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Old 08-15-2022, 02:03 PM   #1
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Grey tank fills prematurely

2021 Coachmen Freelander 29KB. With all grey valves closed, shower and sinks back up with just 6 gallons of fluid. Verified by draining grey tank fully and attaching a water gauge to garden hose and filling sink. When tank valve is opened, water is drained properly. No problems when camping with grey valves open.
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Old 08-15-2022, 02:19 PM   #2
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I will be interested in hearing what you find. I have had the same problem in my rig, only I normally make it to around 20 gallons before it backs up. Of course when I take it to the dealer I can't reproduce the problem.

Buy chance is your washroom in a slideout? Mine is so I wonder if the moving drain hoses are a problem?
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Old 08-15-2022, 02:33 PM   #3
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No, my bath area is not in a slide. I have a call to Coachmen for a plumbing diagram. Someone said there may be a floating obstruction that plugs the drain as it rises. That won't be a fun fix.
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Old 08-15-2022, 02:41 PM   #4
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2021 Coachmen Freelander 29KB. With all grey valves closed, shower and sinks back up with just 6 gallons of fluid. Verified by draining grey tank fully and attaching a water gauge to garden hose and filling sink. When tank valve is opened, water is drained properly. No problems when camping with grey valves open.
6 gallons? It sounds like all you have hooked up are the lines with no tank plumbed in. Has this always been the norm? A 2021 should still be under a warranty. Have you talked to your dealer about this?
This is really interesting. Please stay with us until the situation is resolved.
It almost sounds like there is a standpipe on the drain pipe coming out of the tank or there is something large inside the tank.
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Old 08-15-2022, 02:51 PM   #5
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Ya, that's what leads me to believe a floating clog. But the tank drain hole and pipe are at the bottom of the tank. If the clog is at the top of the tank allowing only 6 gallons, why would opening the valve drain the clog? I thought maybe clogged vent but vent is clear.
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Old 08-15-2022, 02:56 PM   #6
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Ya, that's what leads me to believe a floating clog. But the tank drain hole and pipe are at the bottom of the tank. If the clog is at the top of the tank allowing only 6 gallons, why would opening the valve drain the clog? I thought maybe clogged vent but vent is clear.
Floating plug only stops inflow at the top. When liquid level drops, fluid can flow in again until the float hits the top again.

It could also be a sinking plug that prevents the contents from emptying completely. Poke it with a plumbing snake to see if you can get more out of the tank.
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Old 08-15-2022, 03:39 PM   #7
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Some times the cut out disc from cutting pipe opens can fall inside the tank and floor jockeys just leave them
They drop to bottom of tank (not float) and can block draining of tank

Water backing up in bathroom sink/shower with only 6 gallons has to do with the drain line from them TO the grey tank
Are there conventional 'P' traps on drain line or one of those 'waterless' taps that use an internal bladder?
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Old 08-15-2022, 03:57 PM   #8
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The grey tank drains well with the gate valve open. If I fill a sink til it backs up with the gate valve closed (6 gallons), then open the gate valve, it flows out of the tank properly. BTW, the sensors seem to display properly. It always shows empty. But that is a horse of a different color.
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Old 08-15-2022, 04:09 PM   #9
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The grey tank drains well with the gate valve open. If I fill a sink til it backs up with the gate valve closed (6 gallons), then open the gate valve, it flows out of the tank properly. BTW, the sensors seem to display properly. It always shows empty. But that is a horse of a different color.
Sink/Shower Line is 'vapor locking'... ie: no vent action until you open tank dump valve
Problem is confined to the sink/shower drain line
So once again regular 'P' traps, 'waterless' trap and is there an Air Admittance Valve on drain line?
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Old 08-15-2022, 07:53 PM   #10
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Sink/Shower Line is 'vapor locking'... ie: no vent action until you open tank dump valve
Problem is confined to the sink/shower drain line
So once again regular 'P' traps, 'waterless' trap and is there an Air Admittance Valve on drain line?
Yes, there is an AAV under the bathroom sink. Not sure about shower or galley sink as I cannot access underneath.
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Old 08-16-2022, 09:52 PM   #11
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I have read of various owners who found the CUTOUTS from the piping holes were not removed from the tank= probably not so much that they float, as that they follow/ moved around by the FLOW of water? I have read that some RV SEPTIC SERVICES have the cameras/ tools to remove? Before you added your measured 6-gal, were your tanks sensors showing E?
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Old 08-17-2022, 09:55 AM   #12
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I have read of various owners who found the CUTOUTS from the piping holes were not removed from the tank= probably not so much that they float, as that they follow/ moved around by the FLOW of water? I have read that some RV SEPTIC SERVICES have the cameras/ tools to remove? Before you added your measured 6-gal, were your tanks sensors showing E?
Yes, the sensors showed empty after I thoroughly drained the tank. So is it probable that the cutouts/debris are rising as the tank gets its 6 gallons and blocking the piping from flowing into the tank. Is the gray tank that shallow?
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Old 08-17-2022, 05:06 PM   #13
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i'd go with a venting problem.
If you can do this it might point you in the right direction.

Fill up the sink with the 6 gallons

Then snake a tube into the drain. Doesn't have to be a big tube, even a 1/4 tube would work.
If you can get it into the tank, and, if when you do this the backed up water goes into the tank, this will point you in the direction of a venting problem.
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Old 08-17-2022, 05:30 PM   #14
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The plumbing on RVs is pretty simple, but problems are certainly common.

The suggestion of a plumbers snake might just help me! I have issues, and cannot get a borescope to the problem area. Maybe a snake will work better.
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