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Old 07-02-2019, 01:02 PM   #1
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Black and Grey tanks constantly filling while on city water

The girlfriend recently took ownership of a 1998 Brave Se (31b). Original owner took immaculate care of it (her grandfather), and the second owner (her father) took ok care of it but didn't seem to use it much.

This weekend was our first outing. While we had been working on the RV for past two weekends, this last weekend was a few firsts. We stayed at a local place for 3 nights.

The site we selected had city water, so we found the available port on the driver's side and attached it. Mid-day Saturday, I had figured out there was a regulator and put that in place.

Throughout the weekend though it seems that our holding tanks filled much faster than we anticipated. For a four day trip I must have opened the waste water valves 6-8 times. Even though 5 of us were in the unit, we rarely used water except for washing hands, dishes, and toilet (I have a separate issue with the hot water heater so no showers).

Even after the regulator install, there was still another two empties (one was end of stay on Sunday, but I did one when I got up that morning too).

I'm guessing the city water was bleeding into the waste tanks but I am not sure if this is as designed (and why so much!), or a problem we need to fix.

I thought maybe there was a valve we needed to close to stop this but I can't find anything like that in the owners manuals.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:13 PM   #2
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The city water cannot bleed into the waste tanks unless you have a toilet or faucet constantly running causing the tank to fill up. They are totally different systems.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:25 PM   #3
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The city water cannot bleed into the waste tanks unless you have a toilet or faucet constantly running causing the tank to fill up. They are totally different systems.
Thanks. That feels like it makes sense. I wouldn't think the two were connected unless it was some sort of safety feature.

We plan for another outing in two weeks. We should have less people, and maybe can get a better eyeball on how much water we consuming using something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Rainwave-RW-9.../dp/B007NHS9M4
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:08 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum! According to the brochure I was able to find, your black/gray tanks are 30/34 gallons. We (two of us) have gone a week with those tank sizes and not had an issue with even getting close to full. One must be judicious in their use of water when washing hands/dishes; don't leave the tap running - just a thin stream to wet the hands, turn off, lather up, turn back and and rinse. As for dishes, we use a bucket to soap them up and rinse with a thin stream, using water caught in glasses/pots/pans to help rinse the next item. Lots of water in the black tank is a good thing, though. The other thing to remember is the tank indicators are notoriously inaccurate. What does the panel show when the tanks are empty?
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:11 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum!
Thanks for the welcome and the advice. With so many campers and RVs out there, I knew I wanted to get into the Winnebago specific community for my questions. But I'm starting to find that a lot of information out there works no matter what you camp in.

And so much information like the brochures and parts lists available have made this a great experience. I'm fairly handy so I can do most of the tests and repairs myself.

Looking at our water consumption on this first outing, I am a little scared for our first boondock when it happens. We are experienced tent campers, with some use of a popup for a few of our outings; we know about water conservation. I'm used to two bins to do the washing. It was complete luxury to have running water (and hopefully next time hot water).

On those outings, it's usually her, a third adult, and me. Every summer we do one outing with the boys though. With having the two boys there and having running water , it's entirely possible we just were abusive. I am going to buy a meter to prove it though so we can rule out problems with the RV. Maybe I could turn it into a game to see how little we use per day.

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The other thing to remember is the tank indicators are notoriously inaccurate. What does the panel show when the tanks are empty?
Panel Picture
When the tanks are empty, they show 1 bar. On the panel, that basically means the test was successful/active and the tank is empty. There are then 3 more bars per tank above it, markings indicating 1/3rds. We would usually light up two of those on one tank after a few hours. Then we'd flush the tank. I think black water is 2 and grey is 1 but I could have that backwards (going to relabel ours when I have that figured out).

It's entirely possible those don't work as well as I think. When they are empty and the sensors are wrong, I guess they would show more bars. Could also add a specific amount of water to see if they show up right. Something to check on the next outing.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:58 PM   #6
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If there is a tank wash nozzle built into either of the tanks then that could be leaking into the tank causing faster filling. A tank flush device really should not be left connected when its not being used since it can very easily cause an overflow inside a coach.

Washing dishes can use a lot of water if care is not exercised as can washing hands so with 5 people you can quickly fill tanks up especially with the extra water flow a city connection is capable of.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:07 AM   #7
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Not too many of us spend much time looking at the bathroom stool but that might be a place to check as the valve can get off a bit and leave a tiny trickle going full time and that fills things in a hurry!
It should be adjusted so that the opening closes after a flush and then a small bit of water added on top as a "seal" against fumes leaking into the room. Possible this is not shutting off the water?
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