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Old 01-14-2021, 02:06 PM   #1
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PLANO , TX
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repair holding tank leak

Advice appreciated. What is the best approach to tackle grey and black holding tanks leaking? There is a hole on the support metal where the leaking came out. The holding tank inside must be cracked.https://www.facebook.com/1077458999/...0962998919513/
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:46 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hi: Well, you have a job on your hands to find and repair the leak. There are many possibilities for the leak you see. A drip from the tank metal pan means you gotta do some experiments. What situation causes the drip? Try to narrow it down.

Empty the tanks completely. The leak goes away, right?

Put a little water in the grey tank first from the shower. Maybe an inch or maybe 15% full. Observe leaking? If so, the leak is maybe from the shower drain plumbing or at the bottom of the grey tank.

Put a little more water in the grey tank from the vanity sink. Observe leaking?
If so, the leak is maybe from the vanity sink drain plumbing or a bit higher up in the grey tank.

Put a little more water in the grey tank from the galley sink. Observe leaking? If so the leak is maybe from the galley sink plumbing or even higher up the grey tank.

Observe the dump valve connection to the grey tank. It is likely held tight to the tank with a hose clamp. Look for leaking in this area. It is the lowest spot on the tank. I had a leak in this area.

Drain the grey tank. If you still have no idea where the leak may be coming from, start testing the black tank in the same manner. Only the toilet fills the black tank, but see if you get a drip from a little water in the black tank, or a lot of water.

Polyethylene holding tanks can be repaired with a special type of epoxy or by doing a "weld" of the leaking area. It is a big dirty job to remove the pan around the tanks, and then disconnect drain plumbing and remove the tanks. Big job. I don't know your year or model of trailer. I don't have a faceboo account.

Here are a couple of photos of the tanks in my 75 Overlander and my friend's 76 Sovereign.

David
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:21 AM   #3
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PLANO , TX
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Thank you very much for taking time to detail what to do to find the leak. I will try what you said and let you know what I found.

I forgot to mention the metal pan that holding the tanks has quite rust in the middle section.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Hi: Well, you have a job on your hands to find and repair the leak. There are many possibilities for the leak you see. A drip from the tank metal pan means you gotta do some experiments. What situation causes the drip? Try to narrow it down.

Empty the tanks completely. The leak goes away, right?

Put a little water in the grey tank first from the shower. Maybe an inch or maybe 15% full. Observe leaking? If so, the leak is maybe from the shower drain plumbing or at the bottom of the grey tank.

Put a little more water in the grey tank from the vanity sink. Observe leaking?
If so, the leak is maybe from the vanity sink drain plumbing or a bit higher up in the grey tank.

Put a little more water in the grey tank from the galley sink. Observe leaking? If so the leak is maybe from the galley sink plumbing or even higher up the grey tank.

Observe the dump valve connection to the grey tank. It is likely held tight to the tank with a hose clamp. Look for leaking in this area. It is the lowest spot on the tank. I had a leak in this area.

Drain the grey tank. If you still have no idea where the leak may be coming from, start testing the black tank in the same manner. Only the toilet fills the black tank, but see if you get a drip from a little water in the black tank, or a lot of water.

Polyethylene holding tanks can be repaired with a special type of epoxy or by doing a "weld" of the leaking area. It is a big dirty job to remove the pan around the tanks, and then disconnect drain plumbing and remove the tanks. Big job. I don't know your year or model of trailer. I don't have a faceboo account.

Here are a couple of photos of the tanks in my 75 Overlander and my friend's 76 Sovereign.

David
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:52 AM   #4
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Xin Li,

What is the year and model of your trailer? That info can also help direct responses specific to your model.

Has this trailer been exposed to winter freezing temps without proper full winterization?

Gary
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Old 01-15-2021, 02:12 PM   #5
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1988 32' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Drain the grey tank. If you still have no idea where the leak may be coming from, start testing the black tank in the same manner. Only the toilet fills the black tank, but see if you get a drip from a little water in the black tank, or a lot of water.
David
Well, some of the newer ASs have the lav sink drain into the black tank also.
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Old 01-15-2021, 04:52 PM   #6
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It is a 1992 29' Exella Classic. rear bedroom. I tested grey tank today. When it filled up more it started leaking. Will test black tank when I got a chance. I bought it about one months ago. I am in Texas. not sure it had winter related issue or not.

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Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Xin Li,

What is the year and model of your trailer? That info can also help direct responses specific to your model.

Has this trailer been exposed to winter freezing temps without proper full winterization?

Gary
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Old 01-15-2021, 05:26 PM   #7
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1977 31' Sovereign
Rochester , WASHINGTON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xin Li View Post
It is a 1992 29' Exella Classic. rear bedroom. I tested grey tank today. When it filled up more it started leaking. Will test black tank when I got a chance. I bought it about one months ago. I am in Texas. not sure it had winter related issue or not.
So, did you buy it without filling tanks/ dumping/ checking for leaks ?If so, lesson learned.
For leaks/ cracks in fluid holding plastic/ metal tanks, get some JB Weld Underwater epoxy.
That stuff really works, impervious to gasoline/ oil/ etc .Thats the mechanics quick fix.I saw it either at Wal-Mart Automotive isles or Big Chain Auto parts store, other day ( I bought the JB Weld Steel-Stik instead) buff up your aces ahead of application.Once you kneed it together, you only have about 2 minutes to apply it, it hardens very fast.Wear some throwaway light plastic gloves.
Ive got some type of JB Weld product in all my rigs.
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:59 PM   #8
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
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The rusty waste tank pan might be an indication that the tank has leaked for a long time. Although rusty waste tank pans are not unusual in old Airstreams. Your 92 isn't that old.

From your test results description, I believe I would jack up the trailer securely and drop the rusty tank pan. Caution, the tank pan actually holds up the tanks to a large extent. An empty plastic tank is not very heavy. The black tank is held up by the toilet flange. But the grey tank is only held up by the plumbing connections on top of the tank: the pipes coming into the tank and the vent pipe going out of the tank.

I removed the waste water tank pan from our 86 Limited 34' eight years ago to repair the leaking dump valves. Yes, it is a dirty job, but it can be done. If I can do it, I'm sure you can.

With the rusty tank pan removed, you will be able to inspect the tanks much better.

David
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