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Old 07-13-2013, 07:08 AM   #1
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Murphy is alive and well. 4 days into a 3 week trip and the black water tank valve won't close all the way. Almost but not quite.

My first thought was toilet paper in the valve or a seal that turned. Not knowing exactly how the valve seals I'm kinda at a loss. I'm thinking of a spray nozzle [of course it's back at the house] that sprays sideways for cleaning a tank. Put it on the end of a hose and push it in until it stops on the slide. Open the slide and turn on the water and move the hose back and forth. If the seal is dy maybe add olive oil to grease it??

Any thought from the collective knowledge of the group?
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:21 AM   #2
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Seeing as how you forgot your magic wand at home,
Have you by any chance got a pressure nozzle that screws onto the end of a garden hose? If you do, try pushing the hose back up the drain pipe and see if that will flush anything out.
If you can't get it to seal, find an RV shop and buy yourself one of these.
http://www.amazon.com/Valterra-T58-Twist-On-Waste-Valve/dp/B000BGHYJS/ref=sr_1_3?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=137374 2958&sr=1-3&keywords=valterra+gate+valve
That will fix your problem till you get back home.


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Old 07-13-2013, 10:18 AM   #3
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The "add on valve" is a life saver in a case like this. We have 1 we use when we camp without sewer hook up because we can open the grey and the galley valves but leave the add on valve closed and we now have 60 gallons of grey water capacity so my teenager can take a shower and I don't have to break camp and go to the dump station. But back to your problem.. I always carry a metal coat hanger and this would maybe be a place to use it. If you can get up the black pipe to where the valve is you might be able to dislodge whatever is blocking it from closing. I would wrap the end of the coat hanger with duct tape (get 'er done) so it is not sharp and be gentle because there is a rubber seal there and you don't want to damage it. I honestly don't know what the seal looks like but you may be able to find a "exploded" version of the valve online and that might show you. I hate to type this but those valves look fairly easy to replace if you have the tools with you. The worst case scenario would be if it was stuck closed and full. Sounds like it is opening OK just not closing. I think Old Farmer is on the right track for a short term fix. You might put that valve on, close the temporary valve, open the regular valve and try filling the black tank then dump it several times. If there is something stuck in the valve body it may break loose at some point and then you are back to standard operating procedure. If not, you are still fully functional and can enjoy the trip until you get home and can replace the valve.
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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X2 on both recomendations I have the valterra valve and it is a great supplement to our dump systems. It gives you back up if a valve cannot be closed.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:41 AM   #5
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Cliff, what did you end up doing?

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Old 07-17-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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I found a dealer with the Valterra valve to help get thru the next 2 weeks. I also contacted Crossroads about a little help since it's just out of warranty and they are going to work with me on fixing it after I get back to Texas. I also bought some stuff that dissolves toilet paper and will put some in the tank tomorrow when we make our next move. Hopefully by the time I get back it will be a non-issue.

I'll let you know how that works out with Crossroads.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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Glad to hear you located the valve. It is a sensible backup. We will all be looking forward to your report on Crossroads support. It is always good to see positive comments. I will keep my fingers crossed. Best of luck
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:50 PM   #8
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Could be toilet paper - I have difficulty getting the valve to close at times - use the flush unit when I have full hook up. When using a dump station I pour 4-5 gallons of water down the toilet to flush the line/valve (carry a 5 gallon bucket in the front compartment). I have install a clear "adapter"(<!--if gte mso 9>
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<!--> on the sewer hose connection when I have full hook up and when I use a dump station. That way I can tell when the tanks are drained or when there is blockage in the black water drain.



Also - - after reading this thread I just ordered a Valterra Twist On Waste Valve T58.





Edited by: NorskeNY
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:40 AM   #9
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I put the twist on valve on after taking a bath in gray/black water. No more!!!!!!!! I did go in and change the black tank valve and it was a real pain. Not because of having to pull the cover off the bottom but when CR glued the valves in there was no room to move things around enough to get the new valve in. But with a stop at Home Depot a couple rubber unions fixed that. But still I have the twist on all the time so when the cap comes off I know nothing is coming out.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:11 AM   #10
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[I put the twist on valve on after taking a bath in gray/black water. No more!!!!!!!! I did go in and change the black tank valve and it was a real pain. Not because of having to pull the cover off the bottom but when CR glued the valves in there was no room to move things around enough to get the new valve in. But with a stop at Home Depot a couple rubber unions fixed that. But still I have the twist on all the time so when the cap comes off I know nothing is coming out.]



