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Locating or identifying the main valve for FW holding tank


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First off, let me get all the tut tuts out of the way. I haven't sanitized the fresh water holding tank since we've owned the RV (18 months) and can't be sure whether the previous owner did or didn't do. Mostly we are hooked up to city water and bypass the holding tank.

Now, eighteen months later....gasp, I'm still trying to find the main water valve "quick drain", which the manual states is at the end of the water tank - and a graphic indicates it sitting inside one of the outer compartments. All I can find is the drain valve to the water heater, which we barely use, the low points for hot n cold water lines and a main bypass valve (in bypass position) with two plastic valves (hot and cold water I presume) below it.

I turned off the city water and opened both those plastic valves but barely a trickle came out ** and the electronic tank test indicator shows that the tank is still full.

So, my question is....where is the main valve? I've looked underneath the chassis to no avail. The diagram in the manual indicates that it should be on the side wall of one of the outer compartments but I can't find it.

In exasperation I bucked up enough courage to ask for help and a wonderful fellow who should know his stuff (used to own a trucking company) crawled around and couldn't find it either. He told me that the plastic valve (shown in pic) is just draining water from the pipes and not the main water tank.

We own a Fleetwood Fiesta LX 2007 btw.

Any pointers appreciated.

TIA

 

Marc

 

** If this were the actual main valve, my fear is that the trickle indicates blockage in the fresh water tank...all kinds of lurgi and ghoulies gumming up the works.

ps I tried to upload a pic, reduced its size to below to 1000kb and renamed it, but apparently its still considered too large.

 

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drain valve to the water heater
?? An rv water heater is drained by removing the nylon plug (Atwood) or anode rod (Suburban) from the heater tank.

 

I went for several years w/o sanitizing my water tank when we were full timing. We use the water tank and city water about 50/50. I sure wouldn't worry about the fresh water tank being "plugged" by crud unless you got some really, really bad water that sat for a long time. You do not need to drain the tank to sanitize anyway, but it definately would be very helpful if you could drain it between doses.

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I doubt that many of us sanitize as often as most experts suggest. I o consider it to be a good thing to do on an annual basis, especially if the tanks sits empty for long periods, but I'd admit that I've not always done so. When I do, I also sanitize the entire water system, and that generally happens most years. :)

 

On the location of the tank drain valve, it is probably a plastic valve and there are several common types of valve used in the RV industry. As Paul has said, the hot water tank drains via a plug that is removed from the back of the tank or occasionally someone will install an after market valve like this one.

319ajzqgJ7L._AA160_.jpg510BzcrY11L._AA160_.jpg

The second picture shows the back of a typical water heater and you can see the white drain plug near the lower left, just above the burner control valve assembly. This is an Atwood but the Suburban would not be white but is located about the same place. The last shows a drain plug being removed.

 

All I can find is the drain valve to the water heater, which we barely use, the low points for hot n cold water lines and a main bypass valve (in bypass position) with two plastic valves (hot and cold water I presume) below it.

It is interesting that you have found the valves behind the water heater. You will need the bypass to be closed and the other two valves open in order fill and use the water heater. I'd assume that they must be in proper position since you do use it some? If you open the low point drains for the hot an cold water lines, very little will drain out of them unless you open the faucets inside of the RV to allow air into the lines.

 

What you are looking for could very well be a valve that is similar in appearance to those that you have already found. Since you have a diagram for the location, I would base my search upon that diagram. I would look for a line that leaves from your fresh water tank and that goes down to the bottom of the RV, draining outside and under the RV. The drain line is usually one that is from a Tee in the water line between the outlet of the fresh water tank and the water pump intake. They typically look like one of these at this link.

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I don't know what kind of RV you are working on. But awhile back I helped a friend with a fairly new Artic Fox fiver and he couldn't find the fresh water drain valve. Well after crawling around underneath, kaboom. Back under a slide, on the inside of a frame rail, below the belly pan was a 1 1/2 PVC valve. It was the fresh water tank drain. Never worked on one with that large of valve. Needless to say it drained fast and we got a bath. I sure do like how fast it drains versus my little itty bitty valve on our 100 gallon fresh water tank.

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I doubt that many of us sanitize as often as most experts suggest. I o consider it to be a good thing to do on an annual basis, especially if the tanks sits empty for long periods, but I'd admit that I've not always done so. When I do, I also sanitize the entire water system, and that generally happens most years. :)

 

On the location of the tank drain valve, it is probably a plastic valve and there are several common types of valve used in the RV industry. As Paul has said, the hot water tank drains via a plug that is removed from the back of the tank or occasionally someone will install an after market valve like this one.

