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Blocked waste water outlet on our T6

WelshGas

WelshGas

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If it was mine, I’d disconnect the waste outlet from the valve and try pushing the unblocker down the pipe. The T-piece will make it very difficult to clear any blockage between it and the valve.

Where does the vertical pipe from the T piece go?


To the top of the Waste Tank. So if it fills up it will overflow instead of backing up to the sink.
 
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RobinGambles

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21
Location
Reading
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T6 Ocean 204
Thank you so much Welsh Gas for the diagram.
I haven’t yet managed to get the ‘whirligig ‘ coil but my flexible net curtain wire gets as far 42 cm which seems to be the distance to the valve or at least the junction with the overflow. It’s a thinnish wire but it meets no resistance until it contacts something hard at 42 cms.
Isn’t it more likely therefore that the blockage is at the base of the waste tank where the pipe turns at a right angle into the valve?
I’m concerned that if I push-up from below I might just cause the blockage to be pushed up into the overflow pipe. Then the tank would discharge but the overflow wouldn’t work, nor would there be an easy way of freeing it up.

Incidentally, Jodalo what is the significance of the basin sink plug being unplugged. I never actually keep it in the basin.

Thank you everybody for you help and interest.
Robin
 
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RobinGambles

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Reading
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T6 Ocean 204
I’ve managed to book the van in to the dealer first thing on Friday so they can check the valve, so as to be able to discount that one or not.
I haven’ much time between now and then and will be away all Thursday but will keep trying to do what I can meantime
Thanks for all your encouragement and ideas.
Robin
 
Jodalo

Jodalo

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Eastbourne
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Cali now sold
Remove the plug to allow free flow of air through the system when draining. It’s like if you fill a straw with water and keep your thumb on the top, the water is retained in the straw.
 
andrejab1

andrejab1

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115
Location
Slovenia
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T5 SE 140
I know you're all suggesting technical solutions - how about a housewife solution? Baking soda into the drain, then vinegar, leave for a few minutes, then hot water from high - wonders may "come up" the drain... :D
 
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RobinGambles

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Reading
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T6 Ocean 204
The more I think about this, it seems to me that the most obvious place for blockages to occur will be at the outlet of the waste tank itself. The diagram at p32 of Alan’s technical manual shows the pipe coming out of the bottom of the tank which bends at a right angle to go to the valve. That is the first opportunity for a blockage to build up and in view of the sharpness of the bend the most likely place for this to occur, and probably more likely than at the T junction with the overflow and the outlet drain pipe.

As there is now a tiny bit more of a flow, I will wait until it stops dripping and then apply some baking soda and vinegar or some proprietary chemical when I’ve taken advice as to whether or not a chemical product’s corrosive properties might damage the valve or whatever.

Once the tank is nearly empty is it an easy matter to unscrew the cover below the sink at the back of the cupboard and get at the bottom tank outlet from there, even if it is only to squirt a hose at it? How easy would it be to ensure a watertight seal o screwing the cover back in?

It is still of course possible that the blockage is at the T junction as my curtain wire seems to be meeting resistance at the T junction as only on one occasion (the first attempt) have I managed to get it to go up overflow pipe. So I wonder what is stopping it there? It is hard and doesn’t feel like fatty gunge. Keith Smith has made one suggestion.



Robin
 
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vwsween

Messages
194
Location
Birmingham
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
With a decent amount of water in the tank have you actually tried setting the valve in the open position and then going for a drive, drive like you stole it, and get that water sloshing about. As its still dripping its most unlikely to be a faulty valve, most likely food debris/fat.
 
Keith Smith

Keith Smith

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627
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Shrewsbury
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T6 Ocean 150
The old fashioned way of clearing a blockage was to use a plunger, like a big rubber suction cup, and pump the water down the drain. You can do this, albeit not as effectively as a plunger, just by filling the sink with at least 50mm of soapy water, cup your hand over the waste then press your hand up and down forcing water down the drain.
 
V

vwsween

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194
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Birmingham
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T6.1 Ocean 150
The old fashioned way of clearing a blockage was to use a plunger, like a big rubber suction cup, and pump the water down the drain. You can do this, albeit not as effectively as a plunger, just by filling the sink with at least 50mm of soapy water, cup your hand over the waste then press your hand up and down forcing water down the drain.
Yes thats precisely why I suggested sloshing the water about with a drive. The plunger is not likely to help in this case as the blockage is not in the pipe between the sink and tank, its most likely at the exit from the tank.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

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The old fashioned way of clearing a blockage was to use a plunger, like a big rubber suction cup, and pump the water down the drain. You can do this, albeit not as effectively as a plunger, just by filling the sink with at least 50mm of soapy water, cup your hand over the waste then press your hand up and down forcing water down the drain.
Won't work I'm afraid, because of the Overflow pipe. If that was blocked then it might work.
 
westfalia

westfalia

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4,833
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Germany.
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T5 SE 174
Make sure that the outlet tap is opened and fire some water up the
outlet pipe with one of these.
images-98.jpeg
 
andyinluton

andyinluton

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Have you got access to an aqua vac - try sucking water back up the plug hole?

