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Old 09-16-2020, 08:38 PM   #1
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RV Waste Valves

I have a question for yall I have a 2004 HR 5th wheel with 3 waste tanks all 40 gallon. One black and two gray. They all Y into one dump outlet. All three are cable operated inside the enclosed underbelly with pull handles outside the 5th wheel with. The kitchen gally gray tank is open all the time(not sure if cable is broke). The black tank does not shut off all the way and all water drains into the drain pipes and the shower, bath vanity, washer tank shuts off the way it should. I have installed a valterra twist on shutoff valve on the outlet. I am terrified of a cable breaking on the black and one gray tank and not being able to dump. With the valterra valve on the outlet, can I leave all three pull handles open and let the 3 tanks fill like one tank. I dump very regular so never have to worry about black tank getting too full. I peaked up in the underbelly and all three tanks are exactly the same and all mounted at the same level. Looks like a ton of work and I thought of cutting the two grays and combining the two and adding a second dump outlet. At my age I am not sure I can tackle this job. Thks in advance
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:47 PM   #2
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UMM...I would suggest that might work but I'm not sure you want to do it that way. Replacing gate valves is not that difficult. Assuming you can easily gain access to them you or any RV tech can do it in a relatively short time. It took me less than an hour to replace both my gray and black tank gate valves in my MH. Even a mobile tech should be able to do this with no problem and minimal labor time along with a call out fee.
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:52 PM   #3
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I am not a fan of the twist on dump valves cause they sit at end of drain header and add weight to the dump line

I have a horizontal run before my common drain header turns outward so I cut the line into and installed glue flanges and a 3"
straight shaft dump valve
I do leave all 3 valves open....gives me 128 gals of waste capacity
Been that on my 5vr since 2008 (and was set up same on previous 5vr)
And no surprises at end cap!!!

Waste is waste
Grey can be as nasty as black...worst sometimes

Years ago RVs only had one waste tank then folks wanted more bells/whistles

Cable operated dump valves are a PITA especially when dump valves are buried and you have an enclosed under belly....like OP and my 5vr
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:01 PM   #4
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Usually the cable housing at the gate dislodges....cut a 3 sided door in the covering and take a look.....Gorilla tape that flap shut....same as most techs would do....The uncut side should be toward the front...
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:16 PM   #5
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I got up in the underbelly (there was an access panel near) and looked around. The black tank is first , then the bath, shower and washer, then the kitchen tank. The 2 grays Y into the 3 inch line closer to the outlet. They are all the same and mounted exactly the same height. I can not see why leaving all three pull valves open would not work Thks alot. I think I will give it a try rather than start tearing and cutting lines, ect up inside the underbelly. We are fulltime rvers and only move about every 4-6 months.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:57 PM   #6
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Thank you for responding. I think I'm going to try and leave the valves open for a spell. The three tanks all mounted at the same height, and being identical in size, they should fill equally. My sensors work decent and have already seen a difference on the level lights. Thks
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:04 PM   #7
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I tried opening all three valves and kept the valterra valve at the outlet shut. Went 3 days and sensors never moved. Wife took a shower and the bath, shower tank filled and backed up a little in the shower until i went out and dumped. There is no way the other kitchen tank and black tank were full. The two grays are 1-1/2 piping, maybe thats the reason ?? Sort of confused why the shower water did not equalize into the other 2 tanks. Would appreciate your thoughts since you operated this way for years
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:05 AM   #8
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It is possible your problem might be slow drainage of the shower because of hair blockage between the shower and the tank. Or possibly only slow dumping of the shower tank, although I would think that would either be completely blocked or would slowly level out, as you expect.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:39 PM   #9
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I did get alot of hair out of it the next day so i will try again. Just terrifies me of the black tank valve or failed 1200 miles from home If it were not for the underbelly I could fix pretty easy Most of the new ones are all outside the underbelly.
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