Making Gray Tank Valves Easier to Reach

Waste water tanks are not high on the list of fun things to do while RVing. We have two gray tanks, and the way the manufacturer installed our kitchen gray tank’s dump valve does not make the process any more fun. Basically, they were installed “backwards.” In order to open the gate valve you have to climb under the edge of the slide floor and electrical cables, and the valve must pulled away from you in order to open it.

View of the kitchen waste water tank dump valve with the handle facing away from the viewer
This is the easiest angle to approach the gray tank. Why is the handle on the opposite side?

These gate valves are pretty simple: they consist of two O-ring seals and a flat plastic “gate” that holds back the waste water until the handle is pulled. They are attached to the drain lines with four bolts, and can be installed with the handle facing any of four directions. For some reason, the manufacturer decided to face this gate valve in the opposite direction one would find logical (or ergonomic), making it difficult to access when the slide is out.

After more than a year of crawling under the rig and tugging the gate open from the wrong side of the valve, I decided it was time to fix this once and for all.

I started by draining the galley gray tank and leaving the valve open for a couple hours to drain as much water as possible. I removed the four bolts and valve from the drain line to the tank.

After inspecting the valve and O-rings to check for problems, I flipped the valve 180 degrees and reattached it to the drain line. Then I closed the valve and tested it for leaks by adding water to the gray tank.

view of the kitchen waste water gate valve with the handle facing toward you
Fixed! And yes, we know the underbelly is covered in mud and dirt. We’re in Florida! Everything is covered in mud right now.

The new position is much easier to access while the slide is extended. No more crawling through the mud to drain the tanks on a rainy day!

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