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Old 02-11-2018, 08:41 PM   #1
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Black Tank Valve Jam

Monday after dumping my black tank valve wouldn't close all the way. Tonight after catching the mess in a bucket and dumping and multiple flushes the valve will only close about an inch. Someone has worked on this before since an access hole has been cut in the tank pan and covered.

The trailer had a Thetford dump fitting so I'm assuming it originally had Thetford valve but what's in it now? Is there a way to distinguish Thetford valves from Valterra? The Thetfords I find at VTS and others are white and Valterras are black. Is it that easy? If Thetford, how do I determine which specific valva I have? Are the Thetford rebuild kits model specific?

Thanks,

Al
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:16 PM   #2
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My replacement Thetfords were white. If I were you, I would take off the valve and see what is keeping it open....I put an access panel on my trailer. I can take the valves off in just a few minutes.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
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My replacement Thetfords were white. If I were you, I would take off the valve and see what is keeping it open....I put an access panel on my trailer. I can take the valves off in just a few minutes.
There is an access panel on the side of the pan around the black tank valve handle exit. It is about 10" long but the bottom of the pan is intact. I imagine I'll have to cut out the bottom of the pan under both valves to get adequate access, right?

I did use an automotive mirror and halogen light to look at the area from the inside. The valve was open and I couldn't see anything blocking it. Tomorrow I'll close it as far as it will go and look again.

Al
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:02 PM   #4
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Yes, you will have to cut the pan. My owners manual says that is how "they" service the valves. Airstream should have put a access panel in to begin with.

I drilled a pilot hole and did the cutting with a pair of electric shears from Harbor Freight. I went to a recycler and bought a street sign to make a cover plate.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:46 AM   #5
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I think, not positive, the valve assembly in your trailer will be the same as in my Excella.
This is a thread about the repair I did :
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f444...es-162941.html
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:55 AM   #6
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I replaced both of mine last summer I'm sure your's are Thetford I bought all the parts at Out Of Doors Mart except the rubber coupling I had to get that from Airstream .I cut about a 2'x2' hole in the pan .Before you tear into it make sure your handle isn't binding on something .
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:22 AM   #7
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Can you turn the handle so the tbreads will tighten up and allow the valve to open further? Just a shot in the dark.
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:08 AM   #8
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sometimes all that is required is a good dose of spray lubricant
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:33 AM   #9
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That s too simple. People want a complicated answer to a simple question..
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
>> snip> how do I determine which specific valva I have? Are the Thetford rebuild kits model specific?

Thanks,

Al
I checked the parts manual this morning, for your trailer and for mine. The part number for the dump valve is the same for both models, so you should be able to use the parts list I posted (see link in prior post)

Though, you might not want to convert the hose adapter to Valterra like I did.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I checked the parts manual this morning, for your trailer and for mine. The part number for the dump valve is the same for both models, so you should be able to use the parts list I posted (see link in prior post)

Though, you might not want to convert the hose adapter to Valterra like I did.
Thanks for confirming that Alan. Incidentally, I changed the hose adapter to Valterra in a Home Depot parking lot in Northern Kentucky in February, 2016 when I traded from my Safari to the Classic. My hoses were Valterra and didn't fit the trailer for the trip home. The level test didn't work so I had no idea of the condition of the tanks.

Al
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:38 AM   #12
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Happened to me once on a motorhome. The factory told me to put vegetable oil down the toliet and then exercise the valve several times. Worked just like they said. Although it would close, it was extremely stiff to operate. This may not be your exact remedy but I thought I would mention it any way.

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Old 02-12-2018, 09:14 AM   #13
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Just to confirm the part number, I replaced the black tank valve on my 2004 Classic last summer. I used the Thetford 08709 (same as the Airforums link). $52 on Amazon (at the time).
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:22 AM   #14
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A look at the inside with the valve closed as far as it will go doesn't suggest anything. Must be something hard in the gate grooves that is stopping the gate from closing all the way. It is a hard stop. Almost sounds like metal on metal but there is nothing I can see on the valve gate stem or the pushrod that should be binding up.

The curvature of the leading edge of the gate doesn't look quite right, but that may be an optical illusion since the diameter of the gate would be larger than the diameter of the opening.

Al
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:35 AM   #15
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The body of my old valve was warped and cracked because someone had over-tightened the 4 screws that hold it to the tank. It made it very difficult to operate the valve and, at last, it just would not close any more.

A cautionary note, do not over-tighten those four screws!
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:37 PM   #16
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My original valves were fine. My problem was the valve to tank adapters had cracked. The plastic got brittle with age. I understand this is a common thing...Due to the age of the OP's trailer, I wouldn't fool with rebuilding one valve or replacing one valve. I would replace both valves and tank adapters. If the OP's trailer is like mine, you have to pull both valves down anyway to work on one....i did both valves, tank adapters and necessary pipe for under 200 bucks....The job from cutting a hole to buttoning up a cover plate took me 6 to 8 hours. Most of that was dragging out this tool and that tool trying to find what was right for the job. Now, with a cover plate and knowledge, I could probably change it all over in an hour or two.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:38 PM   #17
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Could be a fork or spoon.........
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Old 02-12-2018, 02:44 PM   #18
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Could be a fork or spoon.........
LOL - That's why I got out the mirror, bolt grabber to use as an extension, and a flashlight. Didn't see anything in the way of the valve.

I was already planning to replace both. Good advice, I think.

Al
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:23 AM   #19
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On a better inspection it appears that the leading edge of the sliding gate in the valve has broken off, the sharp edge has cut the seal, and the cut seal prevents the valve from fully closing.

I'll order the valves and adapters and source the other components locally. Thanks to Alan for the excellent post and materials list linked above.

xrvr:
I don't think lubrication can fix this.

Al
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