I was called out to the motorhome from a pretty frantic DW who told me to come out to the motorhome and check out the water on the floor in the toilet compartment. I’m thinking what could it be, we haven’t had a freeze this year so I’m expecting perhaps a loose clamp or something simple.
As I was walking past the motorhome to get to the door I saw a puddle on the on the pad but looking up I saw that the awning cover was shedding water. This always happens when we step inside the rig and I thought well that’s not the leak.
Up the stairs and into the rig I go and Colleen begins to tell me what happened. I just stepped on the foot pedal and I heard something and then saw the water on the floor. Colleen had already turned off the water pump before I got there.
I told Colleen to turn on the pump and to standby in case it started gushing I’d holler to turn it off. So pump on … nothing happened. The pump growled until it pressured the system and then it went to standby. Well so far so good – no leaks from the foot valve.
Now to reproduce what Colleen did and I pushed down the pedal with my hand and immediately got a high speed gush from behind the toilet and water splashed on the floor and I let go of the pedal. Reaching behind the stool to where the plumbing terminates on the top center of the bowl there was a plastic valve and what I felt was that the spray hose had come off the valve. The spray hose and the feed line were ty-wrapped together so I cut the tie and looked at the end of the hose.
I could see a sleeve on the inside of the spray line and it became obvious as to what happened. I’m thinking all the what ifs including how much it would cost for a RV tech to fix this. I’m thinking I have to pull the bowl and all that and I was looking at a messy job or the expense of having someone else deal with it.
Knowing that we are going camping this upcoming week I needed to get this resolved ASAP. I looked at the break out for the parts that I though were the problem and I could not see anything complicated.
I turned the pump off and bled down the pressure using the foot valve … DOH! …. water all over the floor again. Bleed the pressure at the sink .. I told myself! Oh well moving on I read where all you have to do is twist and pull on the valve it it should come right out. OK! I grabbed the valve and twisted it to break it free a little and it began to move. Cool! I’m thinking this might work. I began pulling the valve straight back and before I knew it it was out.
There wasn’t much to it I observed 1 hose line and 1 mini-clamp. I got my screw driver and backed off on the clamp and allowed it to drop past the shoulder on the hose that was pushing out from the valve.
As much as I tried I could not get the line off the valve. It twisted and I pulled and it would not budge. Putting on the thinking cap I realized I needed a little persuasion so I got a very small screwdriver and worked it in between the hose and the valve. Once I got the driver down a little more than an inch I pried and the hose practically popped off.
Colleen and I took a trip down to the local camping store and we picked up a new valve. It was a Sealand Vacuum Breaker Kit Pn# 385316906. I looked on the Internet and made a couple of calls but that wasn’t getting this job done today. The prices that I got were from $42.00 to $90.00. Eeek! Was my first reaction however I was able to have the valve in hand for about $44.00 out the door.
This new valve would not have the spray attachment which Colleen and I both found to be more than a nuisance than anything so we went with the valve that we got. I removed the holder for the nozzle off the back wall and put the screws back in the holes.
Installing the valve was easy. First I had to reach behind the stool and locate the old sealing ring and pull that out. It came out without much effort. It was disgusting after some of 7 years of service; let say it was very much water stained. So that went in the garbage. The new seal (picture – white donut) fit small end in first and I pushed it in as far as it would go. I felt around and the seal was flush with the back of the bowl.
I got the new valve and pushed it into the feed line and aimed the discharge tube toward the donut and tightened the mini hose clamp. This orients the line and the valve in the position of function. Next thing I did was to get a small amount of tissue and I placed a small squirt of Dawn dishwashing detergent on it. I took the soapy tissue and wiped it on the discharge nozzle.
The instructions call for the soaped valve to be pushed into the donut as far as it will go. Grabbing the valve and finding the hole was easy. The tube was pointing where it had to go and the line was exactly the correct length. Once I got the end of the pipe aligned, I applied some pressure and the valve bottomed out in the donut. I oriented the valve as much as possible to the vertical 6 to 12 and it stayed in position and that was it.
I turned the pump on and charged the system I pushed down on the foot valve and it worked as expected and no leaks. It seems to be getting a lot more pressure – I don’t know why but that’s how it looks to me. I have a Blue Streak Automatic Chemical Dispenser installed on our bowl and the blue chemical was observed feeding into the bowl as it should.
So repair complete, did it today and I did it myself. Good News is that if this happens to you you can DIY as well!
Picture #1: The new valve is white and the old was a clear hard plastic. The old valve has a number of cracks in the body of the valve quite possibly from being frozen.. The valve did hold all season long up until a few days ago. Note the white donut or seal.
Picture #4: This is a view of the vacuum break aperture. Air is allowed to be drawn in I expect which helps the water to flow into the upper gallery of the bowl where it will drain down in to the bowl.
Picture #5: The new seal at this point has been installed and the mini hose clamp has been tightened. This is the position of function I was talking about. Soaping up the discharge nozzle, it was pushed straight into the donut and it bottomed out and I oriented the valve vertically.
Pictures are all taken by: Driver