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Old 07-27-2020, 05:29 AM   #1
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Blackwater Tank Leak

Good Morning All,

Thanks to some help from this forum, we have our toilet up and running. Unfortunately, the testing of the toilet put enough water in the black water tank for us to discover a leak. Right now it is a slow drip from the area where the pipe meets the tank. At some point in the past, someone attempted a repair with some sort of orange goo. Maybe fiberglass?



I spent some time on the forum looking at other folks blackwater repairs and right now my strategy is to use a wirebrush to grind off the orange goo, and then use 'plasi mend' to repair the joint area between the tank and the pipe. Grinding off the old material may reveal where the actual leak is.

I hope this sounds reasonable as an approach, it will take the plasti mend a few days to arrive once I order so I have time to course correct if there is a better approach.

Best,
Miles
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:07 PM   #2
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You may want to hold off on the Plasi Mend. I believe from what I have read that the tank may be made of ABS. Some of the senior members can tell you what to use. There are some posts on here where others have done repairs. I just do not remember what they used. A quick search might lead you to the posts.

Search here (link below) for blank tank repair.
https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=015066...95:95x3m3w6lto
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:53 AM   #3
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Wow, that goo is bad...

You are on the right track to get it all off. Once you get it off you can make the decision to solvent weld it or the Plasti mend process.

Here is solvent weld method,
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...tml#post150976

Here is the plasti mend method
https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...air-14865.html

Both methods work, but both will need a clean surface to start with. Getting all the goo off and back to clean plastic may be your biggest issue. once you get it off you can decide better how to fix it.

Let us know how this comes out, we all learn from each of these fixes, including undoing a bad fix.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:24 PM   #4
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Repair Complete - I hope

I think we have fixed the issues with the black water tank. This first picture is off the previous repair someone tried to do. I was worried that it would take a lot of time to grind it off and that in doing so I would end up damaging the tank further.


As it turned out, I was able to get under an edge with pliers and it all came off in one piece. It was not bonded to the tank or pipe at all.


The crack turned out to be in the tank, below the junction with the pipe


This last one is the completed repair. I used a product called Plastic Weld put out by JB Weld. So far it seems to have cured well and bonded firmly to the existing plastic. Here's hoping!


Thanks for your help everyone,
Miles
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:37 PM   #5
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Miles,

Thanks for reporting back. Wow, you for sure lucked out on getting that old stuff off, what ever it was.

Since you have used a new tank repair product to the forum, let us know over time how it holds up. I have not seen a post yet using the JB tank plastic repair products. Hope it works out well and lasts.

John
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:20 AM   #6
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I don't remember exactly what I used it was some sort of plastic epoxy but in my case the entire dump system was one piece with two valves. The entire weight of the system basically hung from the black tank. I jacked up the one side of the camper and let everything dry out for a few days had at it with a small grinder to make it super clean then put the epoxy to it. When it was all done I fabricated a mounting system to the framework it was two piece that fit around the pipe so the frame now supports the valve system and both drain taps weight. What ever I used it was good stuff there is still some of it stuck the the garage floor and has been for years!
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Old 08-15-2020, 07:00 PM   #7
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Update - I did have to extend my original patch because it seems it didn't cover enough area the first time. However, we just finished up our first three day trip and had no leaks at all. So far, so good.

-mw
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:37 PM   #8
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Update and further repair

An update to my original repair on these tanks. The blackwater tank repair that we did was very successful. It performed will for several trips, all of multiple days. Unfortunately, we noticed a leak in the greywater tank that we hadn't previously noticed because it was near the top of the tank. Today, I repaired it using the same techniques I used on the black water and I'm hoping for similar success.







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Old 04-20-2021, 03:23 PM   #9
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Hi Miles,

Thanks for sharing this update. I have not seen a gray or black tank crack like that near the mounting plates. You may be the the first to report this here on the forum. There may be others with cracks, just it is not commonly reported. ABS pipe leaks from damage or long distance towing, yes that has happened.

The unknown is, did a prior owner do a good quantity of towing at highway speeds with a half to full grey tank?

Traveling at highway speeds is an open ended question if the Sunline grey and black tanks were intended to be towed full. Going slow in the CG to the dump station is not the same as doing 55mph down the highway and going over even a small bump. The fresh tanks, made from different plastic, (polyethylene) to get a potable water rating, have steel cradles under them which has allowed towing. Or they are mounted inside the camper on the floor. The black and gray tanks are ABS, but the mounting shown on your 1983 camper, is still the same as the last 2007's made. There was no support cradle under them and they hang from the floor using the same steel clips brackets. Your tank is a lot smaller then some of the new 32 to 40 gallon ABS tanks, yet all mounted the same. I am not sure if the big Sunline 5th wheels had black or gray tank cradles.

All that said, yours is 38 years old. No idea how much it may have been towed with water level in them.

Maybe a thought, keep and eye out on all the other mounting tab areas of the black and grey. The prior owner's may have not realized the situation.

For sure, please report back any findings.

Thanks for sharing.

John
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:40 PM   #10
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On this same topic, your pics looks like recent issues experienced on a friends 2005 T1950 with a split crack on the bottom of the tank to pipe connection.

Your tank


On the 1950, (most any year) the way that grey tank is piped, there is also a chance camper frame flexing behind the rear axle may be aggravating the problem. I have a 2004 T1950 I am restoring and I have been thinking hard about how a crack in the pipe on the bottom like that can even occur. And what I can do to help prevent the same issue occurring. On the T1950 and it's unique frame setup, after lots of towing, (we are talking 30 to 50K miles worth) the grey tank pipe may be pushing in and out of the tank with the frame flex aggravating a stress crack even on an empty tank.

In your case, I looked up your floor plan, totally different then the T1950 floor plan. I suspect your grey tank "might" be close to if not over the rear axle, or just partly behind the rear axle. Is it? and where is the dump valves connection?

In order to force yours to crack on the bottom, the discharge pipe at the tank would need to be flexing upward and downward or inward and outward of the tank. While frame flex may not be occurring on your setup, if the prior owners where towing a lot with full or partly full tanks, those flat bottom tanks will be breathing/flexing up and down on the bottom of the tank from road shock which could aggravate that outlet pipe crack.

There could be a common issue between your 2 different sets of cracks.

I'm just thinking outload in case you or others have seen this on their campers. Bottom line, the most likely way that outlet pipe cracked like that is repetitive flexing of the pipe in relation to the tank, however it occurred.

John
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Old 04-20-2021, 06:53 PM   #11
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Thanks John! You are spot on. The grey water tank is directly above the rear axle. The black water tank is above and slightly forward of the front axle. Right now there is no issue with the grey water discharge, but having re-read what you wrote, we will be careful to not do any highway travel with full tanks! Thanks for taking the time to write back.

Miles
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