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Author Topic: Ummm, a little unsavory topic....  (Read 3828 times)
John316
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« on: September 27, 2009, 08:33:42 AM »

Alright guys. Here is the latest. On our black tank, the valve (it is a name brand, like Valetera, or something) was leaking just a bit (it is a 3"). We purchased a cap, and thought that we got the valve seated all of the way to quite it from leaking. However I went to dump today, and found that it was still dripping a little. I took the cap off, and a bunch up crap came out. I am not sure what to do to make that valve quite leaking. I worked it up and down, and then I even used my fist on top of it to try to get it seated down all of the way (I still don't think that it is seated all of the way because I can still see a fraction of the plunger rod sticking up).

So what is the trick? I am thinking that we got a cruddy valve (meaning defective). The gray works perfectly (I wish it was the gray that was leaking though, Sad). Do I just replace the valve?

Thanks a lot.

God bless,

John the.....ummmm now clean Smiley
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kd5kfl
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2009, 08:39:00 AM »

the valtera valve is a slide. it moves in a slot that is about 1/4" deep. you probably have a bit of papier mache in the slot opposite the handle. this prevents the slide from seating, causing a leak. you will need to scrape that papier mache out. lucky you.
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Len Silva
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 08:42:34 AM »

It's been a while but if cleaning the valve doesn't work, I believe there seal kits available.
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John316
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 08:45:53 AM »

Now that is all very well and fine, but how do I keep that "paper mache" from getting stuck in there again? Do I have to "scrape" it every time? Ugghh.  Sad

Also, any ideas how to get it completely dumped? Our fitting is right at the bottom of the tank on the side, however there will always be an "inch or two" in the bottom.

God bless,

John

Len, our posts just crossed. The thing of it is, that is a BRAND new valve!

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Len Silva
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 08:56:53 AM »

Could be a defective valve, though I doubt it.  I think you do have trash in the slide, perhaps a good flush with lots of clean water will cure it.  I've had it happen but subsequent drains seemed to fix it.

Is it a straight shot from the end cap to the valve?  Can you actually see the inside of the valve from the outlet?  Maybe you can flush it with a hose from the outside.
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JackConrad
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 09:19:42 AM »

Don't dump until the tank is at least 3/4 full.  Larger volume makes for a fasrter moving flow of #$% & "stuff".  Jack
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 09:22:54 AM »

I have two of these slide type valves installed for my tank system.  One releases the gray water into the black water tank, the other is the main dump valve leading to the outside hose connection.

The orientation of these valves is different.  On one, I pull the handle upward.  The other is mounded 90 degrees so that I pull the handle directly toward me as I stand outside the bay.

If John continues to have a problem with build-up on the low point of the valve, I am wondering if he has the room to re-orient the valve for a sideways slide action.  Right now, eveytime he tries to close the valve, the junk gets crushed against the bottom point, preventing full closure.  If the valve has a sideways slide, it would tend to scrape across the low point of the valve displacing the junk with each operation.  

If there is room available, it might be worth a try.  
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2009, 10:49:16 AM »

What I have always tried to do to get a complete drain John is to only dump the black tank AFTER a move.  Once it gets all slooshed around on the road my reasoning says that it is more likely to get everything flushed out.  As far as the stuff that remains in the bottom is concerned there's probably not much you can do.  Maybe elevate one side of the bus if you're really concerned about it.

I do know based on a couple of incidents where my shoes got brown that my thinking about everything getting dissolved is more or less accurate.  That doesn't provide a whole lot of satisfaction while you are washing your feet but in hindsight it seems like a good thing.  On a related matter, make sure you buy the hose barbs with FOUR little plastic ears to attach rather than the ones with just 2 ears.  Reason being that with 4 ears when you lose one you won't lose the connection whereas with 2 ears when you lose one your feet get wet.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 12:12:06 PM »

(Assuming both of your tank drains end up in the same outlet)
Put a third slide valve just behind your dump-hose fitting.  That way you have a second barrier to a leaking valve, and more importantly you can change your dump procedure to:

Dump black
Close third valve and open both black and grey valves for a few seconds, thus allowing gray water into your black tank to flush it (and perhaps help clean the black valve)
close gray valve, open third valve again, dumping the black tank once more
Close black valve, open gray valve, finish the dump procedure, close all valves

Works well for me.....
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 12:26:21 PM by boogiethecat » Logged

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Sean
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 12:43:13 PM »

I have more experience with this topic than I would like.

