How to keep gate valves on black/grey operational? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-07-2012, 10:11 AM   #1
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How to keep gate valves on black/grey operational?

I have 4" blade valve on the black (mounted awkwardly such that the right wheel blocks a strait pull on the tee handle) and a 2" on the tee from the grey tank. Both get sticky to operate over time. I lubed the shaft of the smaller with a lithium/teflon grease and it now opens and closes very easily. I lubed the shaft of the larger black waste valve without much improvement so I closed it and sprayed the outer face of the blade and found the pull on it much-improved. From sticking my fingers into the seat for the 4" gate, I think I have ascertained that there's no seal that would swell or degrade in the presence of a lube grease. Is this the case?

I don't think I have a "non-skid" or human waste deposit on the blade or in the retract cavity but can't be sure. I suspect that the tee handle and/or the blade may be bent or otherwise distorted. On the other hand, I do not backflush because we make solid "deposits" elsewhere. Should I be backflushing simply because of the presence of small amounts of RV TP? Is there a drawback to lubing because of seals on the shaft? Aside from the closed configuration formally considered necessary to "sanitation" is it better to keep valves closed or open in winter when the trailer is not in use and winterized.

I do understand that the blade valves are not prohitively expensive. However, I'm more interested in how you maintain them as opposed to how you replace them. Thanx

jack
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:27 AM   #2
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Jack taking them apart and cleaning up the blade and the cavity might be the best fix. I ended up taking both the grey and black valves apart and cleaned the blade and the slots they go into -worked like a charm. Way easier to close. Didn't look like there was much if any dirt in the cavity but apparently enough to stop a smooth sliding on the blade. Taking them apart actually wasn't that hard to do.

I leave my tanks open when not in use so they dry out completely, once dry I close them up but if you have mice etc where the trailer is stored it could be a problem .......
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:09 AM   #3
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Here's a video by Valterra that might be helpful.
RVEducation 101 RV Video Tips

They recommend silcone spray or paste on the shaft to faciliate opening. Don't us WD40 in this application.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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I use silicone spray and it seems to help. As well I use it on the sliding windows.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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Having watched the video Steve posted I recall that I actually did replace the seals on the outlets when I had them all apart for cleaning - figured as they were 20 years old it couldn't hurt & perhaps avoid a problem in the not to distant future.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:04 PM   #6
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Woops

Looks like I shouldn't have used a petroleum grease as I guess there are soft seals in there. Done now Some RV folks are saying vegetable oil on the shaft to avoid swelling that seal; think maybe coconut. Then there's a feller who tapped in Zerk fittings and uses a grease gun to fill up the entire blade cavity. Says no problem in 4 yrs. Thanks for the answers.

jack [who works fast enuf to have penty of leisure to repent]
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:13 PM   #7
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Jack one thing I would be reluctant to add grease to the blade cavity - as it would attract stuff to cling to it - could fill up with small stuff such as coffee grounds etc pretty fast making it impossible to close.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:28 PM   #8
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I got a pan of hot water and Dawn detergent and scrubbed around over the shafts and the insides of the valves and rinsed to dilute the grease the best I could. It's pretty thin spray stuff so I probably washed most of it out. I'm sure I've hastened the death of the seals (the lip of which I could feel THIS TIME?) but the bottom of the seal in the black valve was rough which may explain the slight leak I had that showed up every time I opened the cap. So I guess I order the Bladex seals and a few dollars later I have another ugly bump on my head indicating I may have learned something or not.

jack
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:12 PM   #9
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I too had a hard time opening up a sticky black tank valve because of it's positioning near the tire. I use silicone spray with one of those straws to spray on the shaft and into the opening every couple dump station visits, this makes it easier to operate.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:41 PM   #10
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I also use Silicone Spray...
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:17 PM   #11
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Valterra "Bladex" valve seals, one set each of 3" and 1-1/2" came to 12 dollars+ with free shipping on Amazon Prime.

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Old 11-09-2012, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit View Post
Valterra "Bladex" valve seals, one set each of 3" and 1-1/2" came to 12 dollars+ with free shipping on Amazon Prime.

jack
there you have it, simple. They will be as good as new.
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