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Old 06-03-2016, 10:53 PM   #1
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Plunger damage to black tank/toilet

Can using a plunger on an RV toilet cause major damage to the toilet and black tank? Long story short, SO used RV toilet for the first time, and I didn't think to tell him about adding water to the bowl before & after flush, and it clogged. We cleared it by sticking a piece of old hose down toilet, and it started flushing properly again. Next morning, it clogged again - possibly didn't get it all the day before. Tried a piece of hose down the toilet again, but didn't work that time.

SO found a plunger, used it, and it cleared the clog - but problems after. The toilet no longer held a bit of water in the bowl. I figured the "flapper" seal was damaged and didn't want gases coming back into the RV, so I went outside to dump. We had full hook up, but had kept the black tank valve closed and the gray tank valves open (planned to close them that morning before showering since we'd be unhooking in the evening, to let them fill up and use them as a flush after BT dump). When I went out to dump the BT after realizing the toilet wouldn't hold water, I saw that "water" was leaking around the black tank valve - more specifically by what looked like where the pipe came out of the BT into the dump pipes, and also along the gray spray foam insulation in the same general area.

How bad did we mess things up??? Could we have totally blown seals on the black tank?? Or maybe just fittings where it goes into the dump pipes? We've since read that plungers should never be used in an RV toilet unless the black tank valve is open - is this true? We're newbies to RVing, so any advice, suggestions, etc. are greatly welcomed!
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:07 PM   #2
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I have never heard of using a plunger on an RV tank. I have used a hose, but with water running thru it to clean a clog. Its really hard to tell what has happened. If the unit is new take it back to the dealer and have them check it if not I think would flush the black tank real well and then pull the underbelly covering if you have it and see what is going on.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:19 PM   #3
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I used a plunger on ours last weekend. Turns out tampons WILL stop one up in a heart beat!!! LOL
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:27 PM   #4
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There is a vent on the black tank. The pressure caused by a plunger would be more or less released on the roof vent.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:40 PM   #5
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There is a vent on the black tank. The pressure caused by a plunger would be more or less released on the roof vent.

And now I know why the plunger didn't do crap.............. LOL

(yes-pun WAS intended)
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:11 AM   #6
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There is a vent on the black tank. The pressure caused by a plunger would be more or less released on the roof vent.
That's what I thought as well - how could it create enough power to damage the black tank?? However, I didn't see it leaking before, but it was leaking after. RV just rolled off the line and we picked it up in Feb of this year. This incident happened on our third time out with the toy hauler.
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:15 AM   #7
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That's what I thought as well - how could it create enough power to damage the black tank?? However, I didn't see it leaking before, but it was leaking after. RV just rolled off the line and we picked it up in Feb of this year. This incident happened on our third time out with the toy hauler.
But we bought it in Ohio and live in NC
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:13 AM   #8
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There should be a dealer in your area that handles that brand of trailer, by the way when you post, if you state the make and model of your rig there is normally someone on the forum that has knowledge about the specific model. Probably best to put anything other then toilet paper in the trash and not in the holding tank. Good luck let us know what you find out.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:37 AM   #9
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You may have to (with disposable gloves) open the toilet blade valve and push the rubber seal down a bit so it will better contact the blade. You can try a bit of household oil on the rubber seal too.
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:10 AM   #10
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Thanks all. It's a 2016 Forest River Hyperlite XLR 29HFS toy hauler.
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