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Old 04-16-2015, 07:50 PM   #15
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Thank you kindly for the good responses. I need help in this one and I appreciate what you folks have suggested.

I had an idea today. I decided to drain my system (think winterizing) and then pressurize it with 35 psi air pressure. Then I got my soapy solution out and I found the exact spot of the leak. It was the upper tee after all ! And it leaks badly. Blows big bubbles. The leak radiates from the frame rail side, right at the joint between the poly tube and fitting, just ahead of the clamp.

I was surprised that city water pressurizes the output pressure line from the 12v pump. The pump is the "check valve" preventing water pressure from entering the fresh water tank. My Trade Wind has a check valve downstream of the pump preventing city water pressure from entering the pressure side of the pump.

So I cleaned thoroughly with alcohol, towel and a stick and applied a 2 part epoxy designed for plastics. I made a little "hook spatula" to work the epoxy to the side and bottom of the fitting. I cannot reach this fitting with my fingers. This is a non sagging epoxy, but probably doesn't wick very good. I'll let it cure overnight, and retest it with air pressure tomorrow. I'll apply again if it is still leaking. If I can slow it down some, I'll take my planned trip with a leaky pipe. The water is leaking down the inside surface of the frame rail into the fresh water pan, and out the access port. Nothing is at risk of water damage. I'll fix it this summer when I can dedicate 50 hours of work tearing out the fresh water tank. It looks like a huge job, I don't have the time right now.

Increasing the size of the cut out in the subfloor would be a challenge. The frame rail is right next to this array of tubes and fittings. A cross member is just in front. And the "microwave" pantry cabinet wall is right behind it . I'd have to remove all that cabinet to get some access to saw a bigger hole. Believe me, I tried to find a way to gain access.

The push to connect style connectors are about 2" long. I don' have the room in there to work them. I hear ya about those three drain valves. They are not needed for me as I use air pressure to blow the water out, and then RV antifreeze pumped in every line.

I'll plan on replumbing from the 12v pump to the galley faucet and then under the floor to the street side bath when I drop the fresh water tank.

Here is a photo of the leaking tee devil. I think it may have rubbed itself through against the frame rail. But I can't see it.

And a photo of the new PEX I installed some years ago from city water inlet, water heater, and bath fixtures; toilet, sink and shower. Note the push to connect PEX to poly fittings I used to, well, connect up to the old plumbing.

I'll let you know if I can slow down this fresh water leak...

David
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:37 AM   #16
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I have a very similar set up. I had similar issues with the blue poly under the floor in a small opening. It can be fixed from above because I did it. I used shark bites and built new pex above and then put it down under for the last "push" connection. Also when I had that line disconnected I put a tee in and a shut off so I can fill my fresh water tank from the city supply side from inside trailer. No more hose to fill fresh from outside. It's not fun but it can be done. Oh and I plumbed in a dishwasher where the micro was while I was at it.
Rob
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:53 PM   #17
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I air tested the fitting this afternoon. Still leaks like a sieve. It so happens my son is visiting from Denver this weekend. He has better hearing by a long shot. He was able to put his finger on the hole and stop the air escapement. He could hear it blowing out, and hear it stop when he put his finger on it. The hole is actually on the bottom the tee. I had not applied my epoxy there.

So I mixed up another batch and he applied it to the bottom of the tee. A difficult reach for me. I'll test again tomorrow. I'll encapsulate that bugger if I haft to. We plan on pulling out Monday.

We discussed how we could replace this top tee. I'm going to the hardware store tomorrow and purchase some fittings and see what can be done. I don't need a tee as I don't need the drain valve. I'll look for a push to connect poly to PEX elbow. I think there is room in there for that fitting. Then I can use my PEX flexible tubing and run it to the outlet of the pump.

I'm thinking about it. There may be a way after all.

David
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I had similar issues with the blue poly under the floor in a small opening.
I used shark bites and built new pex above and then put it down under for the last "push" connection. Rob
Is the "blue poly" Polybutylene(PB)?

