Thursday, January 23, 2014

Repair A Leaking City Water Connetion

I damaged my city water connection while winterizing my rig with RV antifreeze last fall; more to that story but I will skip that part. If your rig is like my Midbath rig, the city water connection housing is painted to match your rig. And in typical Lazy Daze fashion, it is also sealed to the body quite well to prevent leaks. I placed a call to the LD factory and spoke with Vince who told me it is very easy to repair the existing valve instead of removing and replacing the old one. Vince told me to go buy a new city water connection valve similar to the existing one and then call him when I had it in front of me so I would see more clearly what I would need to do.

It helps to understand what is in this valve. When you look into the connection from the outside of the rig, you will see a round disc that has two plastic dog ears on the outside edge; it has a small plastic tip in the center of the white disc that sticks out a bit. This plastic tip is one end of plastic plunger which looks like a golf tee; on the other end of the this tip is a wider end which is like the end of a golf tee that you place your ball on. It has a rubber O-ring on a groove just below the wide end of this piece. There is a cone shaped spring which is fitted over the stem of this golf tee like plastic plunger. The spring holds the O-ring flush against the valve housing to keep the valve closed when you are using your water pump. When you connect to city water, the water pressure pushes the white disc with the dog ears inward which opens the valve to allow "city" water to flow. A leak is caused by the O-ring becoming dislodged from its groove.

While this may sound complicated, by having a new city water valve in your hand and taking it apart to get "donor parts" it will all make sense.

Vince told me to just push in firmly but gently on the plastic tip(not the white disc) of the new part. That dislodged the white disc with dog ears from the plastic plunger (the golf tee like piece). The white disc with the dog ears and the cone shaped spring will exit the hose end of the valve. The plastic plunger with the O-ring will fall out from the inside the city water valve. You will notice a small groove on the plastic plunger where the white disc was attached; it is just wide enough to hold that white dog ear disc. Don't break the ears off! You will have the following parts; the white disc with dog ears, the cone shaped spring, and the plastic plunger with a rubber O-ring. You will use those parts to replace the ones in the LD's water connection. You will need an assistant when you put these parts in your LD.
In the Midbath, there is a white plastic piece angled near the floor behind the toilet. Remove that piece and you will see the white water pipe attached to the city water valve. (probably a good idea to have emptied your fresh water tank first!) Simply unthread the brass nut from the city water valve and have someone push firmly on the *tip* of that plunger from the outside. The valve should come apart just like the new one you used for the donor parts. If your valve was leaking, you will probably find the O-ring partially dislodged from the plastic plunger.

Have your assistant insert the new plastic plunger from the inside the rig and hold it centered in the hole in the center of the valve. From the outside insert the cone shaped spring, wide end toward the inside, over the plunger and then use something like a pair of forceps to hold the white dog ear disc (hold it by gripping the disc, not the dog ears!)and push that over the tip of the plunger until it is seated on that groove. From the inside, attach the plumbing system back to the water valve and you should be fixed!
Test for leaks before putting the cover on behind the toilet. Test using city water and water from the water pump.

This is much easier to do than it is to describe. And much easier than removing the old water valve housing and trying to paint a new one to match your rig. Even my wife was impressed this time! Thank you Vince!

Steve K.