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Old 11-03-2022, 12:44 PM   #1
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Lubricate the valve from inside?

The last time I dumped the tanks I noticed the grey valve was very difficult to close. It wanted to stop about 1" from fully closed. I got it closed by using my foot to push harder on the handle.
I plan to add some white lithium grease to the protruding shaft, but I wondered if the knowledge base here had a good idea of something to add to the grey tank to lube the gate valve.
Obviously, I can't experiment in my storage space, but I can go over to the dump station and exercise the valve. I could leave the cap on and exercise the gate valve, knowing I'll have a gallon or so of grey water waiting for me to remove the cap next time. Right now the tank is empty so it's a good time.
How about olive oil in the tank with about two gallons of water?

Alternate idea: Since my cap has a 3/4" hose fitting, I could attach a short hose and pour in a lubricant, then exercise the valve.
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Old 11-03-2022, 01:15 PM   #2
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I drilled a small hole above and below the T-handle shaft, about 1/2" from the top and 1/2" from the bottom. The hole was just large enough to allow an insert of a plastic nozzle straw from WD-40, then dry silicone.

Has kept the valve smoothly functioning.

use a small self-tapping screw to seal the hole when completed.

Lots of youtube vidoes on this tip.
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Old 11-03-2022, 05:07 PM   #3
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When at Alumalina I attended a seminar on various maintenance items and one of the things discussed was care of the drain valves. A suggestion was given to add vegatable oil to the holding tanks after they have been drained.

There are products such as this one, https://www.campingworld.com/thetfor...E&gclsrc=aw.ds, that are designed to help keep the valves in good condition.

If it works as advertised it may be money well spent.
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Old 11-03-2022, 07:42 PM   #4
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What? More To What You Can't See

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamy1 View Post
I drilled a small hole above and below the T-handle shaft, about 1/2" from the top and 1/2" from the bottom. The hole was just large enough to allow an insert of a plastic nozzle straw from WD-40, then dry silicone.

Has kept the valve smoothly functioning.
At best your "tip" is only causing the lubricant to be applied to the aluminum shaft and is not a solution for a blocked valve blade raceway (paper/debris) or a dislodged valve gasket partially out of it's groove.

Check out the pictures at this link and you will see where the aluminum shafts go once inside the exterior skin:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ml#post1195321

The attached picture shows where the circular gasket is located inside the valve housing as well as the vale blade that moves back and forth in the raceway.
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Old 11-04-2022, 04:23 AM   #5
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Sounds like debris is blocking the full closure of the valve. Iíve always used Thetford drain valve lubricant and tissue digester. Iíve had your problem with the black tank and have been able to flush out the debris with high pressure spraying of the tank through the toilet. Grey tank is harder to get to and Iíve run a high pressure nozzle up the outlet pipe into the grey valve area to backflush it. I try to keep food bits from getting into the tank as they can settle into the groove.
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Old 11-04-2022, 05:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
When at Alumalina I attended a seminar on various maintenance items and one of the things discussed was care of the drain valves. A suggestion was given to add vegatable oil to the holding tanks after they have been drained....
Doesn't oil float on water?

Seems like the oil would disperse across the surface of any water in the tank, with only a small amount possibly making contact with the valve and even less with the gasket surfaces themselves.
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Old 11-04-2022, 10:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
Doesn't oil float on water?

Seems like the oil would disperse across the surface of any water in the tank, with only a small amount possibly making contact with the valve and even less with the gasket surfaces themselves.
From what I've read so far, the recommended oil is coconut oil over vegetable oil. Since the tank has been drained, I thought a gallon would submerge the valve when opened. If the cap is on, there's a length of 3" pipe that would be full of oil. Since my cap has an included 3/4" hose fitting, a length of hose above the level of the tank would contain the mess while I exercised the valve. Then I'd drop the hose in the dump station and the gallon of oil would head for the septic field. Or I could use an auto oil drain tote and take it to my auto parts store to recycle.
Note: I really like this cap. I got it for the handle and it makes it SO much easier to remove. I thought I'd never use the hose fitting.


Step one will be to lube the shaft of the pull handle.
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Old 11-04-2022, 10:49 AM   #8
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where did you buy that septic cap with handle and hose port? didn't find on amazon
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Old 11-04-2022, 11:12 AM   #9
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I had a similar problem like you describe except that it was hard to open as well. This was the black tank. Well, eventually the metal rod pulled out of the plastic gate valve, preventing emptying of the black tank. After lots of fiddling I was eventually able to open it enough, but the valve was irreparably broken. Turns out the metal rod has a rather flimsy connection to the plastic gate sliding gate.

In all likelihood your valve is failing. On my valve the rubber O Ring the sliding gate rests against had swelled and partially detached, bunching up against the side of the sliding gate. There are two O rings, one on the upstream side, the other downstream side. The downstream side is the dry side and was the side that failed. For what its worth, I also tried the drill a hole and inject lithium into the valve body trick, but it was only a short term fix.
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Old 11-04-2022, 11:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeMore View Post
At best your "tip" is only causing the lubricant to be applied to the aluminum shaft and is not a solution for a blocked valve blade raceway (paper/debris) or a dislodged valve gasket partially out of it's groove.

