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Water Drain Tap


Durbanite
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On most caravans it seems like there is a competition to see which manufacturer can place the hot water boiler water drain switch in the most awkward position.
On numerous occasions we have left the draining the water to the last moment and on occasions we forget. Invariably we have already packed the front of the caravan with the wastemaster, aquarolls etc. This means moving all the stuff to access the drain switch.
Why don't manufacturers fit an electrical switch that will do the same job with the switch in a more accessible position? Is there a switch that can do the same job as with my arthritis it is nearly impossible for me to reach the switch? Thanks.

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It was an external removable 'bung' on my earlier caravans. (Carver cascade 2) But as that was a John Guest type fitting it was a right royal pain to remove so probably not suited to your arthritic hands.

 

Perhaps you (or a workshop, dealer or mobile) could re-plumb the system so you can open a drain tap situated under the caravan or elsewhere that you can access more easily?

 

You could (I suppose) get a water solenoid valve to operate electrically [similar to a washing machine fill solenoid valve] but it's not something I'd want to be fitted routinely (more to go wrong) and it would probably be difficult to get one that will stay open with no power applied to ensure water can drain out on the move. [You could then guarantee that you'd unplug the mains just as you'd forgotten to use the electrically-operated drain-down feature. .. ;) ]

2012 Bailey Pegasus 2 Rimini towed by 2019 Ford Galaxy Titanium X, 2.0 EcoBlue, 8 speed auto.

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there are two drain plugs on our Ti

 

a big handled plunger that seals the internal tank, and the yellow valve which drains the water heater.

 

I had thought of replacing the yellow valve with a solenoid triggered valve, just like the one already fitted to switch from internal/external/tank fill mode, as its tucked right up under the seats. the plunger isn't too difficult to get to.

 

or as said, it can be easily replumbed too be nearer the cupboard opening.

Edited by discodunc
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there are two drain plugs on our Ti

 

a big handled plunger that seals the internal tank, and the yellow valve which drains the water heater.

 

I had thought of replacing the yellow valve with a solenoid triggered valve, just like the one already fitted to switch from internal/external/tank fill mode, as its tucked right up under the seats. the plunger isn't too difficult to get to.

 

or as said, it can be easily replumbed too be nearer the cupboard opening.

It is the yellow one we would like to convert to an electrical one utilising the 12v supply.

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yes, that's a pain to get at. I was thinking of fitting a solenoid - £54 off ebay was the sort already installed - cant cut and paste in here but I did a search for "caravan water solenoid" and its the first in the list. it'll need some pipe and push fit connectors plus wire, fuse, switch etc.

 

I estimated total cost around £100 max - but worth it if you find it difficult or impossible to get to easily

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On most caravans it seems like there is a competition to see which manufacturer can place the hot water boiler water drain switch in the most awkward position.

On numerous occasions we have left the draining the water to the last moment and on occasions we forget. Invariably we have already packed the front of the caravan with the wastemaster, aquarolls etc. This means moving all the stuff to access the drain switch.

Why don't manufacturers fit an electrical switch that will do the same job with the switch in a more accessible position? Is there a switch that can do the same job as with my arthritis it is nearly impossible for me to reach the switch? Thanks.

 

A bit Heath Robinson but could you not attach a wire coat hanger through the yellow handle feeding the hanger vertically to be accessed under the bed cushions?

Sam :beardy:

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I just lift one of the cushions and it's right there. ...I think the easiest and cheapest methods would be to change the pipes and then out the valve in an easier location ?

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there are two drain plugs on our Ti

 

I had thought of replacing the yellow valve with a solenoid triggered valve, just like the one already fitted to switch from internal/external/tank fill mode, as its tucked right up under the seats. the plunger isn't too difficult to get to.

 

or as said, it can be easily replumbed too be nearer the cupboard opening.

 

I would be very wary of replacing the "yellow valve" with a solenoid triggered one. The Truma installation instructions I have in front of me describe the yellow valve as a "safety (pressure relief) valve". It would seem from that description that it has a function other than being a simple drain valve. Fit an alternative drain by all means, but do not remove the yellow valve.

 

Moving the safety (pressure relief) valve may not be an option in some cases as you would have to take into account the position any non-return valves which are included in the water installation. This could result in a system which will not drain. The sequence of connections in a water installation to a Truma water heater must always remain PUMP > NON-RETURN VALVE > SAFETY (PRESSURE RELIEF) VALVE > WATER HEATER.

 

John.

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I would be very wary of replacing the "yellow valve" with a solenoid triggered one. The Truma installation instructions I have in front of me describe the yellow valve as a "safety (pressure relief) valve". It would seem from that description that it has a function other than being a simple drain valve. Fit an alternative drain by all means, but do not remove the yellow valve.

 

Moving the safety (pressure relief) valve may not be an option in some cases as you would have to take into account the position any non-return valves which are included in the water installation. This could result in a system which will not drain. The sequence of connections in a water installation to a Truma water heater must always remain PUMP > NON-RETURN VALVE > SAFETY (PRESSURE RELIEF) VALVE > WATER HEATER.

 

John.

 

Mistake.

 

References above should be "safety (pressure relief) drain valve.

 

John.

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interesting, didn't release it was a pressure value. best solution would then be to just reroute it to be nearer the flap door. and a lot cheaper.

 

or is that description just saying you can manualy relieve the pressure by opening the value, which could be achieved with a solenoid?

Edited by discodunc
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interesting, didn't release it was a pressure value. best solution would then be to just reroute it to be nearer the flap door. and a lot cheaper.

 

or is that description just saying you can manualy relieve the pressure by opening the value, which could be achieved with a solenoid?

 

I've looked at my instructions a bit more closely and some of what I see may answer your question.

 

Under a heading of fault finding:-

 

Sympton - Water drips from the safety/drain valve.

 

Cause - Water pressure too high.

 

Check water pressure (max. 2. 8 bar), use a pressure reducer when connecting to a central water supply.

 

As part of the section on water connection.

 

All pressure and submersible waterpumps up to 2. 8 bar can be used for operating the water system.

 

If connecting to a central water supply (rural or city connection) or when using more powerful pumps a pressure reducer must be used which prevents pressures of greater than 2. 8 bar occurring in the system.

 

I am fairly confident from the above the drain valve is also a safety valve.

 

I'm also pleased I was given all the equipment manufacturers installation and user information relevant to my caravan when I bought it new in 2005. It doesn't seem it is the case these days, with owners having to rely on generic handbooks which may only explain the use of equipment as the caravan manufacturer sees it.

 

John.

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thanks john, sounds like it acts as a pressure valve. I don't have any of that info in my 2011 van. didn't even look at the info in the 2006 spectrum so don't know what it said - although it had the same valve.

 

rerouting the pipe would be the best option then if the coat hanger solution doesn't work!, or attach a "second" drain valve on a solenoid.

 

I agree its a bit of a faff, but if it makes it easier for someone who has some agility restrictions then anything to make it easier and more convenient is good. After all, we now have electric water pumps instead of footpumps, and 12v onboard electric rather than relying on the car battery which we did when our family started caravanning 100s of years ago! - manycaravan improvements are focussed on convenience :)

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I thought that the pressure was controlled by the pressure switch and not the drain tap?

 

A pressure switch is part of the pump control system. When pressure in the water delivery system builds to a certain level, it cuts in and stops the pump running. In the case of my Whale Smartflo pump it is factory set at 2 bars and hence well within the safety limit of 2. 8 bars set by Truma. I am happy with my conclusion that the yellow Truma drain valve is also there to prevent an excess build-up of water pressure over 2. 8 bars.

 

John.

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