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Old 10-01-2022, 10:01 AM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
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Replacing the freshwater drain valve

My freshwater drain valve is going to hell . Not only has it always been a tough reach, but it's always been difficult to use because it flexes heavily on the pipe and is designed to swivel on the pipe end for who-knows-why.



But now the valve handle has been breaking off in chunks (after the photo was taken) so I need to do something about it. What have folks out there done about this? An extension might be nice, but a nice bigger valve with easier to turn handle is more on my list. I suppose I don't want it too easy to turn so I don't accidentally dump the water. The pipe appears to be white PEX, which is something I suppose is high-time I learn how to work with.

Any advice would be very much welcome!
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Old 10-01-2022, 11:12 AM   #2
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Todd, here's a picture of how I solved the issue of having to get down on the ground and reach under the MM to open and close the drain for the FW tank.

I replaced the OEM valve with a 1/2" PEX elbow and extended the line to a 1/2" SharkBite 1/4 turn hose bib mounted near our steps on a bracket I fashioned.

Fred
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Old 10-01-2022, 11:21 AM   #3
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Fred, very nice!

Did you angle the line extension a little downhill so it would drain for frost? I know photo angles play tricks on the eyes so I won't try to guess from the photo.

I guess I'd better investigate PEX tools and such.
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Old 10-01-2022, 12:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tinglett View Post
Fred, very nice!

Did you angle the line extension a little downhill so it would drain for frost? I know photo angles play tricks on the eyes so I won't try to guess from the photo.

I guess I'd better investigate PEX tools and such.
Yes, I did. The picture I posted was from my initial build. I've since shortened the down tube to give the extension additional fall. I don't currently have a picture of the final build. I can post a final build picture later tomorrow or Monday if you want me to.

I use pinch clamps for 99% of my connections, this is the pinch clamp tool I use for 95% of those connections. Its ratcheting action makes it easy to use one handed and is able to get into tighter places than some tools.
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Old 10-01-2022, 01:38 PM   #5
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This is a place where we each may need to decide how we want to go. I very rarely need to get involved with PEX so am deferring on the tools.
In place of gearing up for PEX, I am willing to go the easier but more expensive route of Sharkbite type fittings on the rare occasion I do have to deal with it.

For the ease and speed versus getting the tools and experience, I'm okay with paying a few dollars more for quick and easy. I find too many places in RV where the clamp tool is hard to fit.
The older I get, the more I find I no longer use all the tools I really needed 20-30 years ago so I try to avoid buying even more!
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Old 10-01-2022, 02:54 PM   #6
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This is a place where we each may need to decide how we want to go. I very rarely need to get involved with PEX so am deferring on the tools.
In place of gearing up for PEX, I am willing to go the easier but more expensive route of Sharkbite type fittings on the rare occasion I do have to deal with it.

For the ease and speed versus getting the tools and experience, I'm okay with paying a few dollars more for quick and easy. I find too many places in RV where the clamp tool is hard to fit.
The older I get, the more I find I no longer use all the tools I really needed 20-30 years ago so I try to avoid buying even more!
Agreed, if you don't have the tools and don't see a use for them in the future, there are probably better options.

In this case, extending the FW drain, there is very little pressure involved. Small hose clamps should serve the same purpose as the pinch rings. I don't believe a SharkBite elbow will work in this case without replacing the down tube. The down tube on my FW tank is soft plastic tubing and Todd's appears to be the same.
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Old 10-01-2022, 03:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morich View Post
This is a place where we each may need to decide how we want to go. I very rarely need to get involved with PEX so am deferring on the tools.
In place of gearing up for PEX, I am willing to go the easier but more expensive route of Sharkbite type fittings on the rare occasion I do have to deal with it.
I went to the home center looking for Sharkbite since Fred mentioned the brand and found these "push on" varieties. How can you get easier than that?

