Browsing "Plumbing"
Apr 21, 2012 -

Huh. So Maybe I Don’t Have a Leak

For the last week, I’ve noticed dripping and pooling below the black water tank. The discharge was pure water, so I wasn’t too concerned. My first guess was that the tank was condensating because of the temperature fluctuations or, worst case scenario, the line that feeds the toilet got a pinhole over the winter. It’s dry out this afternoon, so I thought I’d go out and take some pictures, then have my expert readers help me locate the source of the water. Just one small problem: nothing is dripping. This was the first night in a week that we didn’t hit freezing over night, so I’m thinking that my condensation theory makes sense.

There was a lot of water coming down from the area when I pulled in yesterday and afraid that the casino folks would think I had something nasty coming from the undercarriage that would stain their cement pad, I put a bucket under the rig. The bucket has barely anything in it this morning even though I awoke to torrential rain and the cement pad is now dry and stain-free. So it looks like I may have dodged the bullet on this one! I like this sort of news. 🙂

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Black Tank, Maintenance & Repair, Plumbing, Technical    2 Comments
Apr 12, 2012 -

RAIN! Why Does it Have to Be RAIN!

I awoke to a torrential downpour. On the bright side, it could have been a snowstorm. I decided to go ahead with at least part of today’s plan and at least get gas, propane, and water.

Getting out of my spot was no big deal, just a bit of back and forthing until I could swing her around. I had Miranda on the street and ready for her errands by 11:15.

First stop was propane, the Gas King on North Mayor Magrath. From Mayor Magrath, the pumps are on the wrong side for filling an on board tank, but you can turn onto 2 Avenue North to come in from around the back and get lined up correctly. I was then able to back Miranda up a bit so I could turn and get into the gas pump lanes. Propane was  75 cents a litre (about $40 for a fill-CHEAP) and gas was $1.18 a litre (about $220 for a fill-cheaper than just about anywhere else in Canada). Be careful coming out of there if you plan to turn right onto 2nd to turn left on Mayor Magrath because the entrance is super steep. I heard quite a bit of scraping, which was my tow hitch hitting pavement. It looks okay, but I am going to have to do a thorough inspection before I leave.

Next, I headed for the dump station at the corner of Scenic Drive and Mayor Magrath South to attempt to dewinterize my water system. I think I got everything, but between the sound of the rain and that of the traffic, it was hard to check for leaks.

Issues that have come up:

-The water heater won’t fire up. Could be because it’s soggy out. Will keep trying. There is water in the tank, so that’s not the problem.

-The tap in the dressing room sink is leaking. I was having issues before the winter, so I’ll take it apart and see if it just needs a new washer. I’ll just have to be sure to keep the water pump off when I don’t need water until I fix this.

-The toilet flapper won’t open. It seems to be glued shut! No idea what I can put to destickify it without ruining the seal. Any thoughts?

Besides that, everything looks good. The fridge fired up immediately both on 120V and on propane. I’ve had the fridge on 120V for a few days, so it’s nice and cold.

I was going to do a billion trips down to the rig today, but it’s way too nasty for that. I’ll focus on making sure the way is clear to get the pallets and mattress in, but that’ll probably have to be it for today. I’ll do a bit of work on The Apartment, but will do my bookkeeping work today that I was going to do tomorrow.

I am still sleeping in Miranda tonight!

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Appliances, Driving, Electricity, Fridge, Maintenance & Repair, Plumbing, Preparations for Departure, Technical, Travel, Water Heater    4 Comments
Oct 9, 2011 -

Winterizing My RV Water System

Today’s goal was to winterize my RV water system. I decided to walk over to Safeway for a few things, then come back to get the car so I could drive across town to Canadian Tire to get RV plumbing antifreeze.

On the way to Safeway, while standing at the light to cross Scenic Drive, I happened to glance south and jumped back in shock. Look at what I could see:

Surely that Canadian Tire is a mirage...

WHAT?! There’s a Canadian Tire directly across the road from my apartment complex?! Getting there is a bit roundabout, but it still only took about 10 minutes. What a find!

Anyway, I decided to forgo the groceries and get straight to winterizing. I had an absolutely painless shopping trip (!!! for CDN Tire!) and picked up:

-3 gallons of RV antifreeze (the instructions said I needed to pour 2 into the fresh water tank, so I figured I’d need extra for the P-traps)

-a funnel that I was thrilled to discover exists:

funnel with flexible spout

and a few other sundries not related to this post.

I got back to the rig and reread the instructions:

part of the winterizing instructions

The following winterizing instructions are taken from my 1997 Glendale Royal Classic owner’s manual and may not apply to your RV. Always check your own manual. RV tech Les Doll has a good RV winterization manual.

1) Drain your fresh water system


2) Clean out your holding tanks

Done. Not as well as I would have liked, especially for the black tank, but I would have needed to go to a FHU RV park to do the job properly.

3) Drain the water lines by opening the lowest outlet in the system (in my case, that’s the outdoor shower). Drain the water heater by opening water heater drain cock and pressure relief valve.

Done. And this is why you should occasionally flush your water heater with vinegar (something I did last spring in Blaine):

calcification on water heater drain cock

4) Remove the output line at the water pump…

I omitted this step because I couldn’t figure out why to do it. The RV has been winterized a few times before me and I could tell this step was never done.

It’s in this step that they mention water heater bypass kits. If your RV does not have one, you will have to completely fill the water heater with antifreeze. I have what is apparently an unusually large water heater, 10 gallons, so that’s a lot of antifreeze!

Thankfully, I also have a higher end rig:

water heater bypass diagram

water heater bypass valves

So before the next step, I made sure to turn the valves as directed to bypass the water heater.

6) Pour 2 gallons of antifreeze into the fresh water tank.


note to self, that's what two gallons of liquid in the fresh water tank looks like

7) Turn on water pump.


8 ) Open each faucet until a change of water colour is noted.

Done. And I knew I had all the water out of the lines because I got bright pink immediately at all faucets:

-Dressing room sink hot and cold
-Indoor shower hot and cold
-Outdoor shower hot and cold
-Kitchen sink hot and cold

antifreeze in the dressing room sink

9) Run the toilet…


10) While water system is pressurized, depress the city pressure inlet one way valve so that antifreeze flows outside the unit.


11) Get a little antifreeze into the water heater and through water heater drain cock.

Done (thank you flexible spout funnel).

12) Finally, be sure that antifreeze has circulated through the entire water system and that antifreeze is in all P-traps.

Done. I poured the last gallon of antifreeze down all the drains:

-kitchen sink x 2
-dressing room sink

Not counting draining the rig (most done at Jody and Gary’s), this was a very, very quick and easy process.

I ended up not blowing the water lines due to the lack of power outlet for running the compressor. The instructions really make this step out to be optional, so I feel okay with having skipped it. We shall see how the rig fares in the spring… Les feels that blowing out the lines isn’t a good idea.

Next project, figure out how to hook myself up to a power outlet 150′ away…

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Appliances, Maintenance & Repair, Plumbing, Technical, Water Heater    5 Comments