Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > RV SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGIES FORUMS > RV Systems & Appliances
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-04-2014, 02:16 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 17
Bizzare gray water blockage symptoms - cant't figure this out

I have an '08 Itasca Sunstar 32K. Gray water has been draining fine at campgrounds etc. until we arrived at our current location and now the tank monitor is saying "full" but nothing is draining out of the gray tank.

Now here's the strange part. I have snaked from the drain valve up into the tank, no blockage. I tap the tank and it sounds empty. I would therefore suspect faulty gauges except I can run water down the kitchen and bathroom sinks, and nothing comes out the gray outlet. I can snake down the shower and bathroom sink as far as my 25' snake's length. Can't find a blockage. The level monitor that showed 2/3rds full is now showing full from running water down the sinks, but where is it going. I only have one gray water tank and it's not going in there. I can hear it entering the tank and nothing flows out of the outlet. There is a growing oder in the bathroom as well - smells like the gray water residue.

So, no gray valve blockage. No tank outlet blockage, I can snake up into tank. No shower or bathroom sink blockage, have snaked them (kitchen sink drain has too small slots to fit snake through). Water drains from sinks but does not enter gray tank. Not leaking water or water flooding in the rig or under-floor storage areas. No water dripping under rig. Level monitor, which has always worked before this, showed increasing levels up until now full. Tank appears to be physically empty. I'm getting stink in the bathroom (and it's not from that burrito I had for dinner).

Any suggestions? I'm afraid of this backing up into our RV and ruining our vacation. What should I try next? Drano? Buy a WalMart backflush attachment (don't want to blow contents back into RV though)? Run a hose down the vents? Remove the vacuum break valves? I've no idea what to do because this one seems to defy logic. We're stuck without being able to use water

Anyone come across this before?
hondaman900 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-04-2014, 02:31 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
mohamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Exeter, MO
Posts: 115
Welcome.
It has got to go somewhere.
mohamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 07:28 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Tha_Rooster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 7,171
If I read your post correct you ran a snake from the opening through the valve and in the tank. If so it has to be a sensor if you are sure you made it into the tank.
__________________
2007 Fleetwood Revolution LE 40V
Tha_Rooster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 07:52 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
336muffin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,569
Previous owner had a bad habit of leaving the grey valve open with "no problems" you will probably find the blockage is a thick grey matter consisting of kitchen grease, tooth paste, deoderant and so on. It lays on the bottom until dislodged and is thick enough to stop drainage! We purge our grey by filling all of our sinks with hot water and the valve open and drained completely, then releasing the hot water at once. This might take several times to really clean out the problem.
We bought a used coach and found this problem but this solved ours. Let us know how yours is resolved please.
__________________
American Tradition 42R-Cadillac SRX Blue Ox Koni 5050XL MCD Scangauge D Samsung rf197
Fulltime since 2012
336muffin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 07:53 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 8,055
Not sure about your unit but out MH drains the bathroom sink into the black tank. Ditto shower.

If you keep running water into the kitchen sink does it go somewhere? If so it is getting to the gray tank or you have a leak. I'd start loading water in the kitchen sink until something came out or stopped flowing.
nothermark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 09:40 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 17
I downloaded the plumbing blueprints last night (thank you Mr. Winnebago!) and saw that the shower has its own line to the gray water tank separate from the sinks. I therefore thought that since the water down the sinks test didn't show up at the tank, maybe that line was blocked and the shower which I snaked to the tank was fine and I just hadn't though to test it separately. The bathroom sink has enough plumbing to the tank that the snake may not have made it to the tank. Anyway, the test failed. Water from the shower is not coming out the gray drain - baffling.

I also located the vacuum release ports under both sinks, took them off, still no flow. I thought that if the vent was blocked and causing a vacuum that held back the water that releasing those would address that.

Plunging didn't help either. I now have Drano sitting in the kitchen sink pipes and will fill the kitchen sink with hot water as suggested and dump that down to see what happens - fingers crossed!
hondaman900 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 10:01 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 17
The plot, or clog, thickens!

This is making no sense. I let Drano sit for 15 min plus as the hot water cooked. Dumped a full kitchen sink, about 4 gals, of scalding water down the drain.

Nothing! Not a drop out the gray tank. What the heck?!
hondaman900 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 10:03 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 145
Is it possible your sink is plumbed to the black tank ?