This is the reason I have the twist on valve on ours all the time. Our black tank valve leaks and I have been quoted $300 to $400 (labor) to have it replace because of the way Crossroads installed it. I have looked at it with the mobile RV techs I had look at it and there is just no room for error. The twist on valve was an easy fix for me and I intend to sell the unit that way.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Hunter11
[


This is the reason I have the twist on valve on ours all the time. Our black tank valve leaks and I have been quoted $300 to $400 (labor) to have it replace because of the way Crossroads installed it. I have looked at it with the mobile RV techs I had look at it and there is just no room for error. The twist on valve was an easy fix for me and I intend to sell the unit that way.
You didn't by any chance install that twist valve on the roof vent pipe did you?
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:14 AM   #12
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Another advantage to the twist on valve is when your shower greytank gets full before your galley grey tank. You can open the shower tank andflood the tube against the twist on valve then open the galley tank valve.Gravity will somewhat equalize the tanks and gain you a little more room in your shower tank. My twist on valve is in place for good.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
You didn't by any chance install that twist valve on the roof vent pipe did you?


Wise guy.......
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:54 AM   #14
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:13 AM   #15
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For the OP, I've had this problem twice. I have a 29RK so both my grey water and black water terminate in the same outside bayonet sewer hose fitting. A leaking black water valve means I can't just dump my grey water.

First time I dropped the belly pan (a real pain) I cleaned the valve and all worked fine. Next time I just went to the dump station, filled my black tank up with water and dumped. Might have to do this procedure twice. This dislodged the toilet paper and took about 5 minutes vs. a whole day.

Big thing I've learned is never dump unless your black tank is at least half full. Any less just not enough pressure to make sure nothing hangs on the valve.



Edited by: pulpwood007
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by pulpwood007
For the OP, I've had this problem twice.* I have a 29RK so both my grey water and black water terminate in the same outside bayonet sewer hose fitting.* A leaking black water valve means I can't just dump my grey water.

First time I dropped the belly pan (a real pain) I cleaned the valve and all worked fine.* Next time I just went to the dump station, filled my black tank up with water and dumped.* Might have to do this procedure twice. This dislodged the toilet paper and took about 5 minutes vs. a whole day.

Big thing I've learned is never dump unless your black tank is at least half full.* Any less just not enough pressure to make sure nothing hangs on the valve.


Thanks. While traveling around and no time or place to work on it I have been doing some thinking. (I know dangerous) The way the valve closes using the handle it's almost like something is compressing but just not enough to allow it to close all the way. Now the dangerous part, if it's toilet paper or something else in the valve it would compress and further attempts would be like hitting a fairly solid obstruction. That's not what I am feeling, it compresses every time. Looking at the construction of a cable operated valve there is the open frame that connects the cable to the valve arm itself. It's all open from what I have seen. If a piece of insulation(or something compressible) got into the middle of the open frame it would compress and stop operation but when pressure is released it would spring back and be ready for the next compression cycle or attempt to close the valve.

Does that make any sense? I think my first step will be to use my small side sprayer adapter on the end of a water hose and try and clean the inside of the valve itself. If no luck I will try and get under the rv and look up around the drain pipe going up to the tank and valve. Maybe there will be enough room to see the valve and check out the operation without removing the membrane??? Hopefully finding something blocking the operation of the valve from the outside.

I know that Crossroads has offered to help with reasonable repair costs under warranty but I feel any dealer is going to want to cut the membrane to get to the valve and I flat out do not want that happening.

Comments?

Pulpwood when your valve failed to close was it s solid feel or mushy?
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:34 AM   #17
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Clif,
Dropping the membrane on the front and one side is very ez and also not difficult to reinstall. My black tank valve is on the curb side, I can drop the front up to the spare tire and the side back to the axles and have full access to the valve. Doing that doesn't disturb where the membrane is sealed around the pipes.

From what I have seen of the cable valve, I don't feel that anything external like insulation could obstruct it's operation. The cable isn't broken is it, meaning you could pull the T handle completely out? When you close the valve with the T handle, does it shut off, or at least reduce the flow of liquid at that time? When the T handle 'springs' back, how far does it move?

