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Old 07-28-2019, 05:24 PM   #1
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leak above black water tank

I posted this also in the 5th wheel forum.

I discovered a water leak that is above the black tank. It doesn't smell (if my nose is working right ). I can barely get my arm up there to the upper edge of the black tank. I can feel a pool of water and I'll use a sponge to soak up what I can. The shower drain pipe looks OK, does anybody have a GUESS what's leaking before I tear everything apart? The water lines running above the black tank are the hot & cold for washer and the toilet lines. I have turned them off and will see if the leak comes back after I turn the water back on. I don't want to drop the black tank, looks like a real PITA.
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Old 07-28-2019, 06:42 PM   #2
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Glenn,
I have found it easier to locate a slow drip by using a really good LED flashlight on tight focus, at night. Droplets will reflect light and easier to see, even if you can't get an arm in there. Also have used paper towel placed in spots to see if a wet spot develops and can then maybe tell where the area of the drip is. Definitely not an easy area to access. Turning off water lines one by one should help figure it out, but I have been fooled before by water coming from a long way away from where it is first seen...
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:17 PM   #3
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There is no way to see up there with a flashlight. I'll try the paper towel trick assuming I got all the water wiped up. I decided to keep all three valves closed for a few days to see if any water shows up. If so then I can be pretty certain that its one of those mystery leaks coming from somewhere else. Then I'll open one valve at a time for a few days until water shows up. I don't know how difficult it is to change out the water lines?
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:33 PM   #4
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Glenn,
Also have used paper towel placed in spots to see if a wet spot develops and can then maybe tell where the area of the drip is. Definitely not an easy area to access. ..
I try to push corrugated cardboard into hidden spots to determine left or right and how far in.
That and the Cell phone on a self-y stick goes were a mirror won't have light.

Clay
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:00 PM   #5
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Good suggestions Clay! Day two and no water is showing up with the three lines shut off. Maybe tomorrow I'll turn on the hot to the washer and my wife can do a load. Will see what happens.

I wish the water filter wasn't in the way. When I cleaned up the water on top of the black water tank I had the filter off. I used a rope tied to a sponge and used a flexible flag pole for a bike and shoved it in there and pulled it out with the rope.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:25 PM   #6
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Are DRVs plumbed like Thor's other makes and models?
If so: I'd be checking the toilets, and the bathroom sink drain outlets first. They're the ones that should be going right into the Blackwater tank...
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:48 AM   #7
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Bob, its not the toilet because its fresh water dripping and the bathroom sink drains into the gray water tank. After thinking about this for awhile I feel that its got to be one of the three water lines. Hasn't leaked in two days being shut off at the water manifold. Butttttt, I just can't imagine one of the water lines developing a leak in between joints. Seems like they have been tested at a high pressure and their location doesn't look like they could be rubbing on anything.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:53 AM   #8
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Most of the DRVs have separate tanks for black and grey water. Nothing goes into Glenn's black tank except the toilet flush and it is a straight drop into the tank. Since he mentioned the water residue did not have any odor to it, it is suspected the source is a fresh water line. Maybe, the flush line or the sprayer line could be the source, or the supply lines that are running above the black tank.
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Old 07-30-2019, 02:47 AM   #9
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Bob, its not the toilet because its fresh water dripping and the bathroom sink drains into the gray water tank. After thinking about this for awhile I feel that its got to be one of the three water lines. Hasn't leaked in two days being shut off at the water manifold. Butttttt, I just can't imagine one of the water lines developing a leak in between joints. Seems like they have been tested at a high pressure and their location doesn't look like they could be rubbing on anything.
Have you tried connecting an air compressor, set too approx 50 psi, to the water inlet to try and determine what is leaking? Might be easier than trying to remove water after leaks and the hissing sound of escaping air might be easier to detect.

Just a thought about what I would try.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:56 AM   #10
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Joe, as always, good info. Now I'm thinking of turning the toilet water line on today. We had a visit by our six year old grandson the other day and he was in the bathroom a long time. He might have played with the sprayer? That is something to check out!

