Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

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Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by Allan on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:51 pm

Help! 
- a recurring problem...this weekend, after a few days of emptying grey washing-up water into the underslung tank on my Autosleeper, I noticed that the shower-tray carpet was very wet. I emptied the grey water tank and drove home. Later........putting a hosepipe down the kitchen-sink drain hole, I discovered that water was bubbling back up through the shower tray. I then closed the grey water emptying tap, and began to fill up the grey water tank with a hose down the kitchen sink - and......water bubbled up periodically through the shower tray drain hole, until the drainage tank was full - at which point, the shower tray stopped bubbling and began to fill up. On opening the grey water tap, everything drained away. It feels like there's some kind of part-blockage somewhere! I've put drain-clear liquid down the shower tray drain hole, but no change! any ideas?
Allan
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by Radioray on Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:41 pm

Hi Allan, I had same problem, mine was caused by a one way valve( just before the water enters the waste tank) being partially blocked with debris. I think the oneway valve is there to prevent  odours coming up through the tray.  I took off the valve and cleaned it, but it happened again after a week or two,  it looks like the plastic 'leaves' of the one way valve had lost their flexibility. I solved mine by fitting seperate waste pipes  to the shower tray and to a dedicated outlet with no drain tap. If we use the shower I just put a bucket under the outlet and dispose of in the flowers etc. Ray
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by KMRTOPAZ on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:05 am

It's a very clever and devious  piece of AS design which tells you that the waste tank is full and it's well past the time to empty it !!!!  We first met this phenomenon about twelve years ago in our first Trophy.  It doth wonderfully concentrate the mind.
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by Quilter on Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:14 am

Got the teeshirt...

What puzzled us even more, was the aftermath of an incident when I left the plug in the bathroom sink and the tap open and, going out of the bathroom to turn on the pump, got distracted and did not return. Some time later we were alerted by neighbours to the fact that water was pouring out of the back of the van.

In my defence there was grass cutting going on on site so I could not hear the pump running. We always leave the plugs in the shower tray, it had filled up and then water was pouring out of the join between the plastic wall of the tray and the back of the van.

Nothing leaked out of the bathroom into the rest of the van.  We do wonder however if water running down the back wall when we shower also exits via the join but we have not noticed this happening , or found any evidence of damp there.

We too notice the smell when the waste tank is either nearly full or particularly smelly. This is why we keep the floor plugs and sink plug in. It does help. We have had one incident when it was overfull and floated the bathroom carpets- pushing up the plugs rather than finding some other exit below the van.
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by Paramedic on Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:56 pm

Previously the disposal of grey water on campsite was by means of a bucket and the distance to nearest point was hampered by spillage readily soaking my feet. Yes the odour could be a bit unpleasant after fermenting in the waste tank for several days. Resolved by obtaining (believed unused) wheeled Fiamma waste/ fresh water carrier for £10 from ads column in local paper. Therefore now leave drain tap open to collect into carrier. No more odours and hopefully no food waste to cause any blockage as now have visual evidence of system drainage......and no more wet feet/trousers. content

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thanks for sharing your wisdom & experience

Post by Allan on Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:50 am

Many thanks to paramedic, quilter, KMRtopaz and radioray,
 - for sharing your thoughts on this tray/grey water issue. Isn't this forum great for ideas swap? The idea of keeping the shower plug in situ, coupled with more regular grey water tank emptying is v. useful!
cheers
Allan
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have dropped grey water tank to check piping

Post by Allan on Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:15 pm

Hi - it's me again ("waste water bubbling back up thru' shower tray drain")(Allan - 2001 Autosleeper Talisman) - I've dropped the grey water tank today to discover 2 entry pipes on its top (one to take waste water from from the shower tray, and the other one to take waste water from the kitchen sink plus the bathroom sink. The 3rd. pipe at the very bottom of the tank is the main drain pipe. As we don't use the shower very often, I thought about copying the idea of disconnecting, and re-routing the shower tray waste pipe away from the main tank, so that it empties to the outside of the van, and, more importantly, so that emptying the the kitchen sink doesn't cause bubble-back up the shower plug hole, ('cos the two drain systems would no longer be connected!)........can anyone spot any unseen problems that I might not have thought of? Obviously, I'd have to seal off the shower tray drain-pipe entry hole to avoid smells. But.....Anything else?
Cheers 
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by Cymro on Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:39 pm

We never used the shower on our Clubman - couldn't stand the cling-film curtain. So when we had a bubble-up, I simply stuck the plug in the shower drain hole, using white bathroom sealant. Thereafter no problem, over 17 years.
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by Quilter on Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:17 pm

Allan wrote:. As we don't use the shower very often, I thought about copying the idea of disconnecting, and re-routing the shower tray waste pipe away from the main tank, so that it empties to the outside of the van,
Allan

What about the bathroom washbasin ? By " empties to the outside of the van" do you mean onto the ground below the van ?

