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Old 02-13-2020, 09:55 AM   #1
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Fresh water tank emptying too fast

We would so appreciate insights from those of you who are far more experienced and understand the big picture layout of the land.

We're in a 1975 rebuilt 31 foot Land Yacht. Original tanks. We have a mystery with the fresh water tank emptying far too fast. Filled it completely yesterday. Based on our approximate time to fill (28-30 minutes) we estimate about a 50 gallon tank. That's a lot of water. Fill was completed early afternoon. To stimulate what we would do while boondocking, we used only the water from the fresh tank for prepping dinner, washing hands, etc. We are cautious with our water use - not running it ongoing but only sporadically. No showers. Only a few toilets flushes. By this morning, the tank was empty. We absolutely did not use 50 gallons of water in one afternoon. We have noticed quick emptying over the last few weeks but yesterday was a clear test. There are no leaks that we can see under the trailer.
As a separate (but possibly related) issue, our grey tank is filling up extraordinarily fast. We have to keep it open all the time if we don't want water in the shower pan and oozing up the floor. This could be related, however the first time this happened (first night we were clear of freezing and therefore turned on the water), we were hooked up to shore water and it flooded within an hour, after only a little bit of hand washing, and dinner prep. We have been doing endless tests to try to isolate the problem as we're yearning to dry camp and boondock. We can't however until we figure out how to maintain our fresh water and not fill the grey so fast.

Any words of widsom??
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:02 AM   #2
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Do the tanks share a common vent? Any chance water is draining from one tank to the other via the vent?
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:24 PM   #3
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When your fresh water tank ran out of water, did you open the drain to see if there was any left in the tank? We had a 75 that always had about 8 gallons in the tank that could not be pumped out. My theory was that the output line in the tank was damaged. Since the tank was 45 gallons and 37 or so was available, I did not pursue the issue.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:08 PM   #4
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FWIW

I found that when I jacked up the street side while winterizing. The drain was open and continued for a good 2hrs.
Bad design.🥴
Bob
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TzNan View Post
Any words of widsom??

The fresh water plumbing and tank are not connected directly to either the gray or black waste water systems.
If you are not using the water, there must be a leak in a fixture that is letting water pass through it.

ps:
Some 1975 models had a Mandaville (?spelling?) Dish Washer. It was not a real automatic dish washer. It was a hose that attached to a soap reservoir then to a wand, which was an attachment used while soaping or rinsing dishes. If you have/had one of those, look under the kitchen sink to see if there is a water line that is not connected as it should be.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
The fresh water plumbing and tank are not connected directly to either the gray or black waste water systems.
If you are not using the water, there must be a leak in a fixture that is letting water pass through it.

ps:
Some 1975 models had a Mandaville (?spelling?) Dish Washer. It was not a real automatic dish washer. It was a hose that attached to a soap reservoir then to a wand, which was an attachment used while soaping or rinsing dishes. If you have/had one of those, look under the kitchen sink to see if there is a water line that is not connected as it should be.
Hi Alan - thanks for your thoughts. We had a complete rebuild of the trailer down to the frame so we don't have one of those hoses and no water line seems to be out of place or disconnected. It is our thought as well however that the fresh water has to be going somewhere. Is it possible that it is sitting somewhere in the belly? (BTW - The tanks are one of the few original parts). Our builder is also perplexed.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
FWIW

