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Old 10-18-2017, 06:29 PM   #1
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Ruined trip

I mentioned in another thread that when I took my AI in for service B, Mercedes broke some PVC sewer fitting while putting the rig on the lift and repaired it. They didn't tell me this until I picked up the AI at the end of the day. They apparently had quite a mess in the service bay!

We left for an 11-day trip to Missouri without testing the macerator since the tanks were already empty. On the evening of the 3rd day of the trip, at Springfield, I went out to dump the tanks. Not a drop came out. We proceeded to my daughter's house and tried dumping there. No luck. The macerator would not turn at all.

No problem during our 5 days there. We used the house facilities. We started home with the tanks pretty full and used RV park facilities except in the middle of the night. I figured we could just barely make it home with full tanks.

I ordered a replacement macerator pump to be here when we arrived; it was. Today, I spent an hour and a half on my back, under the AI up on leveling blocks. to remove the macerator. True to my guess, a mechanic had stuffed a shop towel in the pipes to stop drips and left it there. The photo below is the macerator after I pulled a lot of the towel out with a screwdriver. The inside is packed solid.

I bought new nuts and pipe clamps this evening and I'll reassemble and test the system in the morning when it is cooler. My concrete drive was really hot this afternoon and I was on the sunny side.

Next on the agenda is a call to Mercedes. I think they owe me big! BTW, the Sprinter ran great at over 19 mpg most days.

Anyway, this is what happens when something foreign is put into the sewer system. I think I'm going to make a sign that says "Put nothing into this toilet unless you have eaten it first and post it over the pot"
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:32 PM   #2
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Oh yea...hold Mercedes responsible...for sure!!
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
I mentioned in another thread that when I took my AI in for service B, Mercedes broke some PVC sewer fitting while putting the rig on the lift and repaired it. They didn't tell me this until I picked up the AI at the end of the day. They apparently had quite a mess in the service bay!
Sorry to hear about this John.

Given the final analysis of what happened, I would go straight to the GM of the MB dealership and have a chat with him about it. Bypass all the little fish and see what the big fish says. And yeah...they owe you bigtime.
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:03 PM   #4
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I might have taken it back to Mercedes to fix, but it is 50 miles each way and I need the AI in a couple of days. If I fix it, I'll know it is right.
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
I think I'm going to make a sign that says "Put nothing into this toilet unless you have eaten it first and post it over the pot"
Unfortunately, that sign would not have prevented the shop towel from getting jammed in the pump.

But apropos of the sign, make sure there is also a wastebasket right below the sign labeled, "Put all paper and feminine hygiene products here." The sign alone doesn't help if there's no place else to dispose of stuff.

But I'm not sure where you'd put the wastebasket, unless you get a really skinny box-shaped one that can fit between the toilet and the wall.
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:58 PM   #6
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this is what we use. lined with a small plastic trash bag. About the diameter of a 2 liter soda bottle.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0016L4ELI...la-83758364006
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:00 PM   #7
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Can we please have a rule against posting photos of anything that comes out of the black tank?
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:04 AM   #8
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this is what we use. lined with a small plastic trash bag. About the diameter of a 2 liter soda bottle.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0016L4ELI...la-83758364006
That is exactly what I use. Doggie waste bags also fit it perfectly.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:19 AM   #9
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I just avoided a ruined trip myself. I was in the process of installing the gravity dump backup parts posted by gmillerok1 when I discovered the 3" flex elbow next to the gray tank valve was disconnected. It obviously has shifted over time because of the poor alignment of the sewage piping. Of course 93,000 miles of road vibrations have added to issue.

Now I'm in the process of rebuilding the entire sewage system. When I disconnected the macerator pump two broken brass studs with acorn nuts attached fell out. Disaster avoided for now. Have ordered the upgraded stainless steel bolt kit for $16 that should arrive today.

I had the macerator pump replaced on warranty during first year because the pump mounting base was broken. Looking closely at the bracket supporting the pump it is obviously bent. Never noticed that before, but I can tell it is not new damage. That bracket is the low point under middle of van.

When I measured the distance of each component of the 3" piping from the van floor it has a low spot in the middle that collects waste water. All that led me to removing all the parts and redoing it all with a proper slope to pump. One low spot was exit from black tank which I raised 1.5" and now I'm able to remount the macerator pump 1.5" higher so it does not hang below other items under the van. Of course this requires removing or cutting the origin macerator pump bracket and building a new mounting structure. The macerator installation instructions say it can be mounted in any orientation. I intend to mount it so pump is above the side trim. I'll post some photos when complete.
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post

Now I'm in the process of rebuilding the entire sewage system. When I disconnected the macerator pump two broken brass studs with acorn nuts attached fell out. Disaster avoided for now. Have ordered the upgraded stainless steel bolt kit for $16 that should arrive today.

I had the macerator pump replaced on warranty during first year because the pump mounting base was broken. Looking closely at the bracket supporting the pump it is obviously bent. Never noticed that before, but I can tell it is not new damage. That bracket is the low point under middle of van.


