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Old 05-23-2019, 11:47 AM   #1
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Black water dump - OMG

My camper has only been used about 10-15 times. I want to dump the black water tank, just because. Earlier in the day I tossed in 2 of the orange odorizer tablets. Then later in the day I was chlorinating the fresh water tank. Then I got the idea to go dump the black water and the gray water before I go camping next week. I decided to fill the black tank with water to make it empty more completely. I can see in the black tank and it's only maybe 20% full. The sensor says "Empty". I turned on the hose and within a minute the black tank was completely full and was about to start back filling the toilet. I shut off the hose. I came back 30 min later and the level in the black tank was back to 20%. Is it those tablets that make something expand like crazy?



Another issue was I put 10 gallons of water in the fresh water tank. Then I added the chlorine. Then put the hose back in to fill the fw tank. When it approached being full, water was pouring out from underneath the camper near the corrugated white hose going into the fresh water tank. Could there be an overflow? So much water was coming out I can't be sure where it was coming out. The panel that tells the water depth said full for the fresh water, and full for the grey water. The grey had under 10 gallons in it at the start of the day, I just emptied it recently. So not sure if maybe overflow from the fresh goes into the gray tank. The sensor for the gray has always said empty since I empty it fairly often, but it says it's full now.



Thanks for the help, as always!
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:55 AM   #2
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Those sensors are notoriously unreliable.

Suggest you get a couple of these to measure the water going into your system. https://smile.amazon.com/Pack-Measur...-1-spons&psc=1
That way you can test your sensors to see where the levels are.

There is a water overflow that will tell you if the fresh water tank is full. We prefer the meters so that we know exactly how much water we've added to the FWT. I've never heard of the excess fresh water going into the grey water.
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:59 AM   #3
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My sensors always say full. I ignore them.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:00 PM   #4
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On your black issue, I have no idea. How were you filling the tank? Black flush?

No, fresh does not overflow into grey. There is an overflow/vent pipe for the fresh. Sounds like you simply overfilled?? Id run water thru all faucets and then pull the plug on the fresh tank after a bit.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:06 PM   #5
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Are the black and grey valves open and the endcap in place?
If that is the case, you probably have blackwater going into your greywater tank....
As for the freshwater, you pprobably have a leak in the connection....
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:19 PM   #6
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I was filling the black by putting a hose in the toilet.



I don't have any of the drain valves open. I'll go out now and see if my FW and GW are still full (or saying they are full). It will be interesting today when I dump the gray water to see if it's really full, it definitely shouldn't be.



I need to get more water in the black tank today, with a hose through the toilet. Yesterday was horrible, I had to wash my hands and arms several times.


I did find a dump station at State Fair park, which is a 10 min drive. It's $10 so not too bad.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:33 PM   #7
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The only way I can imagine that the black tank was full and then the water level went down w/o having a leak to exterior, is by flowing into the grey tank....
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:43 PM   #8
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I wonder if the vent on the roof for the black tank is plugged. When you started filling the water up in came up the pipe and looked full because the air trapped in the tank wouldn't vent and over time it was able to vent and lower the level. The other idea is that the pipe that extends into the black tank from the toilet may be too long and comes very close to the bottom of the tank. Making it appear to be full before it is really full because the water has no where to go when filling fast.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmurph View Post
I wonder if the vent on the roof for the black tank is plugged. When you started filling the water up in came up the pipe and looked full because the air trapped in the tank wouldn't vent and over time it was able to vent and lower the level. The other idea is that the pipe that extends into the black tank from the toilet may be too long and comes very close to the bottom of the tank. Making it appear to be full before it is really full because the water has no where to go when filling fast.
In the first hypotesys, the air would come out of the toilete ... The second is possible but then, the "solids" would not get out of that region easily....
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:24 PM   #10
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Hopefully your black dump valve or grey dump valves have not been cycled without your waste hose attached... ie: dump cap still on. If the black or grey valves were cycled... opened with cap on and then closed... get ready because the length from the valve to the cap is full of whatever and somebody is going to get a bath when removed!

