Water and waste tanks question

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Water and waste tanks question

Post by Traveling_Wilbury on Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:29 pm

Hi all just curious to know what other members do after draining off their water and wastes tanks? do you leave your taps open so air can circulate or do you completely shut them off? i never know which to do and the wife is worried we will get creepy crawlies inside the system if we leave the taps open :D

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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by squip on Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:26 pm

Shaun,
I always shut the valves on my tanks. Both tanks have vents fitted so there is probably no gain in leaving the valves open. At least if they are shut then I shall not forget to shut them at the start of the next trip. silly me
If I am returning home from a site I will empty the grey waste and then tip 10 litres of fresh water down the sink and then re-empty the grey tank. This gets rid of quite a lot of muck from the tank. When I get home the first thing I do is to flush and flush the grey tank until the water coming out is reasonably clean.

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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by Traveling_Wilbury on Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:29 pm

Hello Squip
yes we keep the tanks well cleaned and flushed out but was just curious as to the taps being left open confuzed sometimes when i fill with water the tank overflows is this to prevent overfilling or is the excess water coing out the ventilation holes you refer to? we tend to use fresh water in water cariers but was just wondering about insects and spiders getting in the system lolof
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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by dandywarhol on Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:12 pm

Traveling_Wilbury wrote:Hello Squip
yes we keep the tanks well cleaned and flushed out but was just curious as to the taps being left open confuzed sometimes when i fill with water the tank overflows is this to prevent overfilling or is the excess water coing out the ventilation holes you refer to? we tend to use fresh water in water cariers but was just wondering about insects and spiders getting in the system lolof

:affraid:

http://www.motorhomefacts.com/ftopic-103940.html

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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by Bartfarst on Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:50 pm

There is another issue here too. AS water tanks are provided with very small air holes in push-in plugs at the highest points of the tank, presumably to let the air out when filling. My Harmony has four such plugs, or should I say had four plugs as one is missing leaving a significant hole in the top of the tank. Whether the plug was forced-out by me filling the tank with too much flow or pressure I cannot determine. But anyway it leaves a significant hole for creepies to get in. It also is a source of significant spillage when I corner with a full tank.

In practice I've taken my fresh water tank off twice in 16 years and, so far, all I've found has been a surprising amount of sand therein.

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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by squip on Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:57 pm

I think that the holes in these plugs are prone to blocking particularly in the waste water tank where there can be gunge in the water slopping about. When I have the tank off I always be sure to clear the holes by pushing a drill bit through.
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You worry too much!!

Post by Dutto on Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:59 am

Hi there,

I'm sorry, but I think that worrying about "creepy crawlies" getting into water tanks is an over-rated pastime.

My better half and I lived on a boat for eight years on the European river and canal system. We had two linked 300 litre freshwater tanks that we filled from a variety of bankside sources through a 50mm open hole in the deck. Each tank had a 10mm open vent and the system was to fill the tanks until they overflowed.

In eight years we didn't once sterilise the water or clean the tanks. If we left the boat for more than a week we filled the tanks to the very top before we left (in summer) or drained them completely (in winter).

We used bottled water for drinking and ice-making only. For the rest (washing, showering, teeth cleaning, tea/coffee making, cooking, washing-up, washing vegetables etc) we used water from the tanks and not once in eight years did we have any problems.

Before retirement I worked overseas for many years so I am well aware that anyone can get caught short with a stomach bug. In view of this I recommend that when leaving home ALWAYS carry a prescribed product called Lomotil; and then "eat, drink and be merry" knowing that you have one of the most effective "stoppers" in the world if you need to use it.

Best regards,

Dutto

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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by roli on Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:11 am

I used to leave the waste valve open for a bit after emptying the tank, but don't now.

Over the years I have tried different commercial products for giving a clean out as an option but recently tried a remedy found on that well known site many of us came from - "Orange Cordial" the post did say to use low priced supermarket own brand.

Before we started our longer trips earlier in the year a tried it 40p from Tesco and whilst we never got waste tank smells in the van it was terrible outside the van when draining since the Orange Cordial treatment its been fine, no pongs.

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water tank

Post by bertb on Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:19 pm

On the same subject... I notice owners saying they removed their water tanks. Well, the drain tap on mine has a broken lever and so I use a wrench to open it. This is not good! Laying under the van is one thing but fighting an adjustable pipe wrench is something else. I have a replacement tap (I think!) but I understand there is a nut on the inside of the tank. So, how easy is it to remove/refit the tank. Or is it even necessary? I can see a large, 3"-4" screwed lid on the base of the tank. Is that an access point?
It's all on a '03 Symbol.

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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by stevomar on Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:33 pm

Hi bertb
I broke my waste tank tap on speed bump and took my tank off to replace it.
You need long thin arms to get in that access hole so you can hold the nut steady whilst you tighten the tap. I put loads of silicon adhesive around the tap because even with the help of my mate I couldn't get it 100% tight.
Good luck!

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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by bertb on Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:44 pm

Thanks stevomar. How easy was it to remove the tank? And how.........
I have a trolley jack so can get some more headroom.
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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by stevomar on Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:23 pm

Hi bertb
It's easy dropping the tank- on a Trident you just loosen the 4 hook bolts supporting the aluminium angle supports then disconnect the waste pipe.No real need to jack your van up. I reckon yours will be much the same
There's more info here

http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t671-water-tank-taps-query

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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by bertb on Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:35 pm

Yes I did see the previous post stevo, that's what prompted me to post. But the pic didn't show the tank fixings.
Originally I thought I would only use the fresh water drain a few times a year but find I drain it after every trip.
I will give it a dose of looking at after our next outing. Thanks.
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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by squip on Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:42 pm

Bert
The waste tank can be removed without raising the vehicle IF YOU ARE THIN. Even then I think I had to raise the rear o/s of the van to extract the tank once it was on the floor. If the van could be safely raised it would make the job much easier. The tank is held on by two metal straps. Before removing the tank release all of the pipes going into it. When the tank is off take the opportunity to clear the small holes in the vent buttons in the top of the tank.
I do not know if it is possible to reach the tap nut via the access hatch on the underside of the tank. I have not had to replace the tap on my waste tank only on my fresh tank. To do this I accessed the tap nut from a hatch in the top of the tank as I could not reach it via the underside hatch.

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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by bertb on Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:11 pm

Thanks very much squip. It's the fresh water tap that's broken so it's reassuring to know there is another access point. I have fitted these taps to rain water butts in the past and know how awkward that can be.
Next time we are back for a week I will have a look.
Bert
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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by squip on Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:43 pm

Bert,
I think that the fresh tank is the easier of the two to remove. I reckon I could do it in about 30 mins but I have done it a few times. It takes a little longer to replace as you have to raise the weight of the tank to engage the fixing rods into the support bracket holes.
One point to note is that before removing the tank you must disconnect the three wires [black, yellow & yellow/black I think] that feed the water tank level guage sender. On my van [the ES model] this can be done by disconnecting the three wires at a "chocolate block" connector in the box housing the water heater. The three wires exit the van via a tube through the floor.

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Re: Water and waste tanks question

Post by bertb on Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:59 pm

Thanks for the extra info squip. I have just hit my thumb with a rubber mallet laying blocks so there is no chance the tank is being moved any time soon. Or that we will be going away next week either!
Oh the throbbing!
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