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Old 07-11-2019, 11:03 AM   #1
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Vacuum breaker question.

My vacuum braker for my black tank flush is cracked and leaks. Lucky I found the leak before too much water leaked.
Can this be replaced with just a male to male fitting. I understand ( I think ) its purpose but wonder if it's really needed. New houses have them ( back flow preventers ) on the water outlet you screw you garden hose to but I was told their not really needed just some government regulation that would actually never be needed.
Looking for your input
Thanks
Greg in Michigan
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:26 AM   #2
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On my previous TT, the previous owner had replaced the black plastic vacuum breaker valve with a 90į bend so there was no vacuum breaker valve in the line. I used this external brass hose bib vacuum breaker valve at the flusher inlet port.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...Z4EB/205815672

Edit: I would like to replace that black plastic vacuum breaker in my new 5er with a Watts 288A but they are awfully pricey.
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:53 AM   #3
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I'm sure you'll get arguments both ways, but to me I'd probably remove it. Too many failures would have to happen simultaneously for you to need it for it's intended purpose.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg in michigan View Post
My vacuum braker for my black tank flush is cracked and leaks. Lucky I found the leak before too much water leaked.
Can this be replaced with just a male to male fitting. I understand ( I think ) its purpose but wonder if it's really needed. New houses have them ( back flow preventers ) on the water outlet you screw you garden hose to but I was told their not really needed just some government regulation that would actually never be needed.
Looking for your input
Thanks
Greg in Michigan

There's a perfectly good reason for that regulation. Picture your neighbor filling his fish pond, leaving the hose in the water. Water utility has a sudden break in the line, shuts off the supply valves, but water in the lines ABOVE the break continues to flow out. This creates a vacuum which now sucks water in from the pond which contains who knows how many different harmful bacteria.

It's even MORE important with a Black Tank Flush line as there no doubt fecal matter contaminating the line where it enters the tank and could go back as far as where the line rises above the top of the tank. Picture flushing your tank, turning off the valve at the hydrant. You now just disconnect the hose and let it sit on the ground to drain. Without a backflow valve you could possibly have crap contaminated water being sucked back into your hose.

If the hydrant doesn't have a back flow preventer device on it's discharge, and it's a frost proof hydrant, when shut off water drains from the standpipe into a gravel sump a couple feet below ground. Without the backflow preventer on your black tank flush, it's possible to contaminate the campground hydrant and pass on the bacteria to the next user.

There are valid reasons for these valves both on RV's and Homes. Those who say they're unnecessary are ill informed.

As a side note, there was a time in history (even in my lifetime) when diseases were being passed around rapidly due to cross contamination between drinking water and sewage. Regulations like these have played a huge role in making sure few, if any of them, are being passed around today through monitored public water systems. For example, Cholera has been eradicated in the US as well as other's like Dysentery, Hep A, Polio, etc. being limited to those who travel to third world countries.

FWIW, there's just about as much work involved in bypassing this valve as there is in replacing it. Replace it and let it do the job for which it was intended.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:03 PM   #5
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I replaced mine with a plastic (black) 90 deg elbow used for lawn sprinkler systems. Allows full flow input to the tank. I input flow before opening dump valve and allow input to continue after dumping to add some water back into the tank. Have never seen any "matter", fecal or otherwise drain back out the input line, just clean clear water that was inputted. Water drains from both side of the elbow. The tank side into the tank and the input side back out when disconnected.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:05 PM   #6
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The need for them has been discussed many times on this forum. AFAIK, every plumbing code requires them to be used. It wouldn't be in the plumbing code if it was a very remote possibility.

The vacuum breaker in the link I provided in Post #2 can be used instead of the cheap plastic one. They are inexpensive. No excuse not to use one. I'm sure that the campground owner would want you to have one.
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itat View Post
On my previous TT, the previous owner had replaced the black plastic vacuum breaker valve with a 90į bend so there was no vacuum breaker valve in the line. I used this external brass hose bib vacuum breaker valve at the flusher inlet port.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...Z4EB/205815672

Edit: I would like to replace that black plastic vacuum breaker in my new 5er with a Watts 288A but they are awfully pricey.
Thanks itat.
Just finished removing the broken vacuum braker and replaced it with a brass fitting. Also took your advice ans also bought a check valve like the one you suggested for the outside.
Once again, thanks all that replied.
Greg in Michigan
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