I found that when I jacked up the street side while winterizing. The drain was open and continued for a good 2hrs.
Bad design.🥴
Bob
🇺🇸
Bob - does this mean that water was sitting in the belly somewhere?
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
When your fresh water tank ran out of water, did you open the drain to see if there was any left in the tank? We had a 75 that always had about 8 gallons in the tank that could not be pumped out. My theory was that the output line in the tank was damaged. Since the tank was 45 gallons and 37 or so was available, I did not pursue the issue.
Thanks for the mention of this Richard. Yes we did check the drain - there was nothing substantial left in the tank.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BambiTex View Post
Do the tanks share a common vent? Any chance water is draining from one tank to the other via the vent?
Hey BT - this is a good question and an unknown right now. We'll talk to our builder to see what the layout of the venting is or we'll try to trace it ourselves. Still there is the issue of where did all the extra fresh water go? The grey tank can't hold it all and wasn't overflowing when we woke up in the morning and 50 gallons were gone. Remains a mystery??
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:14 PM   #10
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Do you leave the water pump switch "on" all the time, or switch on when needed and then off when finished using water? Can you hear the pump running? It the grey tank filled up that quickly while on city water, I suspect that there is a plumbing problem, or you have a massive leak in one of your taps or shower that is dumping water into the grey tank. If this is a "rebuilt" rig, it is quite possible that the plumbing has been incorrectly replaced. Only option is to follow every line to see where it goes. Start by looking below the sinks and see if there are any strange looking lines going into the drains. Is the trailer centre bath or rear bath?
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:06 AM   #11
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Recheck the volume of the tank
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:16 AM   #12
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Recheck the volume of the tank
I don't think the tank could hold anything near 50 gallons. Fill it and empty into a bucket to see what is in there.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:43 AM   #13
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We have a 1970 Overlander with the 50 gallon fresh water tank.
Try this, empty the grey tank. Fill the fresh water tank, turn on the pump and pressurize the system . Stop, do not turn on any water at all. Wait, if the pump starts cycling you probably have a leak. If the grey tank fills, and the fresh tank empties you definately have a leak.
Suspect the vent system as well on the grey tank.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:31 AM   #14
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You should be able to go 5 days to a week with the water use you describe. I can not imagine a belly pan that would hold water and not drip. One place that water could go is through the check valve and out the inlet hose. But it looks like you would notice that. My logic says that you are pumping water through a fixture and into the gray tank. I do not see how tank vents would affect this problem at all. Either a leaky fixture you have not found or a mis plumb by the builder? Do you have a tankless WH? Or any special equipment that might have a line directly to the gray tank that does not go through a visible faucet?
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:44 AM   #15
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Stop guessing on the input side and buy this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:23 AM   #16
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Hi

If you dumped 40 or so gallons of water, it didn't just vanish. It very much went somewhere and left traces of where it went. If it leaked, it's dripping out of the trailer somewhere. It's not just sitting in limbo.

Gray tank volume is just as "suspect" as any other tank. Use a hose and flow meter (like the Amazon one above ...) or a bucket to see how much it holds.

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Old 02-14-2020, 09:39 AM   #17
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Fill the fresh tank. Then open the drain and drain 5 gallons at a time until empty to see how much you really have.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:19 AM   #18
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I have seen black tanks fill because the toilet flush valve seal was leaking. But, no grey tanks mysteriously filling. There must be a faucet leaking into a drain to the grey tank. Did the '75s have a grey tank?
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:12 PM   #19
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75s had grey tanks, but th hey were very small. My TradeWind had 12 gallons.

The fresh water tank had vents on the top to allow air to escape when filling. There were two. One on each side of the cross member that ran across the tank.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:15 PM   #20
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You should be able to go 5 days to a week with the water use you describe. I can not imagine a belly pan that would hold water and not drip. One place that water could go is through the check valve and out the inlet hose. But it looks like you would notice that. My logic says that you are pumping water through a fixture and into the gray tank. I do not see how tank vents would affect this problem at all. Either a leaky fixture you have not found or a mis plumb by the builder? Do you have a tankless WH? Or any special equipment that might have a line directly to the gray tank that does not go through a visible faucet?
I concur with this assessment as the most likely. Further supporting this idea is that siphoning can occur in the fresh water system so it is not required to have positive pressure to have it drain into the grey if there is a pathway.

Is there an internal tank flush feature on that model? What about a water pipe winterizing drain that flows to the grey tank?
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