Check out the pictures at this link and you will see where the aluminum shafts go once inside the exterior skin:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ml#post1195321

The attached picture shows where the circular gasket is located inside the valve housing as well as the vale blade that moves back and forth in the raceway.
You are correct that this is not a solution for a blocked valve, but it is effective for valve maintenance.

search you tube for "Make Me RV Smart: Lubricating RV Sewer Valves" by the tech for Trailer Life and Motorhome and it will illustrate the tip.

It does more than lubricate the shaft; it also lubricates the channel that the valve slides in.
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Old 11-04-2022, 11:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamy1 View Post
You are correct that this is not a solution for a blocked valve, but it is effective for valve maintenance.

search you tube for "Make Me RV Smart: Lubricating RV Sewer Valves" by the tech for Trailer Life and Motorhome and it will illustrate the tip.

It does more than lubricate the shaft; it also lubricates the channel that the valve slides in.
The "tip" is valid if performed on the valve casing which is not accessible from outside the underbelly. To reach the valve (& thus inject into the blade area) requires the belly pan to be removed on most units. There are some units with access ports cut into the pan as can be seen in the link I posted above.

I responded to ensure those who might interpret the post as meaning "drill a hole above and below where the T-handle emerges" from the aluminum skin were NOT inspired to do so.

The tip is a preventative maintenance trick and may not be the cure once the reported symptoms appear. Having completed a number of valve repairs/replacments, I can attest that the resolution is dependent on the specific cause of the symptom.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2GDErKY05-8
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Old 11-04-2022, 04:12 PM   #12
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coconut oil

Hi, I've had that sticky handle problem twice in the past few years. At first I thought I was going to break the handle and valve off. Talked to an airstream person at Lazy Days in Tampa. He said the easiest solution was to put about 16 oz of coconut oil into the shower drain (tanks empty and valve closed). Wait about 20-30 minutes for it to drain all the way to the valve. Then go out and open and close the handle very quick to lubricate the valve slide in it's track. I've done this three times over the past 4 years and it works perfect. I just get a 32 oz bottle of coconut oil and keep it with the airstream. The reason the handle gets sticky...all that soapy water washes out any oil in the tank and the handle doesn't slide very freely anymore. Any oil left in the tank will get broken down by the soap again and washed right out.
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Old 11-05-2022, 10:33 AM   #13
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Following- thank you!
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Old 11-05-2022, 11:38 AM   #14
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where did you buy that septic cap with handle and hose port? didn't find on amazon
Valterra F02-3106CL EZ Coupler Valve Cap with Handle - 3.9", Clear
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Old 11-09-2022, 10:20 AM   #15
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Low cost lubricant.......

Mineral oil works for us
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Old 11-09-2022, 10:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
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where did you buy that septic cap with handle and hose port? didn't find on amazon
Yes, Amazon. It also comes in clear.
https://www.amazon.com/Valterra-F02-...64&sr=1-8&th=1

I had a hard time getting the stock cap off with my bad knees. I tried all the usual tools and finally found this. I can get it off by hand, and I suppose if needed you could put a tool through the handle and twist.

Then, I added this to my hose.
https://www.amazon.com/Valterra-T102...%2C138&sr=1-60

It's a short 45ļ clear extension. Makes attaching the hose to the termination much easier and gets the hose headed towards the sewer pipe. It also allows you to monitor the flow of stuff exiting the tanks.
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Old 11-09-2022, 10:45 AM   #17
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I Use 303

I put 303 in a spray bottle with a strong stream spray. When both tanks are empty, I spray the 303 into the dump outlet so it reaches the valves and open and close the valves a dozen times or so while spraying.

The lubrication effect seems to last about twenty dump cycles. After spraying the 303, I can open and close both valves with one finger.

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00KN0UO...m?ie=UTF8&th=1
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Old 11-09-2022, 02:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamy1 View Post
I drilled a small hole above and below the T-handle shaft, about 1/2" from the top and 1/2" from the bottom. The hole was just large enough to allow an insert of a plastic nozzle straw from WD-40, then dry silicone.

Has kept the valve smoothly functioning.

use a small self-tapping screw to seal the hole when completed.

Lots of youtube vidoes on this tip.
Did the same, but tapped the hole and used a stainless steel machine screw to close it. Works like a dream. Almost any spray type lubricant works just fine.
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Old 11-10-2022, 07:21 AM   #19
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Plastic does not like WD-40

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamy1 View Post
I drilled a small hole above and below the T-handle shaft, about 1/2" from the top and 1/2" from the bottom. The hole was just large enough to allow an insert of a plastic nozzle straw from WD-40, then dry silicone.
.
Be careful with WD-40, it has a tendency to rot plastic. I different lubricant would be better.
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Old 11-10-2022, 09:46 AM   #20
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One thing that I've used in the past is this:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/LintEater-J...-White/4321920

It's a dryer lint cleaning kit - which is just a synthetic brush on a couple of screwed together rods. It's the right size to fit into the drain pipe and as long as you can reach the gate valve you just give it a spin and it'll do a pretty fair job of cleaning out the slot where the gate valve closes. It's likely that there is something stuck in the gate valve slot and this method should clean it out. It's also a pretty cheap and easy fix...so there's that going for it too.
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