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Cheap DIY grey water tank
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Nuthin2It
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thinking back, I probably flattened the inside of the end cap around the hole with a large Forstner bit so the o-ring would seat. Because Forstner bits are rather expensive and should be used with a drill press, it would be much easier to find a flat end cap. Or, if you know someone into woodworking, they probably have the tools.

Earlier I made a comment about a charge at Lassen Volcanic NP for dumping gray water. In our month-long trip last May from Georgia to the California Coast and back, this was the only place that charged a fee for wastewater disposal. All other campgrounds that had wastewater disposal did not charge a fee; i.e., each camper paid for it in their camping fee, whether they used it or not. This may change in the future, but at this point one shouldn't expect to have to pay extra to dispose of gray water.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nuthin2It wrote:
You might also find the parts to have a threaded end on the pipe that goes into the tank then screw a fitting on that to seal the o-ring. Either way, this actually works better for the drain end because the elbow can rotate to level the drain pipe. If I were to do it again, I would use an o-ring on both ends..


Great points Nuthin2It. I had assumed an o-ring wouldn't work because of the curvature of the cap/pipe, but you've given me some good ideas. Articulating ports are definitely best if they can be sealed. However, static ports glued over a hole are cheap and would work (and are easiest). I'll need to go price out cost vs fx.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please remember that personal opinions may not apply well to all situations. I will be urban stealth camping for a month while doing an internship at an out-of-state hospital. I want to be able to spit my toothpaste and wash my dishes without worrying about where I'm parked at the moment.

No need to debate the rationality of a gray water tank. Do what works for you.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those of us that live in areas with bears or other potentially aggressive scavengers, it's just plain irresponsible for campers to not properly dispose of waste water that has food, toothpaste or other attractants in it in a campsite that others will be using. Dispersed campsites may not be as big a deal, although it depends on how much they're used. Responsible disposal can help save people, and animals, whole lot of grief.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the joker wrote:
I consider my westy just a great tent on wheels

VW would have added a stock one if there were environmental issue

Like it was stated before a little gray water ( properly disposed) never was an issue

Your just adding wt and paying to dump a minuscule amount of waste h2o

I act like tent people and even request the tent site to be away from the summer homes on wheels

Isn't that the beauty of the westy less complicated Cool


I often stop short of projects on our Westy that begin to go down the path of an RV. If we don't want a tent on wheels, then we should invest in a different vehicle for these purposes altogether. However, in the case of collecting grey water, it's a bummer to show up to camp site with evidence of the previous camper's kitchen disposal. I'm not saying we need to collect our grey water for every dispersed camp site we've occupied, but having some method of collection in more frequented areas is being considerate. I use a collapsible 2.5 gal. water cube but I applaud the ingenuity in this thread.
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the joker
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I consider my westy just a great tent on wheels

VW would have added a stock one if there were environmental issue

Like it was stated before a little gray water ( properly disposed) never was an issue

Your just adding wt and paying to dump a minuscule amount of waste h2o

I act like tent people and even request the tent site to be away from the summer homes on wheels

Isn't that the beauty of the westy less complicated Cool
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gene l
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

instead of vinyl pipe, I used the flexible metal pipe off of a house hot water heater. Works well, and doesn't crimp.
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Nuthin2It
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may be a no-brainer, but my brain had a hard time with it, too.

For the hose that goes into the tank, I was able to drill a hole (I think it was some weird size like 1 1/16") and thread it with a steel pipe, then screw a PVC fitting in.

I tried the same procedure for the drain end but it leaked, so I had to try something else. I can't remember exactly what PVC parts I had but I used an o-ring to seal it. I may have just glued a short piece of PVC to the elbow, then put it through the hole in the cap on the 6" pipe. After sliding the o-ring on the pipe, a short fitting can be glued to the pipe to compress the o-ring. You might also find the parts to have a threaded end on the pipe that goes into the tank then screw a fitting on that to seal the o-ring. Either way, this actually works better for the drain end because the elbow can rotate to level the drain pipe. If I were to do it again, I would use an o-ring on both ends.

The 6" PVC pipe end cap I got at Home Depot is dome shaped. This worked but after building my gray tank I happened to see a flat end cap at a local Ace Hardware store. These would be easier to seal if you can find them.

As far as the ground clearance question, the crossover exhaust pipe on my 1.9 liter is 10" from the ground. The engine carrier is 10 1/2" from the ground. The 6" PVC pipe is 9 1/2" above the ground, about 9 1/4" at the drain pipe end. So yes, the gray water tank will hit before anything else, especially at the drain, but what have you lost, about $10 worth of PVC? OK, full disclosure, I have some Home Depot stock. But I think a 6" pipe is more likely to hold a day's worth of gray water if you cook and clean dishes.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm...bump.

Maybe my question seems like a no-brainier to others? PVC is round and any circular hole seems as if it would have gaps that wouldn't be filled-in using PVC glue. I have some epoxy glue stuff that seems as if it'd allow me to adhere joint fittings externally, over inlet/outlet holes, while also compensating for gaps. Is there a better way?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:45 pm    Post subject: Re: DIY Grey water tank Reply with quote

houndsbourgh wrote:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.




I'm going to make something like this ASAP for a month of van living. How are the inlet and output ports sealed? Not necessarily houndsbourgh's but, anyone who has done something similar.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boostd wrote:
Nuthin2It wrote:
Overall view of the drainage system from the tank and a closeup of the bracket that holds the PVC.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



.


