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Leak Tracing

Plumbing pipes leak drain graywater sewer gray grey

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#1 AndyShane


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:52 PM

We're in the first week of ownership of a 2007 Beaver Patriot Thunder.

Lots of small problems, most of the flaws in the coach are purely cosmetic.

Until today.

We were showing friends the coach, I'd pulled it out into the sunshine and opened the slideouts. In one basement, there was a puddle of water. Strange, since I'd been in the basement several times in the last week and it had been dry.

Here is the painful part: the puddle and dripping wires right above it were directly under the toilet!

I mopped up the water (about 1/4 cup) with a paper towel, and recalled which plumbing items I'd just used. There'd been just one: the kitchen sink. I blotted up the leakage and gave it a sniff: fresh water. Then, I stretched out dry towels and ran some water through the sink. Sure enough, the towels were again wet. Tracing back along the supply and drain lines with a flashlight, I saw all was dry and snug. The dry lines check progressed along the kitchen cabinet, all the way to the sliding wall section at the end of the slide. Unfastening the moving panel with the help of a friend, we looked into the cluttered area where bundles of electrical lines, the sink drain, and hot & cold water lines all form a graceful loop that plays out when the slide is extended.

My buddy dabbed his fingers in dark wet dirt in the bottom of the bay and held them aloft: "there's your problem, it's wet." Indeed, the drain line was wet, probably leaking from where black PVC was joined with white reinforced rubber tubing. We congratulated ourselves and rejoined others in our party.

Later, after he and his wife had left, I shined a light on the area. The "dirt" was hundreds of black pellets, each 3/8" long and the diameter of a Cheerio. Oh, oh... I immediately called him, told him to wash his hands and not chew his nails.

What took up lodging in that crowded space between kitchen and bath must've been a huge rodent. No signs of hair, nesting debris or extensive damage, just guano.

Now, the million dollar question is, did this visitor gnaw into the drain line in search of water? Replacing the tube will be a bugger-bear, further exploration will determine what work is needed.

I've been all over this coach with a fine-toothed comb, not a speck of insect or rodent droppings anywhere else. This one caught me by surprise.

Take a look at your enclosed spaces, see if you have visitors. Places where they might gain access to water might merit extra attention.


I'll post a photo of what I discovered in our album HERE. In short, the "rodent" I suspected was working on the Beaver assembly line.

Before bundling the fresh water, drain, and multiple electrical conduits that comprise the "loop" adjacent to our kitchen slide, he/she oriented every hose clamp so that the sharp edges pushed against the underside of our kitchen sink drain hose.

A worm-drive clamp tail was the first to completely penetrate the doomed hose, this time-bomb took 12,000 miles of vibration to activate.

It is not hard (about thirty minutes' work) to expose the loop and cut away all the zip ties holding it together. If your rig is similarly booby-trapped, the time it takes to discover this time-release failure might be worthwhile.

Now, I am removing the damaged section of hose, splicing in a replacement. You betcher bippy my plumbing will be wrapped in some type of anti-chafe cushion material.
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2007 Beaver Patriot Thunder Winchester44 III C13 Caterpillar 525hp with Silverleaf system; using a Roadmaster 2000-1 to pull a Prius, or a CargoCraft Dragster with a Lexus IS250C inside.
Defected from iRV2 in March 2012 after that forum suffered an outbreak of political bullying; once again contributing there as RVNeophytes2 effective Feb 6, 2013.

#2 hermanmullins


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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:16 AM

Looking at your pictures shows there has been a problem before due to the old clamps being moved and new ones installed. You did the right thing by replacing the hose and new clamps. If you haven't replaced the hose yet, you might consider using a longer piece of hose with two clamps on each end. Pipe insulation would be good also.

A lot of times a system works really well until you get to a RV Park that has really high water pressure. I, now from experience, always check the pressure before I hook up.

Good luck and stay dry.

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"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins, F302225
Whitewright, TEXAS
'02 Monaco Dynasty, 40-foot 400 HP ISL
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Plumbing, pipes, leak, drain, graywater, sewer, gray, grey

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