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Old 09-17-2020, 08:06 PM   #1
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Default Waste valve handle pulled out when dumping!

I was in the process of winterizing my Roadtrek 170 (frost expected this weekend upstate NY), and the handle of my "Valterra Bladex 3-Inch" waste valve pulled out when I was dumping the black water tank. Fortunately, there was only water in the tank because I dumped and flushed after my last outing so no big deal. But from what I read on Amazon several other people have had this happen with this brand. Any recommendations for a very (very!) reliable replacement? I can't imagine what a mess this would be were this to happen with a full black tank!!
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:19 PM   #2
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can't screw it back into place?


I know that I once found my pull-rod loose- ish. removed it, painted threads with nailpolish and screwed it back in


( most threadlockers require heat to cure, I use nail polish on assemblies which don't experience heat cycles)
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:38 PM   #3
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The handle is not threaded where it goes into the valve, just indented all around so perhaps there was some kind of a clip holding it in place that gave way. But, your idea is a good one even so: perhaps I can just put some Goop or superglue on the tip of the handle and slide it into place and let it cure. The unit is sealed so I do not know what the mechanism is like inside, but I would guess there is a hole that it fits into in a plastic plate that seals the pipe. Any one have any thoughts on this possibility? What are the chances that I accidentally glue it permanently shut?
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:50 PM   #4
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You know, those things don't last forever, and they aren't that expensive. I'd replace it.
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:59 PM   #5
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You might be right that it is safer to replace it -- but any suggestions on which brand to use? Or perhaps they are all just about the same.
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:01 PM   #6
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Or as i did the first couple of years of ownership, leave it off.

One I pulled the wrong valve while parked on my neighbour's garden. Another time a mechanic pulled it for no reason, while on a lift - lluckily I had it capped.

Has to flush it several times & then drive around with a tank & hose full.of hot water & bleach.

I have even thought of spraying it a neon colour.

Even now, when I lack sleep, its sometimes a 50/50 chance of disaster.
I presume you are talking about the handheld part, not that which attaches to the valve?

Inexpensive.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:18 PM   #7
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I mean the part that attaches inside the valve, and that is the problem (there is just a hole in the sealed valve unit that the rod goes in to). There is no way at all to open the valve to dump the tank without somehow gluing it back in or replacing the unit, which would be hard to do if the black tank was full of waste!
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:27 PM   #8
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If you have a cable on it like our 190 was, there probably is a set screw on a metal sleeve that clamps the cable in the sleeve. You can tell pretty easily because you should be able to see the metal sleeve though the open sides of the valve frame where the cable or handle go in.
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Old 09-18-2020, 01:23 AM   #9
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There is no cable. Just a metal rod that has a handle on one end and goes inside the sealed valve on the other. It is end that goes into the valve that pulled right out. It was attached inside the unit to the piece of plastic that seals the pipe. I don't think that there is any easy way to reattach it, and a new valve is pretty cheap, and it is not too hard to replace the entire thing. I was just hoping to find the best possible replacement even if it cost more.
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Old 09-18-2020, 01:38 AM   #10
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when I swapped mine, the bolts nuts were oriented so as to be a little difficult- I can't remember what I did exactly, but I changed the direction of the bolts so that I could more easily get a deep socket on with my drill and spin them on...and off next time if ( when) I need to service


you'll need some plumber's grease for the seals- yo can sub in a pool/spa seal lube if you have on hand- vaseline has a low melting point and won;t stay in place

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Old 09-18-2020, 01:43 AM   #11
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Be Happy.

Its always a challenge to find an RV Guy who is excited about booking an appt to fix such valves but your tank was empty.

With the part, its a $60-90 repair.

But since the tank is whistle clean, go on youtube.com & do it yourself - there is an art to it but no-one is ever going to repair it as good as you.

But a second so you have a spare.

There is a real possibility that you may have hit something on the road & that fractured the hard plastic.

Moreover, if you learn the art, in daylight, without stress & nothing in the tank it will set you up for the future joys of RV Ownership - a black tank failure during a vacation, at night, under stress with an audience you don't know muttering under their breath a hundred descriptions of your lineage ...
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Old 09-18-2020, 01:10 PM   #12
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So it sounds like the general consensus is that it doesn't make a difference which brand I use for the new part so I will just go ahead and replace it.

But, just out of (morbid) curiosity, if the black tank was full and this happened, what could be done? I can think of nothing other than removing the valve with a 10 gallon basin underneath and dealing with a flood of raw sewage splashing about -- not an attractive option surely. Is there any other possibility of emptying a tank in this situation?
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Old 09-18-2020, 01:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT-NY View Post
But, just out of (morbid) curiosity, if the black tank was full and this happened, what could be done? I can think of nothing other than removing the valve with a 10 gallon basin underneath and dealing with a flood of raw sewage splashing about -- not an attractive option surely. Is there any other possibility of emptying a tank in this situation?
I have never had the pleasure, but apparently the trick is to saw through the valve body, reach in with needle-nose pliers, and pull out the valve gate far enough for it to drain.