The only thing that I can think of is a plastic plugs from one of the hole cutouts has become wedged in the valve and is being folded in half and then springing back. But it could also be the rubber seal out of place. Gate valves work best if they are installed vertically, less buildup of solids behind the valve and around the seal. But unfortunately, cable valves require a horizontal setup for the cable routing. Now that I have the Valterra twist on valve added, I may change the internal gate valve to electric operation and turn it vertically.
Edited by: Dayle1
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avvidclif
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulpwood007
For the OP, I've had this problem twice. I have a 29RK so both my grey water and black water terminate in the same outside bayonet sewer hose fitting. A leaking black water valve means I can't just dump my grey water.

First time I dropped the belly pan (a real pain) I cleaned the valve and all worked fine. Next time I just went to the dump station, filled my black tank up with water and dumped. Might have to do this procedure twice. This dislodged the toilet paper and took about 5 minutes vs. a whole day.

Big thing I've learned is never dump unless your black tank is at least half full. Any less just not enough pressure to make sure nothing hangs on the valve.


Thanks. While traveling around and no time or place to work on it I have been doing some thinking. (I know dangerous) The way the valve closes using the handle it's almost like something is compressing but just not enough to allow it to close all the way. Now the dangerous part, if it's toilet paper or something else in the valve it would compress and further attempts would be like hitting a fairly solid obstruction. That's not what I am feeling, it compresses every time. Looking at the construction of a cable operated valve there is the open frame that connects the cable to the valve arm itself. It's all open from what I have seen. If a piece of insulation(or something compressible) got into the middle of the open frame it would compress and stop operation but when pressure is released it would spring back and be ready for the next compression cycle or attempt to close the valve.

Does that make any sense? I think my first step will be to use my small side sprayer adapter on the end of a water hose and try and clean the inside of the valve itself. If no luck I will try and get under the rv and look up around the drain pipe going up to the tank and valve. Maybe there will be enough room to see the valve and check out the operation without removing the membrane??? Hopefully finding something blocking the operation of the valve from the outside.

I know that Crossroads has offered to help with reasonable repair costs under warranty but I feel any dealer is going to want to cut the membrane to get to the valve and I flat out do not want that happening.

Comments?

Pulpwood when your valve failed to close was it s solid feel or mushy?
The best I remember it was a solid feel. When pushing on the cable to close the valve, I could push it ALMOST all the way and then at the very end, it would stop leaving what was probably only 1/4" opening in the valve. A classic feel of just a little wad of paper stuck between the valve blade and the rubber channel the blade seats in. No spring back effect like yours.

Everything you say makes sense. It sounds like you are going to have to get a visual on the valve body and cable to rule out all possibilities.

Dayle is very correct on the ease of access if you know about where the valve is located. My problem the first time I dropped the belly membrane is that I was a long way from the valve so had to remove a lot of the membrane. Like you I don't want that membrane cut. My advice is to call Crossroads and see if they can give you an approximate location of the valve, then take a few screws out on that side and peer in with a flashlight. That will give you some idea.

I'm interested on your answers to Dayle's questions. It will help to know what to suggest.

This is the first trailer I've ever had with cable operated valves, as well as valves obstructed by a membrane. I don't like either. I may eventually bite the bullet and install electric valves on black and grey water tanks.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:34 AM   #19
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Locating the gate valve should be ez, there is enough 'play' in the membrane for you to feel anything a few inches above it w/o dropping it. Wherever the 3 inch sewer line penetrates the membrane, just follow it toward the opposite main frame rail and the valve should be just prior to the 90 degree elbow. Also, most tanks do have a sloped bottom and should have the lower end under the toilet, outlet will also be at the lower end. So, it the toilet is curb side, the gate valve should be as well, etc.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayle1
Locating the gate valve should be ez, there is enough 'play' in the membrane for you to feel anything a few inches above it w/o dropping it. Wherever the 3 inch sewer line penetrates the membrane, just follow it toward the opposite main frame rail and the valve should be just prior to the 90 degree elbow. Also, most tanks do have a sloped bottom and should have the lower end under the toilet, outlet will also be at the lower end. So, it the toilet is curb side, the gate valve should be as well, etc.
good idea. I didn't know if all Crossroads products ran the 3 inch line right up to below the tank before they elbowed up through the membrane. If so, easy find. Why do you think most all 5th wheels did away with just putting the valve on the outside at the bayonet fitting? Looks?? I just don't like the cables and having to take everything apart to service the valves. My grey tank valve is really hard to push/pull. The valve is just sticky but would be a lot easier to pull with the old style handle.
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