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Old 03-07-2011, 05:48 PM   #1
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1973 29' Ambassador
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Busted pipes and access...

I have a 73 Ambassador and just hooked to the city water inlet for the first time since purchasing it......I was afraid I would be in for a bad time and sure enough....

had a few small leaks like under the bathroom sink that are no problem to fix....the problem is all the water pouring from the center section of my AS...it seems to be coming from somewhere around fresh water tank..... I don't see any evidence that PO winterized it....

I pulled the AS up on ramps and crawled under looking for access to these lines...there seems to be none...I have a service manual but it really has been completely useless for every problem Ive had with the unit so far...

So whats the procedure to access these lines? cut out the floor over them? I did a search and read every thread in plumbing with no luck....

It looks like it may be the lines that run across the center of unit...it is a center bath 29ft Ambassador Land Yacht...maybe I can pull the fresh water plywood out and get to them?....

I really love this unit and knew I would have some water and propane issues....any help or ideas would be great...Thank you
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:54 PM   #2
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Moonshine
The Water lines run about the floor. Start by looking under the galley sink and trace the lines from there back.
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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Ky in my 73 31ft center bath the water line runs from the back above the floor under the bed forward through the closet behind the woodgrain cover for the wheelwell. Once it enters the kitchen pantry it drops down under the floor into the fresh water tank compartment and crosses over to the curbside of the trailer. It then comes back up above the floor to feed the kitchen sink and travels back above the floor to the bathroom behind the shower to feed the shower. sink and toilet.
Did you make sure that the low point drains located under the floor at the kitchen counter are closed. Look under the kitchen counter below the stove for an access hole in the floor. that is where the shut offs are.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:05 PM   #4
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Yea all three red valves are closed....
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:47 PM   #5
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Ky well if you can determine that the bust pipe is indeed in the fresh water tank area you can pull the tank to get access to it.
While you were underneath you should have noticed a square area of the belly right in front of the axles. That is the fresh water tank. If you look at the front edge of that square you will find a piece of angle iron going from side to side. On either side there are bolts attaching the front piece of angle iron to the side pieces. If you remove those bolts the front angle iron can be removed. The fresh water tanks is sitting on a large 1" thick piece of plywood, below that plywood is a sheet of aluminium belly pan.It will be sealed all around the edges. Once you break the sealer loose the plywood and aluminium should slide forward to remove the fresh water tank. It may be very tough to pull the plywood forward. Some people have had to use a come-a-long or even pull it forward using a truck. I got lucky and mine slid right out. Be careful to only go partially forward and then support the fresh water tank prior to completely removing the plywood. Make sure you disconnect all the plumbing lines to the tank first and raise the three red valves up into the trailer and clear of the plywood. the fresh water supply is across the back of the fresh water tank. It may be possible to repair it without removing the tank but soldering pipes that close to the plastic tank may be difficult.
If you have any other question just ask and I'll try to help.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:31 PM   #6
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Yea I figure Ill pull the tank tomorrow...I already pulled the angle iron off and pushed around on it....how do I get to the lines on fresh water tank to remove? and how do I pull the valves up?.....I figure at least if I pull the tank I may see where water is coming from....Thanks for your help
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:27 PM   #7
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Water could be passing backwards through the water pump and over filling the fresh water tank. There should be a check valve built into the pump, but they can fail.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:38 AM   #8
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I too have had water leaks from freezing. The problem with airstream is that they use a thin wall flexable piping. You can slide regular copper ridgid piping over it and solder it.
Air Scream should have allowed more drainage at the low spots. Glad they didn't run the sewer pipes in front of my house

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Old 03-08-2011, 10:46 AM   #9
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Ky the drain lines will be pipe clamped to the 1" thick piece of plywood in a couple of spots right near the valves. If you remove the clemps you should be able to lift the pies up to clear the plywood. Use a piece of rope to keep them suspended above the plywood and slide the wood forward.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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Spent the entire morning pulling the big piece of wood that holds the fresh water tank in...it was stuck solid...have it all apart..gonna replace the wood with a new piece as well...found my leak..somebody long ago spliced the copper lines with rubber hose...

gonna fix it proper and try my hand at sweating them in....
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:06 PM   #11
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Congrats KY you desreve a great big slug of your screen name for a job well done.
It will be hard to find a piece of plywood that thick. Is it that bad that it needs to be replaced? I just sealed mine with waterproof paint and reused it.
Don't you just hate butchered up repairs. The PO patched it and left the problem for you to fix.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:18 PM   #12
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Yea Ive been at it all day.......

The wood is rotten where its been leaking for years...so I have to replace it...I knew I couldn't get inch thick plywood anymore so I bought 3/4...better than what it had....

