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Old 11-15-2008, 04:36 PM   #15
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1972 31' Sovereign
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My 71 also leaks past the Thetford valve. I have several questions posted on the adjacent thread, but want to ask here about the lubricant. Since it is leaking, I guess I would have to run the toilet long enough to get several gallons of water in the tank, then dump a large quantity of lube in and rock the trailer a little bit to get it to disburse then hope it does some good before the water drains out past the worn out seal.

Is this how it is normally used? What is the success rate on 1st try? Do you let it set after the tank runs empty, then do it again a day or two later to give it time to react with the rubber seal?

Also, since the gray water does not have a tank and is designed to run out continuously, does that create a problem in places such as a Walmart parking lot for overnight parking to have water running out?
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:21 PM   #16
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I also had a slow leak and purchased a kit to rebuilt the valve. I first followed the advice of an earlier thread and cleaned the valve seal. I used a coat hanger with a short 90 degree bend and carefully used it to clean the recess of the seal where the knife blade of the valve seats. I found there were debris in the seal that prevented the knife blade from fully seating in the seal. Since cleaning the seal I haven't had any leakage.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:34 PM   #17
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How did you get the end of the coat hanger to the valve without taking the valve apart? Did you remove the 3" pvc Y that goes into the valve then clean it from the outside? I was thinking that the black pvc would be glued to that valve but maybe not.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:47 PM   #18
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I didn't take anything apart. At the end of your pipe you have a valve you pull to empty your blackwater tank. Your model year does not have a factory gray water tank. The valve is a plate that slides between two seals. I learned to dump my tank then flush additional liquid through the blackwater tank with the valve open. If I don't, it is easy to have something hang on the valve seals. The debris is then driven into the seat of the gasket seal when you close the dump valve. It is the debris in the seal seat I cleaned with a bent coat hanger. I got paper our of the valve seat that prevented the valve plate from fully seating and caused a drip leak. If you decide to try this, make sure the end of the coat hanger is free of sharp edges. You don't want to tear the seal.
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:33 PM   #19
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I have wondered why every time I take the cap off the exterior drain, a little water drips out, maybe a tablespoon or at most two, worth. I have told myself a little water remains in the pipe after draining one or both tanks, grey always last, and it collects at the bottom of the pipe over time and dribbles out when I remove the cap. This on a 2008 Safari.

Am I delusional (perhaps the wrong question since I could be delusional anyway)? A better question, is this normal? Or, since the water looks more like soapy water than brown water, does it mean the seal on the grey water tank is not ok?

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Old 11-17-2008, 06:35 PM   #20
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Ditto on the above comments. MTSafaris drip does not sound like it has anything to do with the dump valve.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:24 PM   #21
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What I still don't understand is how could you see the slide valve to use a coat hanger and clean it. The only access I see is by taking the toilet out but even then the flange does not appear to be close enough to the dump valve to be able to see what I am doing. It looks to me like the PVC Y that goes into the adapter on the outside surface of the dump valve would have to be removed, if it is not glued into the Thetford valve, then I could possibly see, although there is a sheet metal or aluminum divider with a round hole that the pvc goes through to connect to the dump valve.

My dump valve appears to line up with two additional holes in the metal divider that a screwdriver or wrench would go through to unhood the valve from the tank for removal, but the pvc has to come out first.

Do you have any photos of yours to show how you accessed it with a coat hanger?
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:56 AM   #22
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Rhanson, if there are no bends or elbows betweeen the valve and the drain hole you may be able to see the dump valve with a flashlight. Look directly into the bottom of the drain while opening and closing the drain and you should be able to see it. Just make sure the tank is empty.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:47 AM   #23
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I agree with Lumatic. I used the coat hanger from the end of the drain, where the hose connects. When you look up the end of the drain you will see a hole between the valve and the end of the drain. The hole is where the gray water exits and is below the valve. Shortly after the hole, on my trailer, is the valve.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:48 AM   #24
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Thanks for the responses. I guess the drain layout on your trailer must be different than mine. The 3" pvc Y is actually more like a sanitary T- it makes a 90 degree curve from the valve to where it comes through the bumber on the side. That is why I mentioned having to take it off to access the valve. I can't even see where the 3" pvc connects into the valve because the 3" pipe goes through a metal wall/divider blocking access and visibility to even work on the Thetford valve. It appears that the valve was installed as the trailer was being built preventing any access at this point. I think I have to dismantle the bumper and back end just to get to it.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:18 PM   #25
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Update... I was thinking about this old thread and wanted to update subscribers. The leak, in fact, had nothing to do with the valve. Early on, we did not realize that our 1970 had no grey tank, so the "trickle" was the grey water flowing out since there was no cap! (Almost embarrased to admit this). We removed the "k-mart" modification and added a new cap with a small hose fitting on it, and now use a blue boy with a short hose connection to collect the grey water. All works great! It's amazing the things you discover over the years as a vintage Airstream owner. So many times I feel so silly because most things we think are real problems end up being simple things that we should have figured out earlier.

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Old 09-12-2010, 04:00 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTsafari View Post
Update... I was thinking about this old thread and wanted to update subscribers. The leak, in fact, had nothing to do with the valve. Early on, we did not realize that our 1970 had no grey tank, so the "trickle" was the grey water flowing out since there was no cap! (Almost embarrased to admit this). We removed the "k-mart" modification and added a new cap with a small hose fitting on it, and now use a blue boy with a short hose connection to collect the grey water. All works great! It's amazing the things you discover over the years as a vintage Airstream owner. So many times I feel so silly because most things we think are real problems end up being simple things that we should have figured out earlier.

We are all guilty of the traial and error routine.

Then afterwards, we ask someone how has been there and done that, and as a final last resort and out reach, we read the instructions.

So, don't feel bad, just join the rest of the group, who have owned up to the innocents.

Just laugh a little and continue enjoying Airstreaming, and all of it's wondrous moments.

But, just in case, take the instructions with you.

Andy
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