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Old 12-07-2018, 05:53 AM   #1
grumbolt
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cracked leaking black tank

well after returning from the first camping trip with the monty, we noticed an unpleasant aroma coming from near the convenience center..



we had purchased the unit used and were told it had 2 tanks.

it turns out it has 3. the galley tank handle had been broken off in the open position so when it was time to dump, the lines were full from the galley tank as well as the galley tank having quite a bit of grey water in it as well.


what kept me from taking a bath when going to dump was past experience teaching better practices... i always install the cap with the water hose port in it on my dump pipe(s) and when it is time to dump, i get the rhino hose in place and slowly remove the small cap with the hose positioned to catch any spillage. this has saved me many times from having to clean up under my unit after dumping (i dont leave a mess at the camp site or dumping station, and it is easier to prevent a mess than it is to clean one up )


anyway after emptying the lines, i dumped the black water, then the bathroom grey water and off to the house we went...



when we arrived home, the smell persisted letting me know there was still an issue other than a valve leaking (all tanks were empty at this point) so i proceeded to pulling the belly enclosures off to see what we shall see and it was an ugly site!
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File Type: jpg black tank 2.jpg (182.2 KB, 77 views)
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:00 AM   #2
Montana Man
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Looks like you have some plumbing work to do. If you do it right you can do it once. Looks like the floor could use insulation as well.

I would say the previous owner knew about this problem when they sold it.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:16 AM   #3
grumbolt
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@montana man yeah i agree, i have the tank looking pretty good now and there is 25 gallons of water in it for the 48 hour soak test.





well i drained the tanks better (lowered the front of unit so all residual could drain out and left the valves open for a day or so with a bucket under it....



and went about getting ready to see exactly what was goin on with it...



after cleaning up the area and disinfecting it so that i felt comfortable working in and around the area (bleach and alcohol applied separately are your friend) i set about figuring out what was going on with it.


it seems the dealer i bought the unit from had patched the cracked tank with hot melt glue and then ensured the tank remained empty until delivered.



removing the hot melt glue was not that big of a problem being that it does not bond well with abs plastic, so off it came!


after removing all the foreign material i found a crack about 3 inches long at the bottom of the bell of the tank and i noticed the tank thickness at that point was thinner than on the side or the bottom.



i went ahead and drilled a little ahead of the splits and then opened up the crack to the drilled hole and left it to air dry while the materials i needed to order arrived.






i ordered medium black abs cement from amazon, and ordered abs plastic resin pellets (fine) from ic 3d. this product is typically used in 3d abs printers that use resin instead of filament. the resin is nothing more than plastic pellets.


i also picked up a gallon of acetone, and some coarse fiberglass window screen from lowes


i already had a large medical irrigation syringe (no needle) and various brushes.


after they arrived i proceeded to patch the tank with the following pic showing the end result...


i have no leaks and the repair is stronger than a new tank would be.
while i was in there repairing the black tank, i also reinforced the forward grey tank in that area (oddly enough it felt thinner in that area as well)



i found a video on you tube that set me on this path, i used it as a loose guide. if there is interest ill find it again and post a link and describe how i repaired my tank.



happy trails!
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:38 AM   #4
grumbolt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Man View Post
Looks like you have some plumbing work to do. If you do it right you can do it once. Looks like the floor could use insulation as well.

I would say the previous owner knew about this problem when they sold it.

yeah i think i have the plumbing issue solved.



i purchased 3/4" foil backed foam board insulation to put back in there,



in your opinion, should i put the insulation at the bottom of the compartment area basically laying on the belly pan material so that the tanks benefit from the insulation, or should i use some adhesive to mount the insulation directly to the sub-floor?

also, should i mount foil up or down?


i also plan to put insulation under the bedroom/bathroom in the storage compartment area right up against the subfloor between the joists. should i put foil up or down on that area? i dont know if it will make that much of a difference but am looking for opinions and advice.
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:04 PM   #5
carl n susan
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Quote:
<snip>
what kept me from taking a bath when going to dump was past experience teaching better practices... i always install the cap with the water hose port in it on my dump pipe(s) and when it is time to dump, i get the rhino hose in place and slowly remove the small cap with the hose positioned to catch any spillage. this has saved me many times from having to clean up under my unit after dumping (i dont leave a mess at the camp site or dumping station, and it is easier to prevent a mess than it is to clean one up )
</snip>
Using the cap with hose port is good, but a better solution is the Valtera twist on gate valve. Hang it on the end of the sewer line and never have to worry about, or deal with, leakage from a bad tank valve. Just hook up your Rhino hose, then pull the handle on the gate valve and any surprises go down the pipe. No muss, no fuss. Another popular addition is a clear sewer pipe extension. Put it in front of the gate valve and you will know if there are surprises waiting plus you can see when the tank(s) run clear when flushing.



