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Old 07-23-2016, 12:24 PM   #1
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Black Tank Valve Won't Close Entirely

Hi Folks: Recently, it seems my black tank valve will not close all the way. It will not push in entirely and a 1/4" or so is still sticking out (the handle and shaft). I don't want to push any harder and I read about replacing the valve. I am traveling now, so it is not ideal to mess with it. Just curious if there are any tips that may allow it to close all the way. The black tank still seems to fill as normal and "rushes" out when I pull the valve open. Maybe I should not even worry about it, but I have not had the sewer line off to see if it is leaking or not. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks in advance.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:30 PM   #2
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Sometimes the handle or handle shaft will unscrew from the gate itself. I would make sure that both are tightened securely.

Of course, another possibility is that there is something in the groove that the gate slides into (toilet paper usually). Once you empty the tank, you might want to take an old toothbrush and if able, open the gate fully and run the toothbrush around the groove.

Hope this helps

Ron
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:36 PM   #3
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And you'll know if it's not sealed / seated well enough as soon as you take the cap off to attach the sewer hose. If stuff runs out, you know it's leaking (assuming you have some fluid in your black tank while between stops.
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Old 07-23-2016, 04:22 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, indeed the handle spins "freely", should the entire thing turn in tight? Sounds that way. I was out of town (actually out of the USA) for two weeks and my wife was running the operation.... Maybe she tried to turn it instead of a straight pull. Should I spin it clockwise until it dead-ends?

Thanks again!
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Vegas View Post
Thanks guys, indeed the handle spins "freely", should the entire thing turn in tight? Sounds that way. I was out of town (actually out of the USA) for two weeks and my wife was running the operation.... Maybe she tried to turn it instead of a straight pull. Should I spin it clockwise until it dead-ends?

Thanks again!
The handle has a jam-nut to keep the handle positioned properly, and should not bump the nut securing the housing. I dont know about your MH, but my valves are hidden in the belly, under the tanks.
My extended service contract paid nearly $1,400 to replace all 3 leaking valves. The valves only cost about $300, rest was labor.
Use a strong light a look down into the black tank (if possible) to see if there is any water in the tank. If none is present it will cause a bigger problem, the dreaded pyramid of poop N paper.
For a temporary fix, go buy a Valterra twist-on valve and install between sewer outlet and slinky hose.
Keep this closed until your grey tank is full, then open the black valve, next the gray valve.
This backflushes the the black tank until the water reaches the same level in both tanks. Close the gray valve and open the Valterra valve to dump the black tank. Then close the black valve.
That will get you home without plugging the black tank, where you can replace the valves at your convenience.

BTW, your plumbing schematic is downloadable from the Winnebago website. The link is in a sticky in the Winnebago forum.
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:03 AM   #6
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A couple things to look for are to be sure the sealing ring is properly seated and it is free of debris. Sometimes if the valve is left closed for extended periods (as during storage) the seal sticks to the blade of the valve. When the valve is opened the seal is pulled slightly out of its seat. When the valve is closed again the disrupted seal prevents the valve from closing properly. It may be tight enough to keep water from draining, but will eventually either deform or cut the seal and allow the contents of the tank to leak.

Here's a link to the typical Valterra gate valve:

Valterra Twist on Waste Valve Valterra Plumbing T58

Note the seal ring surrounding the valve blade.

Sometimes debris gets caught on the seal blocking the blade from closing properly. It could be anything from a piece of TP, a kids toy, or even solid waste. Often times some debris swirls around in the tank until the last inch or so of liquid is draining. The diminished force of the water leaving the tank isn't always enough to flush a lingering piece of debris completely through the valve. That's why flushing the tank is recommended.

In either case an inspection is warranted. The seal can be repositioned if it hasn't been damaged, and debris can be removed. I would suggest draining the tank as much as possible, then extending the jacks on the side of the coach the drain is located. This will put the drain slightly higher than any liquid remaining in the tank. Then (with the valve still closed) shine a light into the opening (you may need a mirror). If the seal is disrupted or there is debris caught in the seal it should be evident.

If the seal is disrupted it will have to be repositioned and lubricated. If it's damaged I believe the entire valve must be replaced. I am not aware of anyone who sells replacement seals. If it's a matter of debris in the seal it can generally be cleaned out with a fair sized bottle brush.
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
The handle has a jam-nut to keep the handle positioned properly, and should not bump the nut securing the housing. I dont know about your MH, but my valves are hidden in the belly, under the tanks.
My extended service contract paid nearly $1,400 to replace all 3 leaking valves. The valves only cost about $300, rest was labor.
Use a strong light a look down into the black tank (if possible) to see if there is any water in the tank. If none is present it will cause a bigger problem, the dreaded pyramid of poop N paper.
For a temporary fix, go buy a Valterra twist-on valve and install between sewer outlet and slinky hose.
Keep this closed until your grey tank is full, then open the black valve, next the gray valve.
This backflushes the the black tank until the water reaches the same level in both tanks. Close the gray valve and open the Valterra valve to dump the black tank. Then close the black valve.
That will get you home without plugging the black tank, where you can replace the valves at your convenience.

BTW, your plumbing schematic is downloadable from the Winnebago website. The link is in a sticky in the Winnebago forum.

Valves for $300, I paid $18 for one.
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:46 PM   #8
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Probably a typo, maybe $30.00 if bought from a dealer???
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:13 PM   #9
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Wow, thanks hikerdogs, impressive write up! I wish I could get a screw on valve, so far, none of the camp stores at the campgrounds had one. It sure is nasty!
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:43 PM   #10
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Valves for $300, I paid $18 for one.
You've bought the Winnebago specific remote valves then? Just the 2" fresh water drain valve was $89+ shipping.
Where did you buy them, at that price I'll buy spares now.
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