Installed an indoor swimming pool....

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Stella

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2012
Posts
312
I do at times enjoy the finer things in life but a built in pool is not quite working for us...

So I ask the brilliant minds of RV Forum: what did I do wrong and how do I prevent it from happening again.


I finally got our family out to the coast in our beloved Vortex and this morning woke up to a new challenge. Apparently as we slept the toilet overflowed... and overflowed... and overflowed.. the result is that our bathroom and rear bedroom are thoroughly soaked.

I raced outside, turned off the city water connect and pulled open the drains which stopped the overflow. When I was out there I noticed that the issue has been going on long enough during the night for an RV sized puddle to be under and behind the RV of excess water.

This does NOT happen when I use my water tank and water pump. Only when on hooked-up water.
Yep- I use a water regulator.

We barely used the rest room- the tank was barely a quarter full when we went to bed.

This tried to happen before- the last time we were on water hookup. I caught it just as it started and opened the drain levers.

This time the carpet is so wet that water slurps around as I walk. we are packing up early. I will bring it home and yank it out as I am fairly sure it will never dry on its own... what a mess. :(

Please chime in with your suggestions. We could use a lot of help figuring this one out.  We would very muck like a dry New Year! :D


 
I would get a hold of shop vacuum or rug shampooer and keep working it till the carpet is dry also fire up the furnace and heat it up good. Make sure to have  few vents or windows cracked open.
 
What brand of toilet?

This has happened to others. Basically the valve to shut of the water is not closing. This could be a bad water supply valve or an obstruction the is preventing the large valve/ball/flapper that closing the opening at the bottom of the toilet to the waste tank. On some toilets if this does not close all the way the water supply valve remains open. This first fills the black water tank and then overflows.

I agree with using a shop vac to get rid of as much water as possible.

ken
 
Stella

I am sorry to hear of your disaster. I once had a water heater spring a leak in my stick and brick house while I was away for a weekend. All the carpets in the house had to be removed and taken to a warehouse to dry. It took two weeks to get the house back to normal. So no matter how big the mess it, it would have probably been a lot worse in a stick and brick.

I don't ever hook up directly to water for any length of time. I only hook up my electricity. I use the water from my on board water tank. When my holding tanks get full I hook up the water and sewer pipe and dump, then refill the water tank. Then I put the hoses away.

This method accomplishes a number of things. I still conserve water, which is important to me in the desert. If I do have a broken valve or water pump the flood would be limited to the amount of water in the tank. And if I want to break camp and drive somewhere (I don't have a toad) it is just a matter of unhooking the electricity.
 
SeilerBird said:
Stella

I am sorry to hear of your disaster. I once had a water heater spring a leak in my stick and brick house while I was away for a weekend. All the carpets in the house had to be removed and taken to a warehouse to dry. It took two weeks to get the house back to normal. So no matter how big the mess it, it would have probably been a lot worse in a stick and brick.

I don't ever hook up directly to water for any length of time. I only hook up my electricity. I use the water from my on board water tank. When my holding tanks get full I hook up the water and sewer pipe and dump, then refill the water tank. Then I put the hoses away.

This method accomplishes a number of things. I still conserve water, which is important to me in the desert. If I do have a broken valve or water pump the flood would be limited to the amount of water in the tank. And if I want to break camp and drive somewhere (I don't have a toad) it is just a matter of unhooking the electricity.

I pretty much do the same thing - I once was hooked to city water WITHOUT a pressure regulaltor, in the middle of the night with nobody using water the pressure went way too high and my toilet leaked. Since then I have gotten a pressure regulator and also rarely hook up to city water, rather I fill my onboard tank and use it....I think it is the safest way.

Shop Vac - remove the carpet and let the sub floor dry thoroughly then find the bad valve!

Good Luck....RV's and swimming pools do not mix!

Jim
 
I agree with Wigpro on using on-board water.  At least if you spring a leak, the sound of the pump running should alert you.  But, hindsight...
 
Take lots of photos for insurance purposes.

In a stick built the SOP (standard operating procedure) is to remove all carpet and pad immediatly.  Get a couple dehumidifiers in the unit and run it around the clock until you've got it down to at least 20% relative humidity (I take it down more than that if it's in one of our condos). 

Let it sit for a couple days, checking the humidity level daily.  If it starts to climb back up, put the dehumidfiers back in there. 

The immediate goal is to get it completly dried out as soon as possible to prevent mold and dry rot down the road.

Once it's dried completly, you'll need to check the integrity of anything that was in the water, especially man made product like particle board, fiberboard panels, etc.  Most of those products turn to garbage if they've been wet for very long. 

Personally, I'd rip the carpet and pad out before I even moved the trailer.  Carpet and pad are like a sponge and just hold water.  We have replaced pad and dried the carpet (it was new, never lived in) and then cleaned it makinging sure they used an antimicrobial in the carpet cleaning water.  I would never try to save a carpet that has had black or grey water on it.
 
Stella,

This is too late to fix your problem but will help prevent it from happening in the future. See my post of 3/23/2010 on my use of very sensitive water sensors. They are very inexpensive.

