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Old 12-27-2009, 11:04 PM   #11
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Re: Water tank and lines freezing in winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John & Dana
Another solution for Sportsmobile's concern would be to use hard (metal) pipe for the coolant on the interior portion of the van. This would be easy to do and inexpensive.

John

Hmph. Now why didn't I think of that? That's a much better answer.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:23 PM   #12
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Re: Water tank and lines freezing in winter?

Hi guys,

I have a new to me 2000 EB50. We recently camped out in North Tahoe at about 8500 feet and the coldest temps reached 7F one night and about 12-15F subsequent nights. When we got home I noticed that there is a small leak (drip) coming from the grey water pipe right where it goes through the van floor into the tank. It is not leaking inside the van, but rather dripping onto the ground and only when the tank is more than half full.

We ran the furnace all night at about 65F inside the van, so I don't think the tank itself froze. The odd thing is that there is no leak at the gate valve at the bottom of the van... I would have thought that would have broken first and the fitting up near the tank would have been protected due to the thermal mass of the unfrozen water in the tank.

How easily is this fitting/collar replaced? Is it likely that I have to pull the tank?

Cheers,

Martin
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:03 PM   #13
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Re: Water tank and lines freezing in winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceansrealm
Hi guys,

We ran the furnace all night at about 65F inside the van, so I don't think the tank itself froze. The odd thing is that there is no leak at the gate valve at the bottom of the van... I would have thought that would have broken first and the fitting up near the tank would have been protected due to the thermal mass of the unfrozen water in the tank.

How easily is this fitting/collar replaced? Is it likely that I have to pull the tank?

Cheers,

Martin
Hey Martin,

Don't know how hard it is to replace, but I'm guessing... hard-ish. from my layout, I know I'd likely have to uninstall part of the cabinets, and possibly the countertop. My question back to you would be.... since it's not a pressurized system, can you just let it dry, and then shove a crap ton of silicone caulk into the leak area? Then more caulk over it, and wrap with a ductile tape, like the stuff you use for laying gas pipe underground. Or better yet, the self-sealing (and $$$$) silicone tape that you use instead of heat shrink on wires. I'm just thinking this may be a case where a band aid is "good enough."

Lastly, I'll note that we simply never close off our greywater tank, ever. So everything goes onto the ground immediately. Before I get major grief from everyone, I'll also note that we only use Dr. Bronner's biodegradable soap, and so there's nothing that's going out on the ground other than water, food scraps, and bio soap. There are rare occasions where the valve is closed until out of particular areas, specifically Yosemite or other bear-infested areas.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:04 PM   #14
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Re: Water tank and lines freezing in winter?

Wait, hold on... is your tank OUTSIDE the van? Mine's inside.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:38 PM   #15
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Re: Water tank and lines freezing in winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kzemach
Wait, hold on... is your tank OUTSIDE the van? Mine's inside.
No. The tank is INSIDE. The leak is coming from the actual drain pipe that is outside the van. It appears to be coming from the connection between the tank and drain pipe.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:54 PM   #16
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Re: Water tank and lines freezing in winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceansrealm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kzemach
Wait, hold on... is your tank OUTSIDE the van? Mine's inside.
No. The tank is INSIDE. The leak is coming from the actual drain pipe that is outside the van. It appears to be coming from the connection between the tank and drain pipe.
Weird. Do you know that it was actually related to this cold event? But then again.... maybe it was. So I'm understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) that you had the slice valve on the outside closed, thus the tank was part full, which means there was water from the outside slice valve all the way up into the tank. In that case, for SURE the water in the pipe could have frozen and cracked the pipe outside the tank. Even with my setup (see pics at beginning of thread), on really cold nights if we don't keep the heat on all night, our water system freezes somewhere between the pump and the faucet, and it take until like noon to unfreeze. And those are pipes on the inside! Likely they're freezing under the sink, because we sleep on the bottom bed, and thus the door on an RB to under the sink has to remain closed, and I don't think it gets much if at all any heat.

Anyway, assuming my statements above are correct, I'd.... try the band aid solution of silicone caulk to seal the unpressurized pipe leak, and never close the slice valve, at least not in sub freezing conditions. Ever.

Did that help?
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:03 PM   #17
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Re: Water tank and lines freezing in winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kzemach
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceansrealm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kzemach
Wait, hold on... is your tank OUTSIDE the van? Mine's inside.
No. The tank is INSIDE. The leak is coming from the actual drain pipe that is outside the van. It appears to be coming from the connection between the tank and drain pipe.
Weird. Do you know that it was actually related to this cold event? But then again.... maybe it was. So I'm understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) that you had the slice valve on the outside closed, thus the tank was part full, which means there was water from the outside slice valve all the way up into the tank. In that case, for SURE the water in the pipe could have frozen and cracked the pipe outside the tank. Even with my setup (see pics at beginning of thread), on really cold nights if we don't keep the heat on all night, our water system freezes somewhere between the pump and the faucet, and it take until like noon to unfreeze. And those are pipes on the inside! Likely they're freezing under the sink, because we sleep on the bottom bed, and thus the door on an RB to under the sink has to remain closed, and I don't think it gets much if at all any heat.

Anyway, assuming my statements above are correct, I'd.... try the band aid solution of silicone caulk to seal the unpressurized pipe leak, and never close the slice valve, at least not in sub freezing conditions. Ever.

Did that help?
I am not sure it is related to the freezing event since I never had the tank full since I bought it (two weeks prior). The hot air conduits lead through the garbage section in my EB, which keeps the tank warm as well as the water lines to the sink. I guess I did get lucky though because I didn't drain the valve below the city water hook up either. That could have easily popped as well... but it is all good. No leaks there. I have never had an RV before, so this is all a learning experience. Thanks guys... all good advice.
And here is a picture from our trip. No one around.

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Old 01-11-2013, 09:15 PM   #18
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Re: Water tank and lines freezing in winter?

If your sink has a p-trap then it also has a vent to the exterior. with the outside vent and the closed cabinet you may have froze the p-trap or you had a full tank that froze up the neck. It may also be your supply line that froze near the faucet and the leak and is just running down the grey water line...voice of experience from forgetting to winterize my westy a few years back.
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