Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Crappy Job but Someone has to do it – RV Repairs

Sister’s House, Citrus Heights, CA

break in pipe assembly

Breaks in the sewer line are among the least favorite jobs that one who owns a RV/Motorhome have to face.  Not too much expense involved…as long as you do it yourself…but it is definitely not enjoyable what so ever. Above you can see the crack in the joint…

Sewer Assembly which needed to be replaced

…where the grey tank meets the black tank at the “exit point” where one attaches a hose which leads to the sewer.  That handle you see to the right in the picture is the handle for the black tank drain valve…the toilet stuff.  The smaller pipe to the left is coming from the grey tank, the shower, bathroom and kitchen sink.  So to fix this…I would need to deal with both the blank tank line and the grey tank lines…oh, how fun!  I want to note now that Arny examined all the bad parts after they were taken off and could not detect any impact marks…so these cracks did not come from hitting curbs, rocks, or anything like that…they are just stress cracks that developed after ten years of use.

Grey Tank valve that I replaced gaskets in

Prior to finding the “crack” in the pipe, I knew that this grey tank drain valve was leaking.  I had replaced this whole part last year, and at first it held…but then started leaking.  I knew that they have replacement gaskets, and that was pretty easy to put in…the gaskets I had to replace had bent, not allowing for a good seal all the time.  Lesson learned…always check these gaskets even though they come already put together when you buy a valve like this.

Grey tank line showing elbow leak

Upon further inspection, Arny also found another small crack in the elbow that the arrow is pointing too.  This is between the grey holding tank and the grey tank release valve…the more water in the grey tank, the more pressure on the line, the more this small crack would drip. Since the grey tank is on the other side of the motorhome from the dump valve, all the pipe

Valterra T60 1/4 Bend Rotating Heel Inlet Valve Assembly with 3" Hub x 2" Hub x 3" Bay with Cap     ABS Glue
 ABS Hub for connecting 2" pipe to 1-1/2 pipe   24" of 1-1/2" ABS pipe
 1-1/2" Flex Coupling   ABS 1-1/2"  Elbow

To fix it I needed to get the following parts (after the grey tank release valve gaskets which I replaced a few weeks ago at a cost $7.75 from Amazon) … A Valterra T60 1/4 Bend Rotating Heel Inlet Valve Assembly with 3" Hub x 2" Hub x 3" Bay with Cap – note: could not find a 1-1/2” that I really needed ($30 from Amazon), ABS Cement Glue ($5.00 from Home Depot), 2" to 1-1/2" ABS Bushing, this part is needed because original Valve Assembly was a 3” and 1-1/2”, so this bushing will take the 2” down to 1-1/2”  ($1.50 from Home Depot), 24” of 1-1/2” ABS pipe ($3.50 from Home Depot), TWO Flexible Couplings to connect new parts to original pipes ($4.00 each from Home Depot) and a 1-1/2” ABS Elbow ($1.50 from Home Depot).  I also purchased a cutting tool to add to Arny’s vast collection of tools ($29 from Home Depot, not shown).  Parts to fix the leak cost under $50, and another $29 for a tool…so the cost was not that bad.

Black / Grey pipes and vavle project

The worst part was dealing with the black tank valve.  Although we had taken the motorhome to a Chevron Gas Station that has a Dump Station (free if you purchase $20 of gas) and rinsed the black tank out real good…the years of waste built up on the valve still had to be dealt with without too much gagging.  I just thought about all the real bad diapers I have changed in my lifetime…and it was a toss up as to which was worse to deal with.  Once we got this part of it fixed, and loosely attached, we then cut the elbow out that was leaking and fixed that part, then tightened everything up.

Grey Pipes Project 
Putting in the elbow was the easy part.  Arny did all the gluing and the cutting, I did all the attaching underneath.  It took us about 3 hours, with a chunk of that time figuring out how to attach the new Valve Assembly since it was just a little different than the one we were taking off.  All in all, it works.

Extender   Rhino Flex Pipe to empty into a Blue Tote

To top it all off, I also ordered this extension to fit on the new assembly to make it easier to attach a hose to when it comes time to empty, and a new hose to attach to the blue tote that we use here at Sandy and Arny’s house to empty our waste tanks.

New Rhino Flex hose from RV to Blue Tote

In the end…it is still a crappy project…but one that needed to be done.  Did most of the work last weekend, got the new hose and adapter in from Amazon on Wednesday, and it stopped raining yesterday.  Dumped our tanks this morning, and there are no leaks…but even dumping the tanks is a pretty crappy job leaks or no leaks…but better when there are no leaks.


  1. I don't even want to THINK about that ever happening!! Lucky you and Arnie are "handy" and can fix stuff. I'm be up $h!t Creek!! Literally!! LOL

    1. Oh, I felt like I was in $s!t Creek as I was working on that Black Tank connection...YUCK, however, not like shoveling cow $s!t which seems to go on and on and on...and I KNOW you have done much of that before.

  2. That was a smart move to add those flexible fittings. That might help make the rest last longer if not easier to change the next time.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Yes, that is how we figured about it. It seems that there is much stress from the weight between the valve and the actual grey tank. The hard thing to understand is the crack in the main valve assembly where the 1-1/2" line meets up with the 3" line...that had to be just a bad joint in the original mold that created it.


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