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Help Needed With Sd 17 Water Heater


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#16 Scotsman

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 01:11 PM

Well, I think I figured out the solution for the hot water line and the check valve on the water heater.  

Lowe's carries all the parts I would need to replace that check valve including the valve itself, and create a disconnect at the same time.

The disconnect would be two push-fit Sharkbite female connectors with 3/4 NPT threads on the other ends.  All I need to do (gulp) is cut the pex as cleanly as possible, so that only about 2" or so is left at each connection.  The portion of pex that will still be attached to the water heater needs to  be no longer than 3.75" from the center of the check valve so that when removing the valve this can rotate without hitting the underside of the bench.

Then, Lowe's also carries a braided SS hot water hose that would connect to these two fittings. 

I really love Lowe's because I get a 10% vet's discount on every purchase.

That's the plan and then I can put it all back together.  If it leaks when I'm done, which is normal, you will hear me swearing at it wherever you are.  Also normal.

Here are some more photos of what I have done so far.

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#17 Scotsman

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 09:55 AM

Everything is finally fixed and I now have hot and cold water and no leaks anywhere.  That may be a first for me and I must say I think it is because pex is so easy to work with and the valves are so easy to refurbish.

As it turned out, the check valve at the hot water outlet on the WH was not stuck at all.  It just didn't let any water out of the water heater because the hot water lines were clogged downstream from that valve.

So I ended up removing and cleaning the valve, a very simple job and worth the effort so I know what that valve is and how it works.  It is so simple it is amazing.

It is just a brass body that has a brass swinging flap inside.  And the threaded hole the valve screws into on the WH is at a slight downward angle so that the valve always remains closed when hot water demand is not pushing it open.  I love that simplicity.

Once again I just soaked the parts overnight in Evaporust and then used my dremel with three SS brushes to finish the cleaning after it was rinsed and dried completely.

Then I could not find the replacement part for my faucet so I replaced that too, along with all the cone shaped washers at the fittings, 5 total for this job, 3 at the bypass valve and 2 at the kitchen faucet.

The cutting of the pex was necessary to get the check valve out and I fixed that very easily with one Sharkbite fitting, a couple brass fittings and a SS braided faucet connector.  All in all, a decent repair and low cost too. 

My local RV repair shop charges $110 per hour, and had I taken it there they would have just replaced both of those valves and would not have been as thorough as I was, and their repairs would have been at much greater expense. 

The entire problem was caused by past owners not draining the water heater and changing the anode.  Lesson learned. 

And, after going through all this I totally understand the SD water system.  Cheap education!

Here are some photos of the last bit of work.

Happy camping and thanks again to Euphoria and Meadowlark for their input.

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#18 Meadowlark

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 10:28 AM

Wow, Scotsman, nice, nice job of tracking down the issue and then fixing it. Who says you ain't a plumber? Now we'll have to follow in your footsteps...we've had some leakage under the sink and I think it's due to the fact that the sink isn't sealed to the counter top. That's just plain dumb.

As for being OCD when it comes to measurements...you are not alone. My husband is an engineer, too, and he insists on doing it right. Right down to the millimeter. He can do the math. Heck, he can do trigonometry. I bolt like a gazelle if he even mentions that word.  I do the swearing. I don't think I've ever heard him cuss except under the most trying of circumstances...but I busted too many knuckles...and usually was the only female in the entire shop, meaning I worked with foul mouthed men, as a mechanic in the Army. I try very hard to keep my language clean, but when I'm turning a wrench..well, it just comes out.

While I'm not a plumber, I am really tickled that I got the cause of the problem right.

Thanks again for all your hard work...and your teaching me!


These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#19 Scotsman

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 07:03 PM

Hi Meadowlark,

Thanks for the kudos.

If you were able to get any helpful info from my posts I am pleased. It was a real education for me and now I feel there isn't anything on this trailer that I couldn't fix if I have the time and energy, and as long as I can get help from all of the Casita fans on this website. 

If you start to investigate your leaks, just be comforted by the fact that if an anti-plumber could do it, you can too, especially with your background and your husband's too. 

The best thing to do in my opinion is pull the sink and the faucet and the cover on the cooktop and see what you have.  The hardest part of that whole process is the four wingnuts holding the sink in.  Both taking them out and reinstalling them is a pain in the arse!  Everything else is no big deal.

