' for about 4 months now and have had very few problems...with the exception of a broken fresh water tank spigot. This week, we are at a park that has no water hookup and so we are relying on our freshwater tank. We've been in this situation before and generally lasted 4-5 days on our tank.

We pulled into the park on Saturday and by Monday night, had to fill up again. Now, two days later, we are almost near empty. I thought our Monday night fill up was strange but had done some cleaning over the weekend and assumed I used more water than usual. But, since our Monday fill up, I have been very careful on water usage. Our grey water tank is not even half full and our black water tank usage is minimal.

I don't see any leaks outside of the trailer (that's how we learned about our fresh water spigot) so my question is could there be a leak that I'm not seeing? (Sorry if this is a dumb question, I'm not a handy person and I also have no prior experiences with trailers.) Or, maybe it's just possible I've used that much water...it just seems unusual.

Thanks.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:41 AM   #2
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Hello Lani. How are you sure you got the tank full? Assuming you were fairly level ... did you rely on water coming out the filler neck and overflow hole when you thought you were full? The advantage of these is that they don't occupy the entire filler hole and allow air to escape as I'm filling --

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We've had reports at AIR of water tank overfilling and causing hydraulic floor and frame damage when a hose end completely obstructed the filler hole.

I do a lot of dry camping and there are a number of times that a spigot is not within reach of my 50' of hose. I carry a 5 gallon jerry can for those instances -- 8 trips fills my tank full. I guess that's another way of knowing how much water is in there.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:11 AM   #3
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Thanks. Yes, we relied on waiting for the overflow. The water did come out faster at this particular water pump so I hope we didn't do any damage. We were monitoring the pump and tried to slow it down as much as possible. On our second fill, we were much more careful when initially turning the water on.

I tend to assume the worst...husband seems not at all concerned. I hope he's right!

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:54 AM   #4
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As noted above it sounds like you are AIR BOUND in the tank and not filling the tank. As you fill the tank the air in it has to come out. If you fill with a high pressure source most likely the air can not escape as fast as the water enters the tank.

There is a vent line that comes up to the fill port. It should have a plastic plug in it that has to be removed while filling to allow the air out. Even if this plug is removed you can still fill faster than the air can come out with a high pressure source.

Time is a good indication of how much water you have put into the tank. My tank, 40 gallons, takes about 5 mins. to fill with city pressure of 50 lbs.

If you don't see water on the ground or have a full gray water tank odds are your water tank was not as full as expected.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:03 AM   #5
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Yeah, a huge flow might cause enough waves in the tank that it would seem to overflow earlier. I was at one of those high volume spigots a few weeks back and it would overflow, I'd let it settle, then get a fair amount more in until it truly was full.

The frame damage issue was due to some unique circumstances. Read about it here - http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ank-33300.html
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:18 AM   #6
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Thanks so much! I'll try to stop worrying so much and listen to my husband more. (Please don't tell him I said this...) :-)
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:20 AM   #7
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I need a new rivet puller...
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lani View Post
...We pulled into the park on Saturday and by Monday night, had to fill up again. Now, two days later, we are almost near empty...
hi lani

HOW do you determine the tank is "near empty" ?

if u r relying on the TANK MONITOR that's an issue.

the micropulse system is VERY PRONE to glitches (no function, mal function, miss-reading, fluctuating reads...)

and often needs RE calibration.
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IF u r getting signals from the water pump (surges, air, irregular flow)...

there could be air in the line, debris in the PRE filter/screen or issues with the pump internals.
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IF u leave the water pump ON 24/7 and ANY fixture is dripping or ANY pipe joint is not sealed completely...

the PUMP will cycle ON for a few seconds at intervals, and THIS can magically drain the fresh tank...

but USUALLY the gray or black tanks will FILL as this happens OR leaks will signal the flow...
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it is possible that DEBRIS in the fresh tank from assembly is blocking the flow OUT of the tank also...

try OPENING the nylon turn-cock valve on the fresh tank and DRAIN it once, completely.

then FILL and run a few gallons into a bucket from ANY outgoing fixture.

watch the monitor levels and determine when the "levels" change and compare to CAPACITY spec'd for this model....
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IF the monitor needs re-calibration, this is best done with FULL hookups and following the DETAILED guide for this...

it's in the owners packet, ONLINE and covered here in a few threads.

cheers
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:10 PM   #9
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As noted in the previous post, how you are determining you are out of water is the missing piece to your post. I know my fresh water indicator in my trailer is not in good calibration in the fact that once it hits empty on the monitor panel, I find that I still have many gallons left. In my case, about 60% of the level of my monitor indicator is affected by the last 10 gallons of water. Since my grey and black tank indicators are accurate, I've decided not to play around with calibration at this time. I've just learned not to panic when the monitor panel shows that I've killed half the tank in one day.

If you feel like getting some exercise, buy a 7 gallon jerry can from Walmart. Start with an empty tank and start adding water, 7 gallons at a time. You can check your monitor panel every 7 gallons to see where you are. That's how I learned where the thresholds were on mine. I found it strange to be half full on the monitor and find that less than 2 can's of water filled the holding tank thus brining the monitor panel to full.

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Old 10-07-2009, 01:04 PM   #10
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If you had a leak, it could also be in the grey or black tanks or their plumbing. But, you would see water on the ground (unless it's raining, then you would see more water on the ground). That would account for the low readings on the monitor for those tanks.

My guess is it's the monitor reading for the fresh water tank. Ours reads full or almost full, then, drops down to 1/4 or less suddenly and pretty soon there's water coming up the shower drain.

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Old 10-07-2009, 01:31 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone. This is very helpful. I'll stop freaking out now...at least until the next suspicious issue arises.

You guys are great!
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