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Old 05-27-2007, 07:40 PM   #1
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Gray water valve ?

I'm trying to get ready for some serious camping this summer, and have a drip coming from my gray water tank. I've tested each tank individually with clean water to see which one is causing the leak. The black water tank doesn't leak at all, but the gray tank gives a very slow drip with the Thetford valve closed. The valve seems to close all the way, so I don't think that's the issue. I wonder if the seal is broken, or just has buildup on it after 26 years. Has anyone had any luck with trying to let a cleaning agent sit in the tank to, or found a way to try to clean the seals on these valves without taking them apart. I looks like the only way to get to it would be to drill out the rivets, and drop a section of the belly pan which I want to try only as a last resort. Any suggestions, or should I just give in and drop the pan?

Thanks: Charlie
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:45 PM   #2
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Charlie,

Sounds like you have a bad gasket and you'll have to pull it apart to replace it. It's a miracle that it lasted 26 years.
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Charlie,

Sounds like you have a bad gasket and you'll have to pull it apart to replace it. It's a miracle that it lasted 26 years.
I kind of thought this would be the case with the age of the unit. I'm going to try to take a flexible aquarium brush to it just in case I may have a small food particle or something from the kitchen sink lodged in the valve. The valve looks very easy to put in, but dropping the pan seems like a terrible job. It looks to be in sections in that area, so I shouldn't have to cut the pan to peel it back. I guess I should change both valves if I have to do one. The leak is just gray water, and I doubt if it drips a gallon a day. I'm tempted to see if I could put a container under it when I park, and get by until next year. I've just finished polishing, and was hoping that was the last big job this year.
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:25 PM   #4
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Check what I had to do here. It is not fun but is doable. The key is getting your trailer high enough to get under there.
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caadoptees
Check what I had to do here. It is not fun but is doable. The key is getting your trailer high enough to get under there.
Thanks: That's a great thread on the subject, and the pictures are a big help. I'll probably end up doing it this week if I'm not lucky with the brush. Camping world in Denver has the valve in stock. When people add pictures it really helps someone else. I had to repair my toilet a few weeks ago, and the pictures someone had posted saved a lot of time.
Lew, I noticed you're in the 4 corners unit. Are you going to the boondocking rally near Teluride Colorado in June?

Charlie
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacerized
Thanks: That's a great thread on the subject, and the pictures are a big help. I'll probably end up doing it this week if I'm not lucky with the brush. Camping world in Denver has the valve in stock. When people add pictures it really helps someone else. I had to repair my toilet a few weeks ago, and the pictures someone had posted saved a lot of time.
Lew, I noticed you're in the 4 corners unit. Are you going to the boondocking rally near Teluride Colorado in June?

Charlie
Hi Charlie,

I've been to Telluride.....NICE!!!!! I'll be in transit during that rally and won't get to the 4 Corners area until Monday or Tuesday. Sounded like a nice relaxing weekend. I WILL be at the Balloon Fiesta though!
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacerized
I'm trying to get ready for some serious camping this summer, and have a drip coming from my gray water tank. I've tested each tank individually with clean water to see which one is causing the leak. The black water tank doesn't leak at all, but the gray tank gives a very slow drip with the Thetford valve closed. The valve seems to close all the way, so I don't think that's the issue. I wonder if the seal is broken, or just has buildup on it after 26 years. Has anyone had any luck with trying to let a cleaning agent sit in the tank to, or found a way to try to clean the seals on these valves without taking them apart. I looks like the only way to get to it would be to drill out the rivets, and drop a section of the belly pan which I want to try only as a last resort. Any suggestions, or should I just give in and drop the pan?

Thanks: Charlie
The gray valve on my '77' Minuet had a slow drip, when I checked it, just enough to keep the drive way damp in a 6" circle. When I bought the Minuet in December, I was told it hadn't been used in at least 5 years. I added a couple of gallons of water with Unique Digest it mixed accroding to directions on the bottle. The leak stoped in a few days. I did that before even trying to open or close the valve for the first time. Knew the gasket would be dry and didn't want to damage anything. LIkely many of the enzyme type treatments would have done the same thing. Worth a try. Bonus, Unique is a Colorado company.
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:56 PM   #8
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Royce:
It sounds like our trailers may have a lot in common. My 81 is one of the few units made that were only 7' wide, and it has the same floor plan as the 24' argosy. I have some pics of it posted on the "cleaning, and polishing" forum.
It also sit for several years, and was used only sparingly for several before that. I'm afraid the valve, or gasket in the valve is shot though. I tried some hot sudsy water in the tank, then brushing with the flexible brush after that, and rinsing it several times. I did get a lot of buildup to come off, but the leak is now worse. I decided to drop the section of the pan near the gray valve. That wasn't too bad, and I now have access to the valve, but I'm trying to figure out how to get it out.
Caadoptees: Your thread showed a lot of things, but I couldn't pick up on that part. It appears that my valve is very firmly seated to the large PVC Y drain pipe. Did you cut through the valve, or would it break free by twisting? I haven't fully uncovered the large Y drain valve. The other individual on the thread indicated that he already had a broken pipe. I called it a night a little while ago, and thought I'd check on here before I broke a pipe that I didn't want to deal with. I'd like to be able to get the valve out before I go to Denver on Thurs. where I can pick it up at camping world.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:21 AM   #9
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Any thoughts from anyone who's changed this valve would be appreciated. I've tried to pry at the valve where it connects to the big Y shaped drain pipe, but it doesn't want to budge, and I'm concerned that I may break it. I may have one set of channel locks that would go around the big pipe, and could buy another, or buy one of those band wrenches. Then try to twist it back, and forth. I don't see any signs of glue, but it could be glued from the inside. If this is the case would I be better off just cutting through the valve? I have very little experience with plumbing.
Charlie
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:46 AM   #10
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Plugging a grey drip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacerized
The leak is just gray water, and I doubt if it drips a gallon a day. I'm tempted to see if I could put a container under it when I park, and get by until next year. .
I know it is a bit late now, since you have opened the belly pan, but another temporary option is to add a third valve to the system. Valterra makes a valve that goes on the pipe where the stinky slinky normally attaches. For Airstreams, you would also need an adapter from the pipe to the smaller Valterra pipe size, also a Valterra hose adapter. The new valve holds back the flow from the leak until the hose is ready. I used one last year when my black valve was partially blocked from closing all the way(talk about your fun when the cap is removed!). It is at best a temporary solution, but could last until you are ready for the full rebuilding of the valves.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sander17
I know it is a bit late now, since you have opened the belly pan, but another temporary option is to add a third valve to the system. Valterra makes a valve that goes on the pipe where the stinky slinky normally attaches. For Airstreams, you would also need an adapter from the pipe to the smaller Valterra pipe size, also a Valterra hose adapter. The new valve holds back the flow from the leak until the hose is ready. I used one last year when my black valve was partially blocked from closing all the way(talk about your fun when the cap is removed!). It is at best a temporary solution, but could last until you are ready for the full rebuilding of the valves.

Good Luck!
That really doesn't sound like a bad idea. While I have taken the pan back, it's still a simple matter of a few rivets. If it comes down to cutting the pipe I may look into that. I didn't know they made this. We're getting nasty sleat coming down right now, and the temps have dropped up here on the mountain. I'm going to try to work with this valve again to see if I could get it loose without breaking anything. I may get frozen out before I get very far.
Charlie
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