I think I ruined my water tank...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by micgrafx, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. micgrafx

    micgrafx New Member

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    Currently trying to get my 98 Coleman Westlake back in shape. I only camp a few times a year, so for the past several years, I've just been making do with everything that's broken. One of the things that I need to fix is my water tank. I attached a hose from the faucet at our campsite directly to the camper without any type of pressure regulator and now can only seem to fill it partially. And with that, at a certain point, the water looked yellow, so I also tried to sanitize it with a half cup of bleach and have never been able to get a "fishy" smell out. I feel like I should just start over with a new water tank, but is that something I could do myself? Would I also need to replace the hot water tank? All the lines? I don't know where to start, but once I know what to do, I'm actually quite handy with repairs. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
     
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

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    Have you crawled under the camper to look at the water tank to see how it hooks up? If it is not hard to get to and looks easy to replace I would definitely do it yourself. As for the hot water heater I would try to do the same. I would think that the problem there would be finding the same size and the fact that there might not be a lot of room to work. I would think there would be a propane hose, and a pilot. I have never really tried to work on propane stuff, just wanted to give you some support.
     
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  3. bheff

    bheff Active Member

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    Are you sure you are filling the tank at the campsite? There is no reason to fill the tank if you have water at the site. They are 2 different systems.
    Look up how to clean a RV water heater on YouTube. If it works properly you really shouldn't have a need to replace the HW. Just clean it.
     
  4. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    What makes you think that the tank is only filling partially? Is the water pump working? What did the pressure do?
     
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  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Ok , so we need to take a step back and start at step one. Your filling the tank and not connecting directly right? So just dumping the water in the fill. There is a small tube ( in the water fill) thats a vent, its probably clogged or broken. Mine is also, havent the time to fix it yet. Sanitizing is a whole nother animal. You need to fill the tank afd bleach and then run all the lines so the bleach is in all of them, then let it sit for 3 hours , then drain everything and fill with fresh water and run that through. You need to take it one step at a time.
     
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  6. micgrafx

    micgrafx New Member

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    Thank you everyone for the great tips and questions. I am fairly certain that the tank isn't filling all the way bc I'll try to fill the tank and it will only fill for a few minutes before the water starts shooting back out. The problem started when I didn't have electricity one time to use the pump, so I hooked the hose directly to the city water connection. I am certain I used the correct valves/inlets, but again, did not use a pressure regulator, so that's where I thought I messed up. The pump seems to work fine and seems to drain the tank (at least I can leave it on, open the faucets all the way until no more water drains from the faucet.) I'm taking her back out in a couple of weeks, so I'll be able to try some troubleshooting tips you've suggested. Thanks again all!! I'm grateful for all your help!
     
  7. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    Still not enough info. My tank is 20 gallon and only takes "a few minutes" to fill also.
     
  8. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    The water shoots back out because the air vent is clogged and the air has no where to go. So the tank doesn't fill all the way. Mine is the same way, i might try to fix it before heading out this week. My tank doesn't fill from the city water connection, just the gravity feed hole. If your city water conection is leaking then something is broken.
     
  9. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    The connection for city water at the campsite is the garden hose connection.

    The pump and tank are only needed when there is no water connection at the campsite. The fill for the tank is a gravity fill open port. There will be a drain plug under the tank that can help with cleaning.
     
  10. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    What you are describing sounds normal when filling the tank.

    I just sanitized my tank this weekend and flushed it three times. Each fill only took a couple of minutes. As I was filling the tank, I could feel air coming out the vent until it was filled. Once it was filled and some water came out the vent, I could add more water but the vent would produce neither water or air flow and then water would shoot out the fill line.