Looks great, but just a warning about ground clearance, (I dont know what kind of terrain you venture out onto) but the propane tank is already the low spot on the van, be careful when pulling into a bumpy campsite or any sharp incline/ big speedbump etc. The ferry boat we went on this summer had some very sharp angled ramps and bumps to board. There is no way you would have been able to clear with that drain hanging so low! I also drove into a field this summer and a few spots required "touching" the bottom of the van, for sure this would have gotten knocked off.
Im sure you already thought this through based on where you drive, something to keep in mind if not.


Yep!
and everyone is laughing at my 4" Pipe! Wink

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=606746

Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nuthin2It wrote:
Overall view of the drainage system from the tank and a closeup of the bracket that holds the PVC.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



.


Looks great, but just a warning about ground clearance, (I dont know what kind of terrain you venture out onto) but the propane tank is already the low spot on the van, be careful when pulling into a bumpy campsite or any sharp incline/ big speedbump etc. The ferry boat we went on this summer had some very sharp angled ramps and bumps to board. There is no way you would have been able to clear with that drain hanging so low! I also drove into a field this summer and a few spots required "touching" the bottom of the van, for sure this would have gotten knocked off.
Im sure you already thought this through based on where you drive, something to keep in mind if not.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, there is not a Sewer line with active draining waste to suck out the water seal......... but there is air in the tank being displaced by Water.

That air needs to exit as water enters. Your waste tank needs to be vented or your drain will drain slowly, pause, burp a bubble, drain more, pause burp a bubble until the sink is empty.

Those bubbles that are burped will contain the wonderful odors of whatever is fermenting in your grey water tank!

Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Traps are only used to prevent sewer gasses from backing up through the fuixture. It's refered to as a water seal. And correct, without a vent, it is not functional and will syphon itself clear. Since the westy sink is not connected to a sewer, a trap is not really necessary. It can be considered an indirect drain, and doesn't need a trap.

If you take apart the original drain assembly, you will see that it is constructed to maintain a water seal however.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bfulton wrote:
Just wanted to chime in regarding sink traps, I haven't seen a trap on any of the photos posted so far. Sounds like the OP has one in his braided soft line, but I would highly recommend ensuring a real, preferably hard trap is in place for these tanks.

Here's a good image of how the trap works (tail piece comes from sink drain, we really don't need the cleanout due to the short distances). Love the ideas though, want to add one to my van "eventually" Wink

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Keep in mind........ A sanitary trap without an atmosphere vent is no better than no trap at all!

Dave
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because the plastic tubing under the floor has to loop under part of the frame then up to the top of the PVC cap, it forms a trap. Very effective, judging from the odor from the water when I drained it after coming home and forgetting about it for about a week.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to chime in regarding sink traps, I haven't seen a trap on any of the photos posted so far. Sounds like the OP has one in his braided soft line, but I would highly recommend ensuring a real, preferably hard trap is in place for these tanks.

Here's a good image of how the trap works (tail piece comes from sink drain, we really don't need the cleanout due to the short distances). Love the ideas though, want to add one to my van "eventually" Wink

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that dumping graywater on the ground has very little impact on the environment; in fact, one could argue that there are benefits to it. However, here in the Southeast we are seeing more and more campgrounds with rules requiring greywater holding tanks (one we went to in Tennessee even specified that RV's must have “factory installed” greywater tanks). No one has ever bothered us when we did it anyway, but I decided that it was time to fabricate something. This topic really helped me, but it doesn't have much information on how to mount the tank. I am not an engineer, so I suspect what I did was grossly OVER-engineered (at least I hope so) but it may give you some ideas. The basic device to hang the tank is two brackets bolted to the van through holes drilled in floor beams. 6” U-bolts connected to the brackets hold the tank. The materials came from Home Depot, McMaster-Carr, and my collection of materials and hardware saved over the years.

Here's a photo of the brackets. They are made from aluminum strap 3/16” thick and 2 1/2” wide. This is just happened to be the size I had in my scrap aluminum box. I moved the brackets further apart after the photo.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



This is the drain to the tank. I'm not really happy with the vinyl braided tubing I used. It tends to crimp when it's curved under the frame. It works, but there are probably better choices.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Overall view of the drainage system from the tank and a closeup of the bracket that holds the PVC.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I drilled four holes in the LPG tank guard. The drain valve was spaced down with polyethylene blocks so the drain would be below the level of the tank.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I had to modify the drain pipe under the sink because the water flow was so slow. I did it in 1” PVC. I cut the original connection to the bottom of the sink with a tablesaw so I could use the threaded part to connect to the pipe. There's probably a fitting at Home Depot for this but I got tired of going there. I had to drill a hole to move the shelf opening about 3/4” forward to make room for the pipe. It drains great now.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


We just got back from a 5 day trip to the Okefenokee Swamp area and nothing fell off, so I'm optimistic that this installation will last a while.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
houndsbourgh wrote:
I just check with my home town Lowes. They stock 6" sewer PVC and fittings. I was in the middle of a home remodel at the time I made the tank so I may have been mistaken.

Lowes in our area also shows little in the way of 6 in pvc sewer stuff......

I will go look anyways; never know.

For those following along and not sure what the first post in this thread is alluding to, thanks to AdrianC for the tip over on the 16" syncro high top thread: http://www.vwbusshop.de/epages/GuenzlClassicParts....255070814C

But no, it ain't cheap Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

houndsbourgh wrote:
I just check with my home town Lowes. They stock 6" sewer PVC and fittings. I was in the middle of a home remodel at the time I made the tank so I may have been mistaken.

Lowes in our area also shows little in the way of 6 in pvc sewer stuff......

I will go look anyways; never know.
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