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Old 09-22-2020, 03:01 PM   #1
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Grey tank drain line separation

Hi all. My ABS drain line has separated from the grey tank. This is on a 2019 21' with 2,500 miles on the axles. I'm having a difficult time determining what the original design called for here and what the parts used were. Not really sure if something is broken, decoupled, incorrectly installed or what. The opaque white flange-like piece with the tabs seems to indicate a twist-and-lock type approach with caulking as an extra precaution but as I said, it's just not clear to me what the design was or cure should be here. Any advice about how to repair/upgrade this problem would be greatly appreciated. As usual I've searched the archives but can't find anything relevant. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-22-2020, 03:33 PM   #2
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Is there actually a white piece, or is there just a pile of white sealant all over a black piece?

There are no twist-lock parts used in this sort of plumbing. The most likely fitting with tabs on it is a spin-welded threaded bushing (which should be a similar plastic to the tank), which is spun in a hole on the tank so fast that the plastic melts to weld the fitting to the tank; a black ABS plastic fitting would be screwed into that, and the pipe is apparently glued into the the black fitting (glued fittings are normal for ABS pipe). Although no external sealant should be required for any part of an installation like this (or any other drain/waste/vent plumbing), Escape may have used some sort of caulk on the outside anyway.

It's hard to tell from a photo, but it looks like a spin-welded fitting broke away from the tank, either because it wasn't welded on properly, or because there was too much bending force on the pipe for the fitting to hold.

This seems reminiscent of problems with the pipe attached to the black tank in some 21's.
Leaky black water tank under bed
... however, in that case the spun-on fitting didn't break away - the threaded joint just leaked.
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:05 PM   #3
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There is no white piece, that's the sealant used. The opaque bushing although different in appearance seems to be integral to the tank, perhaps spin-welded as you suggest. On further inspection it appears a piece of ABS inserted into the bushing has sheared off at the point of highest tension (see pic). The bushing has an ABS extension inside it (the other half of the sheared off bit) extending about an inch or so into the tank. What you're describing as the spin-welded fitting appears to still be properly connected to the tank. From your description it sounds like I need to back out the now broken threaded ABS insert from the bushing. That won't be fun but at least I can visualize what to do now, thanks. Why the piece had so much lateral force on it that it broke in the first place will need to be addressed.
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:08 PM   #4
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Forgot Pic.
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:37 PM   #5
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So just to clarify: this spin-welded bushing is female threaded to accept a threaded ABS male insert? Can anyone confirm?
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjreeves View Post
So just to clarify: this spin-welded bushing is female threaded to accept a threaded ABS male insert? Can anyone confirm?
This what the fitting looked like before it broke.
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for the pic.
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Old 09-23-2020, 02:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjreeves View Post
Hi all. My ABS drainline has separated from the grey tank. This is on a 2019 21' with 2,500 miles on the axles. I'm having a difficult time determining what the original design called for here and what the parts used were. Not really sure if something is broken, decoupled, incorrectly installed or what. The opaque white flange-like piece with the tabs seems to indicate a twist-and-lock type approach with caulking as an extra precaution but as I said, it's just not clear to me what the design was or cure should be here. Any advice about how to repair/upgrade this problem would be greatly appreciated. As usual I've searched the archives but can't find anything relevant. Thanks in advance.
I had the same issue in our 21...

it was a bit of a pain to clean out the broken fitting and replace it ... on the plus side It was a good time to replace the dump valve like others had done before

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...-mod-9668.html
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7th Heaven View Post
I had the same issue in our 21...

it was a bit of a pain to clean out the broken fitting and replace it ...

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...-mod-9668.html

How did you manage?
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 7th Heaven View Post
I had the same issue in our 21...

it was a bit of a pain to clean out the broken fitting and replace it ... on the plus side It was a good time to replace the dump valve like others had done before

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...-mod-9668.html
If we are talking about the same broken fitting I am all ears about how you replaced it. Most plumbing jobs are pretty straight forward. But this deal is something else. I mentioned the problem several weeks ago but no one seemed interested in it. My leak is associated with the the connection in the top of the gray water tank located underneath the sink. Attached are images which Escape provided me.

