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Old 07-03-2018, 10:17 AM   #1
wmb
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2013 25' Flying Cloud
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Bathroom sink drains to the black tank? That was a surprise!

This week while in an electric-only site we managed to back up our black tank for the first time. We were not using the toilet that much so we weren't watching the level very closely. We were using the bathroom sink quite a bit, though, and I was under the impression that that sink goes to the gray tank. Indeed, that's the way the diagram in the manual represents the system.

After we dumped and flushed I ran the bathroom faucet for a few minutes and sure enough the black level rose while the gray level stayed steady.

Is it normal for the bathroom sink to drain to the black tank?
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:12 AM   #2
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I don't know if it 's usual or not but I've heard of it being plumbed either way. I'm not sure just where mine goes either. Might be I should check on it one of these days.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:13 AM   #3
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Watching this with interest. First reaction is, shouldn't happen. Yet your experience says otherwise.

If plumbed that way, it's a very messy accident waiting to happen.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:14 AM   #4
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I believe my 19' drained into the black tank. However, it's not clear to me if it does so in my 27'.

I'd prefer it - the black tank usually takes a lot longer to fill and it would be a nice feature to divert some water that would otherwise go into the gray tank
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:24 AM   #5
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All of the Internationals I have laid hands on bath sink drains to black, 23' and 28' FB and RB. Not sure about the rest.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:34 AM   #6
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Our 28 definitely drains into the black tank.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:25 PM   #7
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The putative reason is that draining the Lav sink into the black tank assures enough water in the black tank to help keep solids suspended and to supply enough water to flush it out more thoroughly. It helps avoid the "mountain of brown" directly under the toilet...

Not all AS models and years do this. IIRC, my 2007 International CCD does not...it would be difficult to plumb it that way given the wet bath layout.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:37 PM   #8
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Hi

The owners manual pretty clearly shows which why it *should* be plumed. Some models are done one way, other models are done the other way. I suspect it's as much a matter of the trailer layout / gray tank location as anything else. You can *always* hit the black tank from the bathroom sink.

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Old 07-03-2018, 01:11 PM   #9
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Bathroom sink drains to the black tank? That was a surprise!

2014 30 Flying Cloud bathroom sink drains to black water tank.
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmb View Post
This week while in an electric-only site we managed to back up our black tank for the first time. We were not using the toilet that much so we weren't watching the level very closely. We were using the bathroom sink quite a bit, though, and I was under the impression that that sink goes to the gray tank. Indeed, that's the way the diagram in the manual represents the system.

After we dumped and flushed I ran the bathroom faucet for a few minutes and sure enough the black level rose while the gray level stayed steady.

Is it normal for the bathroom sink to drain to the black tank?
Yes it is normal, for some trailers.
The drawing in the Owners Manual is a misrepresentation, a generic drawing.
To get the actual construction drawing of your specific trailer you must use the Parts Manual, which for your trailer does show the lavatory waste water going into the black tank.
Look at page 470 of 545 (or page IV-13)
You might want to download this.
https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...gcloud2014.pdf
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:08 PM   #11
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Yup, in our 2014 25' FC Rear bedroom the sink drains to the black tank.

I like that arrangement as our black tan never fills before the grey. At times, to extend the grey tank, we'll use the bathroom sink instead of the kitchen sink.

It also ensures plenty of water in the black tank so it drains well.
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
Yes it is normal, for some trailers.
The drawing in the Owners Manual is a misrepresentation, a generic drawing.
To get the actual construction drawing of your specific trailer you must use the Parts Manual, which for your trailer does show the lavatory waste water going into the black tank.
Look at page 470 of 545 (or page IV-13)
You might want to download this.
https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...gcloud2014.pdf

Weird. I have a 2014 23d and downloaded the parts manual you linked to (thanks). Page 470 shows a 'parts list' for a "25' Twin". The next page shows a diagram of the plumbing for "Drain System, Above Floor, 30'". Then there are no other diagrams for any of the other lengths. Is it just me that it downloaded this way?
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmb View Post
This week while in an electric-only site we managed to back up our black tank for the first time. We were not using the toilet that much so we weren't watching the level very closely. We were using the bathroom sink quite a bit, though, and I was under the impression that that sink goes to the gray tank. Indeed, that's the way the diagram in the manual represents the system.

After we dumped and flushed I ran the bathroom faucet for a few minutes and sure enough the black level rose while the gray level stayed steady.

Is it normal for the bathroom sink to drain to the black tank?
Apparently, this connection varies from AS model to model/yr. This is the norm. For example our 2007 25' Safari bathroom sink drained to the grey water tank, which is what one would expect. However our 2017 30' FC like your 25' FC drains to the blackwater tank. This for most people is counter intuitive. I found our the hard way with a spill from the bathroom sink onto the floor. Glad to hear that you observed this drainage anomaly before a spill occurred.

However, before my spill, I did read in my manual that my bathroom sink drains to the greywater tank. Apparently this was a typo. Later, after the spill, I looked at the plumbing diagram which shows the bathroom sink drains to the blackwater. Go figure.

Please, be aware that there are those on this forum who may blame you for not reading the owner's manual from cover to cover, and will steadfastly not assign any blame to AS for designing a drainage system that could potentially provide a health hazard to those who were caught unawares. Don't pay them any attention.

So the message I got from others was when one buys an AS one has to read all the text and look and understand all the wiring and pluming diagrams to fully understand the complexities of owning an AS, otherwise you shouldn't buy it. Annoying.

.
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
Weird. I have a 2014 23d and downloaded the parts manual you linked to (thanks). Page 470 shows a 'parts list' for a "25' Twin". The next page shows a diagram of the plumbing for "Drain System, Above Floor, 30'". Then there are no other diagrams for any of the other lengths. Is it just me that it downloaded this way?
I do not know for sure, but (I assume) the drawing in the Owners Manual is the generally correct drawing. (Again, my assumption).

Generally, I have found (again my assumption based on what I see) that the prior year drawing is used is for the following year unless a modification is needed to adapt for some change. If needed the drawing is then either new from scratch or the prior drawing is modified, marked with an addendum, then reissued/published.

I'll check my 25' in the driveway, and report back. (34' is 700 miles away, so no checking it today)
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