Why get a handyman when you can do the job yourself? Most RV users know their way around. Meaning, they know how to repair minor damage or replace a broken valve. So, installing a wastegate valve shouldn’t be much different. Save your money for the hard tasks. We’ll show you how to install an RV waste gate valve with an insulated underbelly. You merely need a few tools and some basic skills for the process.
Install Your RV’s Waste Gate Valve in 3 Simple Steps
Installing a new wastegate valve on your RV isn’t a hard task, although it does seem repulsing. It’s only challenging if you have underbelly insulation, but it’s still doable. Take a look at the three steps below to get a grip on the procedure.
The Tools You Need
Here’s a list of all the things you’ll need for installing your RV wastegate valve.
Step 1: Remove the Underbelly Cover
If your wastegate valve is beneath the insulation, you won’t need this step. However, a lot of RV users prefer their insulation covers to enclose the valves, which makes this step a must.
Firstly, you’ll remove the rivets all around the cover. Doing this will take a lot of time because there’s usually a ton of nuts and bolts down there. Using a flap disk on an angle grinder will be much faster than a battery drill, but you can pick whichever you prefer.
Next, pull the fiberglass out using any sharp object. A gardening fork will be ideal for this step. Lastly, remove the panels and put them aside for reinstallation. You should have easy access to the waste valve now.
Step 2: Install the Flange Seals
The flange seals are responsible for holding the valve together. So, this step is vital. The first thing you should do is thoroughly clean the flanges of any rust or debris. Secondly, attach the flange seals. This should be easy, considering the flange seals are rubber and free of any bolts.
Afterward, apply a layer of gel lubricant on each seal, as well as the slide track; this will help the valve attach to the seal in a proper way. It’ll also keep the sliding smooth and easy later on.
If you don’t have a gel lubricant at hand, you can use petroleum jelly instead.
Step 3: Install the Valve
Now that your flange seals are where they should be, it’s time for installing the gate valve. Before doing that, you should spread the flanges wide apart, so you can easily slide the valve between them. That way, you’ll rest assured that the seals won’t get dislodged.
Next, slip your new gate valve into place between the seals. This step is pretty simple, and you can easily determine whether you placed it properly by checking the spacing. If the spaces between the valve and the two flanges are even, that means your valve is right where it should be.
Lastly, align the bolt holes on the valve and attach the screws and nuts. Tighten the bolts and nuts using a wrench. Don’t let them get too tight, just enough to hold them in place. When you’re done, check the even spacing again. Sometimes, you’ll move the valve without knowing. If the spaces are still even, you’re good.
Now, it’s time to try the valve to see if it’s working. Operate its slide one or two times. If it’s sliding smoothly without any kind of hindrance, it means you’ve done a good job. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to remove the bolts and nuts, disassemble the valve, and repeat the installation process. It’ll likely mean that the valve isn’t even with the seals.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re still confused about the wastegate valve or the underbelly insulation, here are a few frequently asked questions that’ll help you.
Should I get underbelly insulation for my RV?
It depends on a number of factors. An underbelly cover keeps the lines, tanks, and pipes below the RV from freezing. It keeps the heat of the furnace ducts inside to warm the interiors. On top of that, it protects the metal from rusting and getting dirty from all the dust and mud.
If you frequently use your RV in the winter, getting underbelly insulation would be a wise thing to do. It’ll keep the underside of your RV from freezing, which will save you a lot of hassle later on.
Related: Here’s how to winterize your RV Easily
How do I deal with a stuck closed valve?
This is a pretty common issue between RV owners. There are only two solutions to it. You can spray a generous amount of penetrating oil on the valve and let it sit for a while. Afterward, try opening it.
If the oil doesn’t help, you can go for the alternative option: vice grips. It’s a bit aggressive, but it’ll likely work. It’ll give you better leverage, and you’ll be able to pull the valve open.
How do I maintain the wastegate valve so it doesn’t need replacing?
Preventing the problem is easier than fixing it; we all know that. So, regular maintenance is a must, if you don’t want your valve to be replaced. You can do that by greasing the pull handle shift every few months. We recommend silicone spray for this; it’ll keep it working smoothly.
You can do this twice a year minimum. If you want to take further measures, do it every 3 months, but not more than that.
It’s not so hard, is it? Everything seems difficult until you see how it’s actually done. Installing a wastegate valve is one of the easiest jobs associated with RVs. If you own an RV, you’ll know well enough there are some harder tasks.
As long as you have the right tools, enough precision, and patience, you hopefully won’t face any issues!