Joe 1998 Itasca Sunflyer Ford 460
Annierufus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 10:08 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Bobb.25's Avatar
 
Rexhall Owners Group
Join Date: May 2011
Location: South Central Ohio
Posts: 458
Dump your black tank and repeat the test with the gray tank valve closed, and the black tank valve open.
__________________
2003 Rexhall Rexair, 3550 Ford V10 with Banks
2014 Honda CRV-AWD via Blue Ox
Travel with SWMBO and Golden Doodle co pilot
Bobb.25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 10:57 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annierufus View Post
Is it possible your sink is plumbed to the black tank ?
The plumbing diagram shows it to the gray and it's consistent with the observable plumbing/tanks. Also, I've dumped about 10 gallons of scalding water from both kitchen and bathroom and I can hear it going into the tank and its not backing up into the shower or coming out anywhere else. The black water levels should be coming up but are not if it were somehow plumbed into the black. This also worked before, filling the gray through the sinks to get a head of water to flush at the campground, so I know it's to the gray tank.

I'm starting to think there's a sludge "dam" holding the water from the drain. Who knows what the PO put in there. We had it stored on a hill for a year, and maybe a wedge collected in the downhill (rear) side that has come loose on our long trip and has created a dam? Not sure what other theory fits.

Next move is to shove a garden hose up into the tank and turn it on until something comes out. Wish me luck.
hondaman900 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 10:58 AM   #11
Member
 
timex's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Northwest Pa.
Posts: 97
I would look in all the compartments under the coach to make sure a drain pipe hasn't come apart and is leaking into the storage area.
__________________
2004 Holiday Rambler Imperial PST
2005 BT Cruiser 5230
2014 Honda CRV
timex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 11:48 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 17
OMG!!! Problem Solved

OMG! I noticed that the plumbing blueprints showed the drain pipes going the other way around and then it dawned on me. My Black and Gray waste valves are labeled backwards. Even the gray and black handles are on the wrong sides. So what I thought was my gray, what I spent so much time rooting around in with the snake, was my black water tank. That sludge was in fact fecal matter - Sooooo gross! I pulled the "Black Water" valve and nice clear water gushed out, all those tests and gallons of wasted hot water. The gauges went down as well. Good thing we're at the in-laws and were using their indoor toilets as otherwise I would have been doing open-heart surgery on the sewer system if this went any further. No wonder the gray water was "disappearing". I was up until 2am last night studying those blueprints and never spotted this until this morning.

I can't believe the factory could get these backwards, install the wrong handles on the valves and apply the stickers the wrong way around. Perhaps some disgruntled employee's idea of a sick joke - who knows. This means that all those times at the campgrounds when I would drain the "Black water" and rinse the hose with "gray water" was in fact backwards. I was apparently rinsing with sewerage - Ugh! No wonder my slinky hose smelled so bad.

Thank you folks for all the help and thank you Winnebago, for even if you were the source of the issue, you do provide schematics for everything online, and that is truly a great resource to have at our fingertips.

hondaman900 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 12:21 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
JFXG's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Today? Clayton, North Carolina
Posts: 4,840
Bizzare gray water blockage symptoms - cant't figure this out

Congrats! Good work!! Glad you found it, and glad you let us know!

No matter how simple, no matter how small, never underestimate the ability of humans to screw something up.

But seriously, here's a question (or four): How long have you been using this RV this way? Do you camp with both valves closed, or "black" closed and "gray" open? Have you never encountered a water drain backup into your shower? Have you never encountered a flow blockage in your sewer, occasioned by a buildup of solids left behind? It seems that in one sense you've been very lucky!
__________________
John, Diane, and Lincoln, the guard cat. RVM103
Fulltimers since June 2012
2002 Dutch Star 40, Freightliner, Cat 3126,
2004 Element
JFXG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 12:31 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 145
On the bright side, just think how clean your gray tank must be


Joe 1998 Itasca Sunflyer Ford 460
Annierufus is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
water



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sanitizing the Potable Water System Sam Goodbody Excel Owner's Forum 15 04-12-2015 09:47 PM
Water holding tank cracked connections OneSiren Class A Motorhome Discussions 15 07-28-2014 08:19 PM
Gray Water release hanksy Monaco Owner's Forum 14 06-18-2014 03:50 PM
Fresh Water system update pddgm Fleetwood Owner's Forum 4 02-28-2014 08:42 PM
Gray water level stuck '13 Meridian 36M Nxkharra Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 42 11-26-2013 04:31 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.