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Old 08-22-2018, 03:04 PM   #1
Wally Dad
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Washing Machine Drain Overflow

Another in our series of "lessons learned"

We have a combo, ventless W/D installed in the bedroom of our 3950BR. It drains into grey tank no. 1 along with the shower and bathroom sink. We know that the indicators for the tanks are relatively useless, so we have looked for clues as to when a tank is full. For grey no. 1, the shower would not drain - time to dump it!

So we've been working this principle since January no issue. Then, one day I notice water is dripping out of the front cap near the kingpin....OH NO! Not a bad seal on the end cap! It had recently rained and I thought that was where the water was from.

Looking more closely, I saw that the water was running, not dripping out of the end cap. Oh, so something is leaking? Turns out that the washer was dumping into the grey tank, but it was overflowing back out of the washer drain. How is that possible? The drain is much higher than the shower and it's not backed up!

It turns out that there is a "waterless trap" on the floor level of the closet that the washer is in. These have a rubber valve that will let water through only in one direction. We normally leave our grey tanks closed and dump them only when full to keep the muck buildup to a minimum and to help flush black water out of the drain pipes and stinky slinky.

Guess which point is lower in the RV, the waterless trap or the drain in the shower floor? It's close, but seems that its the waterless trap . So in the event that the grey tank fills up while the washer is running, the water will backup the drain pipe and close the waterless trap. Next time the washer drains, it ends up backing up out through the top of the drain and onto the closet floor, and as it turns out, through the front end cap.

So now we always leave grey tank no. 1 open when washing clothes. The location of the waterless trap in our trailer is not the best since you need to remove the washer to get to it. The washer water lines and drain come up through the closet floor leaving a hole through to the bottom of the end cap. Great engineering eh?

It seems that every installation of a W/D and the associated plumbing is different for each model and/year so this is the case for our 2018 3950BR but may be different for you. Long story ending now. I hope this helps someone!
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Old 08-22-2018, 06:01 PM   #2
K0LCB
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Our washer in the old 3750FL went straight to drain.
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Old 08-22-2018, 06:23 PM   #3
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We don't have a w/d connected in our coach, since we are not full timers. IF I was to install such,I`m thinking it would be smart to make the washer connection a straight connection to the drain, no holding tanks involved! Could save a lot of grief,I`m sure.
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Old 08-22-2018, 07:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CarWin View Post
We don't have a w/d connected in our coach, since we are not full timers. IF I was to install such,I`m thinking it would be smart to make the washer connection a straight connection to the drain, no holding tanks involved! Could save a lot of grief,I`m sure.
Oh that makes sense. Only wash when you are connected to a sewer and the machine dumps directly into that. However that would just about eliminate any chance to boondock and wash clothes (yeah, I know glamping etc. etc.). So I think that if it uses a grey tank, that gives you more option. The real story is that communication from the manufacturer and retailer would be very nice so you know what is what from the outset.
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Old 08-23-2018, 06:02 AM   #5
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Okay I was reading the manual, for the washer drain it says it can be in a gray tank, black tank or direct to drain depending on model.

I think the first thing one should do is to trace out the line and figure out where it drains to cut out surprises.
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:34 AM   #6
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If I had a washer in my 5er i would just open the drain and not worry about a full tank. Then when you are done washing clothes just close the valav. Not sure why they would run the washer drain into the black tanl. What a mess that could make. Also washer should be in a pan with a 1 1/2 inch deep pan with a drain to the ground. Nothing like water damage to your 5th wheel. If it doesn't have one get one fast. Sheet metal shop can whip one out in about 30 minuets.
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:53 AM   #7
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Our W/D dumps directly into the sewer which is good for us as we do not boon dock and if at a rally with no sewer for a few days we have enough clothing to last for a few days.

We all have different needs when RV'ing and it would be wise to know were the W/D drain water went. The splendide Does not use much water and have used it at a long rally with no sewer hookup.
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by richfaa View Post
We all have different needs when RV'ing and it would be wise to know were the W/D drain water went. The splendide Does not use much water and have used it at a long rally with no sewer hookup.
Well said sound advice Rich.
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:21 AM   #9
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Hey Wally Dad, that exact same thing happened to us last January while in Gulf Shores, AL. A person walking by our camper knocked on our door, and said "You know, you have water pouring out of the front of your camper." I bolted up to our bedroom closet and shut that machine off in record time!

Needless to say, we also learned to keep the gray tank open while using the washing machine!
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:35 AM   #10
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We leave the gray tank valve open as well when washing cloths.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:49 AM   #11
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Our washer also goes to the grey tank. We just leave the grey tank valve open all the time until getting near time to drain the black tank. Then I close the grey tank long enough to build up water to flush the line after draining the black tank.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:35 PM   #12
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Washer drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally Dad View Post
Another in our series of "lessons learned"

We have a combo, ventless W/D installed in the bedroom of our 3950BR. It drains into grey tank no. 1 along with the shower and bathroom sink. We know that the indicators for the tanks are relatively useless, so we have looked for clues as to when a tank is full. For grey no. 1, the shower would not drain - time to dump it!

So we've been working this principle since January no issue. Then, one day I notice water is dripping out of the front cap near the kingpin....OH NO! Not a bad seal on the end cap! It had recently rained and I thought that was where the water was from.

Looking more closely, I saw that the water was running, not dripping out of the end cap. Oh, so something is leaking? Turns out that the washer was dumping into the grey tank, but it was overflowing back out of the washer drain. How is that possible? The drain is much higher than the shower and it's not backed up!

It turns out that there is a "waterless trap" on the floor level of the closet that the washer is in. These have a rubber valve that will let water through only in one direction. We normally leave our grey tanks closed and dump them only when full to keep the muck buildup to a minimum and to help flush black water out of the drain pipes and stinky slinky.

Guess which point is lower in the RV, the waterless trap or the drain in the shower floor? It's close, but seems that its the waterless trap . So in the event that the grey tank fills up while the washer is running, the water will backup the drain pipe and close the waterless trap. Next time the washer drains, it ends up backing up out through the top of the drain and onto the closet floor, and as it turns out, through the front end cap.

So now we always leave grey tank no. 1 open when washing clothes. The location of the waterless trap in our trailer is not the best since you need to remove the washer to get to it. The washer water lines and drain come up through the closet floor leaving a hole through to the bottom of the end cap. Great engineering eh?

It seems that every installation of a W/D and the associated plumbing is different for each model and/year so this is the case for our 2018 3950BR but may be different for you. Long story ending now. I hope this helps someone!

Also had to replace the Hepvo valve in the washer drain line. Was able to move the washer enough to replace it. Not easy but it can be done I always leave both grey valves open
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:39 PM   #13
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For those who had the washer overflow problem, how did you get the water out of the cap section?
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally Dad View Post
Oh that makes sense. Only wash when you are connected to a sewer and the machine dumps directly into that. However that would just about eliminate any chance to boondock and wash clothes (yeah, I know glamping etc. etc.). So I think that if it uses a grey tank, that gives you more option. The real story is that communication from the manufacturer and retailer would be very nice so you know what is what from the outset.
We drycamped for over 3 months in Quartzsite and washed our clothes with no problems. We ran the washer water directly into a 30 gal blue boy. We were able to do 2 loads before I had to empty it.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:08 AM   #15
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I forgot to mention that the washer worked great using our inverter. No requirement to run a generator.
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