BTW, the one time that I had a "flood," I used a leaf blower to blow air forcefully into areas that would not normally get much ventilation. Good luck!

Richard
 
Thanks everyone for the responses. As suggested we are using shop vacs and yes- a leaf blower- on the areas that are wet. Crazy how much water we are getting out of it. I want to yank the carpet but it seems that the bed and cabinetry is built on top of it. Could they seriously have done that? How does one remove all the carpet without destroying the entire bed etc?

Seilerbird and all.... I totally agree! Using the water is not worth it when it works just fine with the pump (and that built in leak warning is awesome when you hear the pump going for no reason!)

Richard I am off to read your post. Even if I never hook up to water again directly I sure want to know the rig is sound even if we upgrade later and another soul carries on the journey with ours. :D


 
Yes they would install the bed and cabinetry right over the carpet. They weren't expecting you to turn your RV into a swimming pool :(

One thing I should mention. I always stay in RV parks than have great showers. I don't use the shower in my RV. This saves me the propane to heat up the water and dumping more frequently. It also allows longer showers. This allows me to go two weeks without dumping. If I were to shower in the RV I would have to dump after a week if I took Navy showers.  One of the reasons I do things this way is because the shower in my RV is the size of a phone booth. The showers in RV parks are much larger and I can take a longer shower.
 
Stella said:
Richard I am off to read your post. Even if I never hook up to water again directly I sure want to know the rig is sound even if we upgrade later and another soul carries on the journey with ours. :D

Shella,

You can have a water leak anywhere in an RV when on the pump or city water. Water heaters spring leaks, toilet valves leak at times, and of course, any sink or fittings under them can leak in a system bouncing down the road. Our last alarm sounded even though I could not feel any dampness in the carpet. You just never know when a leak might occur.

R
 
Yes the cabinets and bed and other stuff is installed on top of the carpet. Use a utility knife to cut around the edges and take up the carpet you need to. Or, get your screwdrivers out and take out the cabinetry to get down to bare floor again. Watching the "how'd they do that" shows on tv will tell you that the flooring is all laid before they even put the walls and roof on a motorhome.

If you hadn't already thought it prudent, take lot's of pictures and call your insurance agent. There will most likely be enough damage to make a claim prudent.

Ken
 
you will have to cut the carpet. I had a client that had his boys cleaning out the black tank 2 weeks after I installed new carpet in the coach. Flood like yours. Client dried out the carpet and wanted me to reinstall it. Thought I was gonna puke.
 
It's possible that your insurance policy might cover the services of a disaster professional.  We used ServPro when our washing machine overflowed in the stick house.  The pros are used to dealing with the insurance companies and can move things right along.  They also have HUGE heated fans.  They saved our berber carpet but the carpet pad was history.  The moisture even wicked up into the walls.

Margi

 
The carpet is under the cabinets and closets so you need to gain access to them and cut the carpet.  IF you can get the carpet loose enough to gain access to the pad, remove the pad.  If you want to try and save the carpet, not advisable if the flood was black tank, place a fan to blow into the areas.

Do not apply heat but blow ambient air throughout the RV including the storage areas.  Heat speeds up  the mold growth.  YOU can either rent blowers or call a restoration company as I did.  The main thing is to get the wet stuff out, carpets and pads and dry ASAP.  After that you can assess the damage and do the repairs.

More later as I just got called to lunch.
 
RLSharp said:
You can have a water leak anywhere in an RV when on the pump or city water. Water heaters spring leaks, toilet valves leak at times, and of course, any sink or fittings under them can leak in a system bouncing down the road.
This is true but if you are not hooked up to city water then the amount of water that can do damage is reduced to the amount of water in your water tank. If you are home when it starts leaking you should hear the water pump. Hooked up to city water it won't make any noise.
 
Dittto the shopvac to remove the water out of the carpet.  Probably more than one application.  Don't be afraid to try.  The dryer, the better.  Also, if a dehumidifier is available, use it.  The water can cause more damage than you are probably even thinking it will.  Places the moisture will migrate to will cause you problems later that can be minimized by doing everything you can now to get that moisture out of the RV.

Focus on the drying everything out for now to minimize any damage.  Then find the problem as to why and solve that problem to keep it from happening again.
 
Another plus about not using a city water hookup and instead using your on board tank is the fact that you can shut off the water pump when not needed.  We shut ours off at night and when we leave the RV.  I have a one gallon pressure tank connected to the pump so the pump doesn't cycle on and off so often.
 
There are two possible caused depending on the toilet design.. Mine the valve likes to hang up and not release, thus it keeps filling, Since we always pump I hear the pump running and do something about it (Alas wife is not so observant)

The other cause is city water.. The park I'm in now the park map carries a warning about water pressure.. Well over 100 PSI has been recorded..  Some of those flush valves are rated for only 60 PSI,  This is why I have a WATTS whole house type regulator I hook up as the first thing in the water path.  Alas I need to do a rebuild on it (no major problem, very simple) but if I were hooked up to city water here.. (Other than the quick fill) I'd have it in line.  It works very well.
 
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