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Old 06-02-2008, 06:37 PM   #1
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1999 25' Safari
Sebastopol , California
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Need Help...Electric Toothbrush in Tank

My daughter dropped our electric toothbrush inside the toilet and flushed it down. It seems to have done some real havoc in there as I cannot open the drain to empty the tank. I've had to have it sucked out from the top.

Any ideas? I've tried the coat hanger approach. I'm thinking I need to take it to a repair center and have the tank removed to correct the problem. Does anyone have recommendations on who around Santa Rosa CA works on airstreams?

Thanks,
Ben
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:05 PM   #2
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Oh my goodness! History repeats itself (I had a toothbrush go down my tank too). I filled & emptied mine a bunch of times, but since you can't get it open, that's not an option. I used a camera snake that plumbers use to locate the toothbrush. It was wedged next to where the hole is for the dump. If you can get your hands on a camera snake (they have them at Home Depot, I think , for under $200), at least you can locate the toothbrush. I then used a hanger to move it out, because without the camera, I was just going blind in there. Maybe you could find it & unwedge it if you do get a camera. The toothbrush actually fit down the dump tube and came out the other end. Needless to say, it was a really crappy job, but made alot of people here laugh. I now have the cleanest black tank anyone has ever seen! Good luck.......I feel for you!
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
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By the way, the plumber's camera snake is waterproof, so if you do have some liquid in there (as long as you can see through it), it won't hurt the camera.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:49 PM   #4
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Really long rubber glove and just reach in and feel around until you find it!
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:37 PM   #5
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Better yet let your daughter do it. Just kidding!
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:40 PM   #6
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From experience, your arm isn't long enough to go anywhere unless you remove the toilet!
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:50 PM   #7
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Smile Hi All,

Back up camera now is under$59. You can use that to locate the brush. Let your doughter from now on brush her teeth in the kichen.Just kidding.
Regards Russell
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:03 PM   #8
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What an Idea!

Gosh, I don't let our kids clean the toilet with our electric toothbrush, but I bet it'd do a great job of cleaning! Now, why didn't I think of that? I'm always looking for better ways to do things by reading this forum. Guess it'd need a tether though, huh?
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:04 PM   #9
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Hey Aluminumb,

Just a thought...

Option #1 Raise your electrice tongue jack all the way up. Run a graden hose through your open rear window to where a spray nozzel will reach the opening to your toilet.

Fill the black water tank all the way up with fresh water through the toilet. Get a broom handle. Open the toilet ball valve, stick the handle down and adgitate.

Open the black water gate valve...and pray it comes out.

Option #2 Fill your black water tank all the way full with freash water. Find a long up extremely uphill grade. Open the gate valve and drive really fast.

Good luck, please let us know the solution that works.
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:10 PM   #10
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For peat's sake, buy a new electric toothbrush.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:55 PM   #11
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I wonder if there's much actual metal in one of those toothbrushes to stick to one of those magnets on the end of a long flexible "stick" (actually a fine coil) that I see at the hardware store?
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:33 PM   #12
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Smile Hi,

Buy a new tooth brush and get a magnet and see what happens. Normaly the motor is made out of copper wire and not much iron but you may get lucky. In my AS during costruction they droped a bolt in the black tank and when i flushed it moved to the valve and stuck it open. Two hund later for the parts and my labor it was out. The problem is that AS clues everyting at the factory assuming that the valves will never need replacing. I use AS sealent on the pipes so I can take them appart as needed.
Regards from Russell in hot and sunny Tucson Az.
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:51 PM   #13
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My first thought was "send the kid in after it" but then I thought of what MY daughter would have said to that (Oh DAD!)

I'd use a combination of a car mechanic's mirror (small mirror on a telescoping wand), a good flashlight, and a car mechanic's "dropped screw picker upper" - flexible cable with a "claw" on the end.

And I agree with the sentiment for getting a new toothbrush!!!
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Old 06-03-2008, 04:41 PM   #14
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Drop as much belly pan as necessary to get to the valve and the elbow leading the the tank. Take a hack saw and cut the valves out. Just make sure you leave at least 1 in of pipe at the tank end to attach the coulplings too when finished. Once you have the brush out you can put things back togeather with a Fernco Fitting that you can buy at any Home Depot.

Better yet go buy the fittings first so you can see what you are working with.

You will most likely have to cut the piping from both tanks and may have to support the assembly after you put it back togeather. This support may be necessary to resist your puling on the valve handles as the Ferncos are just rubber.

This will cost you about $10.00 for the 2 fittings and some time.
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