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Old 02-26-2019, 08:22 PM   #1
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2014 View 24V Waste System Preventive Maintenance

Recently drove our RV to Key Largo to rent a sailboat for 7 day cruise. The black water tank in the boat sprang a leak behind a permanent bulkhead that then seeped into the boat--ended the trip after 3 days. Praise be we had the RV!

As we drove home in our rig, it hit me that possibly the same plumbing disaster could happen in our motor home as it ages. (No duh, hey?)

So, as an RV ages, what seals, and valves, and connections, and hoses, etc. historically have failed and what is a good PREVENTIVE maintenance program to preclude this type of disaster...so our rig can age...gracefully. Any good videos or how to links? And where is the weakest link of the black (or gray) water system that is hidden behind a wall nobody can get to?
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:54 AM   #2
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Most motorhome black tanks, from the smallest to the biggest, are mounted so they are closest to the road surface. So, if you do get a leak, the ground is the lowest point - very unlike the bilge in your sailboat.

The other good news in most RVs, the toilet discharged drops directly into the tank. Not a lot of maintenance required there.
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:59 PM   #3
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Well OK but what about the seal between the toilet and the tank...how often does that need replacement and how?

The gray tank on the 24V has a pump that pushes or sucks the effluent out...where does that line run, what is it made of, how long does it last, how is it connected to the gray tank and the dump lines?
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:32 PM   #4
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Anything is possible......but unlikely in an RV.

Absent damage, the most likely falure point is the blade valve which can leak. The "head" fits to the top of the tank and the way it is fitted and designed it will not leak unless the tank is full to overflowing the joint. Don't worry about the grey water hose. Will outlast the RV.

On a View the head and sinks drain to the black tank. Shower to the grey tank.

The grey tank pump empties the tank by pushing waste water via a hose forward and over the rear axle to the 4" main drain midship so the grey waste can flush the sewer drain pipe.
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pooolboy View Post
Well OK but what about the seal between the toilet and the tank...how often does that need replacement and how?There is a toilet valve/seal that might need replacement at some point. If it leaks, the toilet won't hold water which isn't the end of the world. Seals at the bottom of the toilet are like your house toilet and when is the last time your replaced yours?

The gray tank on the 24V has a pump that pushes or sucks the effluent out...where does that line run, what is it made of, how long does it last, how is it connected to the gray tank and the dump lines?
The gray waste is pumped out of the gray tank and forward to the main waste outlet. The biggest potential point of failure is the pump itself and that doesn't happen very often from what I can see.

See my responses in RED. Of all of the things that go on in a motorhome, the waste system is very low on the worry level. You should focus on proper winterizing and maintenance of the fresh water system.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:33 AM   #6
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That was quite helpful....the blade valve. Glad to know its name as it spritzes me a bit every time I open the cap to dump. I was pretty sure "I did not pay extra" for that spritzer feature! youtube shows the replacement of the blade valve as a bit messy but doable...but probably way more messy if you do not dump BEFORE you replace it!

Thanks very much.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:19 PM   #7
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That was quite helpful....the blade valve. Glad to know its name as it spritzes me a bit every time I open the cap to dump. I was pretty sure "I did not pay extra" for that spritzer feature! youtube shows the replacement of the blade valve as a bit messy but doable...but probably way more messy if you do not dump BEFORE you replace it!

Thanks very much.

Yep! Can be an issue. Just a WAG here. I've noticed that sometimes there is water/liquid in the black 4" drain when you remove the cap. I suspect that is from fluid left over in the transfer pipe from the gray tank that manages to find the lowest level in the system. Probably due to the RV not sitting level or maybe not nose down enough.



As you drive it migrates to the low point which is the drain pipe just behind the cap.



SOLUTION? 1. Let it drain well after pumping out. 2. Open cap very slowly and allow the stuff to dribble out. 3. There are some after market replacement 4" caps that have a small 1/2" nipple and threaded cap. You could.... if you can orient the nipple on the lowest 1/2 of the drain pipe just open the 1/2 cap and let anything drain out. There's still be some water trickle out even with that. The simple solution is to just use care when opening.


The Crow uses Kirkland nitrile exam gloves from Costco when messing with the septic system, checking oil levels, rolling up water hose and stowing the shore cable....and especially when refueling. (Nothing irritates Mrs Crow like the smell of diesel and pooh.... !!!!!



I repackage the gloves in a large plastic jar (Costco mixed nuts or HEB peanuts come in a large square jar with a screw top). I just stuff a big wad of them in the jar & stow it in the starboard aft compartment behind the genny. When you are finished, just peel the gloves off like Ben Casey and drop them in the trash bin.
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:11 PM   #8
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You have some superb troubleshooting skills....your theory about the dribble of water from the 4 inch pipe when I open it is most likely residual from the gray tank water having to be pumped up and over the rear axle. Probably not a blade valve problem, just working "as designed." So I have been using the exam gloves for the dump task, will just have to be more careful and live with the spritzer.

As always, thanks very much! You most likely saved me from a smelly and tedious blade valve replacement only to get spritzed again after the replacement!
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:04 PM   #9
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Use Thetford valve and seal lubricant regularly. Just add to the toilet and flush, and pour down shower drain.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:35 PM   #10
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While its certainly not fun to be spritzed by the effluent when dealing with the drainage systems, unless you actually ingest a bit of it, it won't kill you. It always reminds me of changing baby diapers: Once in a while you get "some" on you, but all you have to do is wash up thoroughly and you're good to go. It would probably be advisable not to bite your fingernails though!
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