319ajzqgJ7L._AA160_.jpg510BzcrY11L._AA160_.jpg

The second picture shows the back of a typical water heater and you can see the white drain plug near the lower left, just above the burner control valve assembly. This is an Atwood but the Suburban would not be white but is located about the same place. The last shows a drain plug being removed.

It is interesting that you have found the valves behind the water heater. You will need the bypass to be closed and the other two valves open in order fill and use the water heater. I'd assume that they must be in proper position since you do use it some? If you open the low point drains for the hot an cold water lines, very little will drain out of them unless you open the faucets inside of the RV to allow air into the lines.

 

What you are looking for could very well be a valve that is similar in appearance to those that you have already found. Since you have a diagram for the location, I would base my search upon that diagram. I would look for a line that leaves from your fresh water tank and that goes down to the bottom of the RV, draining outside and under the RV. The drain line is usually one that is from a Tee in the water line between the outlet of the fresh water tank and the water pump intake. They typically look like one of these at this link.

I've left a question with Fleetwood tech support so hopefully by early next week I should know. Will report back, if its in a particularly odd place or reachable only by a 7 ft contortionist blessed with delicate piano playing fingers.

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Where is the fresh tank? Inside the rv like under the couch or a bed. If it is the valve could be just outside one end or the other of the tank and could be partly hidden by other things. My TT has the tank under the couch with the valve on on end of the tank. I'm not that flexible so getting into position to see it or open it is a bit of a chore. I pretty much have to get layed out on the floor in and inconvienent location to reach it and open and close it by feel. Then comes the next hard step- getting up. My drain is faily small and takes a pretty good while to drain. I like the idea of a larger one that drains faster but without the surprise. On and old trailer I had it got partially clogged right at the end of the hose due to insects. They didn't get into the tank or water lines just at the end. A little hassle getting under the rv and breaking the crud loose with a small screwdriver. Hard to tell but it might have been some type of wasp that did it.

 

PS my tank will always be left with an inch or two of water in the bottom due to the placement of the valve. I suspect most are similar.

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I don't know what kind of RV you are working on. But awhile back I helped a friend with a fairly new Artic Fox fiver and he couldn't find the fresh water drain valve. Well after crawling around underneath, kaboom. Back under a slide, on the inside of a frame rail, below the belly pan was a 1 1/2 PVC valve. It was the fresh water tank drain. Never worked on one with that large of valve. Needless to say it drained fast and we got a bath. I sure do how fast it drains versus my little itty bitty valve on our 100 gallon fresh water tank.

X2 my current 5er has a big drain like that and sure is a lot better than the lil bitty ones I have had in the best. Yea I get wet to most times when draining that 1 1/2 inch but sure is fast. I cannot add anything to help you find yours as everyone has given most places to look I am familiar with. Good luck hope Fleetwood comes through for you. :) I am sure like others wish was there to help you find it; hard to do remotely as we are trying to do. :(

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Email to Fleetwood over four business days ago. No response other than an automated acknowledgment which offered a glimmer of hope that "we will reply within a few business days". Ahem...define "a few" please Fleetwood. Phoned today requesting "immediate assistance." Automated message. Perhaps I should have lied and told them I'm considering buying a top of the line Class A. That might have got their attention ;-)

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Email to Fleetwood over four business days ago. No response other than an automated acknowledgment which offered a glimmer of hope that "we will reply within a few business days". Ahem...define "a few" please Fleetwood. Phoned today requesting "immediate assistance." Automated message. Perhaps I should have lied and told them I'm considering buying a top of the line Class A. That might have got their attention ;-)

 

OK, I'm going to have to eat humble pie here and completely retract my criticism of Fleetwood.

Apparently they hadn't received my email and the phone message I left yesterday was answered first thing this morning. Denis sent me a schematic and I believe that I have finally discovered the drain valve sitting behind the water pump..it must be said though, not in the most convenient location. Still waiting for confirmation before I turn, twist or yank it the wrong way.

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I bet thats it and I am fairly certain it will be a twist. Just don't muscle it.

Told to turn anti clockwise. It was a little stuck but with some sustained gentle pressure and a whispered prayer, water gushed out freely. Alls well that ends well.

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