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Old 01-02-2014, 01:12 AM   #1
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Cool galley grey water tank clog and leak

I recently purchased a 1995 Jayco Designer Series Gold model, the 31-footer, which has two grey water holding tanks, one under the bathroom and one under the galley. I have the trailer hooked up to my home's septic tank system. Here's what happened. When I ran water in the kitchen sink, I got that horrible grey water smell, so I attempted to flush the tank out. I discovered the forward tank was completely full, even though the dump valve is open. I discovered this because water began overflowing from the tank and poured down into the plastic belly pan and onto the ground. Apparently I have two problems, and I hope someone out there can help me.

1. The forward grey water tank is totally full and apparently plugged up. What is the best way to unplug it? The line running to the discharge at the back of the trailer looks like it will be very difficult to snake. I have read that I may be able to break the clog by blasting water in through the discharge line and into the tank. The dump valve appears to be fully functional, so I don't think that's the source of the clog. Is there some sort of super Drano that will work? I need to unplug this tank so I can send the 30 gallons of grey water to the septic tank.

2. Once the tank is unplugged, I need to find out why it was leaking. The water leak appeared to be originating from the top of the tank. Is there an overflow on these tanks, and that's where the water is coming from? Is it supposed to do that? Or is it possible that the drain connection from the sink broke because the tank was too full?

Your help will be appreciated!
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:51 AM   #2
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I would contact Valterra if it was mine. They usually have good advice about holding tank issues. If you have time, an enzyme type tank treatment might dissolve your clog. Snaking would be my first choice. Removing the connection pipes is another option if you can get to them.

Blasting would be a last resort because I would be concerned about how much pressure was on the whole system. You could solve one problem and create another.
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:50 AM   #3
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When the tank in my hi-lo is full it leaks out from the top of the tank, if yours is the same the only problem you have is a full tank
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:45 AM   #4
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Water will always leak out the top of a full tank... dont worry too much about that... Try calling a local septic service pump truck and see if they can hook to your discharge pipe and with the gray valve open suck out the tank.. this MIGHT remove any blockage.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:23 PM   #5
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I agree with Seann45. The suction from the pumper truck just might do it. A friend of mine had a clogged black tank and his macerator pump did the job. I would try that before attempting to use a snake or removing plumbing. You really don't want a 38 gal flood.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:22 PM   #6
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Question; have you confirmed that the valve is moving when you try opening it? If it is an enclosed underbelly it might be hard to tell. But you can buy a cheap endoscope on ebay, that connects to an USB port on a computer. I have seen some fairly nice ones for about $35. Plug it in, and feed it up the sewer pipe. They are very handy.

Here is one on JBay.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
Question; have you confirmed that the valve is moving when you try opening it? If it is an enclosed underbelly it might be hard to tell. But you can buy a cheap endoscope on ebay, that connects to an USB port on a computer. I have seen some fairly nice ones for about $35. Plug it in, and feed it up the sewer pipe. They are very handy.

Here is one on JBay.
And when you're done, you can give yourself a DIY colonoscopy!! Just kidding...don't try that at home.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mcfarmall View Post
And when you're done, you can give yourself a DIY colonoscopy!! Just kidding...don't try that at home.
Aww why not? rotflol
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:25 AM   #9
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I dont like ebay so just checked Amazon.com for the endoscope. they have them starting at under $20.00... Heck I might even order one at that price..
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:58 AM   #10
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I would agree you should first make sure the valve is opening. I have had water back up into sinks and showers when I pushed it to far but no leaks from a full tank. That would be your call though if it doesn't bother otherwise if you wanted to go to the trouble to see what is going on. If it was my camper I would try the snake first before I spent money elsewhere but that is just me. If you can get a snake in that would also verify if the valve was open or not.
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