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Old 12-23-2022, 05:46 PM   #1
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Need Help Please! Macerator will not drain

Day before yesterday we did all of the winterizing of the van due to the extreme cold weather we were going to get here. There was approximately 7 gals of water still in the water tank. We don't usually completely winterize the van since we use it all the time. "Generally" it rarely gets into the teens here but last night it got down to -1F. But we went on and put 3 gals of RV antifreeze in all of the lines in the van from the hot / cold side of the sink and shower, into the toilet, and emptied the gray water tank and the cassette toilet. I let the diesel heater run all night and it never got below 70 degrees in the van. Went out to check just to make sure that no lines were frozen (don't know why they would be?) and everything works just fine. Hot / Cold water, Shower, Sink, Toilet, etc... I ran some water into the sink and hit the macerator button and it runs just like normal but will not drain. We have never used the sink for anything other than washing our hands. Never any food particles or anything has ever gone down the drain.

Anyone have any idea what could cause this? Even though we ran 3 gallons of RV antifreeze in all of the lines and drain lines, does the drain line from the sink run underneath the van to the grey water tank exposed? I crawled under the van and everything that I could see was completely insulated.

But this is what we have right now and I've no idea what to do about it. Like I mentioned... When you hit the button it runs just like normal. It just will not drain.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

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Old 12-23-2022, 06:00 PM   #2
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Where is it draining to? Any exposed lines outside may be frozen.
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Old 12-23-2022, 06:00 PM   #3
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Also my grey tank valve will not open. We completely emptied it out when we winterized it so there was no water in the tank. I don't know if there is ice build up around the valve or not? But no matter... It was filled with antifreeze so it shouldn't have any ice anyway.
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Old 12-23-2022, 06:12 PM   #4
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I'm guessing that whatever residual water that is in the macerator is frozen.
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Old 12-23-2022, 06:53 PM   #5
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Where is it draining to? Any exposed lines outside may be frozen.
It drains to the grey water tank on the opposite side of the van. Like I said, I crawled underneath the van and there are no exposed water lines under the van. What I "assume" is the water line coming from the sink to the grey water tank is completely insulated the entire length. And we ran antifreeze into that line when we winterized it. Then we emptied the grey water tank so any water left in that line should have been released when the valve for the grey water tank was opened. I assume there could be a couple bends that water could still have been trapped but no matter, it had antifreeze in it. Now??? I can't even open my grey water tank valve even though it is completely empty and what residual was left had antifreeze in it. So I have no what is going on there?
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Old 12-23-2022, 06:56 PM   #6
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I'm guessing that whatever residual water that is in the macerator is frozen.
I would agree with you and maybe that is the case? But the entire line was filled with antifreeze and not just water. As cold as it was last night and us not staying in the van, if I didn't put antifreeze in the lines then I could blame that on me. My mistake. But I didn't do that. Every single line had antifreeze in it. Including the sink drain line all the way to the grey water tank (which I can not open at the moment). I've no idea why it is doing what it is doing.
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Old 12-23-2022, 06:59 PM   #7
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Can you see the valve assembly? Get a hair dryer and warm it up.
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Old 12-23-2022, 07:18 PM   #8
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Can you see the valve assembly? Get a hair dryer and warm it up.
No. It's hidden behind the drawers. I can see the lines running to the faucet and the "P" trap. But I assume the Macerator is after the "P" trap and I can't see it. I have the drawers open and the diesel heater turned on along with a ceramic heater pointed at the drawers.

The thing that bothers me is... Yes, we winterized it. But we will be living in this thing. And we won't be putting antifreeze in the fresh water tank for obvious reasons. These things are all over the West and we will spend most of our time in Colorado. But if it can't even handle cold weather like we had last night (granted... the wind chill was almost -40F), how is it going to be able to handle cold nights in Colorado when we won't have it winterized. We can of course pour RV antifreeze down the drains but other than that? We can't put it in our fresh water lines if we are going to use them.

I'm at a loss for what to do right now. The van was plenty warm inside last night. The grey water tank was empty and now I can't even open the valve. And antifreeze was in every line. Something is blocking the drain. It could be ice though I have no idea how.

