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Old 10-02-2006, 02:38 AM   #1
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After full-timing for 2 years, we have gone back to weekend style RVing. The last few trips finally got the bottom residue out of the tanks, but the grey valve has become VERY difficult to close and most times does not close all the way. I've had 1 grey water RV moment, and don't wish to have any more.

This is probably some matter stuck in the valve raceway, but I'm intent on replacing the valves just because it's been 5 years.

Anyone have experience with replacing these cable controlled tank valves?

Jim
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:38 AM   #2
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After full-timing for 2 years, we have gone back to weekend style RVing. The last few trips finally got the bottom residue out of the tanks, but the grey valve has become VERY difficult to close and most times does not close all the way. I've had 1 grey water RV moment, and don't wish to have any more.

This is probably some matter stuck in the valve raceway, but I'm intent on replacing the valves just because it's been 5 years.

Anyone have experience with replacing these cable controlled tank valves?

Jim
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:16 AM   #3
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Hey Jim!

I just got done replacing my black tank valve. Not the funnest job I have had in a while...

Not sure if there are any differences between the two since yours is on a Spartan, and mine is on the FCC, but once I got into it is wasn't all that bad. The Gray valve will be a bit tougher, just because it is deeper in the body.


Flush your tanks well before you start... Even when you think their clean, flush some more... you will be suprized at the ammount of "Residual" in the tanks that will just make the job miserable. If you can, I would flush the day before, and leave your valves open to let the sir circulate and dry some of it up....


Basically, take out the panels of your water bay, it is pretty self explanitory when you look at it, a cordless screw gun works well... Lots of sheetmetal screws.

Once you have those off, pull out your sewer hose storage pipe. Only two more screws and you will have some room to work.

There is a goofy little bracket under the black tank (Closest to you) take it out too, so you can get at the hose clamps.

Now reach all the way in there and loosen the hose clamps on the gray side. Then on the black side. They use rubber connectors to hold the pipe assembly to the two tanks, these are the clamps that you need to take off. There are 2 on each connector for a total of 4.

I used some spray silicone to help slip them out. Some fussing with them is nessacary to avoid tearing the rubber. Once you get the black side loose, the whole assembly should come right out for easy work on the valves.

Replace the valves. You will need to cut the cables accoring the the directions of the valves. The problem with my black tank valve wasn't the seals, it was the fact the cable was the wrong length from the factory, caused it to bind and sperate from the housing. There are pretty clear directions with the new cable valve. I shortened mine atleast 2 feet from what winnie had.

Slide it all back togehter and make sure your clamps are tight. Run some water and check for leaks.

The hardest part will be getting the pipe assembly in and out.

Get the valves before you start. I'm in central FL right now, and had to go to 4 different places to find the cable valve, not many dealers stock them for whatever reasons... (same thing with the Quest or Flar-it plastic 3 way valves-- Ugh.)

You will be slightly shocked at the price for the valves. One place had it for over $80.00, and the other place I found it for $60.00, which is why I held off on replacing my gray tank one, and just put a seal kit in it, and lubed the cable.

If you need some help, don't beafriad to e-mail me, I can attempt to walk you through it on the phone...

John
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:52 AM   #4
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Take a can of Silicone Spray with the little straw, Reach in as far as you can and give it a liberal spraying and see if this helps.

I do this from time to time and it helps.
Good Luck
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:10 AM   #5
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ichn2go.....

Where am I shooting the silcone spray? Inside the valve? on to the cable assembly? Not sure what the target is......

Derek.....

That's great detail....thanks. I'll be trying this over the next 3 weekends.

Jim
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Old 10-02-2006, 07:33 AM   #6
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Sorry,,I spray it up into the discharge trying to reach the valve slide and the grooves. Also I spray the stem of the handle to make it close and open easier. On my coach I can reach pretty far into each side of the discharge...Good Luck
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:03 AM   #7
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I was just thinking to make this job a bit less misrable could you put the jacks down on the driver's side and get the drivers side higher then the passeger side. Perhaps this would keep the stuff from flowing out when you have the valve off.

