Ok, yes, you read that right. Electric Gray and Black Dump valves. No I am not kidding. No I have not lost my mind. (Well, then again, that depends on whom you may ask.) We installed electric dump valves and wished we had done it sooner.
I know you are thinking all kinds of things from “This guy has too much time on his hands” or “Who the heck would do that!” to “Ok, now he has really lost it.” Some of you might even have thought it all the way through and said…”I would never! What if the dump tube was knocked out of place?!?!?”
Yup, I was also in that same boat. Or should I say coach? I had thought the same things for sure, even the last one for sure! But then I thought back and asked myself, have I ever found the hose disconnected when I went out to dump? Thinking back, I can think of maybe one time…ok…maybe two. But that was only after we had work done on the coach like it was being washed. Also, we can look out the window when it comes time to dump to see if anything is amiss.
So why did we do it? Simple. We keep our gray tank closed all the time so we can get the big “FLUSH” when we open the value and all the suction pulls things out. Because of this, we would be going outside every other day or so to dump the gray tank. We figured, heck, we can see the levels, we can see the hose, why not just dump from the inside and not have to go out in the rain or the cold? Seeing we also have a seasonal site, where no one is ever over by the hose area, we are pretty sure it will always be in place. Even more so as we are using a positive seal of a rubber donut.
So in any case, we installed the Drain Master Pro-Series System with two keypads. You may remember the name as we installed the BEST waste hose system we have ever found, the Waster Master Cam Lock Drain Hose that we did a full post on with a video. Like the hose system, it is more expensive than other valve products that you may find. (I found two others in research.) However these have a 5 year warranty which means they are really built well.
The system could not have been easier to put in. You remove your current valves and insert the new ones. It is just like putting in replacement manual valves. So it is easy, but of course it smells. In our case, for power we tapped into the water hose power reel power supply. It was right there and even had twist caps for the connection, so it was as easy as untwisting the cap, add the wire, and twist the cap back on. Same for the ground wire. So the outside install was really no issue and took me about one hour. The hardest part was cutting the metal to put in the switches. Thank goodness for the Dremel tool.
Then we needed to run the wires to the inside, after all, that was the entire point. The good news in our part was that the wires for the thermostats, etc that are in the wall, went right down into the wet bay area. So it was just a matter of putting a fish tape down the hole, grabbing it and attaching the wires to it and pulling it back. The switch control wires then just plug into the switch plate and the valves. (Each valve can accept two switches.) We put the inside switches up higher so you could not bump them and they are also right above where we see our tank reading, thus making it very convenient.
I also took the time to install a power switch. I did this, for I found the switches to be very sensitive to the press and I wanted to be sure that when we travel, I could turn off the power to the system. So when I put away the hose, or put it out, I just turn on or off the switch.
Also, if/when we sell the coach, we can take the system with us by just swapping out the valves with standard valves again. Sure there will be two holes from the switches, but that is not our issue at that point and we could just cover it with duct tape. This really is one of those things that we wish we had done sooner, as funny as that may sound. And remember, I DID consider the hose being knocked out issue, I concluded it had not been an issue in the past and seeing we look out the window to verify, we feel fine about it. The only real issue is if the parks sewer tube gets blocked, but that is where the positive seal of the rubber donut can help. Also, I do go out and do a tank rinse from time to time as I do not have a controller for that. ;)
And you know, seeing we have CoachProxy the dumping is now automated! Yup! You read that right. I no longer need to dump the tanks! You see, CoachProxy sends out a text alert when say the gray tank is at 75%. Well seeing that Brenda gets the text also, she then walks over to the switch and dumps the tank. See, fully automated. After all, I said “I” no longer need to…not that someone did not need to. :) (Love you Babe.)
Click Images for Larger View.