I went to Home Depot to get the parts I need and of course I found out I could not buy them there....seems AS used OD and I will have to go to a HVAC or appliance repair store to get it...wanted to buckle it up today before the rain came but now I have to search for odd parts:
1/2"OD slip couplings
5/8"OD slip couplings
1/2" OD pipe
5/8" OD pipe

My brother does HVAC so this stuff is probably out at the shop.... Ill try to dig it up tomorrow and finish in the rain.....

This is how the PO had it patched up...
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:49 PM   #13
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If that was a patch by the PO because of freezing and a busted line then the rest of the copper in the area may be stretched. As the water freezes in that area the line would have expanded until it burst in the waekest spot. You amy need to cut way back to get the original diameter in the copper line to make the repair.

Good Luck - sweating copper is not that big a deal - clean all the connections with drinking water safe flux and use drinking water safe solder.

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Old 03-10-2011, 02:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clancy_boy View Post
If that was a patch by the PO because of freezing and a busted line then the rest of the copper in the area may be stretched. As the water freezes in that area the line would have expanded until it burst in the waekest spot. You amy need to cut way back to get the original diameter in the copper line to make the repair.

Good Luck - sweating copper is not that big a deal - clean all the connections with drinking water safe flux and use drinking water safe solder.

Mike
You Mike appear to be very correct.... I can't find anything at any of the biggest plumbing and HVAC warehouses in this state that will fit my pipe...so I am assuming it has stretched out quite abit....Im going to get under it when weather breaks again(its snowing here) and see if I can figure it out...

Where do you guys get your plumbing supplies for these things? the service manual says the lines are 1/2 OD and 5/8 OD..what size slip joints will I need to make the repair..and where will I find that size pipe? do you just use HVAC line set tubing?

I'm concerned because I have had the front two wheels on ramps with the back two hanging for a few days now and will be another few days the way its looking....will this cause a problem?

Thanks
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Ky well if you can determine that the bust pipe is indeed in the fresh water tank area you can pull the tank to get access to it.
While you were underneath you should have noticed a square area of the belly right in front of the axles. That is the fresh water tank. If you look at the front edge of that square you will find a piece of angle iron going from side to side. On either side there are bolts attaching the front piece of angle iron to the side pieces. If you remove those bolts the front angle iron can be removed. The fresh water tanks is sitting on a large 1" thick piece of plywood, below that plywood is a sheet of aluminium belly pan.It will be sealed all around the edges. Once you break the sealer loose the plywood and aluminium should slide forward to remove the fresh water tank. It may be very tough to pull the plywood forward. Some people have had to use a come-a-long or even pull it forward using a truck. I got lucky and mine slid right out. Be careful to only go partially forward and then support the fresh water tank prior to completely removing the plywood. Make sure you disconnect all the plumbing lines to the tank first and raise the three red valves up into the trailer and clear of the plywood. the fresh water supply is across the back of the fresh water tank. It may be possible to repair it without removing the tank but soldering pipes that close to the plastic tank may be difficult.
If you have any other question just ask and I'll try to help.
We have a similiar problem, the tank leaks over 1/4 filled. The Constructor is going to pull it this weekend. We are wondering is this a common problem with a fix or do we just wait and see and we will determine is new purchase is on the spreadsheet? We will post our findings to the 73 Tradewind project once it is pulled. He has it all disconnected.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:55 PM   #16
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I just finished replumbing my 73 29ft ambassador. Iremoved all the old copper and went back with 1/2" pex. Much easier for me to work with and holds up to freezing better.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:16 PM   #17
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Ky

While you are in there with everything apart, I would replace the copper tubing with 1/2" Pex.

Dan
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:44 PM   #18
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very rare problem with the tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by constructor View Post
........ We are wondering is this a common problem with a fix ..........
The two earlier posts are some good advice if you have pipe problems. If you try to repair a pipe and move the pipe much, you may find a problem farther up the line of the pipe you just worked on. The solider is old and will break if moved much.
One 73 that I was working on, I pulled the ply wood out of the way and filled the tank with water (only 1/4 full) once I got it supported liked described in your copy and paste. I found no leak. I could not put more water in it until I got it on the ground. I took the tank out and then filled with water half way, no leak. I then filled the tank all the way and it started leaking. What I found is, once the tank was full, it flexed and water leaked out by way of a crack in the bottom of the tank. Once the tank was empty I could heat the crack with a solider iron and it fixed it. There was no problem with the pipes at all.

The other thing worth note is, once the board was wet it was swollen up and I had to get a Come-a-long hooked to the frame in front to get it out. I thought it was going to be hard to get back in and the project took me so long the board dried out and slide right in.


I hope this helps
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:41 AM   #19
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i just acquired a 72, 29 ft ambassador with plumbing issues, fixing leaks. all copper tubing.
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