We have a large industrial one & the volume of air it sucks is far more than the overflow pipe could cope with so Im sure it would have a good go at displacing what is blocking the valve.

Using a plunger is also worth try, because the overflow is such a small diameter pipe you would loose some of the suction through that route but not all of it.

If you do have one, you can then remove the tank sender to lower the water level below the access hatch, then open the access hatch & get as much water out as you can then remove the valve without flooding the van - easy really!!
 
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RobinGambles

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Reading
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T6 Ocean 204
Last night I put baking powder and vinegar into the tank preceded and followed by pouring in a kettle of nearly boiling water into the tank. I later applied a hose into the sink to add about ten litres to try and flush out any loosened gunge.

No immediate effect and to my dismay I later realised I had succeeded in clogging it all up yet further, as by morning nothing had come out at all.

I have now acquired a coil wire but that ran up the bottom pipe with no resistance so no blockage had moved down there, so still in the tank or valve.

A drive from Reading to Oxford this morning restored the discharge but only to one drip per second.

I haven’t as yet found access to an aqua-vac.

I realise that this problem has built up over a long period and will be harder to put right as a result. Fairly early on I remember thinking the discharge flow was slow and was sometimes conscious of how long it took at emptying points on sites when others were waiting. This led to sometimes discharging while driving on country roads etc and trying to put as little waste water in the tank as possible. For instance, I have a larger washing up bowl which I would empty into a discharge point on site, or if wild camping throw into a hedge or whatever. And then periods of non use would have allowed gunge to harden considerably. This was even longer this year as we have had lockdown on top of winter. So yet more hardening of deposits.

Thank you everybody for your continuing help and interest. I‘ll see what the dealer can open up tomorrow morning
Robin
 
PaulMilton

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Bramhall
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If it’s a blockage from food waste my only other suggestion would be to force some low pressure air or water up the outlet. Either by sticking a hose up and blowing or turning on a tap. Blowing would be my preference as you’ll get feedback. If it’s waste the pressure should dislodge any build up from at the tank exit and flow should at least increase temporarily. Hope that makes sense.


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I had the same problem and pushing the hose up the waste pipe and forming a seal with my hand seemed to sort it, as Maverick says.
 
andyinluton

andyinluton

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If you are forcing air back up, put a heavy towel over the plughole, Im sure you don't really want a van full of waste water!
 
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RobinGambles

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Reading
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T6 Ocean 204
Have just got the van back from the VW dealer this morning all clean and clear and flowing at a rate faster than I can remember.

They dismantled the pipe connection from the outflow and overflow T connection, so as to be able to access the valve, which was blocked. Incidentally the valve couldn’t easily be removed as it is on a bracket which is riveted to the side of the fridge.
They dislodged the blockage by applying compressed air.
They then filled the tank and flushed it out. Quite a bit of gunge was flushed out and they kept this up until the water ran clear.

They were wary at applying the various chemical liquids that are available, as with small compact ‘kitchenette’ level piping, the piping isn’t robust enough.

I wonder whether a six monthly or so application of baking powder and vinegar followed by a thorough length flush out might be a good discipline for the future.

So all’s we’ll that ends well, and thank you everybody for being so will to take time to suggest so many things.

Robin
 
Azteccamper

Azteccamper

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Have just got the van back from the VW dealer this morning all clean and clear and flowing at a rate faster than I can remember.

They dismantled the pipe connection from the outflow and overflow T connection, so as to be able to access the valve, which was blocked. Incidentally the valve couldn’t easily be removed as it is on a bracket which is riveted to the side of the fridge.
They dislodged the blockage by applying compressed air.
They then filled the tank and flushed it out. Quite a bit of gunge was flushed out and they kept this up until the water ran clear.

They were wary at applying the various chemical liquids that are available, as with small compact ‘kitchenette’ level piping, the piping isn’t robust enough.

I wonder whether a six monthly or so application of baking powder and vinegar followed by a thorough length flush out might be a good discipline for the future.

So all’s we’ll that ends well, and thank you everybody for being so will to take time to suggest so many things.

Robin
Out of interest. What did they charge you?
 
Jodalo

Jodalo

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Eastbourne
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Cali now sold
It’s a shame that VW with all their technical know how could not manage to design a simple waste pipe system. One that can be easily ‘rodded through’ to dislodge any crud. Glad you sorted it.
 
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RobinGambles

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Reading
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T6 Ocean 204
They charged for a couple of hours work. Where we are that’s normally £115 p/h +VAT. But they were very good to me and offered to reduce that rate for me. They are a good team here in Reading and I’ve been very impressed by their service and by their whole attitude.
Perhaps they have a soft spot for Calis and their owners!
Robin
 
Keith Smith

Keith Smith

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627
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Shrewsbury
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T6 Ocean 150
Glad you got it sorted and something for us all to be aware of. I think from now I’ll periodically put a bucket of hot soapy water down which should be enough to keep it clear.
 
