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Old 09-28-2010, 11:20 AM   #1
30' 1999 Excella
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Kingwood , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Black tank leak? I'm in a blue funk!

I've looked through the most recent dozen pages of threads in this sub-forum and can't find anything on leaking black tanks in units similar to the age of ours (1999 30' Excello). We bought it from the original owners in 2006 - it had sat unused for 3 years.

Which makes me wonder what is the nature of my problem. Given the difficulty of discovering it, I thought I would see if anybody here might have suggestions.

Like many, I've had occasional problems with a 'trickle' leaking blackwater valve - discovered the hard way when you remove the pipe cap. I've always managed to resolve it by repeat flushing or, if that didn't work, snaking a garden hose (with the tip set to wide-spay) backward up the drain pipe. That seems to always do the trick.

But my current problem came about last weekend. We spent the weekend at a campsite - no problems, no smells, no leaking tank. Before we left, I flushed carefully (triple flush) since it had gotten little use, there wasn't going to be a big FLUSH, and I wanted to make sure no TP got stuck in the valve.

After a short 1hr drive home, I realized I hadn't put in a blue-pack with water... so I did.

The next day, preparing to take the unit back to storage, I saw a large (and smelly - you know that blue-pack smell!) stain on the ground. Looking under the trailer, the belly pan that contains the water tanks was leaking blue stuff out of the lowest corner.

I removed the pipe cap - no liquid at all, blue or otherwise.

I've never seen pics of the connection of the drain pipe to the valve to the tank (if that's the sequence).

could there be a leak at a pipe fitting, allowing the liquid into the belly pan? Do I need to drop the belly pan to fix this? Any comments (especially from Andy!) would be appreciated.

Blue Funk In Texas!

Hey, its the only way to be sure!
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:03 AM   #2
Rivet Master
1987 29' Sovereign
Sparta , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Your manual should show a layout of the gray & black water valves, plumbing, etc. I have assisted on one such job on a trailer a few years older than yours. I was not in on the beginning however.

Once an assessment of the center line and the amount of curved pipe leading to the black tank was made, a piece of the under belly was cut out exposing the two valves and piping to the tanks. In this case, new valves were required which is not much of a job once the opening is cut.

I would fill the tank with plenty of clean water first and be sure I had flushed the line out completely. Then if you are still leaking water thru the belly pan and not building up in drain line against the cap, you probably have a bad valve.

I would call Rick March at airstream in Jackson Center (service coordinator/manager) and have him give me a run down of the repair procedure they follow.

I shudder that sooner or later I am facing the same job.

They cover the opening with a new piece of galvanized sheeting and inch or so larger on each side. I would also caulk the edges.

Not much help I know. Best of luck.
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