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Old 09-15-2011, 01:41 PM   #1
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I am stumped--Lost water from holding tank

I have a 2003 Classic and last weekend, I filled my holding tank because we were going to "dry" camp for the weekend. I made a wrong turn down a narrow lane and ended up backing up out of this "lane" I discovered that water was pouring out of the bottom of my airstream. When I got to the correct location, the tank was so empty that the pump would not even pick up water.
It didn't make for a happy weekend.
When i got back home, I filled the holding tank and---- no leak. The pump took several trys to pick up water but now working great.
my question---- what happened to my water ? How did it leak out and why isn't it leaking now????
help !
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:07 PM   #2
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That's mysterious! Seems to me that the only possibility is that the drain valve opened. But how did it close again? Any other failure in the system should still leak.
The other possibility is that a faucet wasn't turned off properly and the pump pumped the water into a holding tank. But then how did it open by itself?
You got me.
Al
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:04 PM   #3
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You didn't say and may not have noticed if your grey or blank tanks were full when you arrived at your destination. Do you have the single lever faucets in the galley or bath? If the FW drain valve isn't leaking, it would seem that the pump had to to suck the tank dry. If you have the single lever faucet, it might be possible for something to have moved while traveling to bump the handle, or even a good jolt from the road might have been enough. If the pump was switched on, then it could have filled the GW tank.

You said you noticed water running out underneath... Could you say if it was coming from the area of the FW drain or your dump valves? I wonder if you have a leaking GW dump valve. Try filling the GW tank, then the BW tank with the drain hose disconnected to rule out that possibility. If you had overflowed the GW tank, the water would have likely backed up in the shower but you didn't indicate anything was wet inside.

My theory for now is that your GW dump valve wasn't fully closed or it leaks and your pump was switched on allowing it to pump the FW tank dry when something opened a faucet.
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:54 AM   #4
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I did not have the pump switched on,and the drain valves from the FW tank were and are shut. The water was coming out where the patch is for replacing the plastic drain valve (if it breaks). My grey and black tanks are ok. I am at a complete loss as to why I lost all the water. I was on a steep grade and slowly backing up when the water was first noticed. That was Friday night. I did not refill the tank until Sunday.
Today, Friday Sept 16th the tank is still full.
I hear the "do-do-dodo-do-do-doooo" music
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:02 AM   #5
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If you were on a grade, possibly the tank inlet is leaking, but you cant see it while stationary. Sal.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:37 AM   #6
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Now the do-do tank is leaking too?

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Old 09-16-2011, 08:38 AM   #7
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Wow, so much for my theory. You've ruled out the pump, it was off. The fill hose on mine clamps to a nipple on the top of the tank adjacent to where the pump's dip tube enters the tank. If the tank was brim full and one of these connections wasn't secure, I could envision how some water could spill if the trailer was on a steep grade but this would be a small fraction of the total, certainly it wouldn't leave you bone dry. I'll join the ranks of the stumped.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:26 AM   #8
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Just throwing out ideas. Was hot water heater on, and if it was, was water coming out through pressure relief valve?

Your trailer may have as many as four valves throughout unit that are used to winterize. Are those completely shut?

Was the compartment were the FW tank is located dry? Is the city water inlet on the side of the trailer plugged securely?

What else. It is odd that the tank COMPLETELY emptied, and in such short amount of time.

Even if the pump somehow shorted and was in the ON position, the gray tank would have filled with water, assuming a faucet was open somewhere.

Is there any water/moister inside the trailer at all?

Just guessing.

J
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeDoodle View Post
Wow, so much for my theory. You've ruled out the pump, it was off. The fill hose on mine clamps to a nipple on the top of the tank adjacent to where the pump's dip tube enters the tank. If the tank was brim full and one of these connections wasn't secure, I could envision how some water could spill if the trailer was on a steep grade but this would be a small fraction of the total, certainly it wouldn't leave you bone dry. I'll join the ranks of the stumped.
Mac,

The overflow tube leaks at the tank on ours, and is impossible to get to without extensive interior disassembly. The water exits exactly where you described, but only til the level reaches the top of the tank. I can see where more could leak out on a steep incline but as YD notes not enough to empty the tank.

Consider us stumped also....

Bob
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:38 AM   #10
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On my first boondocking trip in an old class C RV,we had a sticky toilet flush lever completely pump all the fresh water into our black water tank.We had only been at the campsite for 3 hours and now were waterless. So we had to pack up and drive 20 miles back into town to dump and refill.
Did your water just disappear?Are you sure your FW tank was full?Could your water have been pumped into the other tanks somehow or where they empty as well?Just throwing some ideas out there.I like it when RVs fix themselves.
Good luck
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:58 AM   #11
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Loss of Water from FW Tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by macofpei View Post
I have a 2003 Classic and last weekend, I filled my holding tank because we were going to "dry" camp for the weekend. I made a wrong turn down a narrow lane and ended up backing up out of this "lane" I discovered that water was pouring out of the bottom of my airstream. When I got to the correct location, the tank was so empty that the pump would not even pick up water.
It didn't make for a happy weekend.
When i got back home, I filled the holding tank and---- no leak. The pump took several trys to pick up water but now working great.
my question---- what happened to my water ? How did it leak out and why isn't it leaking now????
help !
If the FW tank will now hold water when completely full, and there are no leaks, then consider the following possibility. During your recent excursion, was the trailer ever in such a position that a siphon could have been established?

Can you duplicate the road conditions that you believe led to the draining of the tank to see if the same thing happens?
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:44 PM   #12
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I never want to duplicate that experiance again :-)
The tank is still full, two weeks after this happened. I will be draining the tank Sunday and flushing the complete system getting ready for a rally we are attending so-- I will let you know if this happens again.
I hate mysteries like this because you never know when it will happen again.
Someone else asked about water on the floors--- she is/was dry inside.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:36 PM   #13
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This has never happened again after that first time. I did find that the reason that the pump was so slow picking up the water from the FW holding tank, the tank had a lot of algie in it.I guess hauling it along country (read rough) roads shook up the tank enough to make the stuff float. I had to drain and pump the tank empty several times to get clean water. Now, come this spring, I need to totally flush out ALL my water lines and the fresh water tank.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:34 AM   #14
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Add a little chlorine bleach to the fresh water tank to kill the algae and disinfect your water tank and lines. I'm sure the recommended dosage is somewhere on this site. Otherwise, I think the bleach container label says how much to use.

You may need to "super-chlorinate" the tank, similar to how you would shock a swimming pool, by using a stronger dose than is normally required. And, you might even want to leave this solution in the tank for a few hours or overnight to make sure all of the algae is dead. Then, flush out the tank with fresh water once or twice to remove all of the dead algae and chlorine solution. When the water smells fresh (no chlorine smell) and looks clean, you should be good to go.
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