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Old 12-05-2017, 01:57 PM   #1
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2017 30' FC Bath Sink Plumbed to BW Tank ?

Although the Owner's Manual says that the bath and kitchen skink drain to the grey water tank on this AS model, it just ain't so.

Found out the hard way. Spent the night in a sketchy freezing low temperature setting and turned on a drip in the bath sink to avoid a hard freeze. Always have black water dump valve closed, opened grey dump valve, went to bed in peace. Got up early during the night to get some water in the bathroom and found the sink was full of water almost overflowing onto the floor. Ooops. Shut water off checked the tank gauges, grey water "0" and black water "100". So 3:00 AM I am out empting the black water tank. Whoopee.

Called AS Jackson Center next morning filed a complaint. They told me that on this model, (there may be others) the bath sink was plumed into the black water tank and did I have a plumbing diagram? What?? I proceeded to inform them that the lack of a back-flow prevention valve between the sink drain and the black water tank created a health hazard for me and my family and the fact that the mechanical design engineer who designed this little change failed to note it in the owner's manual and the QC process which is supposed to check for screw-ups like this should have caught it. I am asking AS to install a back-flow prevention valve in line with the bath sink drain to the black water tank. I will repost on the progress on this activity.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:21 PM   #2
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You do not want a back flow preventor in stalled in the sink. There already is a trap in that line. The method of management is not to allow the black tank to overfill to the point it reaches the sink bowl.

Your scheme to prevent freezing is ineffective. While it might protect the hose to the city connection and the sink it leaves the rest of the trailer open to freezing unless you have a heat source. The preferred method is to have what water you may need during the cold spell in the fresh water tank and disconnect the hose at the post. Some campgrounds will ask you the leave the post dripping over night to save the post from freezing.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:28 PM   #3
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Our 28' International is also plumbed with the bathroom sink draining into the black tank. I think it is a great feature by allowing a little bit more water in the black tank and lessening the demand on the grey. We are much more restricted by the grey tank capacity. I think this setup is a plus on both the 28 and 30 RB's.

Also, I don't see a need for back flow prevention on the drain. I'm not going to allow the black tank to fill to the top, overflow the toilet, before it ever gets up to the sink. It just doesn't make sense. The only concern is sewer gases with any drain line, just make sure to keep the trap wet.

Our dealer explained this to us at delivery and I thought it was also in the owners manual. I'm sorry to hear it was an inconvenience in your situation and am curious how Airstream responds.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:56 PM   #4
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Do you realize how lucky you were to not have stepped on the toilet valve at 3 am?
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:08 PM   #5
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My Airstream Interstate has Hepvo valves— which function as backflow preventers— on both sink drains and the shower drain. But it has the valves in place of P-traps, not in addition to them.

I've overflowed a tank with those backflow preventers in the drain lines, thanks to a (now ex-) girlfriend who had no idea of water conservation. So trust me when I say this, but in your case, a backflow preventer in the sink drain would NOT have prevented your problem!

Once a tank is brim-full, the water will back up somewhere because there's no place for it to go. Doesn't matter if there's a p-trap or a backflow preventer. There's no backflow to prevent because there's no flow at all. Since the toilet valve holds the toilet drain shut, the water couldn't back up there… for which you should be thankful. The only places for the water to back up would have been the tank vent (where it DID back up, only you didn't see it) and in the sink, where you did see it.

So getting angry at Airstream for plumbing the bathroom sink to the black tank is pointless. Your mishap would have happened whether there was a backflow preventer in the drain or not.

In fact, if you wash your hands after you wipe your butt, as we all should do, the water from the bathroom sink properly belongs in the black tank, because the same microbes on/in your bodily waste and on your butt might have gotten on your hands as well. On ships, bathroom sinks are routinely plumbed to black tanks, not gray tanks, for that very reason.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
In fact, if you wash your hands after you wipe your butt, as we all should do, the water from the bathroom sink properly belongs in the black tank, because the same microbes on/in your bodily waste and on your butt might have gotten on your hands as well. On ships, bathroom sinks are routinely plumbed to black tanks, not gray tanks, for that very reason.
Yuck, I would get to read this while I was eating lunch.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:09 PM   #7
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Owners manuals are wonderful things.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
Owners manuals are wonderful things.
He said the owner's manual is wrong. Unfortunately the AS manuals are poorly done, and there are many posts here about the bath sink draining into the black tank, in all kinds of models, lengths and year of mfg..

Quote:
Originally Posted by zapper View Post
Although the Owner's Manual says that the bath and kitchen skink drain to the grey water tank on this AS model, it just ain't so.
. . .
"Sink drain into black tank" search results: https://www.google.com/search?q=sink...=airforums.com

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Old 12-05-2017, 06:34 PM   #9
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From 2013 International Manual:

The MAIN (BLACK) HOLDING TANK enables you to use the toilet for several days away from disposal facilities. The wastewater from the sink, shower, bath and lavatory drains in the AUXILIARY (GRAY) HOLDING TANK except for the
28’ models which has the lavatory sink hooked to the black tank. Each tank has its own dump valve, however, both tanks drain through a common outlet. Therefore, you need to make only one connection when hooking up in a trailer park with sewer facilities.

From the 2017 Flying Cloud Manual:

The main (Black Water) holding tank enables you to use the toilet for several days away from disposal facilities. The wastewater from the sink, shower, bath and lavatory drains into the auxiliary (Gray Water) holding tank.
Each tank has its own dump valve with both tanks draining through a common outlet. Therefore, only one sewer hose connection is needed when hooking up to a dump station.


No mention of some of the '17 models dumping from the lav into the black tank.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:21 AM   #10
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Never thought about it, but now wondering of my bathroom sink in my Classic 30 drains into the black tank...
Easy enough to find out...
Run water and see which tank fills...
Not an issue really, but now I'm curious.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zapper View Post
Although the Owner's Manual says that the bath and kitchen skink drain to the grey water tank on this AS model, it just ain't so.
My PDF manual clearly shows the lavatory sink drains into the black tank. It also has schematics for all of the trailer models, including yours. A quick search for lavatory found the right page. Please don’t try and shift blame to AS for your operator error.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:45 AM   #12
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Actually, this may be a good thing... in my experience, gray water tanks always fill up first with black never really being a problem, especially if you do a lot of camping with facilities close by. Porting one sink over to the BW tank seems like a better balance of fluids.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:07 AM   #13
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Where can one find the schematics for their late model trailer?
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:09 AM   #14
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They should be in your owner's manual, or go to the Airstream company site:

https://www.airstream.com/

. . . go to the Service tab on the top right, then Manuals in the drop-down menu, then pick the correct year and model and either the manual or parts PDF.

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