I have never done it but seems like it might work.
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:43 AM   #8
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Great ideas, and I don't mean to shoot holes in them, but...

Putting the Drivers side up wouldn't be a big advantage, the tanks are laid side by side, and the outlets both face inside the coach if it is like mine, which being a 40J I am sure it is. The valves are then coupled facing each other with the connector pipe between them, which then leads to a 90 deg. elbow, and the outlet pipe. Tiping the coach drivers side high will give you the benifit of faster empting of the black tank, and pass side high would do the same for the gray tank.

I found it most comfortable to work on at a normal flat level.

Silicone or some other spray lube inside the valve would be almost impossible to get to the valve due to the length and bends in the discharge pipe.

Do use some lube on the rubber couplers though, they were a real PITA to get off and back on. Be gentle not to force the tank any more than you have to... Would really suck to break something you are tring to fix.

The best advice is just take your time and look how it is put together. Winnie does engineer these things better than most, and even though it isn't convienent to just change it out, it is still very possible for the DIYer to do it. I tend to have a very short fuse when it come to this kind of stuff, and I just need to walk away for 10 mins and re-visulize how I am going to do it, then it works.

Let us know how you do.

John (and derek)
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:45 AM   #9
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Oh, BTW Jim,

I woulld say the entire project took me less than 4 hours, and now I know what it looks like, I could probally do it in half that time, provided everything went well. I would highly doubt you would need to kill 3 weekends! Too much loss of camping time!



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Old 10-02-2006, 10:49 AM   #10
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Man, am I on a roll... One last thing (I promise).

In the interim (remember my black valve was the none closing one) I got one of those neat valves that you can put right on the end of your outlet pipe (Has male and female thetford connections on a velterra blade valve). This allowed me to put off the job and still not get a bath of black water when I took off my end cap. Very well worth having in the toolbox for finding one of these types of problems.... Atleast it doesn't become a "Must Do Now" situation that could spoil a vaction or roadtrip.

John
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Old 10-02-2006, 12:59 PM   #11
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Don't mean to be argumentive and I would guess it would depend on your setup and how bad the valve is frozen or stiff butttttttttt...
Silicone worked on mine and it reached up into the valve....its worth a try.
Good Miles
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:44 AM   #12
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Jim get some grease and reach behind the valve handle and grease the cable shaft where it goes into the valve itself. You can smear it on with you fingers but may have to get a mirror to see where it is at the first time. I had the same problem and purchased a new valve and installled it. That is when I seen it only needed some lubication. Lubed the old one and it worked perfect.
Hope this helps.
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Old 10-12-2006, 05:13 PM   #13
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That extra valve with the thetford connections is also a handy way to expand your holding capacity. Put the extra valve on in closed position, open original valves, black and grey, waste will flow from full tank to not so full tank either way. We found our grey water tank was always full long before our black water tank was even half full, now we let the grey water go into the black water side and I don't have to break camp and dump the tanks so soon.
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Old 10-13-2006, 05:09 AM   #14
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When I changed my valves I found that removing the black valve allowed more movement of the assembly and boots. This made it easier to remove and reinstall, but much care had to be used to reinstall the black valve so the seals didn't get pinched. As with Moder2, it took me about 4 hours to change the valves the first time, and about two hours the second time. I had some bad luck with the black valve and had to change it after one year. I ordered my valves from the Forest City Winnebago dealer.

Best advise Moder2 gave was to take a break when you get uptight. I did that too.

Another point, align the set screws in the valve where the cable attaches facing out so you could change a cable down the road more easily.
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Old 10-13-2006, 11:23 AM   #15
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Thanks to all for the advice and suggestions. I tried the easy fixes first....sprayed the silicon and it freed up the valve and cable.

I'm glad it did because after seeing how far in that valve is, I was not a happy camper.

Off to campground in 2 weeks. That will be the test and check time.

Regards,
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