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Old 01-01-2008, 06:04 PM   #1
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1966 26' Overlander
Mesa , Arizona
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Help! Graywater backing-up into bathtub / won't drain

Good day to all:

I've searched the forums for a solution to my problem, to no avail.

I took my new 1966 Overlander out on the first test-run, spending an evening camping with my wife. I found a few issues to resolve, but this is the most pressing:

When using the kitchen sink, I noticed the graywater tank appeared to be overflowing into the bathtub. I was relatively confident that it was not full, and I know the water which was backing up through the drain was from the kitchen sink because it was hot (and my wife was washing up after breakfast).

I checked the pitch and yaw of the trailer (heh) and made some minor adjustments, to no avail. It was relatively level, etc., but it still wouldn't drain on its own.

I drained off the graywater tank on the spot, having my wife monitor the level of the cruddy water in the bathtub. ONLY when the level of the graywater tank was almost completely empty did the water drain out of the bathtub.

What gives????

This is a showstopper for us, as we were going to take our boys out to our ranch next weekend but this issue has to be resolved. I have been out-of-town on vacation until last night and this is my #1 priority right now.

I also noticed a small amount of water having leaked from beneath the tub, collecting on the bathroom floor. Not a lot, but suggesting a small break in the seal btw. the drain and tub. Not my primary concern right now, of course.

Please help and thanks in advance for your advice, guidance, etc.

Regards,
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:10 PM   #2
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As your year trailer doesn't have an original grey tank, you must allow the grey water to drain whenever it is being used. Most folks drain it into a blue "tote" or onto the ground where allowed. If the cap is covering the discharge, any water you use will back up into the shower. The first year for grey tanks is around '73-'74. My '72 does the same thing as yours if the cap is left on.
Dave
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:10 PM   #3
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Put some padding under a ladder until you can look down your plumbing vent stacks. Many models have 2 vent pipes coming through the roof. Are the screens still there? Any mud dauber nests in the way?

[on edit: I see Fyrzowt has a better explanation. My bad for owning nothing older than a '74 Argosy. 1974 was the first year for grey water tanks.]
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:16 PM   #4
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our 69 has 2 drain valves, one out by the bumper and one inside the rear compartment. The one in the compartment opens up the black tank, the second one out at the bumper allows a person if need be to close it and open the inner valve and send gray water into the black tank in a pinch. Would fill that tank up pretty fast because it isn't that big. On the negative side, If both valves are closed and we run water, the bathtub becomes our gray tank. Hope that makes sense.
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:41 PM   #5
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No tank there

I'll bet that you don't have a grey water tank and that you have a cap on the drain for the black tank....that will cause the problem you described. Without the cap the grey will drain and the black will not....until the drain valve is opened at eh rear bumper.
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Old 01-01-2008, 07:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by team_no
Good day to all:

I've searched the forums for a solution to my problem, to no avail.

I took my new 1966 Overlander out on the first test-run, spending an evening camping with my wife. I found a few issues to resolve, but this is the most pressing:

When using the kitchen sink, I noticed the graywater tank appeared to be overflowing into the bathtub. I was relatively confident that it was not full, and I know the water which was backing up through the drain was from the kitchen sink because it was hot (and my wife was washing up after breakfast).

I checked the pitch and yaw of the trailer (heh) and made some minor adjustments, to no avail. It was relatively level, etc., but it still wouldn't drain on its own.

I drained off the graywater tank on the spot, having my wife monitor the level of the cruddy water in the bathtub. ONLY when the level of the graywater tank was almost completely empty did the water drain out of the bathtub.

What gives????

This is a showstopper for us, as we were going to take our boys out to our ranch next weekend but this issue has to be resolved. I have been out-of-town on vacation until last night and this is my #1 priority right now.

I also noticed a small amount of water having leaked from beneath the tub, collecting on the bathroom floor. Not a lot, but suggesting a small break in the seal btw. the drain and tub. Not my primary concern right now, of course.

Please help and thanks in advance for your advice, guidance, etc.

Regards,
1966 Airstreams did not have a gray tank.

When the cap is on the sewer outlet, the only storage place for water, is within the black piping, which is very little, before it shows up in the tub.

Opening the "black" tank valve to allow gray water to enter it, is an absolute "HEALTH" risk.

Granted the gray water will go into the black water tank, and, whatever is in the black water tank, will go into the plumbing and the tub "P" trap and then into the tub.

If an emergency exists, dump the gray water on the ground. But as a matter of routine, you can get a blue tank, as they are called, and attach it to the sewer outlet. That tank, up to it's limits, will hold the gray water for you.

A gray tank can be added, but rear end separation results will happen, if not done correctly.

Andy
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