I needed Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs to join me for this one, but I never got around to inviting him to help repair RV holding tank valves.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed when I would empty our sewer tanks that one of the valves had failed. We have 3 valves on our 5th wheel (bath-shower & sink, Kitchen-sink, and toilet) two grey water, and one black.
It seemed like the bathroom grey water tank seal was not working anymore. I waited until we were going to be parked for a couple of weeks and then took on the job.
Let me walk you through the job..
This is what you see when you look underneath our 5th wheel, probably fairly typical. You can’t see the tanks or fittings because they are protected and insulated.
#1. Remove protective layer. Mine has roughly 15 screws spread about holding it up.
Seen above, after I dropped the protective layer, the insulation is not secured and just falls off (it is off to the side). Now everything is exposed.
#2 You have to figure out what size valve your trailer uses. The black tank it pretty standard a 3″, but the grey water tanks are not standardized.
Here you can see two of the tanks and their valves. On the right is the black water tank, and the left is the bath-shower/sink tank. Each of the valves clearly state what size they are when you get close enough. Once you know the size you can buy a replacement at a RV Dealership with a parts department.
Unfortunately I needed to replace both my valves.
#3 Before you proceed any further make sure your tanks are empty and no one will be using them while you are working. tip: Flush them as clean as possible.
#4 loosen and remove the 4 bolts that are holding the valve in place.
#5 Once the bolts are removed, you can pull the pipe enough to slide the valve loose.
And slide it out.
Be prepared for some leakage.I put a bucket under the joint just in case, and as you can see there were some drips.
#6 Slide the new valve into place. Before you do this make sure the rubber seals are facing the correct direction.Make sure the seals are not pinched or stretched out-of-place before you tighten the 4 bolts holding the valve in place. Open and close the valve it should move smooth and pretty easily.
#7 Now attach the rod extension to the new valve.
#8 replace the insulation and protective cover and you are all done. It’s a pretty simple job, but it’s a dirty job.