    It is possible that you filled the tank and did not realize it was full. I have a 20 gallon tank.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  11. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    As for filling a bit and shooting out, that can happen with the tank (20 gallons) in our TT. There is a slight sag or such in the water fill tube, and if we just use the fresh water hose, it backs up there and shoots back out. We use something like this [https://smile.amazon.com/Camco-Shut...&s=gateway&sprefix=camco+water,aps,205&sr=8-3], though ours is a different brand. It's flexible and long enough to get past that blockage.
    The water will also shoot out when the tank is full, but we have fair warning - if paying attention - since the air whistles out of the vent before it does that.
    The city water hook up is a garden hose connection. The water can go into the fresh water tank from this is the valve meant to prevent that is bad, The one for filling the fresh water tanks looks like this (slight variations between brands): https://smile.amazon.com/JR-Product...s=gateway&sprefix=rv+gravity+,aps,218&sr=8-14
     
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  12. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you might be connecting individual things into a single issue - the city connection, yellow water, fishy smell, and fresh water tank filling. Take each on it's own.

    Fishy Smell:
    For sanitizing, try using chlorine granules (for pool or hot tub) instead of bleach. You use much less 1 tbsp for 40-50 gallons of water. And it doesn't have that horrid taste - so you don't have to rinse as intensely. Fill the fresh water tank and add a cup of water with the granules diluted in it. Open all your faucets one by one (hot and cold if applicable) for a moment or two. Then let sit for several hours to overnight. Then turn on all faucets until the tank is dry. Then fill your tank as normal. Any chlorine left behind will continue to keep the tank and lines clean and the chlorine content will be similar to that in city water.

    The yellow color may have come from the city connection line - especially if it has rarely been used. When you ran water, the city connection line had something in it and the water pushed it through all the lines. I would connect at home and see if it stops running yellow after a few minutes. If not, then you may want to replace that line and connection. Then sanitize your system.

    For filling, I would try the camco tank filler that kitphantom linked to. Then adjust the water flow to prevent backflow. Backflow is common especially if the water flow is high - the water runs so quickly and heavily down the line that it traps the air in the tank. Lowering the water flow allows air to escape along the top of the line while water flows along the bottom. Also look at the air vent as SJM suggests.

    Also, see where your intake line connects to the tank. Some connect a bit low on the side and if so won't always fill completely. My FnR is like that - the fill line is slightly lower on the side of the tank so when the water level reaches that point, it will start backflowing out until the water level drops below that point. It won't fill to the full 20 gallons - more like 18.
     
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  13. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Ok , so an update, i blew my vent line out with my air compresser, set at 40 lbs. Make sure to remove your water cap so the air has somewhere to go. Before i could only fill my tank 1/4 of the way full with a garden hose before it blew back at me. And even lowering the water pressure, and not filling the intake tube all the way it still spit back. Good news is after blowing out the air vent the entire tank fills up at almost full pressure( pressure on a hose is controlled by how much you open the spigot). Only blow back is when its full. And my westlake is a 2000.
     
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  14. bheff

    bheff Active Member

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    If you blew it out from the filling end just be prepared for what ever was in the line to now be in your tank. Itll eventually come out...lol
     
  15. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I flushed it twice, im heading out friday, and it needed to be done anyway.
     
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  16. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    Glad you got it working!
     
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  17. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, but im not the OP. Hope they get there's stright!
     
  18. micgrafx

    micgrafx New Member

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    The tank looks empty, from what I can see. Plus, it looks like that drain is sealed with some type of sealant and I would mess it up if I tried to take it off.

    I'm starting to think the air flow vent that some mentioned might be the issue. I know how long this tank used to take to fill up and it was much longer than what it takes now. Gonna try to really get to the bottom of it when I'm at the campsite and can open this thing up all the way. Also, I bought the parts kitphantom suggested and will try those as well. Thanks again everyone. I'll update if I can figure it out!
     

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  19. bheff

    bheff Active Member

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    Will the black part unscrew from the white part?
     
  20. micgrafx

    micgrafx New Member

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    I tried, but it didn't budge and didn't look to have any facets that I could take a wrench to it. But I'll try again when I have more room (campers in my driveway right now and hard to get to).
     

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