If so, did you use the PB-to-Pex Sharkbite adapter?
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:16 PM   #19
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Success! The epoxy that we applied to the bottom of the leaky tee stopped the leak. I've got 60 psi air on it with no soap bubbles. I have pressurized it with 40 psi water and no drips.

Now, the acid test will be bouncing down the highway. I will have parts with me just in case. I have a feeling it will hold for some time.

Then I will plan a big project to gain access to this plumbing and replace it with PEX. The fresh water tank will have to come out. Gives an old man something to do.

Thanks for all your help and encouragement. Rain tomorrow and then we pull out Monday.

David
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:50 PM   #20
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Yes it's a push to fit coupling. Also I used a pex to BP crimp coupling.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:35 PM   #21
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Well I've got 5 days use and 1000 miles of highway on my epoxy leak repair. So far, so good. Knock, knock.

I'll fix it right when I get back home.

David
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:23 PM   #22
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That is better than I figured. My attempts at a topical repair have never worked out so well.

Glad it is working for you and it got you camping!


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Old 04-24-2015, 06:56 AM   #23
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That is better than I figured. My attempts at a topical repair have never worked out so well.

Glad it is working for you and it got you camping!


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Old 04-28-2015, 10:42 AM   #24
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In a very similar situation.1990 Excella 34' side bath. 12V pump cracked = leak. temp remove pump and fill in with short PVC. Now water flows steadily and has filled fresh water tank. Where the fresh water tank drain? And I'll block off my temp pump PVC. Any other ??? Appreciate all the assistance.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:53 AM   #25
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I am glad that you were able to fix the leak. BTW what epoxy did you use?

I have had very good luck with JB Weld. Water tank fittings/pressure etc.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:05 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Mitzi View Post
In a very similar situation.1990 Excella 34' side bath. 12V pump cracked = leak. temp remove pump and fill in with short PVC. Now water flows steadily and has filled fresh water tank. Where the fresh water tank drain? And I'll block off my temp pump PVC. Any other ??? Appreciate all the assistance.
There is (was) a check valve in your pump which keeps the water from the city water input from back filling the water tank. When you removed the pump and put a bypass pipe in, you removed the check valve. You need to simply cap off the outlet hose from the pump to keep it from happening.

I don't know where the tank drain is on your rig.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:46 PM   #27
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Yep what very knowledgeable idroba said. Taking out the 12v pump removes the "block", or check valve that seperates the city water pressure from 12v water pressure. Both sources can run the rest of the plumbing system.

So you gotta cap off the 12v output line preventing water from flowing down the "suction" tube to your fresh water tank.

The drain on my 86 thirty four footer is on the curb side, between the middle and last tire. Caution. It is the world's cheapest plastic ball valve. Turn the handle to drain the tank and your valve will likely break off. At least all the water will drain out of your fresh tank! And since you don't have a 12v pump right now, who cares? Just camp with hook ups.

I would suggest you soak the valve with penetrating oil before trying to open it. Spray it down, go to bed, and try to open it in the morning. This cheap plastic ball valve is pretty easy to replace.

So far my cheap epoxy fix is holding fine. I used Devcon epoxy formulated for plastic so the package said. I rubbed it with 320 grit sandpaper the best I could. I cleaned the fitting very well with alcohol, and it was a dry fitting as I had blown air through the lines.

David
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:52 AM   #28
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I broke the flange mounted valve on my '89. Same curb side location...really difficult to get at between the tires. I think the valve is mounted on the belly pan around the plastic tank. so there is an extension from the tank to the pan. I can't remember exactly how I attached to the pipe on the tank except that I had a piece of flexible hose and clamps to make the transition and then I added an elbow and short length of 1/2"pipe to bring it forward in front of the tire; used a plastic ball valve to cap it. This needed a couple of hangers on the frame to stabilize the extension. Easier to access and also a way to fill the Dog's dish! Even the new ball valve was a real bear to open after a period of non-use but at least it was away from the tank.
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