2005 Winnebago Minnie Plumbing Problems

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bobbottman

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OK, so the Thetford 31661 toilet in our 31' Minnie got stuck, and threatened to overflow. I went online and found that this problem is usually due to a broken or stuck water valve. So I purchased a new valve and installed it, but couldn't remove the toilet because I couldn't remove the the nuts from the bolts that hold it to the bathroom floor -- they seemed to be fastened together somehow, and I could only move each one about a 1/4 turn, the nut and bolt moving together. Not wanting to strip or break anything, I found I could replace the valve with the toilet in place. But the new water valve didn't change the toilet from doing what it did before. And now the water line feeding the toilet is leaking where I used the old connector. A separate issue. But back to the toilet: it appears that the spring-loaded lever that opens and closes the water valve is somehow binding and won't return completely to its "closed" position, which would also close the water valve. Now, it seems like a completely new toilet, with a new water line connection, is needed. But I don't know how to remove the toilet without removing the two oddly stubborn nuts and bolts. Can anyone tell me how to do this without breaking something I'm going to need? TIA.
 

donn

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Not likely, but someone might have used thread locker on the nuts. Carefully apply a bit of heat, then using the correct socket you shouls be able to remove the nuts
 

Rene T

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This may sound stupid but has to be asked, are you turning the nuts the right direction? Counterclockwise. I was working on a pressure washer just yesterday and found myself doing just that.
Oh, and welcome to the forum.
 

Henry J Fate

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The stud should not turn with the nut or at least very little as the stud may have some play to it but should stop moving. If it appears that the stud will spin out with the nut, use a pair of pliers on the stud with something on the threads to protect them from getting mashed up from the pliers. Counter clockwise is the direction and you can use a little wd40 to help with the loosening. If the stud is excessively rusted, it becomes much more difficult and may require the stud or nut to be cut off.

The water valve operation is contigent on the blade closing all the way. If the blade is binding, try using dish washing liquid applied to the blade while working the peddle to see if it frees up enough. It is a constant problem with the toilet. Letting the peddle snap up will usually fully close the blade unless there is some solids obstructing it. In extreme curcumstances, the blade and seal will need to be replaced. The spring should also be replaced with the blade and seal but it is most likely the friction between the blade and seal causing the problem.
 
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Ernie n Tara

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When ours started sticking before completely closed Tara used a dilute bleach solution in the bowl (we have a porcelain bowl) to free up the slide. May not help for you as this was a different make toilet.

Ernie
 

bobbottman

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Feb 22, 2016
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This may sound stupid but has to be asked, are you turning the nuts the right direction? Counterclockwise. I was working on a pressure washer just yesterday and found myself doing just that.
Oh, and welcome to the forum.
Yes, I was turning (or trying to turn) the nuts counter-clockwise -- you know, "lefty loosey".
 

bobbottman

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Feb 22, 2016
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Thanks for your responses. I just replaced the original water valve since that was not causing the problem. I'll try using some soap in the bowl to see if the blade is the issue -- but don't think so. Also, will give the toilet hold-down nuts that seem to be locked in place a good dose of penetrating oil, and try to work them free again, clamping the bolt (carefully) to hold it in place. It makes sense that whoever installed this toilet may have used some pretty strong lock-nut treatment (not really needed IMO).
 

Rene T

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In my opinion, trying to hold the bolts from the end could give you more issues if you damage the threads. The nuts should come off unless someone did use locktite. The heads of the bolts are captured under the sewer flange so there should ne no reason to hold the bolts. Like someone said You could try putting some heat on the nuts to loosen any locktite that may be holding the nuts.
 
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John Canfield

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I've discovered over the 16 years we've owned our Horizon that when the potty becomes inop, replace the entire thing. We're on #3 as I recall. It's not worth the aggravation of installing a 20 or 30 buck part in a 200 dollar toilet.

Two approaches to the problem as I see it. Call Winnebago Owner Relations and ask them for advice, most of those guys worked in production and are quite familiar with the units.

My preferred choice would be to use a versa tool and cut the bolts off and install a new potty. There are probably better ones out there by now.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I mostly agree with John, but I still look for simple things before buying a total replacement. I would not spend a lot of time or money on diagnosis & parts, though.

You didn't mention the brand & model of toilet, so I can't offer much other advice.
 

John Canfield

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I mostly agree with John, but I still look for simple things before buying a total replacement. I would not spend a lot of time or money on diagnosis & parts, though.

You didn't mention the brand & model of toilet, so I can't offer much other advice.
First sentence in his original post:
OK, so the Thetford 31661 toilet in our 31' Minnie got stuck, and threatened to overflow.
 

bobbottman

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Feb 22, 2016
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Thanks everyone for your advice and good wishes! I managed to find one of the few new Thetford 31661 toilets available -- from Walmart of all places -- and hired a mobile RV repair guy to install it. I'd reached the limit of my patience trying to get the old one out. He managed in less than an hour. Anyway, that issue is taken care of. Today, I discovered that our coach batteries (at least 6 years old) are at the end of their lives. So, battery replacement is next on the agenda!
 
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