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Old 08-06-2004, 06:42 PM   #1
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Smile Can't open waste tank valve - 71 Safari

I'm new to this forum and to Airstreams. I recently purchased a 71 Safari that had not been on the road for over 14 years. Gradually I am getting things cleaned up and working. When I tried to empty the waste tank I was unable to pull out the handle that opens the valve to empty the tank. The owner's manual shows an upright handle in the back bumper compartment that is pulled straight up. My valve is on the outside of the camper on the left side behind the back bumper and pulls back rather than up. The valve seems to be stuck and nothing so far allows me to pull this valve out. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 08-06-2004, 07:06 PM   #2
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Hi Larry,

Welcome to the forum. I also have a 71 Safari, and my handle is similar. In my case, the valve did not seal correctly, so I had it replaced. Yours is obviously frozen up. Not sure what else is in your black tank, but if it is empty you might be able to pour something down into the tank to loosen it up. I recently saw something that had cocunut oil in it, believe it or not, to keep the valves lubricated. Not sure what else to try. Maybe Andy at Inland RV would have a suggestion.

john
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Old 08-06-2004, 07:14 PM   #3
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Hi John,

Thanks for the answer. I don't know what was in the black tank when I purchased it but I filled it up with fresh water before I attempted to dump it so I would get a good flush. Do you think if I tried to remove the toilet I might get access to the sliding door or whatever the opens the tank?
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:15 PM   #4
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I don't think so. You might consider is cutting away the belly pan where it curves up around where the handle goes through it. That is going to have to be removed to replace the valve anyway, which you are undoubtedly going to have to do. One reason I had the dealer do mine, although it doesn't look that tough if you have a way to re-rivet the new piece on. With that out of the way (do it cleanly), you will be able to access the valve and mechanism. Maybe you can see what is frozen up and free it. Hopefully one of those more experienced will jump in and have some advice also.

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Old 08-06-2004, 08:34 PM   #5
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John is correct. You cannot get access from removing the toilet.

I would remove the sewer cap and spray some silicone spray up around the valve and soak it pretty good. Also spray around where the handle goes into the rear skin wrap.

Maybe you can free it up that way.

Luckily my valve has been fine. It may have been replace before I got it because under and around the valve is a patch of aluminum that is held on with screws and vulkem. I assumed they were all that way, but if John had to cut his maybe mine was and patched as well.

If you can't free it up your access is going to be through the belly pan.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
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Old 08-08-2004, 04:24 PM   #6
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Tim & John,

Thanks for your help. I soaked all the parts I could get to with silicone spray the last few days but still could not open the black tank valve. I finally decided today to use a claw hammer and a piece of board to try putting more pressure while pulling the valve handle. It finally moved bit by bit until if was fully open. I sprayed again with silicone and everything is working fine. Sure am glad I didn't have to cut open the belly pan. Now onto figuring out why the air conditioner doesn't work.
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:25 PM   #7
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Hey that's great Larry!

Glad it worked out for ya.

Good luck with the a/c
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:25 PM   #8
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Larry,
Plse check your PM message..
Greetings Tim`
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Old 11-28-2004, 05:26 PM   #9
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I had a stuck drain valve several years ago. I read somewhere to leave the drain valves open during storage and between trips. I've been doing that and they always work freely when I use them.

Ben
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