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Old 08-16-2017, 11:03 PM   #1
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Open sewer vent pipe in cabin..Really?!!!

So while I was regluing my laminate counter tops I had to remove my gas burner cooktop. When I looked back inside the opening behind the cooktop opening I noticed a black ABS sewer pipe. As I looked at this I realized this was the sewer vent pipe that is connected directly the the gray water drain line.The pipe was open to the air environment in the cabin. I'm like really? This is really a hooeky design! I could not believe what I was seeing. Who would do this?
I have always wondered where the sewer off gas smell was coming from. I always keep my drain plugs in the sinks and shower closed tight so I felt for sure this was not where the gas smell was coming from. Now I know.....
Anyway I went to my local plumbing shop and for five dollars I bought a auto valve that allows air in to the drain for the vacuum break but keeps the sewer gas from coming back out of the pipe into the cabin air environment. Had to cut the pipe shorter but in five minutes I had the auto valve installed on top of the open sewer pipe.
Is this a normal design for the Escape trailers or did I just get one that the auto valve got inadvertently forgotten? Anybody know? I can't believe this is an actual designed sewer system.
If you are getting off gassing in your trailer ,pull the drawers out and you should be able to look behind them to see if you sewer pipe is vented directly into your cabin environment. EEWWWWW!!!
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:13 PM   #2
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It's definitely not an ideal design. They probably forgot to cap it during construction.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robind View Post
Is this a normal design for the Escape trailers or did I just get one that the auto valve got inadvertently forgotten? Anybody know? I can't believe this is an actual designed sewer system.
Short anwser; yup. It's been thoroughly discussed previously.

ETI's counter argument is that it doesn't have to be vented to the exterior or have a cheater valve installed because they create a trap in the line to prevent tank smells from escaping from the open end.

My view is their combination of shallow angle elbows doesn't create a trap that would be recognized by a plumbing inspector.

Here's the same situation in the 19 looking upwards. You can see that the end of the uncapped pipe ends just below the closet shelf above. This area isn't normally available for viewing but I had cut out an opening for a new storage area.

So, yes, stick on a cheater valve if you smell foul tank odors.

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Old 08-17-2017, 12:02 AM   #4
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There is an open drain vent underneath the bathroom lavatory as well, at least there is in the 21.
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:13 AM   #5
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Under the best of circumstances the P trap is not a guarantee that gases will not back flow, even in a residential or commercial installation. The very nature of the travel trailer is that it is in motion. The water in the P trap sloshes around and eventually drains to the tank leaving an air break in the P trap.
Right or wrong, it's hard for me to believe that ETI, who by the way prides themselves on quality would take this short cut that can potentially spew sewer gases into the cabin.
Did I mention the auto valve cost five dollars and took five minutes to install?
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:27 AM   #6
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Under the best of circumstances the P trap is not a guarantee that gases will not back flow, even in a residential or commercial installation. The very nature of the travel trailer is that it is in motion. The water in the P trap sloshes around and eventually drains to the tank leaving an air break in the P trap.
Right or wrong, it's hard for me to believe that ETI, who by the way prides themselves on quality would take this short cut that can potentially spew sewer gases into the cabin.
Did I mention the auto valve cost five dollars and took five minutes to install?
We smelled 'something' and I was surprised to find it too. The pipe is simply 'cut off' so easy to add the 90. The breather is from marine supply, its for a boat gas tank. Here is my solution.
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:31 AM   #7
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open sewer in new 21s?

Does anyone know if there is an open vent pipe in the 2017 21s? If so where?

I have been having trouble with a disagreeable smell, this might explain it.
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Old 08-17-2017, 01:19 AM   #8
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drains closed 2

That and make sure all the drains screwed shut except when draining.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:11 AM   #9
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I must be doing something wrong, have never smelled any gas in any of my Escapes. I leave my bath and kitchen window cracked and the MaxxFan open, sink vents open while in storage. Do those that have the issue close their unit up tight and smell it upon entering later?
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:47 AM   #10
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I must be doing something wrong, have never smelled any gas in any of my Escapes. I leave my bath and kitchen window cracked and the MaxxFan open, sink vents open while in storage. Do those that have the issue close their unit up tight and smell it upon entering later?
My experience so far has been the same as Jim, never noticed any odd smells. And Teresa is super sensitive to smells, so I think she would have said something by now. And like him, ours is never completely closed up.
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:06 AM   #11
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No off odors in our 2017 21', and my wife also has a pretty sensitive sniffer. But like others, we always have some ventilation at all times. For what it's worth, I prop open our outside range hood vent with a piece of insect screen just to have another point of cross ventilation - rain or shine (photo looking up into vent).
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Old 08-17-2017, 10:25 AM   #12
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A sink vent when run horizontal is supposed to be at an elevation higher than the rim of the sink so that water does not back up into the vent pipe . Since this is not practical in a trailer , is it possible to use a loop vent similar to one used in homes with peninsula sinks?.
I realize this would require a pipe being run down through the trailer floor but the fumes would be vented to the outdoors.
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Old 08-17-2017, 11:48 AM   #13
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Here is the original thread that discussed this:
www.escapeforum.org/forums/f38/how-does-plumbing-vent-system-work-5834.html

