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Old 12-23-2016, 04:32 PM   #1
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Cleaning the 4 roof drains

I just finished flushing the leaves and junk out of the roof drains at each corner of the roof for the 2nd time in about that many months with leaves falling. Just wondering how often most Newmar owners do this, or just wait until rain water starts running off the sides at each corner. That little plate Newmar put over the drain hole doesn't really fit well enough to keep small leaves and other junk out of the drain hole.

Also, has anyone ever heard or had the experience of a clogged drain freezing up and breaking the drain line. Doesn't think that would be too bad at the rear but in front it looks like the drain runs down the post between the windshield and the side window which might leak water out on the dash.
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Old 12-23-2016, 05:34 PM   #2
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Was about to post a related and similar question. I found the water streaming over the sides and then realized I had the simple task of removing a few leaves from some drain covers, but one must have some pine needles stuck down in side the drain tube. Not having time to figure it out, I poured a small amount of the black tank 'Pure Power Blue' Waste Digester hoping it would eat away rotting leaf and needles in the drain tube. By the next day water seemed to be flowing better but I still think I have to get up there, remove the screen and blast some high pressure water down the drain tubes.

In Portland, OR, there are a lot of Douglas Fir trees and all those needles easily clog both my house gutter and motor coach drains. Usually have to clean it out about 3 times a year for the house. Now, my decision maybe more frequently for the motor coach. What drain cleaning products or procedures and tools do others use?
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:04 PM   #3
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I have a small brass spray nozzle for my garden hose that a 1/2" (inside measurement) clear plastic hose from the hardware store will fit over ir. Then a 1/2" (outside measurement) plastic hose will fit inside the larger one. Now this last one will just fit inside the drain hole at the roof (after prying off the metal plate) and with an off/on valve at the garden hose I can climb up on a ladder, fit the smaller hose inside the drain hole, and turn on the shut-off valve, and that amount/force of water has cleaned out the drain line everytime. I got a good bath trying to use just an adjustable nozzle on the end of the hose the first time but with the smaller plastic hose about an inch or so inside that roof drain hole I just get a sprinkle or so.
I just bought a foot of each of the two plastic hoses for less than $1. Hope I was able to explain it good enough.

This arrangement for a roof drainage was certainly some engineer's brain storm. The metal plate that's suppose to strain out the leaves and pine needles (I have 3 pine trees in the back yard) isn't large enough to stop that stuff from going down around it on both sides.
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:54 AM   #4
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This IS definitely a problem, Wagonmaster2. I had it so bad on my right front drain tube that I had to have it serviced on top at the drain screen and had to have the entire tube blown out with high pressure air to make it work smoothly again. And this is without any of the leaves and pine needles you mention.

Once I had the service, I have been a lot more diligent in regularly inspecting the top of the coach at all drain locations and keeping those areas clean and free of debris. Just one more thing we need to manage on these fabulous but complicated machines we love so much.

The process of cleaning you suggest seems wise. Any chance you could post a picture or two of the set up you have put together? I'm sure people would appreciate seeing what you came up with.

Happy Holidays!

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Old 12-24-2016, 06:39 AM   #5
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The four drains have been clogged since day one due to small particles getting passed the "screen". They get clogged so often that it is impossible to keep clean. Without a rear ladder on the coach it is a time consuming futile exercise!! The only solution that I have found is using a small drain cleaning bladder (Cobra small drain cleaner bladder from Lowe's) and inserting it into the"flapper tube" beneath the coach. The bladder expands when filled with water and forces the water onto the roof. The bladder leaks a little and I may purchase the medium size to fit the"flapper tube" better. I can do all the drains in a few minutes and can tell that it has worked because of the water now cascades off of the roof!
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Old 12-24-2016, 02:10 PM   #6
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I recently observed rain and condensate pouring over the forward outboard edge of the gutter system and assumed it was because I was parked on a sloping site resulting in a slightly nose low attitude.

After reading this post, I climbed up and inspected the drains, finding the forward drains completely clogged with debris. Apparently I picked up a lot of debris traveling this fall.

