By Nanci Dixon
At about two in the morning my husband gets up to use the bathroom and steps into a flood plain. After catching himself from slipping on the wet tile floor, he turns on the light and sees an abundance of water running past the door. Unfortunately, he wakes me up, too.
It has been pouring outside nonstop for six hours and our first thought was that the vent was open or it was coming in the air conditioner vents. Nope.
Then, I notice that the black water tank was at 100%. It has never been at 100%! I took a flashlight and looked down “the hole.” Yup, I can see water edging up the pipe and it is cleaner than normal.
My husband immediately runs out in the pouring rain to dump the tank. Is a vent cap off on top of the motorhome and filling the holding tanks in this torrential downpour? Worse yet, is that black water seeping across the floor, into the kitchen and down the hall? Nope, survived the sniff test and the water is clear.
Valve leak was the culprit
We start looking for leaking pipes under the sinks. Nope. We finally pulled the shroud from around the toilet to find a valve was leaking and seeping under the toilet, filling the black water tank.
Husband runs out, again in the pouring rain, and turns off the outside water faucet and I turn off the water pump. Major disaster averted. Back to bed. The rain has escalated to drumming on the roof and thunder has started pounding. Now I needed earplugs.
Added to our “To Do” list is to tighten the screws on the toilet valve after jostling around for more than 2,000 miles on notorious I-10 and I-70. The roads to Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park were not smooth sailing either. It is, after all, a house on wheels, and every other screw seems to shake loose.
After tightening the screws on the toilet, stopping the flow, my husband went out to turn the outside water faucet on while I watched diligently for leaks. He noticed that the water pressure gauge was nearing 65 PSI. The pressure gauge had failed and was contributing to the problem. We carry an extra gauge just in case – and at that moment, I was sure glad we had it.
We have always heeded the warnings of other RVers and turned off the water at the outside faucet whenever going somewhere overnight. But we have never felt the need to do so when leaving for a short time. Since we have been RVing for more than 25 years and this is our first inside flood, I doubt we will start turning the water off at night. But we will certainly start turning it off when gone for longer than an hour or so.