Just for clarity the black tanks are independently vented thru the roof on all models as I understand and would expect. The original post refers to "sewer system" but the internal vent in question is on the gray water system. That said, I do recognize if you have an empty gray tank, are hooked up to a campground sewer system and keep your gray tank valve open then you do risk sewer gases entering the trailer via this pathway unless there is a trap full of water (which ETI contends is the case...but see Ron's post below). Additionally, gray tank smells aren't pretty either so it could be an issue regardless of connection to a campground system. We made the mistake of keeping the tank valves open once when connected and had smells in the trailer. I'm not sure if it was smells through the black tank and toilet or this gray water system pathway in question, or some of both. Probably the black tank. It was exacerbated by having the MaxxFan on a higher speed without enough windows open which put the trailer under a negative pressure. For the issue of "sewer gases" this is solved by leaving the tank drain valves closed and only dump occasionally even if hooked up to a campground sewer line. Even with tank valves closed, need to manage adequate makeup air for the MaxxFan or it can pull odors from the black tank (and possibly this open vent?).

Nevertheless, it does appear that ideally this vent would extend outside. Based on this thread and the old one it looks like this affects 17, 19 and 5.0 models. Based on the attached picture this may not be an issue for the new 21's (and older 21's?). There are clearly two rooftop vents in the photo. Other models it is harder to tell from photos. I do know our 2010 19 has the open vent near the furnace so maybe I have another project to add to the list. To alleviate any fears I can't see this ever acting as an overflow with water coming into the trailer. I overflowed the gray tank on purpose once and the overflowing water came out a small fitting that is tucked up in the passenger's side wheel well. Not sure how it is on other trailers.
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Old 08-17-2017, 11:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robind View Post
Under the best of circumstances the P trap is not a guarantee that gases will not back flow, even in a residential or commercial installation. The very nature of the travel trailer is that it is in motion. The water in the P trap sloshes around and eventually drains to the tank leaving an air break in the P trap.
Yes, and the situation is that there isn't a P trap at all. Probably, and I'm just second guessing ETI, that they didn't use one is that it would hang down low enough to possible be vulnerable to road damage.

It's a difficult area to photograph but these two shots show what ETI believes is an adequate trap. It's very shallow and as you state, it's possible that on a rough road etc. the small amount of water forming a water seal could be shaken out and allow a path for odors into the trailer interior.

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Old 08-17-2017, 12:15 PM   #15
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Irma noticed the smell and then I noticed it. I like to leave the bath vent open and keep the stove vent open with a clothespin. Then I see it when walking around the trailer prior to leaving.

After inspecting it I was more concerned with gray water spilling over the top IF the grey tank was full and you kept filling the sink. I measured it and the output is lower then the top of the sink.

So I vented it out the side of the trailer to make sure neither water or foul air will be released into the trailer.
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Klem View Post
After inspecting it I was more concerned with gray water spilling over the top IF the grey tank was full and you kept filling the sink. I measured it and the output is lower then the top of the sink.

So I vented it out the side of the trailer to make sure neither water or foul air will be released into the trailer.
I like your solution and may copy it. You shouldn't be concerned with overflow though. Since you have a 19, do you have the overflow fitting in the passenger side wheel well. Fill up your gray tank and this is where the excess water should expel.
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mountain_gal View Post
Does anyone know if there is an open vent pipe in the 2017 21s? If so where?

I have been having trouble with a disagreeable smell, this might explain it.
Yep. Look at the piping in the pic below. The drain piping going to the bathroom sink vents behind the cubby space in the wall.

The p trap for the shower/bath sink used to be installed backwards making the drain piping below the grey tank connection causing the stink. So even with the drains closed, the stink would come up the vent.

Escape has changed the location of the p trap on the later 2017 21's to prevent this.
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Old 08-17-2017, 01:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
Yep. Look at the piping in the pic below. The drain piping going to the bathroom sink vents behind the cubby space in the wall.

The p trap for the shower/bath sink used to be installed backwards making the drain piping below the grey tank connection and allowing stagnant water to stand and stink. So even with the drains closed, the stink would come up the vent.

Escape has changed the location of the p trap on the later 2017 21's to prevent this.
I stand corrected then since this looks like a similar condition on the 21's. Can someone tell me why there is an additional roof vent on the drivers side of the 21's? Photo in post #13. None of this really matters much to me...just curious.
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Old 08-17-2017, 01:15 PM   #19
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My 2017 17' has a one way air admittance valve on the kitchen sink, so I guess they eventually concluded that it was a good idea. I would be unhappy and would add one if mine didn't have such a valve.

I deleted the bathroom sink on my build. Not sure if that affects anything.
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Old 08-17-2017, 01:52 PM   #20
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There may be some differences between models.

On my 19 the situation for the bathroom is as previously described. No exterior vent and an inadequate inline trap.

The kitchen sink situation is different. First, an "S" trap is used. This would not be accepted in residential plumbing. The drain piping however, as opposed to the bathroom plumbing, is vented to the exterior via the hose which connects to a vertical pipe leading to the roof vent visible from the exterior.

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