Here is a link:
https://rvtipoftheday.com/rv-repair/...v-waste-valve/

Hmmm. I think I will add an appropriate saw to my tool kit.
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Old 09-18-2020, 01:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT-NY View Post
So it sounds like the general consensus is that it doesn't make a difference which brand I use for the new part so I will just go ahead and replace it.

But, just out of (morbid) curiosity, if the black tank was full and this happened, what could be done? I can think of nothing other than removing the valve with a 10 gallon basin underneath and dealing with a flood of raw sewage splashing about -- not an attractive option surely. Is there any other possibility of emptying a tank in this situation?

I dump at home into a sewer cleanout in the driveway. I would drive, position the B so that the flow would be just right, and into a hole which is maybe about 6 x 8 inches with the pipe about 4 inches below the hole in the driveway. With my questionable 'positioning' I would have someone behind the wheel to move the B forward or backward as needed, like NOW.

Or, why not a macerator pump with a hose into the black water tank.

Or, why not drill a hole in the coupler that connects the black water tank to the plumbing.

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Old 09-18-2020, 02:09 PM   #15
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This thread tells me it's time to take a quick look at how hard this swap might be on my old LTV Free Spirit.

My worst surprise dumping the tanks was having the slinky suddenly come apart mid-stream. Fortunately, due to our no-2 toilet policy, things weren't as bad as they could have been. I do remember some tight clearances as I was trying to access the clamp that held the drain hose in place.
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Old 09-18-2020, 02:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
I have never had the pleasure, but apparently the trick is to saw through the valve body, reach in with needle-nose pliers, and pull out the valve gate far enough for it to drain.

Here is a link:
https://rvtipoftheday.com/rv-repair/...v-waste-valve/

Hmmm. I think I will add an appropriate saw to my tool kit.

You might not even need the saw as I think the sides of the non valve area just thin plastic. It could probably crush a spot with a pliers or poke a screwdriver through it in an emergency. Our is the cable type and those sides aren't even on there and it is wide open.
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Old 09-20-2020, 01:14 AM   #17
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I have always dreaded the day I would pull the black tank valve and the rod would come out leaving the valve blade in place - luckily it has never yet happened in many years of RV'ing, mostly with travel trailers, but the thought still haunts me!

From what I understood from an old guy who made a full time living fixing ageing Airstream trailers at an Airstream RV park Melbourne, Florida I used to frequent, the end of the rod is not threaded but has a sort of knob or bend on the end that engages the blade.

Not sure if they are all made this way.

He told me that it is usually possible to get the rod back in, and then to rotate it to the point that it will hopefully catch again, at least once in order to dump the tank, after which he replaces the valve assembly.

Just reporting what he told me - never had to try it myself!

I think if that didn't work, I would use a dremel tool and cut away part of the slide valve housing to the point that I could hopefully grab onto the blade with vice grips and hen pull it open to dump.

Since day one with our brand new Class B though, (2 years old) I have taken to putting in a dollop of the Camco slide valve lube every time I dump the tanks to hopefully avoid ever having any issues - a small price to pay if it works to avoid a messy situation!

At least it makes me feel I am doing my best to avoid a problem!

I think the Camco stuff is basically some sort of coconut oil - so buying coconut - or some other oil - may be a cheaper alternative !

Brian.
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Old 09-20-2020, 01:25 AM   #18
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I have a vague memory of a procedure in which people drill a little hole in the housing somewhere that lets them spray in silicone lubricant.
Anybody know the details?
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Old 09-20-2020, 01:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
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You might be right that it is safer to replace it -- but any suggestions on which brand to use? Or perhaps they are all just about the same.
No suggestions. They ALL suck and they are ALL cheaply made - and I would outright bless anyone who could prove me wrong on that point.

This is one of those parts where learned owners replace it preemptively about every 2 years, because it's just too flimsy to rely on. Cheap plastic with insufficient rubber and a poorly-designed handle.

AND - never, ever, ever travel without a spare in the onboard kit. Plus carry the tools and the knowledge required to replace it yourself.

We got lucky on this issue a few years back. Our own installed Valterra blade valve began failing gradually rather than catatstropically. Given that we had carefully installed it ourselves not long before the failure, this was a surprise.

I was in Canada at the time, having driven there almost 3,000 miles solo. I was probably 250 miles away from the nearest replacement. This was pre-COVID when my full-time-employed husband would fly up to meet me, due to time constraints on his vacationing capacity. He made that long, long trek from Houston TX to Sydney Nova Scotia, landing late at night, and the very first thing he had to do in the parking lot was to hit the ground and install the new Valterra valve that he had brought with him in his carry-on bag from Houston.

It was so important that we guarantine the availability of a new valve that he didn't even dare place it in checked baggage, in case the bag was lost. Because of cheap, cheap, cheap merchandise. This makes me really friggin' angry - oh, what I wouldn't give for marine-quality choices, so that we could free ourselves of this endless cheap failure crap.

Husband in action on that fateful day:

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Old 09-20-2020, 03:38 PM   #20
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I completely eliminated, nulled, eradicated cheap Valterra blade valves, just have a screw on cap.
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