Happy New Year to Me... Water Leak in the Basement - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 01-01-2014, 03:14 PM   #1
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Happy New Year to Me... Water Leak in the Basement

As the title says, my rig decided to give me a New Year's present...

Went into the basement last night to get something out, and discovered a good size puddle in front of the exhaust for the Dirt Devil central vacuum. I had seen a little water there before, but thought it came from something I had put in there that was wet.

Pulled the panels this morning, and found it. It's a very slow leak... only drips about once every 2-to-3 minutes. Appears one of the hose connections from the hot-water bypass has either come loose or needs a new washer. Should be an easy repair... just a lot of busy work crawling up in there & pulling another panel. We've got a bit of rain in the area right now, so I'm in here taking a break.

For those curious... I figured I'd snap a few pictures of what it looks like behind the panels before I get back out there to finish the job later:

Looking in from the curb-side basement door, this is the area behind the left-side panel, with the furnace in the foreground. The silver ducting is, of course, for the furnace... the large black pipe is direct from the bottom of the toilet to the black water tank... and the white hoses are to the Dirt Devil central vacuum system:




And the area behind the panel covering the Dirt Devil exhaust... showing the plumbing behind the road-side basement door utility panel:




Here's my leak.





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Old 01-01-2014, 03:26 PM   #2
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Since you head will be stuck back in there it might be a good time to add some of those much needed shut off valves the manufacturer deems unnecessary.
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:19 PM   #3
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UPON FURTHER REVIEW:

Went back out, and opened the other panel... and it appears that the leaking area is a check valve for the hot water bypass. Not sure if I'm going to need to simply tighten the connector, add a rubber washer, or replace the entire valve.






And, as I got to thinking about it... even though there is a Camping World located only a mile away from my current location... since it's New Year's Day and most places are closed, if I break something, I've got where to go to get parts.

So I think I'm just going to leave it alone today, and come back to it tomorrow. Since it's not a major leak, better safe than sorry if I should screw up and make it a major one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
Since you head will be stuck back in there it might be a good time to add some of those much needed shut off valves the manufacturer deems unnecessary.
Yeah... I thought about that. But I usually subscribe to the old theory... If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I might do it, but just not sure I wanna go messing around with the plumbing any more than I have to. Like electrical issues, it's not my strong point. Especially since some of those lines are plastic... it'll be my luck while trying to unscrew a connector I'd snap one of them, and then have to replace an entire line.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:15 PM   #4
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I had the same exact same problem on the same connection a couple weeks ago. I tightened mine and watched it for a couple days before replacing the panels.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATCguy View Post
UPON FURTHER REVIEW:

Went back out, and opened the other panel... and it appears that the leaking area is a check valve for the hot water bypass. Not sure if I'm going to need to simply tighten the connector, add a rubber washer, or replace the entire valve.






And, as I got to thinking about it... even though there is a Camping World located only a mile away from my current location... since it's New Year's Day and most places are closed, if I break something, I've got where to go to get parts.

So I think I'm just going to leave it alone today, and come back to it tomorrow. Since it's not a major leak, better safe than sorry if I should screw up and make it a major one.




Yeah... I thought about that. But I usually subscribe to the old theory... If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I might do it, but just not sure I wanna go messing around with the plumbing any more than I have to. Like electrical issues, it's not my strong point. Especially since some of those lines are plastic... it'll be my luck while trying to unscrew a connector I'd snap one of them, and then have to replace an entire line.
One of these days the PEX crimper and a handful of rings will come in handy. It's an easy process as long as you can get to the tubes.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:43 PM   #6
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Well, did you get the water leak fixed?

I am in the process of getting my rig ready to head out to Glamis for a bit. I emptied the tanks. And after back flushing the black water I found a huge amount of water in my front storage area. I pulled off all of the panels and found that the fitting that threads onto the plastic hose was really loose. When I started checking other fittings most of them were also loose.

I don't think the "semi skilled" (I use that term loosely) labor that builds these thing give a damn. It's ugly behind the walls.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arlan in arizona View Post
Well, did you get the water leak fixed?
I think so.. but was waiting until tomorrow to make a final determination.

Went down to Camping World... bought a new check valve and talked to one of the techs who just happened to be standing at the counter. He looked at the same pictures I had posted here on my iPad, and gave the same diagnosis as Steve. Said that the valve was probably ok, but just needed to be tightened up. However, he said that another possibility was that the valve had been over-tightened by the assembly team... and that since it was plastic, after awhile with the stress, the threads on the valve might have been distorted enough to where they are allowing it to leak.

As such, he said that since I already had it opened up, that if it were him... since the new valve I'd come in there for was made of brass and only cost about $5... he'd go ahead and replace the OEM plastic valve with the new brass one, and eliminate the question.

So that's what I did. Was simple enough... took about 5 minutes.

I came in and turned all of the hot water valves on (shower, kitchen & bathroom sinks), and let it run for about 5 minutes... and saw no leaks.

Since there was some water that drained from the hose when I replaced the valve on the floor... I toweled that up the best I could, then left a small fan inside there to finish air-drying things.

Yesterday was a wash-out, as it poured rain all day... and I didn't mess with it at all.

This morning I went back out, and everything still appeared dry. But just to make sure before I began replacing the panels... and this is probably overkill, I'm sure... I took some baby powder and dusted the entire area. I then closed the basement doors, and went out & about all day.

Tomorrow I'll check the dust to see if there are any wet spots. If not, I'll button everything back up and call the job complete.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:12 PM   #8
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Glad to here you got it taken care of. I hate leaks. It's good when it turns out to be a simple fix.
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for the details and photos. Nicely done.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:59 PM   #10
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Just a final follow-up... all appears good, with no leaks today. Re-installed all the panels. Job complete.
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