P.S. Good job on the fix!
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:50 PM   #6
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Hope that works out. Actual use will be the test. I would insulate the flooring, not the coroplast. Not sure about direction of foil but I would have foil down. That valve suggested by Carl is a must. Let us know how it works out. That dealer needs to be exposed for what they are doing...
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:26 PM   #7
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That looks like a good repair job! Git the Valtera valve for the end of the dump pipe I have put one ever Rig one of the best things to do never have a mess.
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Old 12-08-2018, 04:14 AM   #8
grumbolt
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thanks for the great ideas guys! i think i have enough room to mount a valve at the end like you are talking about, i may just cut the pipe and glue in a permanent one with a clear extension just before it. it would certanly prevent any surprises!!


putting the one mentioned on may be problematic due to how close the pipe exit is to the side of the rig.



i did purchase a clear elbow that i use with the rhino hose, but your ideas of permanent mounting the clear pipe section is more appealing to me due to there being less to handle / drop / lose when it is time to dump.


update on the insulation, i guess i got lucky when i purchased it.
when i went to lowes to buy the insulation they had several flavors to choose from. the more expensive of the varieties was about $3.00 a sheet more but has 2 inches more R factor than the cheaper, and they had enough in stock that i could get all i needed out of the one variety. the cheaper variety stock levels were low enough i would have had to buy 1/2 of the cheaper, and 1/2 of the more expensive.



well OCD won out and i just bought all of the more expensive so it would all match (yes i realize no one will ever see it, but i would know it was different lol)
anyway it has foil on both sides so all i have to worry about is mounting it all the same orientation to satisfy the OCD, because functionally it is identical either way according to the materials datasheet printed on the insulation!
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Old 12-08-2018, 04:24 AM   #9
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the dealer i purchased from is a "wholesale to the public" business in tampa who buys massive quantities of rv's from tampa machinery auction and other places, and has his group of "technicians" repair them and then sells them as a buy here/pay here, or on an as is basis.



there have been several issues with the unit that i was aware of when i bought it (i inspected the unit for around an hour before making an offer)



some issues we made a deal for him to repair upon me buying the unit.

he was not prepared for me to refuse delivery until the repairs were properly made to the air conditioners.



i didn't pull the belly pan to look and see if there was any damage there, but an honest dealer would have disclosed it.


i did get a good enough deal cash wise that i would have bought the unit even if would have known the black tank was bad and that i would have to repair it.
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:12 AM   #10
grumbolt
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one more question for you guys..... my galley tank has a handle that is set up to come out just in front of the left forward tire. it was broken off when i bought the unit. now that i have the belly off, i am going to repair it. i have the extension handle already and it would be pretty easy to just screw it back on once i put the belly back up, but it would leave the handle exposed like before and possibly able to be broken off, like before...



i was half way thinking of buying a new valve with a cable on it or getting a cable attachment for my existing valve (if they exist) and routing the handle the 6 or 8 feet up to the convenience center to where the other pull handles are for the other 2 tanks...



in reading on here, there are some pretty old posts saying the cable actuated units are junk, but is that only pertaining to the oem parts or is valterra just as bad?


have the issues with cable actuated valves been fixed or am i better off staying with the rod extension handle hanging down below my unit?
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:54 AM   #11
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I tossed the cable pulls for direct pull rods. Those cables are a problem waiting to happen. The way my unit is oriented, I ran the rods with extensions through a drilled hole in the frame. Also used the valterra valve on the end of the sewer pipe just for insurance.

One thing about your situation, you'll get it fixed right and have extensive knowledge that you may not have otherwise. That is valuable while traveling.

Get those bugs fixed then go wear it out!
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:12 PM   #12
grumbolt
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yes sir!! i like knowing my rig, i am thinking im going to just stay with the pull rods on all of them, i wont be going off road with this one like i did my last. this one is much heavier and longer. as long as i stay on the roads, the only thing i can think of barring any freak accidents that would take out the galley handle would be a blow out on the drivers side front tire...
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:40 AM   #13
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Bob, in respect to insulating in the basement/storage area-- I took 2" rigid pink foam board and cut it to the width between joists. I cut it just a little bit wider than measured and wedged it up between the joists. It has stayed there for the past two years now and the it is surprising just how much warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. I also placed the 2" foam behind the wall separating the basement and the open space under the bath and where the water heater and furnace are. I did the same thing as to cutting the width just a little bigger than measured and wedged it in but I did use HVAC aluminum tape to secure the foam just incase it should come loose from the bumping on the smooth roads we drive on.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:54 PM   #14
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If you are going to install a Valtera gate valve at the sewer discharge, I'd suggest getting the one that is clear and has a water hose hookup. That way you can back flush your black tank (gray as well) and see when the water is clear. I was amazed with how inefficient the stock black tank flush system is after I used the back flush system.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:01 PM   #15
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I used a product called Plasti- mend. It works great and so (5 yrs ) no leaks. I also used fiber glaass wondow screen to reinforce the repaired area. Bought Plasti-mend online.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:12 PM   #16
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I use the same concept. The gray water cap with a plastic hose-end valve then the small cap. My issue, the drain pipes are so close to level that when emptying there is always residual that eventually makes it to the delivery end. The little valve allows me to get the dump hose in place to catch that residual and send it to the sever and not on me or the ground.
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