Friday, March 22, 2013

Not for the faint of heart!

Location, Home, CA

I’m still working on the RV to-do-list.

Warning: The following subject may not be for the squeamish!

As anyone with an RV knows, there are certain jobs which are not very pleasant to do but are part of maintenance which must be done. Earlier in the week I removed the toilet in order to fix a potential problem we have had all during our winter trip. Every time you would step on the flush pedal, there would be a snapping sound from the mechanism internal to the toilet. This sounded like a disaster waiting to happen at the most unfortunate time.

While in Quartzsite I purchased a new mechanism and installed it last week. Unfortunately that was not the problem. The real problem was a piece of metal linkage not on the replacement plan. A little Vaseline on the offending part cured the problem. Did I need to replace the flushing mechanism? Probably not at this time but soon.  As part of the kit, all the seals got replaced which may prevent a future problem as over time some of the seals can leak.

Could I have lubed the offending part without removing the toilet? No, as the mechanism is in the back and not easily accessible without removing the fixture.

Before I tested the toilet for leaks I needed to replace the cable which opens the black water valve. This cable is 72 inches long and opens the valve remotely. I tried to repair the old cable but it pulled apart where the cable had been swedged to a solid piece of metal near the handle. Thank goodness for the internet. I ordered it one day and it arrived here the next day. Great service from RV Parts Country!

Cable showing broken part in the center.
 New cable.
 Cable with valve.
Cable and valve installed.

Today was the day to replace the cable and valve. I had drained and flushed the tank last week but there is always a residual amount in the tank. To prevent spillage I jacked up the side of the RV so anything in the tank would flow away from the valve. It worked, almost. I did have a pan available to catch whatever dripped when I removed the valve.

Needless to say I spent most of the day crawling under or laying on my back removing and replacing both the black water cable and valve as well as the valve for the kitchen holding tank. I also removed the cable for the kitchen valve and lubed it. I added some clamps for both cables to keep them in line when the handles are pulled to dump the tanks.The valves now work with a simple pull of the handle. Sweet!

I think my normal maintenance in the future should be to lube the cables when they become hard to pull. That should not be as big a job as this was.
By the end of the day I was beat. I’m not used to crawling around on the ground all day.

Tomorrow I will turn the water on to the toilet, check for leaks and then put more water in the holding tank and check all the valves for leaks. This should be all the heavy maintenance needed at this time. My list gets shorter!