You will probably find as I did that the faucet is not sealed to the countertop either.  And sealing around the edge of the cooktop will be a good idea too.  That pan that anchors the cooktop to the counter on mine was rusty at two corners, the ones near the sink.  That was caused by someone not being very tidy, I think, but still, sealing it will prevent any water that gets in there from dripping down onto the heater below.

That is a funny story about you working in an all-male garage or motor pool.  You probably know a shirtload of jokes, and it must have been tough sometimes.  Thank you for serving our country. 

Thanks again for your help solving the plumbing problem and for your encouragement.

By the way, I have that old, original faucet, complete with all the parts except for the center black part where the spigot attaches to it.  It is there too, but will not work because the threads are broken. If not for the bad threads on that one part I would still be using this faucet.  It worked fine until I unscrewed the spigot.

If you could use any of the parts I will be happy to send them to you for free, except the postage.  Even though it needs cleaning it is still a good source for parts.

If you don't want it I will put it in the classifieds for the same deal.  I can't see throwing it away and it is perfect for someone doing a totally original restoration on an old Casita. 

Today I checked the wheel bearings and brakes and everything is a go for later this month and three days on the Oregon coast.  My next task is to come up with a list of stuff to take and figure out where it will go inside the trailer.......she/he needs a name.

 

 

 

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#20 Meadowlark

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 08:38 AM

Thank you for the offer of the faucet, sir, but we have already replaced ours some time ago. So put in on Classifieds and you may get it taken off your hands.

 

Oh, my, do I know some jokes. one of my squad leaders was a man named SSG Asher. In the three (long and tedious) years I spent at Ft. Bragg, he always told a joke every day, and NEVER repeated a one. Somehow I've managed to remember some of them.

THe problem is, most of the jokes I remember are dirty ones. Of course, they make for  the best jokes, but aren't suitable for public publication!!

 

I will have to look again, closer, at your cobbled up 'wrench' you built to remove the sink bolts. I think we'll need that.

 

As for a name for your egg...it will come to you. My best friend's husband just recently bought a new (to them) boat. It's ginormous, it's 48 ft. long at the waterline. It had a very, very dumb name. You have to wonder why the boat doesn't sink under the person who gives a self respecting boat such a stupid, embarassing name. Anyway, my friend's husband was fretting about the name, kept saying, I've been daydreaming about this boat for a year, why can't I come up with a name? What do I name it?  My friend said, "name her "Daydream".

And that is her new name.

 

If you have never been to the OR coast, you are in for a treat. It is BEAUTIFUL. Fortunately for all of us, Oregon very wisely said, the coast is for everybody, not just some deep pocketed rich guy who builds a megamansion with a view and won't allow anyone onto "his" edge of the continent.  So the beaches are 'free'.

 I can't even start as to where is the best spot. I'm not a fisherman or a clammer, but Bullard Beach SP is a spot where a Casita rally is held every year, it's in Bandon, and when it's crabbing season, it is full. Still it's a very, very nice SP.

 

Oh, and..this forum is fabulous for learning about our Casitas.  There are some real geniuses on it. I've learned so much from so many folks, right here on CC.


Edited by Meadowlark, 10 September 2018 - 08:48 AM.

These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#21 Scotsman

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 09:12 AM

Hi Meadowlark, I see your comments all over the place in these forums and you are always good reading.  Thanks for sharing your experiences and insights.

Yes, the Oregon coast is beautiful and belongs to everyone and lucky for us we live pretty close to it. 

Now that my plumbing all works correctly I am really looking forward to our first camping trip next week at a place called Tillicum Beach.  

Yesterday I found I have a drip coming from the blackwater dump valve.  It's a small drip but it means I am still not quite done with all the plumbing, but this can wait until I get back from camping.  It looks like an easy fix. 

That is an amazing photo of the army crane you posted on a different forum.  Many years ago I worked for the army in Germany and I rode in an M60, just to see what it was like.  My project at the time was designing a new T-shaped maintenance building for one of our bases over there and what better way is there to familiarize oneself with a tank than to take a ride in one? 

It didn't take long in that machine for me to appreciate why I was a sailor instead of a soldier.



#22 Meadowlark

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 12:26 PM

Gee, Scotsman, you sound like my husband, who was a submariner. No way would you get me into a thermos under 400 ft of ocean. Not me! And he can't see why anyone would live in a tent for a year while eating MRE's and being shot at.

