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Old 08-03-2010, 09:46 AM   #1
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1962 24' Tradewind
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What happens/how do I know holding tank is full?

Okay, this question will be a good laugh for you veterans. How do I know when the holding tank is full? What happens....does stuff start backing up the bathtub? I can experiment with clean water to find out, but just thought I'd ask first. This is a 62 Tradewind...looks like the tank in there now is fiberglass, but I'm not sure if it's original or not.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:51 AM   #2
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Okay, this question will be a good laugh for you veterans. How do I know when the holding tank is full? What happens....does stuff start backing up the bathtub? I can experiment with clean water to find out, but just thought I'd ask first. This is a 62 Tradewind...looks like the tank in there now is fiberglass, but I'm not sure if it's original or not.
The 62 tanks were fiberglass.

Unless someone has modified the original system, the black water cannot back up into anything, except the toilet, which simply says the tank is full.

The biggest problem with your tank, is the brass "dump valve".

That valve went out of style some 47 years ago.

It can be replaced with current type valves, by doing a little fiberglass work.

Andy
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:53 AM   #3
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We have a 62 year trailer and it has a fiberglass septic tank as you describe. I am certain that it is original. If your trailer is like ours you do not have a gray (shower water) tank you can double check by pouring a bucket of water into the shower drain and look to see if it just runs out of your valve at the back of the trailer. If your septic tank gets too full, it will back up into the toilet bowl, you will definitely see the level when you open the toilet flap.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:20 AM   #4
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1962 24' Tradewind
Berry Creek , California
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Thanks everyone for the "depth finder" tips. The original toilet has been replaced by a plastic one (boy are those tight quarters!!). It appears to me as if the back part of the floor upon which the toilet sits (the edge of the floor against the trailer) is about 1/2 - 1" lower than the molding so I'm thinking part of this floor may be sitting on the tank itself? The seller did give me the old porcelain toilet and said he couldn't find parts for it, so I have that. I'll have to inspect to see if the brass valve is still there or if it has been replaced. There is no gray water tank, it all goes into the holding tank.

I appreciate all the help and knowledge that people share on this forum. It's really a great help, fun and friendly.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:34 AM   #5
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your trailer must have been re-plumbed to allow the gray water to go into the black tank. In that case if it gets full, you could quite well have sewer water back up in the shower unless they happend to install a check valve to prevent that from happening. I guess you could fill it with clean water to see what happens. Ours still has the original brass fitting and it works just fine, the Previous owner rebuilt it. We are fortunate enough to have the aluminum elbow that connects to it on the outside so we can attach a regular sewer hose to the trailer.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:11 AM   #6
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We found out the hard way. Grey water backup is not fun. On ours, such small tanks (16 gallon) and 3 days of moderate sink use, and we're backed up.
Unless something's wrong?

Ours backed up into the shower the second to last time we were out...testing with fresh water or not, I am guessing it will still stink as ours did. Stuff festers in there, we haven't had it long enough (6 months) to throughly run some cleaning agent through there.

It also did that just a little last time too, but when we left our site (friends have land) it wasn't. By the time we got to the dumping station 10km away, some had come up again through the shower. No big bumps, some up and down hills I guess, and we didn't have the stopper on the tub.
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:54 AM   #7
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We found out the hard way. Grey water backup is not fun. On ours, such small tanks (16 gallon) and 3 days of moderate sink use, and we're backed up.
Unless something's wrong?

Ours backed up into the shower the second to last time we were out...testing with fresh water or not, I am guessing it will still stink as ours did. Stuff festers in there, we haven't had it long enough (6 months) to throughly run some cleaning agent through there.

It also did that just a little last time too, but when we left our site (friends have land) it wasn't. By the time we got to the dumping station 10km away, some had come up again through the shower. No big bumps, some up and down hills I guess, and we didn't have the stopper on the tub.
When the gray water tank becomes full, it "will" backup into the shower or tub as the case may be.

It has no other place to go.

Check valves are not used, since they must have at least a small amount of pressure to work correctly.

Andy
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:43 AM   #8
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Andy what was the last year that the brass dump valve was used?
What was (is) the main problem with the brass valve? Quality or Design?
Was it branded Thetford?

thanks as always
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:07 AM   #9
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Andy what was the last year that the brass dump valve was used?
What was (is) the main problem with the brass valve? Quality or Design?
Was it branded Thetford?

thanks as always
I think 61 or 62 was the last year for the brass valve.

The brass valves cost became a target when plastic arrived.

I have no idea who the manufacturer was, but I suspect that the valves came from the boating industry.

Brass corrodes.

Stainless steel also corrodes, depending on the acid, and the temperature of it. Many years ago, I photo engraved some stainless steel electronic instrument panels, that many said "can't be done".

The only problem with the plastic valves, is that they have a tendency to shrink a little in time, making them not always suitable for rebuilding.

Andy
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:46 AM   #10
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There is a valve you can install in the shower drain. It is a flap type one way valve and is called a HEPVO valve. You can find them on the web and I think they come from Australia. I have installed one on a shower drain but not on a A/S. The valve did solve some "sloshing" problems on the brand "x" trailer. I think it comes in 1-1/4" and 1-1/2".
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:20 PM   #11
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1962 24' Tradewind
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Good news! The gray water does not go into the holding tank. I poured water into the holding tank with the trap shut and it held about 14 gallons (2 5-gallon buckets and most of another). The gray water comes at the very bottom of the dump valve (two, separate pipes, one for the kitchen and one for the tub). I do have a small problem though in that the rubber seal around the sliding gate that shuts off the holding tank has gotten brittle and water leaks around it. This means that unless I do something differently, I can't let my gray water run out because the holding tank leaks out, too. I wonder if there's a nifty fitting that goes up into the dump valve that can act as a secondary seal on the holding tank, but let the gray water go out around it?
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:18 AM   #12
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Good news! The gray water does not go into the holding tank. I poured water into the holding tank with the trap shut and it held about 14 gallons (2 5-gallon buckets and most of another). The gray water comes at the very bottom of the dump valve (two, separate pipes, one for the kitchen and one for the tub). I do have a small problem though in that the rubber seal around the sliding gate that shuts off the holding tank has gotten brittle and water leaks around it. This means that unless I do something differently, I can't let my gray water run out because the holding tank leaks out, too. I wonder if there's a nifty fitting that goes up into the dump valve that can act as a secondary seal on the holding tank, but let the gray water go out around it?
Sorry, but that's wishful thinking.

No such gizmo.

Andy
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