Picture #1 shows the picture of the actual suspected broken fitting.
Picture #2 shows the pipe glued into the fitting sticking out of the grey tank.
Picture #3 shows the fitting sticking through the floor attached to the grey tank.

Note where the pipe is located. Front left corner of the inside of the base cabinet. Brilliant place to put a pipe. I was on my back for over 3 hours hacking away at the foam insulation in order to expose just the portion of the gray tank-drain line which connects to the side of the gray tank I did this just to rule out that the leak wasn't coming from this pipe- gray tank connection. The failure is associated with either the fitting, the connection the fitting makes to the gray tank, the gray tank itself, or the pipe which is allegedly glued into the fitting which allegedly should be glued/threaded into the top of the gray tank. I've exhausted all the possibilities by visualizing the problem not by actually seeing the problem.

I contacted Dustin Dionne the parts and service specialist on 3 separate occasions. He claimed in our first conversation that mine was the first time he had heard about this issue. Be that as it may, I now know of at least one other party in California who has the same problem with their 2019 21'. Dustin recommended that I take the trailer to an RV dealer and: 1. Get an estimate to repair the leak. 2. Contact him with the estimate. 3. Wait for him to seek approval to go ahead with the work. 4. Pay the RV dealership for the repair work. 5. Wait to get reimbursed by Escape.

I talked to 3 RV dealers (reluctantly because I really don't want to deal with these people). None of them were interested in working on my trailer once I explained that all the components were embedded in foam insulation with a half life of 20,000 years.

I talked to the owner of Escape for 30 minutes. A fine agreeable person I'll be the first to admit. He promised to get back to me. Instead I received another call from Dustin. Basically he repeated what he had already said before: 'Take it to an RV dealer, get an estimate....

If I had known before hand that once you have this foam insulation installed accessing any particular aspect of the plumbing let alone whatever is buried in it is problematic (to say the least) I wouldn't have done it. Finally a Pic of 3 hours of hacking away at the foam got me. Couldn't get the last image to flip. Connection/pipe from bathroom is on top.
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File Type: jpg A9D709B.jpg (198.7 KB, 60 views)
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File Type: jpg 20200907_144216.jpg (244.1 KB, 70 views)
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:50 AM   #11
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Wow,
Now I'm getting concerned as these 3 are all 2019 E21 models (same as mine). Mine was produced under the old regime, but perhaps some absentee presence by Reace and Co was involved. With the spray on insulation shown by Telescopist, that would be a pain to repair. I remember the early E21 had issues with the black tank under the bed, but these are, to my recollection, the first E21 grey tank issues. Perhaps a sticky on this thread to keep it prominent until other's respond.
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:57 AM   #12
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Please post here if any other owner has had or is having grey tank leak issues..........
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Old 09-23-2020, 12:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telescopist View Post
If we are talking about the same broken fitting I am all ears about how you replaced it. Most plumbing jobs are pretty straight forward. But this deal is something else. I mentioned the problem several weeks ago but no one seemed interested in it. My leak is associated with the the connection in the top of the gray water tank located underneath the sink. Attached are images which Escape provided me.

Picture #1 shows the picture of the actual suspected broken fitting.
Picture #2 shows the pipe glued into the fitting sticking out of the grey tank.
Picture #3 shows the fitting sticking through the floor attached to the grey tank.

Note where the pipe is located. Front left corner of the inside of the base cabinet. Brilliant place to put a pipe. I was on my back for over 3 hours hacking away at the foam insulation in order to expose just the portion of the gray tank-drain line which connects to the side of the gray tank I did this just to rule out that the leak wasn't coming from this pipe- gray tank connection. The failure is associated with either the fitting, the connection the fitting makes to the gray tank, the gray tank itself, or the pipe which is allegedly glued into the fitting which allegedly should be glued/threaded into the top of the gray tank. I've exhausted all the possibilities by visualizing the problem not by actually seeing the problem.

