Putting things back together

Since there was so much stuff out of the way, it seemed like a good time to get rid of some nasty looking wallpaper in the bedroom.  Every attempt at cleaning got a little dirt off, but it just never looked clean.  A few coats of primer and paint can’t hurt.

Here’s what it looked like before:

Before paint.

Before paint.And after a couple of coats of primer:

Looking cleaner already.

By this point, the floor wasn’t too wet any more, but it still had a ways to go.  Somewhere along the way, I worked my way around the plumbing, trying to cut the carpet as close to the wall as I could.

Lots less moisture than before, but still wet.

In the middle of this, I also decided to finally put up the backsplash in the kitchen, but I’ll do a separate post on that later.  Here’s a teaser:

Now back to plumbing.  I’ve grown to like PEX tubing, and the steel crimp rings that have overlapping bands.  It’s easy to see at a glance that you have a good crimp, and the tool isn’t too expensive. Here’s what I have:

Apollo Crimper

I bought mine at Lowe’s some time ago, and if memory serves me correctly, I paid closer to $50.  I just went to look for a picture and link for the crimp rings, and I’m cringing at how much more I paid locally–$15 for a 25-pack at Lowe’s, $35 for 100 on Amazon.  I lost count, but I used most of two 25-packs of crimp rings, which should give you a feel for the amount of re-plumbing that occurred.

Most of the brass fittings and all of the valves from the old configuration were reused.  The nice thing about the crimp rings I linked is that a side cutter can get them free.  The copper rings take more work, and the tool has to wrap around the pipe, which would have been difficult in the space I had.

In the picture above, you can see the plumbing starting to come together. The drain line from the tank on the right will continue to the tee over towards the left, stopping along the way to supply the pump.  The three valves connected to blue pipe control flow to the pump from each tank, and you can see the first of 2 drain valves installed toward the left.  Note that I’ve started to label the lines–it’s too easy, and will make it easy in the future to figure out what’s going on.

Now it’s more or less all finished up, except for a few loose ends tying all of the pipe.  The round black thing on the overflow line at the front of the tank is a vacuum breaker, to prevent siphoning when the tank is overfilled.  This was a problem previously, as it would sometimes siphon nearly half of the water out before drawing in air.

The way everything is set up now, with the drain and pump supply sharing the same tank outlet, I’m able to connect the pressure sensor directly to the tank (lower front corner), in a position a little less vulnerable than before.  After a check for leaks, it was time to fill the tank and get back to normal.

But I have plans for reconfiguring the side wall of the bed platform.  There’s going to be a little more open space, and a shelf for boots/shoes in a previously inaccessible space.  More on that next time!


Getting things dried out…

So I left off last time with a little bit of carpet pulled up, and an idea of what I was dealing with.  I needed to remove the side wall of the bed platform, which was a quick task of just removing a few screws.  After (mostly) finishing draining the tank next to all of the plumbing connections, it was light enough to pull out away from the wall.

View of the edge of the carpet with the bed platform’s fascia removed. I hate when flooring is run under walls and other permanent stuff.  All of that carpet is damp, so the tank has to come out.
It’s wet. But it’s definitely still solid, and there aren’t any signs of mold.

The carpet under the tank wasn’t too damp, but the wood under it was.  Some of that was surely the mess I made getting everything disconnected, and moving the tank with probably about 10 gallons of water still sloshing around in it.  While it was a mess, the wood was still solid, and there weren’t any signs of mold.  It was pretty clear this was a recent thing.

Slowly starting to get dried out.

It did take quite a while to get it all dried out.  There was still carpet around the pipes against the wall, and under the wall itself.  So as the floor dried, more moisture weeped out.  Ultimately, I let it go for about a week before all the signs of water were gone.

Plumbing manifold feeding water pump.

The goal of the plumbing modifications was to get things consolidated along the back wall, and get all of the valving within easy reach.  Here’s the start of that. The three valves connected to the blue piping are the supplies from each of the three fresh water tanks.  Also notice that I replaced hard (well, PEX) pipe with flexible lines.  For whatever reason I hadn’t gotten around to that on this RV–it makes a huge difference in the amount of noise the pump makes.  If you ever want to do the same thing, here’s what’s needed:

And while on the subject of other modifications that are pretty easy for anyone to do, I should probably mention the expansion tank you can see in that picture.  It’s a 2-gallon tank with a rubber bladder, with air pressure on one side and water on the other.  It also reduces pump noise, but more importantly reduces the pulsing water flow typical from RV water pumps (by absorbing pressure spikes that occur with each diaphragm cycle in the pump), and it allows the water to flow for a little bit before the pump cycles on.  A quick flush of the toilet, or even filling a glass of water can often be done without the pump needing to run, and it’ll reduce the number of times the pressure switch has to operate.  For about $40 (link here), it’s an easy and cheap upgrade.

Next time will cover a little bit of painting and starting to put things back together.

Drip, Drip, Drip…

You never want to hear the water pump cycle on when no one is using water.  There’s only one thing it could be…a leak.  Now we aren’t talking about something every few minutes, or even every few hours.  It was more like once every few days, but I knew I had a leak.

Looking down at the maze of plumbing and wiring (the carpet is on the floor) after the mattress platform was removed.

Continue reading Drip, Drip, Drip…