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Old 11-12-2012, 07:45 PM   #1
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Look what crawled out of my gray tank

I'm assuming this is trash that someone on the assembly line stuffed into the tank. When I pull the black tank valve the tank empties in a fairly big or quick rush. I haven't timed it, but it probably takes less than a minute. The gray tank empties much slower. I'm new at RVing, so I don't know if this is normal? The pipe and valve from the gray tank is smaller, so maybe it is normal to be a slower drain. OR is there more trash blocking the tank? I haven't had time to pull to a dealer, and I wasn't sure if it was necessary.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:49 PM   #2
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Definetly a QC issue that they should be made aware of.

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Old 11-12-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
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Wow. No wonder it drained slow.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:31 PM   #4
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The grey tank does empty a bit slower because, as you say, the pipes are a bit smaller. That said, Airstream really needs to know that your tank is dispensing sheets of plastic!
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:12 PM   #5
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Have you tried giving it a little tug? It might pull right out. Ask around did anyone flush something down the sink or shower? If not a build out issue. Looks like shipping wrap off of a pallet.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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I thought they made plastic film out of oil, but I guess it is made of dishwater.

I'd pull it out 'cause it sure doesn't belong in there. Does look like construction trash. Many have found trash stowed away in strange places, but this one is the weirdest.

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Old 11-13-2012, 06:30 AM   #7
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Gray tanks tend to dump slower. Consider this for example: If your black tank is 20 gallons, it will empty fairly quickly because it has a 3" dump line. If your gray tank is also 20 gallons, it will take much more than twice as long to empty because it's dump line is 1 1/2" (half the diameter). A plumbing rule I learned way back in high school is that if you double the diameter of a pipe, you quadruple it's capacity.

Did you remove all the plastic? You don't want it stuck in your dump valve.

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:51 PM   #8
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I didn't give the full story on my original post because I was posting from my phone with fat fingers. I noticed plastic coming from the dump valve on our first outing. I pulled and several feet came out, but I got resistance and cut the plastic off. I was worried about pulling too hard for fear of damage to the tank/fittings/etc. This left a few inches inside the valve. I then contacted airstream, and they asked for pictures. They told me to take it to a dealer which I haven't done (too busy with family, work, camping). On my last outing this past weekend the plastic started coming out again and I was able to pull several more feet out (shown in the pictures on the post). It did seem to all come out. I have contacted airstream again asking if there was anything in the manufacturing process that would leave plastic in the tank (such has a plastic lining in the tank, etc). Their response was 'take it to a dealer and let us know what they tell you'. So...airstream does know about the issue and I will be taking it in at some point during the winter. I work full time with small kids, and I simply haven't had time to pull the camper to a dealer yet. I suspect there is more trash in the tank(I think the tank is draining too slow), but it is 'working' so I was postponing the work.

Turns out my water heater won't shut off (I started a post about that last night), so I think my trip to a dealer has moved up on my priority list.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:37 PM   #9
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Maybe they will have a camera that they can send into the tank.
I couldn't believe how slow my grey empties compared to my black, until I got under and checked the dimensions, the grey looks like a pancake while the black is 3 times taller.

I'm glad I have a sign for my boat toilet, Do not put anything in the toilet that hasn't passed through your body. Turtles die from ingesting plastic bags, and from what you pulled out humans would too. lol
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:28 PM   #10
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Well......I started this thread but never really followed through. You know how it get busy with life. Anyway I did get 'permission' from Airstream to have my local dealer send a camera into my grey tank. I hauled the airstream to the dealer and explained everything, shared my pictures, emails with airstream, etc. After a month at the dealer I was told "we flushed the tank and everything seems fine". Very reassuring. After de-winterizing and a few camping trips this spring I tried a little experiment. I emptied my grey tank, then re- filled with 10 gallons of water, then emptied the tank with a stop watch. It took 5 minutes to empty the tank. So finally a question: does that sound reasonable? This is my first travel trailer so I have no frame of reference. I need to know if this drain rate seems to be in ballpark or if I should push the issue with Airstream and my local dealer
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:38 PM   #11
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Seems a bit long. Are you pulling the handle out all the way? Sometimes the last inch or so is a little hard. Be careful where you dump the gray, some people are really paranoid about it, and it is illegal in most areas now, Jim
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:54 PM   #12
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That seems like a long time, but when you say empty, do you mean completely empty? It takes my 36 gallon tank just a couple minutes for the majority of the water to empty in a big whoosh, but then it slows down and will trickle for a few minutes more until it's completely empty. I never really timed it, but i would say probably 4-5 minutes or so until completely empty, although it probably seems longer than that to the person waiting behind me at the dump station. If the drain side of the trailer is higher than the curbside, it seems like it takes longer to drain too.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:43 PM   #13
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Our grey is 10 gallons, too, and it takes significantly longer than the black tank. Always has.

We were told by someone years ago that the grey discharge is intentionally smaller, so that after dumping the black the grey water will clean out the hose.

The plastic thingy trailing out of your tank leaves me speechless.

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Old 08-14-2013, 03:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by CaptainNecro View Post
I emptied my grey tank, then re- filled with 10 gallons of water, then emptied the tank with a stop watch. It took 5 minutes to empty the tank. So finally a question: does that sound reasonable?
Two gallons per minute does seem slow. Very slow.

So, next question, is the tank vent clogged? If air doesn't get in, water won't flow out.

Of course, other posters have already asked if the valve is completely open, but to get a flow rate that slow, the valve would have to be almost closed. Especially since it's the gray tank, which should have no solids in it. Other than an entire roll of Saran Wrap, of course…

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