 

I was in Germany for a little over 7 years. I bet I've worked in one of the maintenance buildings you designed. If you are responsible for the maintenance pits (where you can stand up and work on the undercarriage of a vehicle,) thank you. It was a heck of a lot easier to work that way than laying one one's back in the snow.

 

The M60's were hard rides, no doubt about it. The engine, AVDS 1790 (that was the horsepower)  was a direct descendent..(if not the same engine) as was used in the P51Mustangs in WWII.

 

My baby, though was the M1A1 Abrams. It had a good suspension. It was pretty easy to ride in. It was relatively quiet for a tank, and the turbine's top speed was 75 mph. Yes. However...it was governed for a top speed of only 45 mph, because General Dynamics was never able to design a tank track that could go that fast. Push 'em hard enough and the M1's will run right out of their shoes.

 

Sorry to hear about the black water dump drain. We had that issue after installing the new gray water fast drain kit. It dripped a little, luckily, we'd really cleaned and sanitized the system before we did the installation work. Come to find out, the four bolts holding the entire valve housing in hadn't been tightened. Once we did that, the leak stopped.

 

I'm  think your camper is fairly old. You might want to consider replacing both T valves. If they've been neglected or have never been lubricated they tend to dry out. You hear horror stories about them either refusing to open or refusing to close, or the  handle stem coming out completely and of course, it's always on a full tank.  So we, every few years, just replace the entire valve. You can get them at any RV store. Don't do what I did, the first time. I thought, I'll be cheap and just replace the O ring on the gray.

 

Oh, my. After much swearing, sweating and gnashing of teeth, I got it in only to realize I'd buggered it up. I finally gave in and had to take it to the RV shop to have it replaced. I was lucky...most RV shops won't touch them. I don't blame them..I wouldn't want to mess with the T valves because usually, someone wants it replaced only after it starts leaking, or it's stemless or something else wrong with the valve and the tank is full.


Edited by Meadowlark, 13 September 2018 - 04:42 PM.

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These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#23 Scotsman

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 08:59 AM

Well you have certainly been around, Meadowlark.  Small wonder you own a Casita and travel around.

No subs for me either, mine was a carrier, the Oriskany, 66,67&68.  Did you hear about the sub that went to sea with 200 sailors aboard and came back 6 months later with 100 couples?  My apologies to your hubby but I am sure he has heard that one and worse.  He probably has some good ones about carriers too.

The T-shaped maintenance facilities were the brainstorm of a Sgt Major I worked with on that project.  He knew more about tank maint than anyone in the army I think.  He insisted on the T-shape and drive-through capability and a tread washing hardstand close by.  It's a pity I can't remember his name.  I worked over there in Hanua MC for 3 years, master planning.  I don't know how many of my projects actually got built because they were all submitted to congress for funding and I left Germany before anything was approved.  My projects were for 5 to 7 years out.

My dump valves slide easily in and out and they seem to seal just fine, the drip is coming from the low corner.  As a temporary remedy I will re-tighten that bolt. 

Can you believe a complete replacement unit is on sale online right now for $32 (+ ship)?  Exact same Valterra model, ready to install.  I think I'll buy one, swap it out and rebuild and keep the old one.

Then I wonder about that shower drain valve...why?  What purpose does it serve?  Maybe odor control?  There must be a reason but I can't see it.  Any ideas?



#24 Meadowlark

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 06:26 PM

More folks can speak to the shower drain valve then I can. I have no idea what it is. If you're talking about the one behind the toilet? I don't know. If you're talking about the T valve in the closet..again, I'm not certain what purpose it served. My husband removed that as part of the Hepvo valve replacement underneath the kitchen sink. It reduced the amount of clutter under the sink immensely, providing more room for pots and pans.

Remember, Scotsman, we're the same people who hate plumbing. So I've not paid too much attention to what my dear man did to ours. It works. That's all I really care about.

Ironically, we had a plumbing emergency at the house today. Thank goodness I have a Really Good Plumber who comes when called and does great work. Despite his having a full slate, still he 'swung by' and replaced the cartridge in the shower control handle and I'm back in business.  I've learned that one must cultivate the good guys doing the dirty, blue collar jobs. A good plumber, a good electrician, a good roofer...once you find the good ones, you try your best to keep them.

