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Old 02-05-2020, 02:12 PM   #1
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Black tank pull cable welded closed

I was out of town for two weeks, leaving wife home. She dumped the tanks once, and told me that the black tank "was really hard to push back closed".

I got home and took a look at it.

No kidding. It's like it's welded shut.

For the life of me I can't get this cable to budge. I mean, not 1/4".

I dropped the bottom liner this morning and was able to get a look. The cable does not appear to be kinked anywhere. It was not attached anywhere (i.e. not a single zip tie). I added two zip ties, giving it a nice, wide set of bends from the pull handle back to the valve. Nothing.

Anybody got any ideas? I've got to get a closer look, but I believe I can probably just replace the cable. In the meantime....

HELP!
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:15 PM   #2
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Try disconnecting it from the valve itself. See if it works which will determine where your problem is- a hard to open/close valve or a cable issue.
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
Try disconnecting it from the valve itself. See if it works which will determine where your problem is- a hard to open/close valve or a cable issue.
X2
Often times a piece of toilet paper will 'roll' into the blade/seal of the valve, binding the blade.
The difficulty may not be in the cable at all but in the blade/valve itself.

Sometimes working the blade several times will dislodge whatevers in there but sometimes removal of the valve halves is necessary.
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:32 PM   #4
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Thanks. Great idea. I'm going to have to drop another panel to get to it.... and of course it's the one with the spare tire right beneath it <GROAN>.
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1521 View Post
I was out of town for two weeks, leaving wife home. She dumped the tanks once, and told me that the black tank "was really hard to push back closed".

I got home and took a look at it.

No kidding. It's like it's welded shut.

For the life of me I can't get this cable to budge. I mean, not 1/4".

I dropped the bottom liner this morning and was able to get a look. The cable does not appear to be kinked anywhere. It was not attached anywhere (i.e. not a single zip tie). I added two zip ties, giving it a nice, wide set of bends from the pull handle back to the valve. Nothing.

Anybody got any ideas? I've got to get a closer look, but I believe I can probably just replace the cable. In the meantime....

HELP!
I had the same issue. I took a pair of vice grips and clamped on to the metal rod right behind the handle and gave it a little force left and right. It broke free and then I lubed it with light oil when I was able to pull it all the way out.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:20 PM   #6
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We had this type problem on our Cedar Creek. I took a can of WD40 and was able to just barely get the red applicator straw into a little opening between the pull handle and the protective sleeve. A huge spray of WD and then a good tug got it all freed up. Now I just spray a little WD after every trip before putting it away.
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:37 PM   #7
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All cables need to be lubed. Use one of these to lube your cable:
https://www.amazon.com/Motion-Pro-08...66440593&psc=1
If possible, lube from both ends.
This tool, or something like it, should inject enough lube into the cable housing to free up a "dry" cable/wire. (the illustration is for motorcycle cables...and I've used them for decades.)
Work the cable back and forth vigorously to distribute the lube. Since you are able to get to the valve-end of the cable bear in mind that gravity is your friend and focus on the higher end of the cable to get the best result.

Obviously, verify (by removing the cable from the valve) that the valve is functioning as it should be and lube it as needed. The shaft may be binding. Far worse would be the actual slide binding since it's buried far up the pipe.

If your tank is empty, there are "pour in" valve lubes you can use to restore smooth operation.
https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Sewer/Ca...BoCOKYQAvD_BwE
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
All cables need to be lubed. Use one of these to lube your cable:
https://www.amazon.com/Motion-Pro-08...66440593&psc=1
If possible, lube from both ends.
This tool, or something like it, should inject enough lube into the cable housing to free up a "dry" cable/wire. (the illustration is for motorcycle cables...and I've used them for decades.)
Work the cable back and forth vigorously to distribute the lube. Since you are able to get to the valve-end of the cable bear in mind that gravity is your friend and focus on the higher end of the cable to get the best result.
Any chance that you have a video for how this thing works?
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
Any chance that you have a video for how this thing works?
(YouTube Doug... YouTube!)

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Old 02-06-2020, 05:00 PM   #10
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(YouTube Doug... YouTube!)

Appreciate that. I freaking hate YouTube. I liken it to a necessary evil.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:07 PM   #11
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Changed 3 cables in 5 years. Enough! Replaced valve with electric. No problems since
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
All cables need to be lubed. Use one of these to lube your cable:
https://www.amazon.com/Motion-Pro-08...66440593&psc=1
If possible, lube from both ends.
This tool, or something like it, should inject enough lube into the cable housing to free up a "dry" cable/wire. (the illustration is for motorcycle cables...and I've used them for decades.)
Work the cable back and forth vigorously to distribute the lube. Since you are able to get to the valve-end of the cable bear in mind that gravity is your friend and focus on the higher end of the cable to get the best result.

Obviously, verify (by removing the cable from the valve) that the valve is functioning as it should be and lube it as needed. The shaft may be binding. Far worse would be the actual slide binding since it's buried far up the pipe.

If your tank is empty, there are "pour in" valve lubes you can use to restore smooth operation.
https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Sewer/Ca...BoCOKYQAvD_BwE
Thanks. I just ordered one of these. Iíll give it a try and let you guys know.
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:41 PM   #13
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No joy. This type of cable lube device isn't really designed for RV cables. I ordered a new 7' cable from Valterra. Will be here tomorrow and I'll just install it.
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:35 PM   #14
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No joy. This type of cable lube device isn't really designed for RV cables. I ordered a new 7' cable from Valterra. Will be here tomorrow and I'll just install it.
Sorry to hear that. Be sure to lube the new cable well prior to installation. If the old one "rusted" itself to death, then the new one would do well to have extra protection.

Good luck.
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:16 PM   #15
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I think the biggest thing I’m going to do is make sure I zip tie this new one very securely with a large arc. Also, not use Magilla Gorilla to open and close it.
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:40 PM   #16
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I've had the motion pro cable luber for years for my dirt bikes. Works great for vinyl coated sheathed cables. The cables used for our RV's are not coated, the sheath is spiral metal, like a coil bound spring so lube will drip out of the sheath, which means you can also lube it through the sheath, spray the outside with WD-40, it is very thin and should pass through the sheath.
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:28 PM   #17
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Try this cable lube with your motion pro cable luber. Great stuff, been using it on our dirt bike for years. Available at Amazon for $5.96.
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:20 PM   #18
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Good news is that it was indeed the cable that was bad. The valve itself operates quite smoothly. I just need to replace the cable, which I'll finish up tomorrow.

Quite the exercise learning how to drop the bottom panels and maneuver my was around to get to the valve. BTW, it is a LaSalle Bristol termination valve (not a Valterra as I thought).

Seeing how (relatively) simple it is to get to, I'm thinking about replacing it all with an electric gate valve. There appear to only be two on the market: Valterra and Drain Master.

Does anyone have experience with these? The worst part of it (other than dropping the bottom) is going to be where to place the switch (which requires 12vdc).

Why wouldn't they make a wireless remote model?
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:32 PM   #19
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I installed a Drainmaster electric valve on my black tank 3 years ago. Works perfectly. No problems. Considering the gray valve next. Eliminates the ongoing cable problems.
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:34 PM   #20
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I put switch in storage compartment next to drain connection so I can watch for any problems/leaks while draining.
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