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Old 10-13-2010, 11:50 AM   #1
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Grey water issue...

In my 84 Intl my grey water flows no problem when the valve is open and conected to sewer, but when I close the valve and use the tank, it backs up into the shower after about 2 gallons... What gives? Does the water go through the tank and then out the drain? If so, how can one work and not the other? Or, does water bypass the tank when the sewer valve is open?

Thanks for any input...
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:59 AM   #2
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In my 84 Intl my grey water flows no problem when the valve is open and conected to sewer, but when I close the valve and use the tank, it backs up into the shower after about 2 gallons... What gives? Does the water go through the tank and then out the drain? If so, how can one work and not the other? Or, does water bypass the tank when the sewer valve is open?

Thanks for any input...
From your description, it sounds like the vent pipe is plugged up somehow.

Andy
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:17 PM   #3
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That's a strange one... My 1974 31' Int was the first year for grey tanks, and it's only 10 gallons. That seems to fill up quickly.

But by '84, I think they had gone to something like 25 gallons, so something is wrong.

Water does not bypass the valve, the valve is after the tank. Unless your estimate is way off, there is something in your great tank filling it up, say old dried up peas and carrots, or some other obstruction. Now, to fill 20-odd gallons, it would have to be some really important amount of peas and carrots!

Or, for some reason, the tank is not emptying when you open the valve, and again, some obstruction is causing it to hold back the water somehow.

If you can somehow wiggle a hose up the waste pipe (after cleaning it out with same hose), and get it into the grey tank (valve open, of course), perhaps you can rinse it out thoroughly and make sure it really it clean and empty.

Using warm to hot water might aid in that exercise...

Then, after closing the grey tank's valve again, fill it up using a two-bucket pail, and really measure how much it will hold.

Let us know what happens?

[edit] Aha, Andy has a good idea: run the hose down the vent pipe from the roof and see if it runs freely into the tank. You will have to remove the cap, I think.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:58 PM   #4
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I totally renovated the 31 and in interest of a larger kitchen, put in an online vent in order to gain counter space. This is a rubber flap like in a s uba mask that allows air into the system, but keeps smell from coming up the pipe. That will make it a hit hard to pour water down the vent... I also think if the vent were plugged it would not drain normally at all, no?

There might just be 20 gallons of peas down there...
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:48 PM   #5
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I totally renovated the 31 and in interest of a larger kitchen, put in an online vent in order to gain counter space. This is a rubber flap like in a s uba mask that allows air into the system, but keeps smell from coming up the pipe.
Did it drain properly when you first did the renovation & installed this "scuba mask" vent? Or could maybe that be part of the problem...maybe there isn't enough "umphf" to make the scuba thing work...

Shari
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:52 PM   #6
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As water goes in ,air must go out,if you have an AAAV[automatic air admittance valve],it will not let the air out of the tank,so water can`t go down,unless it gurgles all the way.You need at least 1 vent to go thru roof. Dave
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:30 PM   #7
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I don't know what an AAAV is, but the inline vent I used has been used in every type of plumbing known to man. It allows air to enter the system just like any roof vent. If it is a venting issue, would it make any difference if the vent went 7' through the roof or 6' to the ceiling? That is essentially what the inline vent does. (Ok, so 42", not 6'...) Shouldn't make a difference. Air still gets in the system to allow water to leave. The issue is why it drains fine through the tank, but when valve is closed, tank will only hold a couple of gallons. The vent I shortened is by the kitchen sink too...
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:53 PM   #8
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Air still gets in the system to allow water to leave. The issue is why it drains fine through the tank, but when valve is closed, tank will only hold a couple of gallons. The vent I shortened is by the kitchen sink too...
I think that perhaps this diagram shows what happens with one of those valves.

Positive pressure in that tank would close the valve. If the valve is closed, no more water can enter, so the next easiest path is into your tub.

It's sort of counter-intuitive, and I don't really get it either. I mean, how is the tank supposed to fill a tank with one of those valves on it?

Further down the page in that link, they show how it hooks up to a sink, and that seems to make sense.

Is it just that you can't use that type of valve on a holding tank, only on a draining system?
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:25 AM   #9
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Just re-read easyriders post... The roof vent allows air IN and OUT?? I thought based on residential plumbing that air only needs come in. I suppose with the tank it needs to get out too... That would have been good to know a few months ago...
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:34 AM   #10
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I think that perhaps this diagram shows what happens with one of those valves.

Positive pressure in that tank would close the valve. If the valve is closed, no more water can enter, so the next easiest path is into your tub.

It's sort of counter-intuitive, and I don't really get it either. I mean, how is the tank supposed to fill a tank with one of those valves on it?

Further down the page in that link, they show how it hooks up to a sink, and that seems to make sense.

Is it just that you can't use that type of valve on a holding tank, only on a draining system?
I can unscrew the valve and see if it works that way. What you are saying makes sense. Now I just gotta figure out how to vent it to the roof if it works without the inline vent...
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:58 AM   #11
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Just re-read easyriders post... The roof vent allows air IN and OUT?? I thought based on residential plumbing that air only needs come in. I suppose with the tank it needs to get out too... That would have been good to know a few months ago...
Yes, the roof vent allows air in and out of the tank. As a sink drains into the tank, the air in the tank needs to go somewhere, and the roof vent provides that escape. When you drain the tank, the roof vent allows air into the tank to let the liquid drain out of the tank. One other important aspect of the roof vent, in both a RV and your home, is it allows sewer gas to escape.

In a SOB trailer we had years ago, there was one of those AAAV valves under the counter for the kitchen sink. Worked well. But the gray tank still had a roof vent that also vented the bathroom fixtures.

Chris
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:17 AM   #12
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What is SOB? I call white boxes POS', but I don't think that is very pc.

I want to thank you guys for the info. I am not usually this thick headed, but have been working 12-14 hour days for about 25 straight... 4.5 hours at the DMV yesterday trying to get the 'stream registered didn't help... Had to talk the p.o. into going to his DMV at 4:30 to register it ($$$) so my bill of sale would actually be from the registered owner!
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:20 AM   #13
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Square Old Boxes, or Some Other Brand.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:29 AM   #14
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Some Other Brand in this case. A '95 Jayco.
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