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Old 11-25-2012, 09:28 PM   #1
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HWH Main Unit Leak - Somewhere.

When we purchased our 2003 36' FDDS in 2011, I noticed the HWH compartment and underneath was coated with alot of oil and dirt. According to the dealer (original), this was normal. Really? Okay.

After a day of elbow grease, degreaser, rags, and water hose I had it all cleaned up and spotless. But over a period of time and usage I noticed an oily film would accumulate. I called a technician at the HWH Company, and he informed me this was normal and I could clean it out if I wanted. Really? Okay. Since then I clean it out as part of routine maintenance.

But now I seem to have a different accumulation of oil: Last month I did a normal cleaning and winterization before it went into the garage for the winter. Except for an oily film (hosed off) everything was normal. Two weeks later I discover a totally new type of accumulation of oil at the base. The HWH system had not been utilized during that period. I cleaned it up.

Now today (another two weeks later) I notice another accumulation (same as before) at the base. With mirror and flashlight I look at all the solinoids, hoses, hose connections, and everything else; but it's clean. See attached photo.

I've read and utilized all the other "Leaking HWH" threads, but to no avil. Any suggestions before I see the HWH authorized shop in the Spring?
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:01 PM   #2
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My 2001 does the same thing. My thoughts are that I won't worry about it till I have to start adding oil on a regular basis. I've done that twice in the last 8 years.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:09 PM   #3
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Carefully clean & dry the top of the manifold. You'll probably need a mirror-on-a-stick to see clearly. Come back after a coupla weeks & several cyclings of the hydraulics & check the top again. If you are finding oil there, its either a not-snugged-down fitting or else its the o-rings on the brass hex plugs on top. the o-rings are a common leak spot. There are occasional manifolds that are found to have left the factory w/no o-rings, common around 05-ish rigs but occasionally found on others as well.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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Mine does that too. Check your fluid level and if it isn't going down much don't worry about it. With the high pressure the pump generates it can even squeeze fluid down the threads of the fittings.
When I had a jack replaced the mechanic used teflon tape on the fitting; needless to say it blew off when I insisted on testing the jack under load.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:41 PM   #5
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If you want to spend the time and effort to locate the leak; wrap all fittings and sensors with paper towels. Run thru the various oerations (jacks, slides etc.) one at a time. Check after each operation to find the "soaked" paper towel. I was able to find a leaking pressure sensor this way that had been sending a fine mist of oil into the compartment, easily replace it, and finally have a relatively clean compartment.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:57 AM   #6
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Interesting Matt. My compartment is basically dry & clean except for road dirt I can hose out. Nice advice to isolate the leak.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:19 AM   #7
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Most H.W.H. jacks do the same thing after a while.
If it continuals to happen you might want to check the oil level in the tank under the hood.
My jacks will show oil in the base plate if I don't use them offten.
Some of them are dry so you should spray them with W.D.40.
One thing to remenber, before you add oil to the tank make sure the jacks are up, other wise you will have oil all over everthing.
Ben their.
Just a thought.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:10 AM   #8
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Terry, Bruce is not talking about the jacks but the compartment where the pump and solenoids are housed. If your jacks are showing any oil in the base plate your seals are going bad. Also you should only wipe the jacks with Dexron or dry silicone lubricant. WD40 will damage the seals.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:24 AM   #9
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I had repairs done last month at the HWH plant, and was told by the tech's there to use WD40 on the jacks, and that silicone will dry out the seals. I had been using silicone, but now I've switched to WD40. I remain skeptical about using WD40 (after all, isn't it a Water Displacement-not a lubricant?), but that's from the "horse's mouth".
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:46 AM   #10
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I stand corrected. I have just read updated service bulletins http://www.hwhcorp.com/ml47149.pdf and they do suggest WD40. They also say that WD40 will dissolve any silicone that can build up so by implication there is no harm in using silicone spray. I still think that Dexron is safe, after all that is what is on the other side of the seal but HWH say the jacks should be kept dry to avoid picking up dirt that can damage the seals when they are retracted.
Interesting the only jack I have problems retracting is the new one put on 2 years ago. I have also upgraded this to the latest springs but it still takes several minutes to retract unless I zap it with my silicone spray. Maybe I will try the WD40 cleaning routine next time.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:54 PM   #11
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Bruce, my '03 36mdds does exactly the same thing. Initially, just after I purchased it, there was a substantial leak that I found coming from a bad connection (the one at the top rear that you can't see or get to!). I finally partially removed the pump and was able to get to that connection to tighten it and get it to seal. I still get oil on the base plate and sometimes in sufficient volume to cause one or two small drips onto the driveway where I park it. I have tried the paper towel leak detection trick and every other one I can think of and I cannot for the life of me figure out where that oil is coming from. I too was told by HWH that it is normal to have seepage from the pump, so now I keep an absorbant cloth on the base plate to sop up the leakage and just keep my eye on the fluid level in the reservoir and have only had to add a small amount once during the year and a half since I repaired the leaking connection. Seems to be a pretty common problem with no apparent solution. If you do find a solution, I would certainly like to hear about it as it bugs the crap out of me that I have a leak that can't be fixed (no matter how small or "normal' it may be).
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