It's not generally considered good form to do this: if you're on a pitch then, water from your sink will cause a boggy patch, not nice for anyone following you. If you are on an aire then you will attract the condemnatory stares of fellow aire users as well when dirty water flows from your van !

If you put a dollop of biological laundry liquid in a bowl of warm water down your sink when you have emptied the tank, drive to your next pitch and then use the sink etc as usual, then the enzymes in the liquid will have removed the fatty layer on the inside of the tank and it is this that traps food particles and causes smells.  Wiping plates with a piece of kitchen paper before washing up and not putting water into the tank that you've used to cook rice, pasta or boil eggs in also helps to deter smells.
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Water coming up through shower

Post by aconite on Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:19 pm

We too have had this problem and now place our bucket under waste water outlet and do not close it.
Regarding smells we sanitise our fresh water tank with a Napisan solution,we then empty the fresh water tank and place the Napisan solution down the sinks into the waste tank. By luck more than management I forgot to empty the waste tank and promptly set off to the Channel Tunnel. But on emptying it later we noticed that smells from the waste system had disappeared.  It seems that a good swill round does the trick.
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by meanchris on Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:49 pm

We always have a 20l black waste tank under our waste drain, and either leave the drain open or fill the tank when I suspect that the on board tank is filling up.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/23-Litre-Waste-Water-Tank-Container-Caravan-Motorhome-Camper-/252175774045?hash=item3ab6d8f15d:g:kegAAOSw4GVYQarV
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by inspiredron on Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:58 pm

aconite wrote:We too have had this problem and now place our bucket under waste water outlet and do not close it.
Regarding smells we sanitise our fresh water tank with a Napisan solution,we then empty the fresh water tank and place the Napisan solution down the sinks into the waste tank. By luck more than management I forgot to empty the waste tank and promptly set off to the Channel Tunnel. But on emptying it later we noticed that smells from the waste system had disappeared.  It seems that a good swill round does the trick.
Does Napisan have chlorine in it/ If it does do not get any into your hot water system or you risk leaks in the stainless steel tank.  I use soem Tesco baby bottle tablets which I introduce into the fresh tank but I ensure that I do not let any get into the hottank - ie I keep the mixer taps at the cold end when pumping it through the pipes.  I also prime with plain water(including the hot tank) before putting the sanitising solution in.

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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by aconite on Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:22 am

The sterilising fluid we have at the moment is 'Wilko Baby sterilising fluid' which contains less than 5% Chlorine based bleaching agent. Also contains Disinfectant Sodium Hypochlorite!!! Are the Tesco baby bottle tablets any different?
Are we correct in thinking that you fill the system with cold water including the water heater, introduce the tablets, put the mixer taps in the cold position and this stops the solution getting into the hot water tank.
After we sanitise the system we do refill with two lots of water before filling with fresh.
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by meanchris on Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:32 am

I'm very wary of baby sterilising solutions like Milton etc in a stainless or silvered vessel.

If you've ever used it to disinfect a vacuum flask, you'll know what I mean, they don't work afterwards.
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by aconite on Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:37 am

Thanks for comments, what is it you use on your?
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by meanchris on Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:40 am

We just use concentrated orange cordial in our waste tank, to kill the smells.

We don't drink the water from the water tank anyway, so just flush it through with clean water before each trip.
I'm happy that constant use and refilling while 'on board' keeps it clean enough for day to day use.

EDIT: Having said that, as long as the Milton et al is put in the plastic water tank or waste tank, and left to do its job without flushing it through the pipework while it's active', it neutralises after quite a short time and won't damage the steel.
The reason it damages vacuum flasks is that you put it directly into the silvered vessel while it's chemically active.

If you get my meaning, I'm sure that someone who knows the chemistry better can explain.
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by aconite on Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:50 am

Interesting, another new idea!! We don't drink our water either.
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by Gromit on Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:02 am

Quilter wrote:This is why we keep the floor plugs and sink plug in.
There are no stench traps in the pipework of our van, but there are "droops" which work in the same way. (Might get round to fitting stench traps . . . . one day!! Whistle1 )

Rather than bothering with the plugs under the matting (ours is rigid and heavy) we've found that the nasty niffs can be much reduced, or even prevented by running some water down each plughole on arrival at a site. The water that was in them preventing the smells coming back into the bathroom will have been shaken out on the journey. Putting it back in restores the seal in the pipes, so preventing the pongs.

We sometimes add a drop of disinfectant or similar, as this also helps prevent the contents of the tank from festering too much in warm weather. Toilet fluid also works quite well, but not the one containing formaldehyde!