I contacted Dustin Dionne the parts and service specialist on 3 separate occasions. He claimed in our first conversation that mine was the first time he had heard about this issue. Be that as it may, I now know of at least one other party in California who has the same problem with their 2019 21'. Dustin recommended that I take the trailer to an RV dealer and: 1. Get an estimate to repair the leak. 2. Contact him with the estimate. 3. Wait for him to seek approval to go ahead with the work. 4. Pay the RV dealership for the repair work. 5. Wait to get reimbursed by Escape.

I talked to 3 RV dealers (reluctantly because I really don't want to deal with these people). None of them were interested in working on my trailer once I explained that all the components were embedded in foam insulation with a half life of 20,000 years.

I talked to the owner of Escape for 30 minutes. A fine agreeable person I'll be the first to admit. He promised to get back to me. Instead I received another call from Dustin. Basically he repeated what he had already said before: 'Take it to an RV dealer, get an estimate....

If I had known before hand that once you have this foam insulation installed accessing any particular aspect of the plumbing let alone whatever is buried in it is problematic (to say the least) I wouldn't have done it. Finally a Pic of 3 hours of hacking away at the foam got me. Couldn't get the last image to flip. Connection/pipe from bathroom is on top.

My problem is at the exit point on the grey tank, not the entry point. As to the foam encasing critical components that might at some point require repairs, this is the primary reason I chose not to order the spray foam insulation on my build.
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Old 09-23-2020, 12:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Wow,
Now I'm getting concerned as these 3 are all 2019 E21 models (same as mine). Mine was produced under the old regime, but perhaps some absentee presence by Reace and Co was involved. With the spray on insulation shown by Telescopist, that would be a pain to repair. I remember the early E21 had issues with the black tank under the bed, but these are, to my recollection, the first E21 grey tank issues. Perhaps a sticky on this thread to keep it prominent until other's respond.

To be fair, my problem could have been self-inflicted e.g. backing over a stump, or boulder, or curb or some such, breaking the pipe, not a build issue. Now I don't believe that happened (I'm careful with my baby!). My current thinking is there was excessive tension on the pipe fitting that caused it to fail. Faulty ABS pipe seems unlikely, it's a pretty clean break in the second pic I posted. Whether unique to my build or more widespread remains to be seen. I mentioned in the OP 2,500 miles on the axles, i.e. it didn't take long for the problem to manifest. If this is more than just a one-off they'll be showing up soon. 7th Heaven mentions "having the same problem" but his/her E21' is much older than mine. I wonder how many miles 7th Heaven's E21' had when the pipe failed?
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Old 09-23-2020, 02:53 PM   #15
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For the engineers, mechanics and general sticklers: I've been using the words "shear" and "tension" interchangeably. Please forgive my transgression.

On that subject, if you take a close up look at the picture in post #4, that's a pretty clean break across the pipe section, almost on the glue joint. Any guesses as to whether it's a shear or tension caused failure?
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Old 09-23-2020, 03:14 PM   #16
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But the problem appears to be on both the intake and exhaust pipes on the grey tank?
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:47 PM   #17
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A related thread about the black tank leaks in the E21 with the suggested fix here....https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post354844
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:56 PM   #18
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But the problem appears to be on both the intake and exhaust pipes on the grey tank?

My problem + Telescopist's problem = yes, problems on both connections of the grey tank.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:44 PM   #19
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Durn, when my21c comes in December I think I am going to wrap the exposed joints with F4 silicone tape.
May need to add additional tank straps besides just the two shown. Weight must be causing flex in joints. Hopefully black tank is secured to floor with side braces so it cannot slide.

This hopefully has already been addressed. Not rocket science here.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:56 PM   #20
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How did you manage?

Purchased a new Flange:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I found a hole saw bit that matched the diameter of the flange.

using a scrap block of wood , I saw to cut a hole through. This was used as a guide to drill out the old flange.

the new flange was attached to the tank with PVC Cement

to remove the old dump valve:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B002FYUNGA

was used to cut the Pipe and was replaced with
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B002N5L9T6


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