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Old 08-02-2012, 05:41 PM   #1
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2012 5th trip multiple water leaks

We are back at Tiger Run in Breckenridge, CO and I sitting in the cool shade across from the door getting a bit of reading done, when I notice there is a drip at the side of the stairs and next to the wheel well. Sure enough the inside of the sink cabinet is dripping from the filter bypass hose connections. We have never used the filter it is as it came from the factory. It feels tight but get the tools out to gently tighten it a bit more. Still dripping, so I have crammed some towels in under it for now. Go back out and start reading again and notice a stream of drips coming from the hot water tank cover. Sure enough open the panel door and the relief valve has a steady drip stream. Now I have turned the water off to the trailer and the electric to the hot water tank and will let it cool off then open the valve a bit to see if it will “re-seal. This is our 4th set of problems in 5 trips. I am just wondering what the hell it will be like for the next 10 years. I am really frustrated and at a loss for words with my depressed feelings regarding this very expensive trailer. I guess we will only turn the water on when we plan on using it and then right back off. What a way to vacation in a new Airstream.

Any thoughts on either problem.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:51 PM   #2
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My rig developed a leak in water supply to the toilet bowl. Funny thing is. it only leak when hooked up to the water supply not when pump is used, I guess the pressure is higher with relief valve than the pump pressure;.
It is so tight behind the bowl I could not reach with any wrench. Taking it to the dealer tomorrow for the fix.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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We had the same problem with our new unit. I just gave the brass pin on the relief valve a light tap with a hammer and it reseated the seal. I had to eventually replace the pressure relief valve in our 3rd year because it just wouldn't stop leaking.... It is a very easy fix. We haven't had a problem since.

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Old 08-02-2012, 08:25 PM   #4
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I have found that on my Airstream, many of the plastic-to-plastic fittings have been done with Teflon tape. Teflon is not recommended for any plastic-to-plastic fittings... My bathroom faucet was leaking because of this.

The other issue seems to be too much water pressure. You can get thread-on regulators to make sure your city water hookup isn't too high... something around 45psi is usually what the built-in pump is rated for.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:28 PM   #5
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Hi, pipefitter Dave here.
I would have the dealer check your pressure regulator. These things are adjustable. Cranking it in will raise the pressure within the trailer. Turning it out will lower the pressure.

In regards to the filter, Take it off and put a little plumbers grease on the O ring.

The correct way to seal a relief vavle is to open it with water pressure behind it and let it snap shut via the spring pressure. Sometime a little something gets stuck under the rubber seat.
I will be picking up my 2011 this weekend. I better not have any frigin leaks. Not for what these things cost.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:11 PM   #6
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I know these leaks are frustrating but most of the components that are leaking are not made by Airstream. Assembled plumbing, sure but the hot water heater for example is a whole unit just screwed in place by AS.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comments. I'll look to see if I can get to the pressure regulator and turn it down or fill the tank and just use the pump. I'll take the bypass piece out and check the seals. It's only 8 months old and one thing after another. I thought the new style plumbing was supposed to be better. Never had any leaks with the previous trailers. None.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SafariSS View Post
I know these leaks are frustrating but most of the components that are leaking are not made by Airstream. Assembled plumbing, sure but the hot water heater for example is a whole unit just screwed in place by AS.
Yeah, a lot of my problems are also screwed in place by Airstream...

Do they even pressure test the plumbing before they rivet it behind layers of aluminum?
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:32 PM   #9
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If you're getting discharge from the pressure relief valve in addition to the other leaks, I'd strongly suggest you install an accumulator tank in the water system.

On my trailer the water system was pressurizing excessively each time the water heater cycled. The water pressure was far in excess of 100 PSI. It forced water out of several locations in the trailer, including the plastic water inlet fixture.

Installing a large Shurflo accumulator tank solved this issue completely.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi View Post
If you're getting discharge from the pressure relief valve in addition to the other leaks, I'd strongly suggest you install an accumulator tank in the water system.

On my trailer the water system was pressurizing excessively each time the water heater cycled. The water pressure was far in excess of 100 PSI. It forced water out of several locations in the trailer, including the plastic water inlet fixture.

Installing a large Shurflo accumulator tank solved this issue completely.
Why should the OP spend the time and money to correct a problem that should have been corrected on the assembly line?
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:06 PM   #11
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The Airstream has a pressure regulator built into the external connection on the shell, I don't think it's adjustable. But I doubt that's the problem. The problem is the new electric/propane water heater (maybe).

The anti-siphon or anti-backup valve at campgrounds (you may have your own) traps whatever water pressure there is in the trailer plumbing. The water will expand when heated with no apparent relief for the higher pressure. The new combo electric/propane water heater also keeps the water near boiling point, and when you open a faucet (or flush during the night) the sudden drop in system pressure will lower the boiling point in the water heater, the water boils for a moment, and a sudden belch is forced out the water heater relief valve. At least that's my theory.

A full-timer fiver with an electric/propane water heater told me that there must be a "bubble" of air inside the water heater to absorb these pressure increases. That bubble will happen when you fill the system, but that air bubble will slowly dissolve into the water after a few weeks.
The cure is to turn off the water heater, shut off the water supply, open a hot water faucet and drain the water heater down by holding open its pressure relief valve until air can re-enter the water heater, forming a fresh "bubble".

Try it, it will help but you still may get a burp of water out the heater relief valve during the nighttime flush, or during the day. Not a big deal.

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Old 08-02-2012, 11:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
The Airstream has a pressure regulator built into the external connection on the shell, I don't think it's adjustable. But I doubt that's the problem. The problem is the new electric/propane water heater (maybe).


doug k
There is no pressure regulator on my city water connection...

Your theory is interesting, but basically you are saying the last 50 years of water heaters are all pressure-bombs waiting to explode. They have their own pressure-relief valves that should pop if they reach the pressures you suggest.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:32 PM   #13
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Nope not saying that at all, Friday. The new combo electric/propane water heaters run much hotter when on electric, I am told. The pressure relief will work, and that is part of Collimare's problem.

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Old 08-03-2012, 12:09 AM   #14
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Dave Schumann from Airstream in June 2012 "Blue Beret" says the ShurFlo water pressure reducing valve and city water hookup PN: 601392-05 is used on all models but he doesn't say what year they started it. It precludes the need for a separate pressure reducing valve, is preset at 65 psi and not adjustable. Look at your city water hookup, this part number is stamped on the front.

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