I cut off the old valve, but as I was doing so I could see I'm really working with something not quite PEX. The Sharkbite valve when on fine and appeared good, though it stupidly would rotate in the axis of the valve handle. Thankfully I decided to test it and put a few gallons in the tank. No go. It was leaking badly

But maybe this isn't so bad. I started pulling away the spray foam to look at how much tubing remained for "plan B" and quickly discovered what "plan B" needs to be. The whole thing is installed into the tank which has a 1/2" NPT standard opening. I'll stick with nylon or PVC.

So off to the home center again. A typical weekend....
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Old 10-01-2022, 04:16 PM   #8
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Well, sometimes things shape up. I went to the home center and found a nice 1/2 NPT PVC valve, but no luck finding any other PVC or nylon threaded fittings. So I started looking at brass pipe nipples and noticed a nice set of stainless fittings.

But then I also noticed a perfect 45 deg stainless hose bib. With a little TFE paste it is now in place and working perfectly! I can swing that handle down with my pinky. And as a bonus, it has garden hose threads in case I want to drain the water off somewhere else.

Is the spray foam used in RVs special? I probably should spray a bit back on before my next trip.
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Old 10-01-2022, 05:48 PM   #9
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Nice. Maybe a cap would be good if the handle moves that easily.
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Old 10-01-2022, 06:57 PM   #10
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Nice. Maybe a cap would be good if the handle moves that easily.
Heh, good point. The handle is in a nice protected spot. I'll keep an eye on it and will find (the hard way) over time if that's an issue. But I do have some nice brass garden hose caps, so I'll put one in my water accessories bin. Hmm...it may be worth putting one on just to keep things clean from road gunk.

I think good spray foam is Great Stuff Multipurpose Black. I'll get some of that and hit a bunch of spots with it.
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Old 10-01-2022, 07:14 PM   #11
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Great timing! As I was thinking about digging into this valve myself. We go winter camping so my concern is more about freezing. I'm assuming the 1/2" NPT in the tank is just right in the bottom up against the coroplast? Is there enough room to somehow tuck the valve up so it wasn't hanging out the bottom?
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Old 10-01-2022, 07:51 PM   #12
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Todd, glad to see you found a solution.
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Old 10-01-2022, 08:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by NV_Camper View Post
Great timing! As I was thinking about digging into this valve myself. We go winter camping so my concern is more about freezing. I'm assuming the 1/2" NPT in the tank is just right in the bottom up against the coroplast? Is there enough room to somehow tuck the valve up so it wasn't hanging out the bottom?
Not sure if this will help you, seeing that our MM is a 2016 and yours is a 2022, but here's a picture of what my connections look like under the coroplast.
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Old 10-01-2022, 09:13 PM   #14
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Not sure if this will help you, seeing that our MM is a 2016 and yours is a 2022, but here's a picture of what my connections look like under the coroplast.
I canít imagine much has changed about the tanks so this is great! Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2022, 06:49 AM   #15
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I canít imagine much has changed about the tanks so this is great! Thanks!
Also, if you look closely at my final photo you'll see the plastic of the tank that the stainless valve is threaded into. That, along with Fred's photo, should give you the complete picture. My 2019 model is currently at its lowest height position so you may have another 3" to work in (cross fingers).

Fred's picture is nice to see! I hadn't seen the tank before and it's very nice to see that it has a bit of a drain sump for frost.
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Old 10-05-2022, 03:34 AM   #16
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Thanks for starting this topic and coming up with a solution Todd. My valve also seems to be a little flaky and something to add to my list.

Do you do any winter camping? If so, my only concern would be the type of stainless the valve is constructed of (along with the hardware) and how it would react with salted roads.
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Old 10-05-2022, 11:08 AM   #17
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Do you do any winter camping? If so, my only concern would be the type of stainless the valve is constructed of (along with the hardware) and how it would react with salted roads.
Here is the specific valve I got, though Menards is a home center only in the midwest: https://www.menards.com/main/plumbin...15-c-19519.htm

It's 304 stainless which is good for marine use, but I think there is better out there. I'm not going to worry too much about salt as I don't usually pull the TT on winter roads. Experts can chime in, but I think it's something like 316 that's the best one for salt. I somehow doubt our use will make much diff here, though.
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