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Old 05-22-2010, 09:10 AM   #1
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Quick black tank help please!

We're at Castaways in OC - just got here yesterday. Black tank smelled a bit when i was first setting up, so i added water and chemicals (i think i just didn't leave any water in it from a few weeks ago - it wasn't a horrible stink, but enough. And it went away quickly). <--- for background in case it matters

So this a.m. as i flushed, i noticed i could see the level of the water (and some paper) like down in there, at the top of what looks like a tube. Black tank was only reading 1/3 full. Gray said 2/3 oddly enough so i went and dumped both, thinking maybe the force of it going down would pull any clog. (black then gray)

Black *still* says 1/3 full and i can still see the level of water and paper down in the toilet. It goes down slowly, like over 5 min. or so, but comes up as i'm standing on the pedal and water is going in as i'm looking.

I added another packet of chemicals, too.

Any ideas what to do??? DH's idea was to not use the toilet... and well, with a brand new 2010 Rockwood, that's really not the answer for me.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:52 AM   #2
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Toilet

If possible try jacking up one side of the camper so the black tank is tilting towards the drain. Another you can thing is to drive it so the motion will mix up the chemicals and dissolve the clog (paper). I had this happen and had to get a flexible snake and run up the black water outlet. A real nasty job as when it comes unclogged make sure you are out of the line of fire as it empties quickly.
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:30 PM   #3
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we also have the same problem with ours, we are on a permanent site and the tank never seems to completely flush out, we can also see something in there...I was wondering if you tilted the trailer as suggested to the one side, would that make for all the interior doors not closing well, or not staying open...depending on tilt...we never had this problem with our other trailer and it is frustrating...As I had said, we are permanent, so we dont have the luxury of being able to fill it up and let it sloosh around...
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Old 05-22-2010, 03:37 PM   #4
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This may sound stupid but I'd hook back up to your tow vehicle. Stop at the store and get a bag of ice, dump it in the toilet and head toward Route 50. Turn around in the Food Line parking lot and start heading back to camp. The sloshing of the ice along with the chemicals should help break up the clog.
We love Castaways and will be there in August. Good luck and by the way make sure there is at least 2 gallons of water wih your chemical before you start using it again. THis help keep any waste from adhering to the bottom of the tank.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:21 PM   #5
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You stated that your black tank was only 1/3 full, when you emptied it? You really need to make sure the black tank is full, or at the least very close before emptying it, for that very reason you are describing. You need the force and the pressure of a lot of fluids in there to sufficiently clean out the tank. Also, try using Calgon water softener, available in a bottle in the liquid form, and add one or 2 capfuls with a gallon or 2 of water in an empty black tank BEFORE you leave to go camping. This will slosh around in the tank, coating the sides, and thereby greatly reducing the chances of anything sticking to the walls as you are dumping. It leaves the walls slick feeling. I don't even need the blue deodorizers that most folks use anymore, and I've never owned any type of tank rinser, either. Randy
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:54 AM   #6
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I went through this with my 2010 8526 5th wheel.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Black Tank 1 pictures from travel photos on webshots

Notice the lowest wire. That is not empty; it is the 1/3 light. ANY water in the tank will turn on that light. (a long flush will do it) It is really the "Not Empty" light.

Your black water tank should NEVER be "Empty" Always have AT LEAST 2 gallons of water in it (run the John for 20 "potatoes" after dumping.
Then add 3 Capfuls of Calgon brand water softener and your tank chemical (or diluted bleach). Never drive anywhere without the above in the tank.

Never dump until the "Full Light" is on. If you MUST dump before then fill the black tank with fresh water until the "Full Light" comes on. You must have a big RUSH of water to move undisolved solids and paper.

Hope that helps,
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:47 AM   #7
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Those tank indicators work about as well as the famous Concertone systems, if that tells you anything!! Randy
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:28 AM   #8
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Thank you all! I had to sacrifice a marshmallow roaster thing (i don't have any coat hangers in here) to poke at the offending lump o' paper and... stuff. So it eventually went down, but i know i need to have water and calgon and ice in there now for the drive home tomorrow!

Thanks again, you guys rock.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PattiPatti View Post
Thank you all! I had to sacrifice a marshmallow roaster thing (i don't have any coat hangers in here) to poke at the offending lump o' paper and... stuff. So it eventually went down, but i know i need to have water and calgon and ice in there now for the drive home tomorrow!

Thanks again, you guys rock.
How was the weather down there? We had sun and rain yesterday and it's just plain dreary today. Hopefully your tank problem didn't effect your camping too much.
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