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Old 03-12-2013, 05:57 AM   #1
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Plumbing Efficiency

Hey everyone,

I'm a new user, but I've had my eye on this message board anonymously for a few months now. You guys rock! I've learned a ton!

I am currently in the planning stage of my skoolie build. My mission will be to build this bus in the most durable, yet economical, fashion. I'm looking to save a few bucks, but I'm willing to go an extra mile on some of the more integral components. Oh yes, and it will run on WVO.

While I plan my septic system, I wanted to see what everyone thinks of my idea for streamlining my holding tank setup. Since every time I make a dump, both gray and black water tanks will go, I've considered plumbing them in series with the gray effluent connected to an inlet to the black. Of course, I would have a valve separating the two so that black can go first and gray can follow, partially cleansing the black tank. Gray will also be situated a little higher than black so to supply a little momentum to the effluent.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:53 PM   #2
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Re: Plumbing Efficiency

You really do not need to flush the black tank. Just use the grey water to flush the DRAIN LINES. We have a valve so the grey water will bypass the grey holding tank. This is because we fulltime and always left the grey tank valve open while on full hookups. By shutting the tank off, we do not worry about debris building up in the tank and we do not need to worry about it freezing and leaking during the winter. We have always generated much more grey water than black.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:15 PM   #3
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Re: Plumbing Efficiency

Thanks to the both of you, I really appreciate your feedback.

Lorna: Are you saying that you've had little problems with evacuating the black water tank? That would be great news. Also, when free from drainage hookups, have you had problems with gray water freezing over in the past?
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:55 AM   #4
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Re: Plumbing Efficiency

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinedale
Lorna: Are you saying that you've had little problems with evacuating the black water tank? That would be great news. Also, when free from drainage hookups, have you had problems with gray water freezing over in the past?
The only problem we had was when we had two 2" diameter 90 degree turns plus a 2" ball valve coming out of the 3" black tank drain. This was causing a clog every so often when someone used too much toilet paper without upping the amount of water. I finally ordered a 3" ball valve and we replaced all the 2-1/2" black drain. BTW, muriatic acid dissolves TP. But we also ended up buying a plumbers snake to clear the lines a few times. Since we replaced with the 3" valve & lines, the tank hasn't had a clog. When we installed the black tank, 2" ball valve was the biggest we could buy and we didn't have the time to wait for one to come in. Smart thing we did is to use threaded fittings so if the ball valve ever needs to be replaced, it will simply unthread. I do need to buy another 3" ball valve to keep on hand for repairs.

We use the grey water to keep the "stinky slinky" hose rinsed. We use the "heavy duty" sewer hose from Wal-Mart (Camco?).

Our grey water tanks froze (along with the black tank) while we were in Elizabethton TN one winter (Class C RV). We were not on a sewer system and the tanks were not insulated. I built a "box" out of pink foam sheathing. Then wrapped the RV valves & pipe with a short length of pipe heat cable. The heat it gave off kept the valves from freezing closed and kept the "box" above freezing.

We also had a crappy RV valve freeze and crack when temps dropped below freezing when we were living in Cordele, GA. That is only 100 miles north of the FL/GA state line on I-75. Replacing the black valve was a crappy job.

While on sewer hookup, we have never had a problem with leaving the grey tanks open, even during the winter. So far we have been thru 2 really cold winters with the bus. No freezing problems. The winters in Central NM is similar (temp wise) to the winters in Chattanooga TN. We hope to get the holding tanks/plumbing enclosed this summer. We have a heat tape attached to the drains and the fresh line with insulation around only where it has to be. I built a "winter hose" to hookup to the campground water bibb & bus. Our water has not froze up over the last two winters. The "winter hose" is our only water hose. I have found that the foam pipe insulation helps keep the hose from being damaged by the sun. The "winter hose" our daughter is using was built in Corpus Christi back in Nov 2009. She uses the same hose year round. The pipe heat cable has a thermometer on it and she probably hasn't unplugged since we left two winters ago. I leave our hose plugged in too.
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