Was just wondering if anyone else had an issue like this in the past?
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Old 12-24-2022, 04:32 PM   #9
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I found out the reason that my drain was frozen even with antifreeze in it. I was finally able to crawl under the van and check everything out this morning. This is what I found.



This is directly underneath the sink. They just drilled a hole in the bottom of the van and called it a day. I don't know if you can see it in the picture or not but above the drain pipe is some of the plumbing. The rest of the underside of the van is insulated like crazy. They just said no to insulating one of the most important parts. Not only that, but bugs, mice, rain water, etc... could have gotten up in there the hole was so big. That is directly underneath our cabinets.

Oh.... and notice the piece still hanging there that they didn't even bother to pull off after they cut the hole? That could have fallen off and punctured my passenger side rear tire or hit a car behind us.




This is after "I" fixed it.





After I found that, I used a bungie cord and my wife's hair dryer on it for about 2 hours. You know what happened next? The macerator worked perfectly. I'm just lucky all the plumbing didn't freeze up in the van night before last.

I've been patient with the dealership. And I understand they are backed up just like everywhere else for getting warranty work done. But this is one step too far. It isn't their fault but should have been caught during final inspection. I understand they have never seen anything like this before and probably never will again. But that isn't my problem. The guy they flew down to walk me through the van knew absolutely nothing about the van. He shouldn't even have a job a Jayco he was so incompetent. So they WILL fly someone down to give me a proper orientation to the van. Everything I've learned about this van has been on my own (with help from you guys which shouldn't be that way). I spent $180,000 on this and they will answer any and every question I have about this van.

To say I'm pissed off at finding something so shoddy would be the understatement of the year.

This is the walkthrough that I am looking for and the walkthrough I am going to get (although this is a Revel it doesn't matter). Jayco has plenty of money to send someone down that ACTUALLY knows something about the Terrain. And they will walk me through it just like they did these people and answer every question I have about the Terrain. After $180,000 and me fixing their issues? It's time for them to take action. I'm fed up.

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Old 12-24-2022, 04:33 PM   #10
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I would HIGHLY advise anyone with a Terrain to crawl under the passenger side where the sink drains and make sure yours doesn't look like mine did. Let's just say that I am NOT IMPRESSED with the quality control at Jayco.
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Old 12-24-2022, 04:43 PM   #11
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I was also able to get my grey tank drain valve opened this morning with no issues. Should have never frozen with antifreeze in it but it did. To say I am not impressed? Yeah... Those are not strong enough words for something that costs so much.
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Old 12-24-2022, 10:16 PM   #12
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It drains to the grey water tank on the opposite side of the van. Like I said, I crawled underneath the van and there are no exposed water lines under the van. What I "assume" is the water line coming from the sink to the grey water tank is completely insulated the entire length. And we ran antifreeze into that line when we winterized it. Then we emptied the grey water tank so any water left in that line should have been released when the valve for the grey water tank was opened. I assume there could be a couple bends that water could still have been trapped but no matter, it had antifreeze in it. Now??? I can't even open my grey water tank valve even though it is completely empty and what residual was left had antifreeze in it. So I have no what is going on there?
I'm confused. If there aren't any exposed lines under the van, where is it freezing? I'm trying to understand your pictures.
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Old 12-24-2022, 10:31 PM   #13
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I'm confused. If there aren't any exposed lines under the van, where is it freezing? I'm trying to understand your pictures.
That line runs from the sink, down through the floor, through that hole that they left completely open and not insulated, and across the bottom of the van to the grey water tank. It is the only plumbing that runs outside of the van. When I say "exposed" I mean that the rest of that line looks to be triple insulated (meaning very well insulated). But they did not insulate that portion coming out of the bottom of the van at all which left it completely exposed to the elements. Not only that, but there is a 6" hole that it runs through directly into the cabin behind the cabinets that was left wide open. I pulled the drawers out last night and was trying to figure out why it was so damn cold back there. Now I know.

