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Old 06-30-2020, 08:26 AM   #1
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Air Admittance Valve glued in?

After my last trip, my trailer (2013 25FB FC) had a severe grey tank odor when parked at home. One possibility is a problem with the Air Admittance Valve under the closet. Some earlier threads here talk about removing and replacing the AAVs as a simple thing. In my case, the AAV seems to be glued in place--I can see what looks like the same glue used elsewhere on the black drain pipes.



Should there be glue on the threads of the valve?



I have tried to turn the valve by hand without success. Should I get a strap wrench and try harder? How much force does it take to break a piece of plumbing I really don't want to break?
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:35 AM   #2
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I'll play, no guarantees.

Grey tank not empty or not completely empty?
How long did it sit? Any chance that the water in a sink trap evaporated out and el smell came up?

I did R&R mine, threads and hand tight.

IF glued, plan C cut it off and glue on a new threaded fitting and threaded air valve.

Pics?

Blame the virus.

Gary
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:40 AM   #3
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These SHOULD be threaded into a glued fitting - they (most that I know of) come threaded so unless someone 'glued' the threads it should unscrew.


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Old 06-30-2020, 08:28 PM   #4
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Went back to the storage lot and took a closer look. The other two AAVs have big gobs of glue holding the AAV to the top of their pipes. Grrr.



Another Grrr: The vanity AAV is just a fraction of an inch short of contacting the underside of the counter. I can force my finger into the gap, but just barely. So even if it was threaded, it would be hard to remove. And it does not satisfy the requirement that the AAV should be four inches above the connecting pipe, though it is close.


I'm going to buy a PVC-cutting wire saw and remove the one under the closet, and replace it with a threaded-in version. Hope that solves my problem.


And for Gary: We were camped for five days without hookups, no problems. Drove 100 miles home with partially-full tanks, parked in front of the house, then the smell appeared. We have since dumped the tanks and put the trailer in storage. With all the windows and vents closed now, it's not bad.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:49 AM   #5
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SSquared,

Well dry P traps, it could have been an alternate fact.

I've run into several "things" that during R&R you'd swear how'd that get in or out of there? Last example was the alternator on my 2000 VW Beetle 1.9L TDI. It was UGLY!

Good luck.

Gary
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Old 07-05-2020, 03:39 PM   #6
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Making progress....


Sawed off the old AAV. The inside is splattered with material. My wife wants to cut it in half and check the inside.


Our leading theory now is, since this AAV is directly on top of the opening into the tank, when we drove home with a half-full tank (on twisty mountain roads), the sloshing action splashed all the way up to the AAV and gummed it up.


We have the parts to put a new one on. We will make the riser taller so that it's harder for the splash to reach it. To make room for the extra height, we had to modify the hot water line for the inside shower. That was a real adventure due to the tight space under the closet. For a couple of the crimps, my wife crawled into the closet and positioned the head of the PEX crimp tool, while I operated the tool handles blind while lying on the floor. (I cut a hole in the closet floor years ago to get access for another plumbing problem)
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:23 PM   #7
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I think the Lady of the trailer earned an EXTRA special dinner for her efforts and idea on this mess.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
I think the Lady of the trailer earned an EXTRA special dinner for her efforts and idea on this mess.

For sure! Usually she leaves the plumbing to me and I leave the electric to her (she's a double-E) but this was a two-person job.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:45 PM   #9
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The end of the story

I hope this is the end of the story.

We got the new AAV installed this morning. I chose the Oatey brand unit mainly because it was available in a kit with an ABS adapter. Also because it is widely available.


We made the stack of ABS taller than it was before, hoping for a little less splashing from the tank up into the valve. We thought about installing a couple of elbows to help even more but that seemed excessive.


One complaint about the Oatey: There was quite a bit of flashing on the threads where two halves were joined. This made it too tight to screw into the adapter. Several minutes of whittling were needed to fix that.

In the original configuration, the shower hot water line was right on top of the AAV. The difficult plumbing I mentioned earlier was to move it farther back. We did not have enough room to move it completely away from the AAV so w also are installing a strap to relieve the interference. If I was doing it again I'd make a more drastic change--maybe even replace the PEX segment with a flexible supply line.


The picture with the black AAV is the old one and the white AAV is the new one.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:58 PM   #10
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Time for a trial run, old AAV autopsy and a report on the dinner from the EE Master plumber.
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:37 PM   #11
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that's fine you were able to replace the valve but I'm curious, other than mentioning that others have had occasional issues with the siphon breaker (AAV) I didn't see where you determined or confirmed it was the issue. There are lots of threads here where the problems were elsewhere. One way to confirm an AAV issue is to temporarily place a plastic bag and rubber band over it, then when the odor clears up (if it clears up) remove the bag and see if the odor returns. But even before that ensure the p-traps all have water in them as previously suggested. Also suspect a buildup of anaerobic bacteria in the tank and give it a good cleaning with a cup of automatic dish washing liquid and perhaps a couple cups of borax or TSP along with half a tank of water and a good hour on the road to slosh it around.
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:05 PM   #12
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Pictures of inside of old valve

Brian, Thank you for your additional pointers. That's helpful information. In my case, the plastic bag over the old valve improved matters but not 100%, so I may still have a problem.

Now, about the old valve. It turns out the top is removable--it's a slip (force) fix with just a little bit of adhesive/sealant around the edge to make an airtight seal. The sealant is similar to mucilage or rubber cement.

The pictures show that dirty water did splash up into the unit itself.

The way this thing works is: The space in the pipe below is open up through to the top cover. The white disk separates that air from the outside air, which can enter a channel under the disk. There is no spring involved. Gravity holds the disk in place. If air pressure from the plumbing increases, that puts more pressure on top of the disk and pushes it closed all the more. If the air pressure in the pipe drops, the outside air pressure will push up on the disk and open it until the pressure equalizes.

There does not seem to be much that can go wrong. The close-up of the disk shows the ring where the disk seals against the opening. That ring seems clean enough to seal.

If I have another one fail some day, before I saw it off, I will pry open the lid and clean the inside, maybe buy a new one and put the new disk in the old body. I'm not sure what sealant will work best.

FYI, the writing on the rim of the lid says 'AYRLETT AIR ADMITTANCE VALVE NON-RETURN MODEL AB DWV 2-1 1/2"'
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:25 PM   #13
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Thanks for following up that was supper helpful. Hope I don't have that issue but if I do, I'll be ready!
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Old 07-12-2020, 05:46 AM   #14
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SSquared,

Good follow up, that's how to share info for future questions.

Gary
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