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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by inspiredron on Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:34 pm

We DO drink tank water but most will be in hot drinks - cold drinks are normally wine or beer!
I work on the assumption that if I fill the tank with cold water and then run both hot and cold taps that th efresh water will fill the hot tank - which is the concern.  Then I drian to about half full and then add some of the Tesco tablets (around 6) to a 10 litre water container which ahs an opening sufficiently large to take the Whale external pump.  I wait till they have disolved and then pump that into the tank.  Then pump some awter through the pies until I can faintly smell the chlorine (from the sodium hypoCHLORITE) using just the cold side of the mixer so thatthe hot tank is not touched.  Leave two or three hours and then drain and rinse a couple of times - again cold only.  Then refill, check a glass of water for smell and looks and if OK it's ready for the season.
It was simpler on my Hymer with an inboard tank as I could open the top cap after filling the tank and drop a few tablets in to do their work - but the principle was the same. 
With the waste tank we empty frequently and use some cheap coke from time to time.
I think that the emptying of the traps is more to do with evaporation (in hot climates) than with shaking out on journeys. It happens in our family bathroom at home which is used seldom as we use the en-suite! - And we don't have earthquakes!

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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by Gromit on Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:27 pm

inspiredron wrote:I think that the emptying of the traps is more to do with evaporation (in hot climates) than with shaking out on journeys. It happens in our family bathroom at home which is used seldom as we use the en-suite! - And we don't have earthquakes!
I would agree entirely Ron if they were traps, but there are none.

It's just saggy sections of the pipework hanging between supports under the van. Not meant to be stench traps I'm sure, but they do act as such when they are full of water. Unfortunately there are three of them, one from each of the shower tray drains. Had it been only one I may by now have got round to fitting a proper stench trap.

Possibly! Whistle1

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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by logburner on Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:22 pm

On fresh water to taps pipe, we have an inline water filter fitted, so our drinking water is fine.
I use bio magic fluid for the loo, and also shove some down the sinks to sort the waste tanks biologically.   hugegrins
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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by inspiredron on Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:38 pm

Gromit wrote:
inspiredron wrote:I think that the emptying of the traps is more to do with evaporation (in hot climates) than with shaking out on journeys. It happens in our family bathroom at home which is used seldom as we use the en-suite! - And we don't have earthquakes!
I would agree entirely Ron if they were traps, but there are none.

It's just saggy sections of the pipework hanging between supports under the van. Not meant to be stench traps I'm sure, but they do act as such when they are full of water. Unfortunately there are three of them, one from each of the shower tray drains. Had it been only one I may by now have got round to fitting a proper stench trap.

Possibly! Whistle1
Ah well, Dave - when our van was new we had problems with waste coming up into the shower tray every time I turned left at speed if the tank was over 1/3rd full - and we had no saggy pipes. I created a hell of a "stink" about it to Marquis and they fitted (rather badly) some non return valves AND traps on the shower and on the bathroom sink. I still have the non return valves fitted but have now removed the traps because they unacceptably slow the water flow leaving scum around the basin.  When I notice smells I empty - it's as simple as that - and if I empty every 2 days I don't get smells.  I will edit this later to add a link to a previous post of mine on the subject.

Here's the link:
http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t8879-smelly-waste-tank-an-old-chestnut#70810
Hope the photos help!  The trap illustrated has now gone but might be replaced. It's in the van spares box.


Last edited by inspiredron on Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added link)

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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by Gromit on Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:15 pm

Thanks for that Ron.

Food for thought - looks like I shall be crawling under the van again!!


Edit: Or not, since it's not much of a problem and occurs only occasionally in hot weather. Much easier to send a drop of something fragrant down the plughole.


Last edited by Gromit on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:06 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Afterthought)

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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by Jaytee on Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:01 am

I think the reason for the bubbling is the tank vent (if it has one?) is too small or blocked as it will only bubble if there is a positive pressure in the tank.
Re smells etc we have never had a problem and we drink water from the fresh tank and don't put any sanitiser through it. The reason for this strange phenomenon is I think because we use quite a lot of water, (commented on at a rally by a certain Peter hugegrins) shower, do all the washing up etc etc etc so all the systems are regularly flushed through. Will only get smells and musty fresh water if there is little use and it 'stands' and therefore allows the bacteria to flourish.

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Re: Sink drain bubbling back thru' shower tray

Post by bikeralw on Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:43 am

Jaytee wrote:I think the reason for the bubbling is the tank vent (if it has one?) is too small or blocked as it will only bubble if there is a positive pressure in the tank.
Re smells etc we have never had a problem and we drink water from the fresh tank and don't put any sanitiser through it. The reason for this strange phenomenon is I think because we use quite a lot of water, (commented on at a rally by a certain Peter hugegrins) shower, do all the washing up etc etc etc so all the systems are regularly flushed through. Will only get smells and musty fresh water if there is little use and it 'stands' and therefore allows the bacteria to flourish.
Same here Jaytee, even though we ration water a bit, we do tend to get through a lot. The shower is used twice a day every day when we're away, basin and kitchen sink umpteen times, which means all five drains never get chance to get smelly. In my opinion this is what vans are designed for. Each to their own, but I'm amazed when I read of folk selling their second hand van and claiming the shower has never been used..
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