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

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Old 01-01-2014, 04:14 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, 04:26 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, 05:19 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.


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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, 08:15 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 01-02-2014, 12:15 AM   #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, 10:43 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 01-04-2014, 12:08 AM   #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 01-04-2014, 12:12 AM   #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, 02:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for the details and photos. Nicely done.
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:59 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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Old 01-04-2014, 08:31 PM   #11
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Tom that is a great hint about the powder.......I'll have to remember that if we ever develop a leak!
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:51 AM   #12
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Lol just had this too... Also found the bath sink hot water coupling was not tight. So I took it a little further and relocated the vacuum so you can reach it easier too. Rotated it 90 degrees and moved it towards the drivers side so now it can easily be reached from the side where all of the water and cable connections are. Takes a little effort but this is where they should have put it to start with.

Another good idea is to check all the electrical connections where the factory used wire nuts. Most of mine were loose. I even found where the tech who originally installed the wiring did not strip enough of the insulator from the wire so there was not enough exposed wire to make good connections. Our refrigerator went out twice this summer because of this, we had two techs out and both could not figure it out. I traced the wires and found that there is a metal junction box that houses the 120 volt connections for the kitchen slide, refer and outside tv. It is in the basement located on the floor behind the plumbing drops for the black and grey tanks, near the subwoofer. The wire insulation was only stripped back about 1/8 inch, the connection was intermittent, so the power to the refrigerator would drop out frequently.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:20 PM   #13
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Your lucky mine has over a dozen leaks its been in the shop a third of the time that I have owned it. I have found leaks from the first day we picked it up. slides falling apart ,windows in wrong, floor in fifth wheel area raised up from leaks. when I put it on my truck the edges open up,all a/c vents had to be repaired, 76 problems 22 fixed 54 remaining. Dutchmen has the unit currently (for two months now) and no one has any answers. How many screw heads are you missing ? I have a bag of them from my unit. check your screws heads if they are bad all it takes is a touch and they fall off. I can't even get insurance right now untill all the water damage is removed. That includes walls floors and roof all got wet. I have videos of the water pouring in the windows and skylight.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:42 PM   #14
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Dang
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:23 AM   #15
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voltagenightmare, you came out of no where are you a scab from another manufacturer rep. would like to see a few photo's out of your 76 problems, just a curious Voltage Owner!
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:12 AM   #16
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why am I a scab because I wrote I HAVE VIDEOS and pictures. I truly own a voltage nightmare and it is at
the manufacture. Why am I a scab because I don't write in there that I drive a better truck then you or that I dont write about what I put in my toy hauler or what dog I own ?? There is no qualty in the build of the unit I have or the three other people I met on
the road with the same problems. I have about two hundred pictures are you sure about your request. Everything I wrote is true and correct. So why are your panties in a bunch where do you work ???? Dutchmen just wondering
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voltagenightmare, you came out of no where are you a scab from another manufacturer rep. would like to see a few photo's out of your 76 problems, just a curious Voltage Owner!
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:38 AM   #17
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What year and model of Voltage is giving you all this grief.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:23 AM   #18
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I have a 2013 3950 voltage with 3 epic packages. 115,000.00 dollars and a ton of headaches. Im trying to get the pictures on here so people like lakebuster can see. My unit has been at dutchmen for two months I sent pictures and a list of the problems and I even sticky noted everything. They act like they are confussed that I want ALL the water damage removed. it was in the shop two times all they did was band-aid the problem. I found 5 of the leaks in april of 13. One of them was a opening about 2 feet long and open about 1/4 of a inch thats the on that took out the bedroom slide. I really is a unbeliveable story. the floor in the garage got so wet it is shoving the trim off the side. That was the windows leaking come to find out the windows are not straight another 1/2 inch off. we were sleeping in the garage because the bedroom was so bad. you know what its like to climb out of bed and step in water, I do.there was a buckle in the side but now its gone because the walls finally let lose of the floors. The funnyest part is they got it back before I have even owned it a year.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:07 AM   #19
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The reasons for suspect are many:

First... you're new. We've not heard anything from you before. No posts asking about this issue, or that issue, etc.

Next, and not for nothing... but the Epic 3 package is new for 2014. If you have a 2013 model, and you had it last April... I don't see how you could have the Epic 3 package.

Next... you say you have all of this damage, yet you haven't come here to ask if any of us have had similar issues, and/or how we corrected them. You're only saying you have them.

Finally, you've offered no visual proof of your issues. Most of us have taken pictures & posted them so that others could see what we meant, so they might spot something to help us, and so that others who haven't yet had an issue can see what preventive maint. or repairs that we've done.

Now... I'm not saying that your claims aren't true. And any one of the above points by itself may not make us think twice. But all of them added together are reason enough to make some of us a bit suspicious.

Personally, I was turned off your only 2 posts because of my third point above. You weren't here asking for help or advice. You were simply venting & ranting about how bad your rig was... which, if true, is understandable. Personally, if I were in your shoes, I'd have already retained an attorney to deal with it... in which case I'm sure he/she would've placed a gag order on me from commenting about it in a public forum until the matter was settled.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:35 AM   #20
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That was Just tid bits you would know if I was ranting the words would be much more colorful. I was doing a little looking around to find out what its going to do next. As for a lawyer I fired her and getting a new one and its not against the law to tell the truth. I thought I was letting people know what else to check on their units. and really what am I supposed to ask for help I have a7 year warranty what can you help me with what do you suggest I do about the floors the walls the roof. I guess I should be proud and materialistic and strut all over a website to make people like you happy. but when I can say as a rant is I wish to God I never bought it it is the worst product I've ever purchased in my whole life no quality no integrity literally falling apart as it sits there.
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