Based on your comments I removed the drain cover plate and ran a 14' fish tape through the drain line from the top and finished by pulling it all the way through from the bottom.

Once the drains ran free, I reinstalled the drain covers using just enough silicone to tack them down and seal the edges. They should peel right up the next time they need service.

Thanks for ideas!

Merry Christmas from Key Largo, FL.
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Old 12-24-2016, 02:19 PM   #7
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Sorry Deek, I'm unable to do any pictures. I don't have a digital camera and probably wouldn't know how to use it or post pictures if I did have one. Keep thinking I'll get one and learn but there's so many to choose from and never using one I wouldn't know what all features to look for. I'm still using my old Canon A-1 35mm camera. I'm so far behind in technology it's pitiful. I feel lucky to just be able to use my laptop to use the Forum.

If you wanted to PM me your cell phone number I might be able to figure out how to send a picture from my phone, have only done it a couple of times (still using the old flip type cell phones) though.

I'm trying to decide if it would be better to put a very small screen over the metal grate to keep anything from clogging the drain tube but it would probably mean cleaning the screen all that much more.
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Old 12-24-2016, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Kirk View Post
I recently observed rain and condensate pouring over the forward outboard edge of the gutter system and assumed it was because I was parked on a sloping site resulting in a slightly nose low attitude.

After reading this post, I climbed up and inspected the drains, finding the forward drains completely clogged with debris. Apparently I picked up a lot of debris traveling this fall.

Based on your comments I removed the drain cover plate and ran a 14' fish tape through the drain line from the top and finished by pulling it all the way through from the bottom.

Once the drains ran free, I reinstalled the drain covers using just enough silicone to tack them down and seal the edges. They should peel right up the next time they need service.

Thanks for ideas!

Merry Christmas from Key Largo, FL.
It is pex plumbing so I would not be concerned with feezing. But on the end of blue drains at low end of coach are some black rubber with thin slits. This surely could clog up very easily.
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Old 12-24-2016, 02:50 PM   #9
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I was always told by Newmar and dealers that the reason they have air lines in the front and at the rear of the coach is so you can periodically start up the coach, connect to the air lines, reach under the coach and blow air up the pex line to clear any debris. They recommend I do this as needed as well as clear the roof when washed. Just sayin
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Old 12-24-2016, 03:26 PM   #10
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Good thought and can do. Front is actually for wrecker service and my rear is for toad brakes. I do use the front to air up tires.
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Old 12-25-2016, 09:18 AM   #11
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I've had lots of issues since day one. The "screens" do plug on top, so I've reamed out the holes-that has helped some. I feel the biggest issue is the too-small half inch "downspouts". A larger, 3/4 in. would carry away more debris without clogging. I also have issues with downspout gradients...one is actually sloped uphill a bit before entering the "C" pillar, causing ponding in the little catch basin under the leaf guard screen. You can tell if you have this problem by the ponding in the catch basins under your screens.

Not sure what is best to do here other than to constantly clean the systems. I have installed a Sharkbite adapter at the discharge end of the downspout and use a hose on it to backflush the pipe. I gets pretty annoying to see overflow water staining the side of the coach, requiring lots of elbow grease to remove it.

Yes, the entire system needs a re-design.
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Old 12-25-2016, 09:33 AM   #12
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Slabman I give the newmar system an "A" for trying. I had other brands of coaches that did not have a roof drain system and all it did was stain the side of the coach and my wheels (water dripped from the side of the roof onto my front wheel). Could never keep the sides clean. So far not experiencing any issues but I am not under any trees either.
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Old 12-25-2016, 11:31 AM   #13
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I was told to be careful because those hoses could come off the drain scupper...
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:50 AM   #14
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Today I tackled the rear drains. I chose to flush them out instead of running a fish tape through them to avoid the risk of tearing the tubing loose from the nylon scupper.

I purchased a quarter turn valve, small diameter nozzle and a clear piece of flexible tubing which allowed me to use my hose to flush the drain lines out from the top.

I chose to flush from the top thinking I'd have to remove the roof side drain plate either way and to avoid blowing debris all over the roof.

This little gizmo some of you have previously described works really well.

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