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Old 09-26-2013, 06:23 PM   #1
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Winterizing snafu - low point drain valve on FW tank stripped and won't opem

I went to start winterizing my 2008 23 FB. When I am facing the FW tank from the side of the AS, there are two low point drain valves to the left of the white plastic FW drain spigot.

Each of the 2 low point valves has a T handle on it with a large screw above that and a nut that sits flush with the FW tank itself. With normal operation, I can turn the T handle counterclockwise and the screw goes upward into the tank thus opening the drain valve. The left side valve opened just fine by using the T handle but when I went to open the right drain valve, the T handle stripped loose and just spins and does not turn the screw anymore. I sprayed it with WD 40 and tried turning it again but not luck since the T handle is now just spinning and is disconnected from the screw. I then tried to insert a plier head into the drain hole to see if I could turn the screw - no luck. The screw seems to be frozen and there is not a great way to grab onto it to turn it.

Any ideas on how I can get the screw to turn or somehow remove the whole assembly and replace it with a new one? Would that nut flush with the FW tank remove the whole assembly?

Any help is greatly appreciated since I need to finish winterizing. I did blow all of my lines today without opening that right hand low point drain valve. How bad could it be if I can't get that valve to open?

Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:27 PM   #2
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The valve that is stuck is pictured in this thread - it is the right hand metal peacock pictured in the photo in this thread (of the pair of metal peacocks). It is not the white plastic valve.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...on-104149.html
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:29 PM   #3
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I don't have a good answer for you since I know what you are dealing with, but haven't really looked at how to address a problem like this. I do know this though, if you don't get that drained, you do have a freeze potential. The reason I know is one year I forgot to open these drains when I dewinterized. That following fall when I winterized and opened them up, the pink antifreeze came out. That pretty much told me that even with fresh water in the lines all season, that fresh water didn't move much in those low points. Hence my feeling that these lines down low could freeze since if you use antifreeze, it probably will not permeate down into the low part of that line and mix with the water in the line.

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Old 09-26-2013, 06:37 PM   #4
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Below is the link I posted showing how I replaced mine. Let me know if I can help.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...3&d=1356122475
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:42 PM   #5
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Below is the link I posted showing how I replaced mine. Let me know if I can help.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...3&d=1356122475
This looks very helpful. Did you have to remove the freshwater tank to do this? Do you think I could do it without opening the FW tank? Obviously, I want to get this done quickly as winter is coming here in CO. Thanks for anymore help you can provide on how you changed yours...
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:54 AM   #6
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Let's try this again. The link was only one of the pictures. Try this link which explains with pictures what I did.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ml#post1240309
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:18 AM   #7
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Let's try this again. The link was only one of the pictures. Try this link which explains with pictures what I did.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ml#post1240309
When you opened the access panel, I am assuming it did not open up the FW tank, correct? It is just access to these pipe fittings.

Also. I started at looking at 1/4" drain cock replacements and noticed that they have various temp ratings. I found one rated to -65 and one similar to what is on there rated to 0 degrees. We get below zero temps here in CO. did the valve you used to replace the drain cock have a temp rating? Thanks!
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:20 AM   #8
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The FW tank is not connected to these valves. It has a separate drain valve and has to be drained separately.

The temp rating on a valve is the temp of fluids that it will handle when is service. Once you drain the system, these valves will be in a static. So temp rating is not as important. Spring time, above freezing, you close the valves and recharge your water system.

However, I did note the valve number I used from harbor Freight, so you could research the ratings or use another valve.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:44 AM   #9
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Boginator, You should be able to get a wrench on the nut to hold it while you turn the t handle. This would get it to turn and open.

I've dealt with these before and the fine threads on the shaft are prone to rusting and trapping sand and dirt. A good shot of rust penetrant will help with a small wire brush to clean them. Then just work the threads a few times.

Also, remember that you have another set of low point drains to the rear of your trailer near the waste valves. There are not any peacock valves on the exterior to open. These valves to drain these low points are in the access panel below the pantry. If you did not open these on your initial blow out, you may want to open them and blow out again.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:49 AM   #10
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Boginator, You should be able to get a wrench on the nut to hold it while you turn the t handle. This would get it to turn and open.

