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demoon 10-25-2012 10:58 AM

Stumped By Grey Water
We have a 2006 Surf Side, 34'.
We also have a leak coming from the grey water "system". The water appears in the exterior cabinet just in front of the wheel well, which is just forward of the actual tank. I just spent $300 to have my rv guy look for the leak. They cannot find it. They checked all incoming water lines to sinks, shower and toilet. The checked all drain lines from sinks and shower. They filled the tank and it took about 7-10 minutes for the leak to start running. This is a fairly substantial amount of water. You can see the top and sides of the tank, but National decided to install it in such a location that there is really no access (that they can find). They are not even sure how they would remove the tank if they needed to do so.
These guys have always been very reliable and savy. So, I am stuck.:icon_peace:I do not want to spend $$$$ having them keep going - in fact they advised against it.
Any thoughts, other thank a second opinion. I could take it to the dealer that I bought it from, but I don't have a ton of faith in their techs.
I am about ready to winterize - maybe it will go away during the winter.:trash:

Midniteoyl 10-25-2012 11:16 AM

How full is the tank before it starts to leak? Could be a vent, an line in, line out, sensor, or crack. If you can see the tank and its compartment, why can you not scope it with a camera and see all the sides? Seems this would be fairly simple to figure out. Fixing might be hard, but finding the leak should be simple.

Maybe you need to find a place a little more 'savvy'..

Edouard 10-25-2012 12:59 PM

Cannot help you resolve the leak, as we have a similiar situation, our grey water tank is ahead of the rear wheel wells running from the passenger side, under the kitchen

sink which is forward near the entry door, going back to the wheel well, then turning like an "L" and going accross to the driver side under the shower & bath sink.

The leak occurs when the tank is full & drips down from the forward section under the kitchen sink, I removed the cover panels on both the passenger & driver side, which allows a pretty complete view the of tank top surface, both outside edges & the forward edge, but cannot see where the leak actually is, it does not appear to be at any joints for vents, and or sinks/shower drains.

As suggested above, a plumbers cable camera may be the best way to investigate more thoroughly.

So, for now we just live with it, by not allowing the grey tank to fill completely.

demoon 10-25-2012 02:51 PM

Jim, that is exactly the problem. You can't see 99.9% of the tank. With my age and creaky joints, I can only see a small part of the corner where the drain enters the tank. The tank sits over the rear axle and under the fridge and furnace. The RV guys managed to get into the compartment farther with a light and mirror and saw the top and two sides of the tank and there was no leak in those spots. Do you think a plumber's camera could make it through one of the inside drains to the tank? I ask that because they managed to build the coach around the tank so it would be a major task to unhook an inlet pipe to get the camera in.
Thanks for your suggestions.
Edouard - thanks for letting me know I am not alone. If the camera won't work I guess I have to go the same route you are using and hope it works.
Anyone else out there with any thoughts, please feel free to chime in.

96 Wideglide 10-25-2012 03:00 PM

First thing I would do is pour plumbers dye into the grey tank, just to be 100% sure it's not a fresh water leak, before continuing.
This summer, while on the road, I was ready to tackle what I thought was a tub drain leak, that ended up being the water conections behind the shower.

Vegasdan 10-25-2012 04:44 PM

If the water that leaks out smells of rotten eggs then it's grey water, if no smell then it is probably fresh water.

demoon 10-25-2012 06:33 PM

96 Wideglide,

I Thanks for the input. I am going to try to check that out tomorrow. DW asked me how come there was no smell in the compartment where the water runs. Could be onto something her.
If it is fresh water, I still have a problem. I can see the sink lines, but I cannot see any access to the shower lines.

Midniteoyl 10-25-2012 07:13 PM

Yes, I would try for a camera.. both in the tank, and around the tank. You can snake a camera up and around where a mirror and hand/head can't go.

The other way is with a FLIR camera and HOT or really COLD water in the tank. Should be able to at least see where its coming from that way..

The dye is also a good idea..

96 Wideglide 10-25-2012 09:55 PM


Originally Posted by demoon (Post 1350607)
If it is fresh water, I still have a problem. I can see the sink lines, but I cannot see any access to the shower lines.

The shower in my National has a access panel behind the valves. 4 screws, and the whole panel with valves can be pulled out a few inches.

demoon 10-26-2012 10:09 AM


Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide (Post 1350800)
The shower in my National has a access panel behind the valves. 4 screws, and the whole panel with valves can be pulled out a few inches.

Thanks. I'm headed out to check this right now. Also got some plumber's dye to rule in or rule out the grey water tank.

Steve N Sal 10-26-2012 10:18 AM

My thought as already mentioned if the water does not smell it's probably a fresh water problem. If it's grey water there would for sure be residue that you can feel in the moisture all being soap or other material. Good luck and hope you get it resolved.

sgtjoe 10-26-2012 10:41 AM

Just a thought, is your MH plumbed for washer?? If so, the plugs they used to cap off the water lines do get loose. Mine did and it took me a few days to figure it out. Found the lines under area the washer was supposed to be.

demoon 10-26-2012 06:18 PM

OK, no solution, but a couple of eliminations. I took the faucet fixture off the shower and could see quite a ways down into the wall - no leaks or dampness that I could see.
Secondly, I talked to the RV folks that did the detective work yesterday to ask them how they filled the grey tank. And, they ran a hose into the kitchen sink. So, none of my fresh water system was ever used. Ten minutes after water came up in the shower water started running out into the compartments on the drivers side and through an opening near the rear axle. This continued for an hour or more while they tried to see where it was coming from, with no luck. They finally drained the grey tank and of course the leaking stopped. It seems with that scenario, that it is hard for the problem to be fresh water, so the search goes on. Tomorrow I am going to put dye in the grey water tank and see if it shows up in the leaking, and perhaps will make it possible to pin point where it is coming from.
I will keep you posted.
Thanks again for the suggestions.

Vegasdan 10-26-2012 08:16 PM

So it sounds like they filled the grey tank completely and then the leak started. I'd suspect the vent pipe has come loose from the tank and you are not leaking until the tank is full.

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