First off, I have the same valve arrangement as Boogie the Cat, and that's the same procedure we use, which works well.  Our black and gray valves are also vertical (which, as noted, can lead to problems if not careful) and the drains exit the tanks on the sides.  Using Boogie's procedure ensures that any solids at the bottom of the black tank get flushed away.  We have very large tanks; I usually do two or three back-flushes of the black tank with gray water before closing the black valve and dumping the gray tank.

I also agree with Bob of the North -- better to dump after driving for a while to break up and suspend the solids.  Also, you should never, ever dump the black tank at less than about half full, as Jack mentioned.  Also, never leave the black valve open when connected to a sewer hookup -- better to let the tank fill half way, then dump and re-close the valve.  I personally believe this helps on the gray as well, but many prefer to leave the gray valve open when in a full hookup site.

Lastly, I have had to rebuild one of these valves (kits are available) after damage from foreign objects (not on my current bus -- this is an older learning experience), and I will offer the following advice:

Allow NOTHING to go into your black tank that has not been processed through your digestive system, except for toilet paper which you provide and which you have already tested to ensure it breaks up quickly (there are many, many lists of suggested brands on the 'net).

That means NO feminine products of any kind (nor their wrappers), no "baby" wipes such as some folks may like to use to clean up, no cat litter, no "flushable" toilet cleaning products, etc. etc..  These are the items most likely to get trapped in the grooves of the gate valve and either cause a temporary leak, or permanently damage the seals.

If you travel with women in, umm, the prime of their lives, they will likely find this set of conditions unacceptable, and may argue for certain exceptions.  The proper way to handle this is to have anyone who so complains to be the next one to have to disassemble the valve for repair; this usually cures the matter.

At the risk of saying more about this matter than is polite, we keep a foot-pedal operated trash can in the bathroom for items unacceptable for the toilet, and use plastic bags to line it, for easy disposal.

As to your current problem, I am afraid you will have to disassemble the valve to know for sure.  There may be some foreign material in the groove, or something may have damaged one of the two seals (one on either side of the blade).  Or there may be a twisting force on one side or the other of the valve -- if you notice the gap trying to get larger on one end or the other when you remove the four bolts holding the "sandwich" together, there is too much force on the valve -- it should be equally tight all the way around.

Before you start taking things apart, get a brand new valve and disassemble it, so you can become familiar with how they are put together without getting your hands dirty, so to speak.  Also, you should have a seal kit on hand when you take the leaking valve apart -- you don't want to do this twice, and if a seal is damaged, you'll want to be able to replace it right away.  Available at Camping World and many other RV stores.

HTH,

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 01:22:37 PM »

What Sean said about "if you didn't eat it then it doesn't go in the toilet".  A good friend and I spent a very unpleasant evening deep in the bowels of a stranger's 5th wheel several years ago.  The root cause of the problem which we ended up dealing with was the fact that two teenage daughters and a mother were living in the trailer.  The father was (fortunately for him) away working for 2 weeks.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2009, 01:59:16 PM »


Over the years, I have found that I have to replace the seals approx
      every four years or so.  If yours is a valtera, then seal kits are
      available.  Only four bolts to remove and then replace the seals.
      That is after you empty the tank.
                                         Good luck,   Merle.
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2009, 03:19:31 PM »

I have the same set-up as Boogiethecat; 3 valves.  Dump the black first, then close the 3rd valve and back-flush the black tank with gray water, until the gray and black tanks equalize (listen until the gray water stops flowing or really slows down).  Then close the gray tank valve and open the 3rd valve until the black is empty.  Close the black tank valve and empty the rest of the gray. 

In 150,000 miles on the bus and 111,000 miles on the truck conversion, so far we have not had a problem!  This system I would highly recommend.  The other alternative is to have the gray tank empty upstream through the black tank.

YMMV and DIYOW, WEW.

GaryD




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Gary D

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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2009, 04:10:07 PM »

We have the same setup as Boogie described. In addition, I have a fresh water hose (with check valves) connected to the top of the black and grey tanks so I can flush them thoroughly after dumping. I find that when I'm in a hurry and don't flush with a little fresh water, my black never feels like it's seating completely. Paper machei, I like that one LOL. Didn't we used to make little animals and what not with that stuff in grade school? Shocked
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John316
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2009, 06:16:43 PM »

Thanks a lot guys.

First off nothing that doesn't get eaten goes into that tank. It is just ummmm.....I won't go into details Shocked. We do have ladies on board, but they all know the rules and they don't put ANYTHING except the paper mache in there. We have the trash can in there.

We never leave the valve open.

I like the idea of having the third valve on there. It will take some serious thinking to get that in there, because we have literally NO space, but I will try to get it figured out.

I was surprised because it was leaking because it was a brand new valve. I can see that valve, and I did rinse it out up there.

Thanks again for the help.

God bless,

John
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