Dave, using air is a good idea, thanks a lot for the suggestion.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:58 AM   #11
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Bob, its not the toilet because its fresh water dripping and the bathroom sink drains into the gray water tank. After thinking about this for awhile I feel that its got to be one of the three water lines. Hasn't leaked in two days being shut off at the water manifold. Butttttt, I just can't imagine one of the water lines developing a leak in between joints. Seems like they have been tested at a high pressure and their location doesn't look like they could be rubbing on anything.
Thanks for that info.
Do you have a way to isolate those lines, and flood them one at a time?
(Just trying to brainstorm a bit here...)
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:54 PM   #12
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Thanks for that info.
Do you have a way to isolate those lines, and flood them one at a time?
(Just trying to brainstorm a bit here...)
Yes, I isolated the three lines that run above the black tank by turning them off at the water manifold. Everything has stayed dry for a couple days. I'm going to turn off the toilet valve today and see what happens. I appreciate the brainstorming .
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:56 PM   #13
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Glen I got looked at your floor plan and very similar to my 38PS3. Do you have washer-drier or was your RV plumbed for a washer-drier? I had a connection leak at a water shut-off valve that followed the pipe down missing the floor. The small leak ran down the Plex pipe missing the floor but came off at pipe support which meant the drip came off before going over the Black Tank.
Happy Hunting
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:00 PM   #14
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Yes, I isolated the three lines that run above the black tank by turning them off at the water manifold. Everything has stayed dry for a couple days. I'm going to turn off the toilet valve today and see what happens. I appreciate the brainstorming .
My brainstorms usually end up feeling like gentle breezes of stupidity...
But I try to help...
Good luck chasing this down!
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:04 PM   #15
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Bob, your advice and humor are much appreciated, even tho you got smart enough to change brands....
If Tiffin ever makes a stacked frame fiver, might be a challenger to DRV. One thing that DRV HAS done right, is the water supply manifold--can shut off each line to various faucets/toilet and work on them without shutting water off to entire house.

Glenn, you may be on to something with the grandson visit...have had similar problems years ago with our young'uns. Hang in there, maybe you'll just determine it is a non-problem until g-son comes again? Meanwhile, speaking of leaks, I am contemplating the Kantleak valve replacement, which you don't have to worry about.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:27 PM   #16
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:26 PM   #17
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Bob, we have the water-dryer, couldn't live without it! That's one precision drip you had! I looked behind the washer and everything looked dry but worth checking again.

The old saying of 'when it rains it pours', my hot water tank quit working today so I worked on that instead of turning the water on for the toilet. I checked both thermostats with a multimeter and couldn't find anything except once had 120v on the electric element. But, it quit shortly after. I got good continuity across the element. On the gas side couldn't find anything wrong. Went to town for a couple of hours and came back to hot water?? Stupid me had both electric and gas on so I don't know at this point what one is working now. I do have spare thermostat for both sides that I'll put on. Isn't RVing wonderful at times. Oh, last week in Michigan we had our door side slide out awning ripped apart. Things do come in three's, lol.
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:55 AM   #18
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This has turned into a magic show. I'm going to apply for a patent because now I can produce water from nothing! lol

RECAP: First after mopping up the water on top of the black water tank and turning off the toilet, washer hot and washer cold lines I let it sit for a couple days and it stayed dry. My wife wanted to do a load of whites so I turned on the hot for the washing machine. Later that day the top of the black water tank was full of water. Turned that water line off again and the top of the black water tank stays dry. Logical conclusion, its the hot water line to the washer leaking water. BUT, now I have a leak from under the toilet running across the floor and the water for the toilet is turned off, has been all along. Everything under the floor where the toilet sits is dry. All three lines are turned off.

I know this doesn't make any sense, doesn't to me either! Thanks for all the suggestions and help.
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:37 PM   #19
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Logical conclusion, its the hot water line to the washer leaking water. BUT, now I have a leak from under the toilet running across the floor and the water for the toilet is turned off, .
Either the magic is the leaking hot water line stored some water in the wall to leak to the toilet OR your doughtnut seal on the toilet is leaking. I had to replace my doughtnut seal at age 3. The water was on floor and I coudn't see it in the basement. The original seal was foam like and brittle. I replaced with a thin wax seal, no problem since but I will pick up a foam replacement to store for insurance.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:19 PM   #20
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Clay, I pulled the toilet today and didn't find any leaks. I have one of those push button flush toilets. Last winter I had to replace the valve for the water because it was not shutting the water off after the flush. At the same time I replaced all the seals including the O ring that goes down the floor drain. Its a different set up then the regular toilet seals. Anyway, all I could find was the main part of the electronics and flush tube piece was loose a little on the ceramic toilet. When I installed it I was afraid to tighten down the three bolts to much and break the ceramic holding tabs. I tightened them down more and its gone a hour now without leaking. We were just using a jug of water to flush with but now I've got the water line turned on and have our fingers crossed.

I know this whole thread I started probably doesn't make sense, especially if its just the toilet.
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