A recreational vehicle or RV, also known to the Europeans as a Camper or Motorhome is a rather popular form of vehicle that's typically used by "snowbirds". Snowbirds get their title from taking their time off from everyday life and migrating to a different state or even continent, in search of warmth. These types of people prefer an RV over renting a holiday house simply because it's more flexible and exciting. Owning an RV isn't a piece of cake. Asides from their big price tags, there are a few things you need to know in order to keep it running perfectly. One of the major problems that RV users face is the issue with the toilet. I know there are other major issues, but saving power is the sole purpose of an RV user because of their long-running times. So, what would you do if your RV toilet keeps running and overflowing with water?
What To Do With An RV Toilet That Keeps Running:
There are 3 main items that can cause the RV toilet to keep running: The Flapper can clog due to blockage as a result of minerals in the water. The Float Valve can loose its initial position due to constant usage and level drops, or the Fill Valve can get broken or clogged due to the shift in the position of the float valve.
Fixing an always running RV toilet may be tricky but it comes with some great hacks. The most intriguing fact is, with the right set of knowledge, you can fix that up real good without using any special tools. While the process may vary slightly according to your RV model, the base principle stays the same for all of them. Below, I will enlist the most common method of fixing an RV toilet that keeps running, through a step-by-step guide. And, there's a special section at the end of this article where you'll learn some tricks to keep your RV road fit at all times.
Here's a short
introduction to the components you would be surfing through in the flush tank
which might solve your problem!
Controls the flow of water from the tank to the toilet
Clogging due to blockage as a result of mineral in water
Adjusts the level of water inside the tank through limiting the level at the desired position
Loses its initial position due to constant usage and level drops
Fills the tank with the water from the reservoir
Gets broken or clogged due to the shift in the position of the float valve
While fixing the
toilet has several options, I'll discuss the easiest one which can be done
using regular home repair tools. That way, you can get right at it whenever a
problem like this occurs.
Here are the
basic tools that you may need to fix a running
A Wire Cutter
A Philips Head
that's all the things you need to get down to
business right away. The trick is in the procedure, not the tools. So you need
to put extra care while following the steps as it can go the wrong way.
Remember to use mild pressure on the sophisticated parts so they don't break. Let's
start with the basic steps!
Step 1: Getting
We'll start by
removing the lid of the flush tank. In most RVs, the lid is a loose fit with
the tank. But in high-end RVs, the lid might be screwed together. If your RV
has a screwed lid tank, just remove it carefully and keep
the screw somewhere you have quick access to.
Step 2: Examining
The flapper sits
inside the tank and permits water to flow inside or outside according to the
settings. It is always submerged in water and situated at the bottom part of
the tank. When you press the flush button, the flapper is pushed upwards so
that the water inside can flow directly to the toilet. The hole, through which
the water streams down, is pretty small. And, because of its small diameter,
the flow head of the water increases and thus the pressure can be found.
Most of the time,
due to regular usage, the flapper gets a mineral coating around it. This
coating builds up because of the minerals in water and increases with time. Clogging is a common issue for the flappers
just because of this. Asides from that, there
are sometimes foreign materials in the water that do not wash away through a
flush. If you find any type of coating around the flapper that could lead to
clogging, it's high time you cleaned it or replaced it with a compatible one.
Flappers don't usually cost much and are pretty easy to find. You won't have to
go through a lot of hassles for that.
Step 3: Fixing
One of the
reasons your toilet keeps running could be because of the incorrect flush
mechanism. If you don't know how flushing works, here's what you need to know. The
flush button is attached to the flapper through a metal chain. This metal chain
is coated with noncorrosive material so it doesn't pick-up corrosion at any point. The flapper is designed to move 90 degrees in
a certain direction. One end of the
flapper is attached to the center tube and the other end can move freely over
the valve. This valve is connected to the toilet through a pipe. The flapper
can either work as a barrier to stop water from streaming down or allow a
certain amount of water flow.
What happens here
is, when you push the flush button, the flapper gets a push upwards. That way,
the water inside the tank can flow through the valve and travel all the way to
the toilet with the help from the interconnecting pipe. Because of the
difference of suction head between the two open ports, the velocity of water
increases and we get a strong cleaning flush. After the tank gets all the water
out, it immediately starts collecting water from the reservoir. And, at that
moment, the flapper comes down and blocks water from flowing downwards. This
keeps the water inside and fills up the tank.
If there's a
problem with the flapper or the connecting chain, the connection between the
flush tank and toilet may always stay at the open phase. Because of that, the
water can't stay inside the tank and the tank never gets filled up. If this
occurred to your flush tank, find out which is creating
the problem between the flappers and the chain. If the chain is too
long, use the wire cutter to make it more compact. If the problem is with the
flapper, look for leaks and replace it.
Step 4: Float
& Overflow Pipe
Another reason for
water running non-stop can be because of the
float and overflow pipe. The overflow pipe is designed to keep the water level
adjusted so it doesn't overflow from the tank. A float valve, sitting right
beside it, determines the level of water inside the tank. Making adjustments to
this float valve can provide a good fix at this point.
If you have a
traditional and old type float valve, like those which have an actual round
valve in it, you'll need to adjust the position of this valve in order to
change the water levels. For this one, you can manually set the water level
through bending the rod that connects the ball to the valve. Another way is
adjusting the screw. If you look carefully, you'll notice a screw, bolted to
the rod and valve. By rotating this screw counter-clockwise, you'll be able to
lower the valve.
If you have a
modern type float valve, it will not come with a valve ball. Instead, there'll
be a simple setup with only a rod attached to the connection tube. There's a
screw right over the rod which can be adjusted through a flat screwdriver. Rotate
it in counter-clockwise to lower the valve and adjust the water level.
If you have a
diaphragm valve, rotate the screw that's attached to the middle part of the main
valve to adjust the height of the float device. Rotate the screw in a clockwise direction and make sure the water level
stays way below the overflow pipe head.
Step 5: Spotting
The Fill Valve
If you've done
everything mentioned above and haven't got any solution yet, the problem could
be with the fill valve. The fill valve is the main acting component that brings
in water from the reservoir and into the tank.
To find out if your fill valve is okay or not, fill in the water while keeping
the lid open. Look closely if the position of the float changes with the
entrance of water or not. If the float goes upwards as water increases, your
float valve is okay. If the float does not change its position, there's a
problem with your fill valve.
If you have a
damaged fill valve, you can try adjusting the screws connecting the fill valve
with the float. But that's a risky shot as it may further damage the connection
and make it worse. The safest option for you would be buying a new fill valve.
You can find a universal fill valve at local shops and it costs way less than
you think it would. You can replace the valve all by yourself as it is super
easy to replace.