Canít wait to see some pics from your project! I also just replaced my sticky pump and found someone tried to fix a drip leak by putting glob of silicone to the flex hose where it clamped to the pump which had 2 short brass studs broken as well. There are 4 bolts on the pump end only 2 go all the way into the motor housing the other 2 horizontal (parallel to pump base) are shorter and bolted the chopper housing to the impeller housing. Amazon sells a kit for $18 including an impeller and 2 gaskets or another for $49 that also includes the pump housing and 4 SS studs. I rebuilt it to keep as spare.
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
I mentioned in another thread that when I took my AI in for service B, Mercedes broke some PVC sewer fitting while putting the rig on the lift and repaired it. They didn't tell me this until I picked up the AI at the end of the day. They apparently had quite a mess in the service bay!

We left for an 11-day trip to Missouri without testing the macerator since the tanks were already empty. On the evening of the 3rd day of the trip, at Springfield, I went out to dump the tanks. Not a drop came out. We proceeded to my daughter's house and tried dumping there. No luck. The macerator would not turn at all.

No problem during our 5 days there. We used the house facilities. We started home with the tanks pretty full and used RV park facilities except in the middle of the night. I figured we could just barely make it home with full tanks.

I ordered a replacement macerator pump to be here when we arrived; it was. Today, I spent an hour and a half on my back, under the AI up on leveling blocks. to remove the macerator. True to my guess, a mechanic had stuffed a shop towel in the pipes to stop drips and left it there. The photo below is the macerator after I pulled a lot of the towel out with a screwdriver. The inside is packed solid.

I bought new nuts and pipe clamps this evening and I'll reassemble and test the system in the morning when it is cooler. My concrete drive was really hot this afternoon and I was on the sunny side.

Next on the agenda is a call to Mercedes. I think they owe me big! BTW, the Sprinter ran great at over 19 mpg most days.

Anyway, this is what happens when something foreign is put into the sewer system. I think I'm going to make a sign that says "Put nothing into this toilet unless you have eaten it first and post it over the pot"


Sorry P, what a nightmare! I see some sealant on your old pump, you really donít need it during reassembly, just make sure your flex hose end and pump are really clean before you slip them together and tighten the clamp. My repair kept dripping until I cleaned all the old sealant out. Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:04 PM   #12
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OP update

Just finished installing the new macerator pump and checking all the connections under the coach. I put quite a bit of water into both the black and gray tanks and tested the system. No leaks, and everything seems to work well.

Tomorrow, I call the GM at Mercedes of Round Rock and have a talk about some compensation for my expense and trouble.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
Just finished installing the new macerator pump and checking all the connections under the coach. I put quite a bit of water into both the black and gray tanks and tested the system. No leaks, and everything seems to work well.

Tomorrow, I call the GM at Mercedes of Round Rock and have a talk about some compensation for my expense and trouble.
Best luck John. Will be interesting to hear what he has to say.....
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Old 10-20-2017, 03:01 PM   #14
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I drove up to Mercedes today and saw the service manager. I came away satisfied.
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Old 10-20-2017, 03:33 PM   #15
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I drove up to Mercedes today and saw the service manager. I came away satisfied.


If you donít want to give specifics can you give a general idea of how theyíre making it right? Reimbursement, discount on future visits, thorough lashing of the idiot tech responsible for it, etc? Just curious.....
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Old 10-20-2017, 03:51 PM   #16
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If you donít want to give specifics can you give a general idea of how theyíre making it right? Reimbursement, discount on future visits, thorough lashing of the idiot tech responsible for it, etc? Just curious.....
Reimbursement.

The service manager kept my photo print to show to the Sprinter shop guys.
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Old 10-21-2017, 10:11 AM   #17
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Reimbursement.

The service manager kept my photo print to show to the Sprinter shop guys.
Good deal.

I wonder if he'll post that pic up on the board in the shop with the caption "DON'T DO THIS!!!".....
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:52 PM   #18
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Canít wait to see some pics from your project! I also just replaced my sticky pump and found someone tried to fix a drip leak by putting glob of silicone to the flex hose where it clamped to the pump which had 2 short brass studs broken as well. There are 4 bolts on the pump end only 2 go all the way into the motor housing the other 2 horizontal (parallel to pump base) are shorter and bolted the chopper housing to the impeller housing. Amazon sells a kit for $18 including an impeller and 2 gaskets or another for $49 that also includes the pump housing and 4 SS studs. I rebuilt it to keep as spare.

Finished work yesterday and took it to local RV dump site to empty tanks I had filled with water and dishwasher soap. All good no leaks.

I moved the macerator closer to the fresh water tank so there was a straight shot from the other piping. Attached a bracket to the tank frame to support one side of macerator pump. Here are a few photos of final installation.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:50 AM   #19
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Why the vinyl tubing?
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:45 AM   #20
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Reimbursement.

The service manager kept my photo print to show to the Sprinter shop guys.
Good, and hopefully the tech responsible for this got a check mark on his report card.

I had a roof caulk mess last summer, photographed by the service folks hundreds of miles away who stripped and repaired it, and their photographs of the abysmal work done on an area I cannot view myself generated a complete refund for the cost of the original work....and full payment to have it redone.

It is a sad commentary on such service failures that one should ask to be shown the completed work...physically, or thru photographs, which is my new practice.

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