 

 

If I were you I'd replace the Valterra T valves anyway. I did a little back reading and see you have a 2002. Maybe I've thrown good money after bad by replacing stuff on my 20 year old Tacoma, but a little preventative maintenance has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. I feel the same way about the Casita. We didn't HAVE to replace the tires when we did, perhaps we could have gotten another couple grand of mileage out of them but..the price was right, there was a sale on, what the hell.

 

While I wasn't in Hanau, I did get to work in one of the T buildings, and the SMJ was right. It made tank work so much easier. He obviously had been there, done that. Not to worry about not remembering his name...he's an unsung hero, I guess. what astounds me is that the DOD actually LISTENED to him, an enlisted man. Usually no matter what we asked for, the Pentagon brass  ignored us boots on the ground. They were more interested in securing a 'position' with a Defense Contractor after they retired. REmember what Rumsfeld said after he learned that families were spending a lot of money to send their kids in Iraq and Afghanistan real body armor rather than the old fashioned stuff the Army was issuing (which was useless against IEDs...)..Rumsfeld said, basically, " Tough S..t, you get the Army you have, not the Army you want." But oh boy, if some Congressman wanted to buy his pet Defense Contractors nifty new fighter jet, the brass fell all over themselves getting it.

 

This is off topic, sorry to say.


These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#25 Jim&Clare

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 06:22 AM

 

Then I wonder about that shower drain valve...why?  What purpose does it serve?  Maybe odor control?  There must be a reason but I can't see it.  Any ideas?

 

Odor control indeed.

Without it, the nasty contents of your grey tank would slosh back into the shower pan as you drive. That may cause an odor problem,

 

Jim


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Where is Jim now?


#26 Scotsman

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 07:31 AM

Thanks for that info on the shower drain valve Jim.  That does make sense after I hear the explanation.  Mine seems to work just fine because I didn't even know it was there until I was testing the shower and saw it wasn't draining.  Now I know.  Thanks for the help!



#27 Scotsman

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 07:47 AM

Hey Meadowlark, I didn't see a T valve in my closet so today I will look for it.  My shower valve is outside, under the frame behind the propane tanks, with just the T showing until it is pulled.

You are so right about having good help available.  I always think of the movie "The Money Pit" when I hire a contractor for around the house.

My Tacoma is 16 years old, same as my Casita, and I will keep it as long as possible.  Do you tow your Casita with the Tacoma?  That is my plan.

That SMJ in Germany actually was on TDY from the pentagon to help V corps with some projects, mine being one of them.   He was a really smart and nice guy and all the officers called him sir, out of respect and not because it was required.  I liked that.  Being a civilian, they called me sir also but I didn't care for that because I was just a temporary employee and hadn't earned it.

It was interesting and fun to work for/with the Army, but the regs were amazingly complicated and frustrating and many were questionable, at least to me.

II agree with you on replacing the whole valve assembly.  My temporary fix of replacing that lower bolt worked perfectly and stopped the drip and now the exact same scenario is happening at the gray water valve,: dripping from that lower corner.  The bolt I took out of the black water valve was rusted badly, from the middle outward, showing it was leaking right there at the joint. 



#28 Meadowlark

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 04:26 PM

I don't tow our SD with my Tacoma. It's a 1999, a little 4 banger with 2 wheel drive and honestly, I don't think it has the b...ls to pull the SD. I know there are folks who do, but my Taco is my farm truck.

It has over 235K on it and I intend to keep her til she drops dead...then I'll put a Jasper rebuild in her and keep her til I drop dead.

We tow with an 8 cyl Toyota tundra and the egg rides behind like you don't even know she's there.

 

As for the T valves...replacing them, in my mind, was cheap insurance. I'd rather have new ones every few years than have a ugly, stinking mishap that costs more to rectify than the valves do.

 

Still, I'm glad the leak on yours was just from a rusting bolt.

 

As for Jim's advice...he is the Wizard of Casita, as far as I'm concerned. Between him and his wife, and Larry Gamble and HIS wife, we are blessed to have two really smart guys who know the camper inside out and backwards.


These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#29 Meadowlark

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 04:31 PM

By the way, Scotsman, I've sent you a Private Messageso as to keep things on topic.


These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."