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Nansvan

Messages
7
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
The outlet from the waste water tank on our Cali T6, or the opening into it, is blocked. The lack of flow in the outlet pipe has been building up for a while. Even when bought nearly new, 3.5 years ago, the flow wasn’t that fast but adequate taking about 5 or 6 mins to empty. Coming out of lockdown I wanted to see how it was and put about 18 litres of water through the basin into the tank. Its trickle is so slow, and no more than drips, so that over the last 24 hours a washing up basin (whose base is 225 x 275 mm) has only filled by 3.5 cms.

I’ve gently pushed a thin flexible plastic coated net curtain support wire up the tube from below to see if I could locate and clear the blockage. The first time after meeting some slight resistance at a couple of points (as if there might have been a slight bend or whatever) I got it as far as c95cm up the outlet tube. But nothing dislodged or improvement of any kind. I tried again later but at 42 cm the wire hit hard and solid edged resistance (ie not sludge or whatever). A second attempt gets to the same resistance point and no further.



Has anyone had experience of this and what is the best way to deal with it?
We had this problem a couple of times with a T5 Cali. Tried hot water, Mr Muscle, plunger - nothing worked. Then tried bicarbonate of soda and vinigar - loads of each. Left overnight and drove it around the block. Next day thin trickle of brown liquid and then it cleared!! Worth a try. Then flushed it all through with clean water.
 
A

AdrianCaltieri

Messages
4
Location
Northallerton
Vehicle
T5 SE 140 4Motion
The outlet from the waste water tank on our Cali T6, or the opening into it, is blocked. The lack of flow in the outlet pipe has been building up for a while. Even when bought nearly new, 3.5 years ago, the flow wasn’t that fast but adequate taking about 5 or 6 mins to empty. Coming out of lockdown I wanted to see how it was and put about 18 litres of water through the basin into the tank. Its trickle is so slow, and no more than drips, so that over the last 24 hours a washing up basin (whose base is 225 x 275 mm) has only filled by 3.5 cms.

I’ve gently pushed a thin flexible plastic coated net curtain support wire up the tube from below to see if I could locate and clear the blockage. The first time after meeting some slight resistance at a couple of points (as if there might have been a slight bend or whatever) I got it as far as c95cm up the outlet tube. But nothing dislodged or improvement of any kind. I tried again later but at 42 cm the wire hit hard and solid edged resistance (ie not sludge or whatever). A second attempt gets to the same resistance point and no further.



Has anyone had experience of this and what is the best way to deal with it?
I have successfully cleared it through a hot mix of water and washing up liquid down the sink and attaching a hose to the outlet which is in front of rear left side wheel and forcing water up the outlet.Depending on how full the tank is you will know if it has cleared if warm water starts to come out. However this needs care that water does not come out of the breather or into the van through the sink. Now I do not put any "contaminated" water down the sink, even from say cooking pasta. Good luck!
 
B

bcasey

Messages
14
Hi,
I did a clean out of the waste tank of my 2007 Cali a year or two ago to remove any build-up.
Waste pipes are routinely cleaned by "jetting", and while the Cali outflow pipes are probably too small for this, the tank can be jetted through the access hatch, using a small power washer with a 90-degree head, or a jetting accessory. A bit of care avoids flooding the kitchen unit, etc. An old towel will mop up any splashes.
You can compare the "before" and "after" condition by taking flash photos with your phone through the hatch.
If there are a lot of food bits, etc. present, it might be advisable to remove the waste water through the hatch, possibly by using a suction of some kind, or a syphon hose out the sliding door.

Prevent Sludge Build-up:
I find that if I use the plastic basin insert to wash up, and then pour the washing water through a small wire strainer, it collects a lot of bits like muesli grains, crumbs, etc which would otherwise build up in the tank.

It's also a good idea to keep the plug in place to avoid "nasty smells" which happens occasionally when the "u-bend" water evaporates!

The tank hasn't ever blocked up, its possibly worth looking at what drains out of it now and again, to see if any potential problems are present.

If you can't open the hatch due to a full tank, this might be overcome by unscrewing the water level sensor, (big white nut with two wires) which inserts through a threaded hole about 30-40mm in diameter, big enough to get a hose through and to the bottom of the tank.
 
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Nic Bowman

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6
Hi, my first post, I was hoping for something more intellectual, but, this also has me baffled Even with its lowbrow sink based issues.. Exactly the same issue, drips out slowly. Did the drain rod thing, went in at least 40cm and tricky to get back out, wiggled it a lot. No better. Then found a plunger which holds about a litre of water and fits the tube exactly ( what’s the chance?). Flushed water in and out a lot. Now a small flow but not fixed... would be very interested to hear if anyone has a categorical solution, ta. Nic
 
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Nic Bowman

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Messages
6
Hi, actually looking at the manual (very helpful thanks), the rod will not clear the valve as it is at 90 degrees to the outlet. The rod will only pass straight up the bypass to the top of the tank. Ditto me pumping water in and out. If the valve is blocked, it seems either chemical relief, some drain unblocker, or physically un plumb the valve and unblock. So it appears to me from the diagrams and what I have observed. Nic
 

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