It's dark outside and it's 8 degrees so I'm not laying on the ground to try to get a picture of the rest of the line. I'll try to get one tomorrow to show you what I'm talking about. No matter what... This was stupidity taken to a new level. How do you forget to insulate that and also close up the hole?
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Old 12-25-2022, 06:48 AM   #14
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Wow, that's sloppy workmanship. And I think I can understand how you missed it the first time you were under there. I guess if you missed it while looking for a solution to a problem there is a small but unexcusable chance the factory missed it as it was going out the door.

Do you think that's the design or they just didn't finish the build? Or that it somehow fell apart driving down the road?
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Old 12-25-2022, 09:14 AM   #15
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I haven't actually crawled under the van mainly because it has been raining here almost everyday since we bought it. We've had it for almost 2 months now and I'm not kidding when I say it has rained here for the vast majority of the time we have had the van.

The part I did see was this (sorry, best pic I can get of the line that runs under the van)



As you can see in the picture, that line is very well insulated and also attached to the underside of the van with straps and Dicor. On the left side of that picture is the exhaust and exhaust shield which the plumbing goes over and then continues on to the grey water tank. All of this line is very well insulated and tucked up out of the way. With the plumbing having to go up over the exhaust and drive shaft, I assume this is where the macerator pump comes into play. The macerator pump pushes the sink water from one side of the van to the other using pressure. But there will be residual water left in the line on the low points no matter what. That is where the antifreeze would come into play.

Tracing toward the passenger side of the van... Outside the frame of that picture is the front part of the rear leaf shackle and attachment point to the van. That line runs through that point. That point is also well insulated. After that point there is about a 10" gap between the attachment point for the rear leaf spring and the side of the van. That is where they decided to stop putting insulation on the plumbing and also left a big hole in the bottom of my van.

So no. I do not believe that is the way it is "designed". It is designed to be insulated and that hole covered and not exposed to the elements. If the rest of the line is done so well, then yes, they just gave up (or forgot) and didn't complete the build and no one caught it (which in itself is inexcusable). Do I think it is possible for it to have fallen out while going down the road? No. Not in any way, shape, or form. That hole they drilled through the floor? They literally were so lazy that they didn't even pull the metal off the van when they were done drilling. That could have fallen off and punctured my passenger side tire or hit a car behind us.

This is the metal piece I pulled off the van that they didn't when they didn't finish the job.



So when it warms up? I'm going to have to completely crawl under the van to see what, if anything, else was missed.
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Old 12-25-2022, 11:37 AM   #16
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Well it sounds like you have a plan. I kept thinking you had crawled under the van. While you're getting someone from Jayco to fly down maybe have a lift available to inspect the underside. There may be other issues to address.
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Old 12-25-2022, 11:44 AM   #17
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Since there is foam around the other pipe that is insulated it may have just been missed.
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Old 12-25-2022, 05:40 PM   #18
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Since there is foam around the other pipe that is insulated it may have just been missed.
That foam is around the "same" drain pipe. They just didn't finish it and they left a 6" hole in the floor of my van. I'd say that is pretty poor quality control.
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Old 12-25-2022, 05:44 PM   #19
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Well it sounds like you have a plan. I kept thinking you had crawled under the van. While you're getting someone from Jayco to fly down maybe have a lift available to inspect the underside. There may be other issues to address.
I'm going to try to get under the van tomorrow since it is finally supposed to be above freezing and not raining. I'll give it a good look over. I hope this is all I find. This was bad enough.
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Old 12-25-2022, 07:42 PM   #20
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Just something to keep in mind about RV antifreeze. It will not freeze solid but it will turn into a form of slush under extremely cold temps. If that happened either in your macerator or the line running to it that would prevent the line from draining properly. When you heated it up with the hair dryer it became liquid again.
Also, insulated pipes don’t necessarily keep liquids from freezing. If they are exposed to cold temps for prolonged periods then the liquid inside will eventually freeze, especially if it’s water. An electrical heat tape wrapped around the pipe will help prevent freezing.
Another way, albeit wasteful, is to keep water flowing through the pipe. This could get you through the night until you figure out a better way.
Glad you found the problem and good luck in getting a permanent resolution.
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