I've dealt with these before and the fine threads on the shaft are prone to rusting and trapping sand and dirt. A good shot of rust penetrant will help with a small wire brush to clean them. Then just work the threads a few times.

Also, remember that you have another set of low point drains to the rear of your trailer near the waste valves. There are not any peacock valves on the exterior to open. These valves to drain these low points are in the access panel below the pantry. If you did not open these on your initial blow out, you may want to open them and blow out again.
Thanks for the idea re the wrench but unfortunately my nut is no longer attached and does not turn the petcock anymore. It is completely stripped and just spins without turning th petcock.

I do know about those other low point drain valves under the pantry and did already drain them. Thanks for reminding me though!
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:24 PM   #11
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Let's try this again. The link was only one of the pictures. Try this link which explains with pictures what I did.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ml#post1240309
Captain Hank - I went back to work on this today and am wondering if you had to cut a new side access area on the pan that covers the freshwater tank to get to the plastic plumbing washers inside as shown on your picture. My access area is on the bottom of my pan and off to the side of these two drain cocks so I cannot see the interior nut or plumbing correction as you can in your photos. Did you cut a new access port and then cover it later?

I also tried accessing the interior nuts and plastic plumbing connection from above below my closet but the area is so tight and filled with plumbing that I can't put my fingers on the plastic plumbing connection from the top. Not a great design from Airstream, I am afraid!

Argh! Very frustrating... Will bring a friend with me tomorrow to see if they can reach from the top while I work from the bottom.

If I do have to cut another access rectangle on the side of the pan, what kind of metal should I buy to cover it up and have it match the freshwater pan? I am assuming I can use sheet metal screws to secure a cover in that area as long as I am careful to avoid any of the plumbing in this area.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:03 AM   #12
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I did not have to cut a new access hole. There was already an access panel by my fittings. All I had to do was unscrew the sheet screws and I had room from the bottom to make my repair. However the clearance under the trailer is limited. If you have jack up the trailer to do the work, make sure to chock the trailer wheels, so It does not roll and put jack stands under the trailer for safety.

I had to make repair on my FW drain valve,(different problem) because it was installed incorrectly at the factory and would not drain. I had to also repair the metal pan and I used galvanized steel metal and secured it with sheet metal screws.

If you need mare details, send me a Private Message with your telephone number and I will call you to discuss.
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:22 PM   #13
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I did not have to cut a new access hole. There was already an access panel by my fittings. All I had to do was unscrew the sheet screws and I had room from the bottom to make my repair. However the clearance under the trailer is limited. If you have jack up the trailer to do the work, make sure to chock the trailer wheels, so It does not roll and put jack stands under the trailer for safety.

I had to make repair on my FW drain valve,(different problem) because it was installed incorrectly at the factory and would not drain. I had to also repair the metal pan and I used galvanized steel metal and secured it with sheet metal screws.

If you need mare details, send me a Private Message with your telephone number and I will call you to discuss.
Thanks for all of the info! I finally had SUCCESS on this fix today. I had a friend go with me to the airstream and together we were able to insert a wrench into the side access area on the bottom of the FW tank and get the wrench around the nut on the inside of the FW pan. We then put a wrench on the outside nut and were then able to remove the broken drain cock while keeping the wrench inside the FW tank in place.

The broken drain cock had a 3/8" thread on it so we inserted a 3/8" to 1/4" bushing in its place. Before we inserted the bushing, my friend put her finger inside the pipe thread inside the FW pan to line it up and then we were able to screw in the new 3/8" bushing easily. We kept the wrench on the nut inside the FW pan this entire time.

Phew! I have ordered a replacement 1/4" drain cock and will insert it into the 1/4" opening on my new bushing. Having the bushing in there will make it easier to change the petcock if I ever have to do so in the future.

I will try to post pictures soon but need to finish my winterizing first! Thanks to the forum, I am back in business!

Lesson learned: keep your drain cocks lubricated with a food grade lubricant so they don't stick and strip. Add this to you annual 6month maintenance list...
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