I'm with everyone else... RV gauges especially are not to be trusted even when new. You need to know what you put in and what you use and waste... from experience if nothing else.
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:27 PM   #11
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I was filling the black by putting a hose in the toilet.
I don't have any of the drain valves open. I'll go out now and see if my FW and GW are still full (or saying they are full). It will be interesting today when I dump the gray water to see if it's really full, it definitely shouldn't be.
I need to get more water in the black tank today, with a hose through the toilet. Yesterday was horrible, I had to wash my hands and arms several times.
I did find a dump station at State Fair park, which is a 10 min drive. It's $10 so not too bad.
As others have said.... don't trust the sensors. They can get coated and give you false readings.
A couple of tips.....
Filling the black water tank by putting a hose in the toilet is ok.... however, remember that these are rv toilets, not house plumbing. All the drains and plumbing are of a smaller gauge so don't run that hose at full pressure.
You should be able to tell if the black water tank is full by shining a flashlight into the toilet.
When the grey water starts to fill up, you'll hear the water in the shower. It will start to come up into the shower when it's overful.
The fresh water will overflow onto the ground.
When you dump, dump the black water first. You can use the fresh water and the water pump to fill up the black water tank by flushing the toilet several times to move the 'stuff' in the black water tank. Close the black water valve. Then dump the grey water.
You're probably not going to be able to do a good cleaning job at a dump station. People don't like waiting in line behind someone to dump. The best method is to fill the tanks several times and that's usually be done at a full hookup site. A clear 'elbow' will help you see if the water is coming out clean.
And PLEASE pick up some nitrile gloves and use them when you're handling sewer hoses, etc. You don't want to get sick after dumping.
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:37 PM   #12
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:38 PM   #13
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I'm wondering if you have a mountain of poo at the bottom of the pipe below the toilet. You started putting water into the toilet and the poo mountain kept it from freely flowing into the tank, so the pipe filled up. When you stopped putting water in the toilet, the water in the pipe slowly leaked past the poo mountain into the tank.

You might want to try one of these:



https://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-RV-...40071/14504324
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:53 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the help. I bought this camper late last summer, the guy said he had never dumped the black tank because the camper was only used 2-3 times.


Soooo, I went to the dump station. I did wear gloves thanks for that tip. Hooked up hose, went to release the lever near the black tank, and it was already open, UGGG, I never touched it, must have always been this way. I opened the release lever near the drain hose I had attached, and quite a bit cam out maybe 15 gallons but that is a wild guess. I left it open 15 min and it was still draining but slowly. I looked in the toilet, it definitely looked different, more liquid and less TP. But clearly not empty. I then emptied the gray water, a lot of water came out, guessing 30 gallons. Drove camper home. Through toilet I took a metal rod and measured the poo depth, about 12 inches. I did take a flashlight and look into the drain pipe and it's completely clear, I can see all the way to the 90 degree bend. So I have a poo dam. I guess that is tomorrows job is to figure out how to fix that. I bet that is a sh*tty job.


Thanks again for all the help!
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:03 PM   #15
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I'm wondering if you have a mountain of poo at the bottom of the pipe below the toilet. You started putting water into the toilet and the poo mountain kept it from freely flowing into the tank, so the pipe filled up. When you stopped putting water in the toilet, the water in the pipe slowly leaked past the poo mountain into the tank.

You might want to try one of these:



https://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-RV-...40071/14504324
I agree, you most likely have a "poo pyramid " built up and plugging your toilet tube. Clear it as rockfordroo describes.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
You might want to try one of these:



https://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-RV-...40071/14504324
I second this thought. The spinning spray head will help break up the mountain. You will want to be connected to a dump station when you use it, though. It may take a while!

There are also products that report to use aerobic and anaerobic bacterias to break down solids, specifically for RVs. There's something like Rid-X, which is used for home septic systems. The one I've heard of specifically is one called RV-Digest-It. It is available on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07564FPHL

For it to work at all, it will need a full tank of water and the cleaner, and plenty of time... weeks if you have that much time available. I haven't used it specifically (I cheated and used some Rid-X over the winter) but the concept is good.

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Old 05-23-2019, 05:24 PM   #17
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Sounds like several black dumps and refills to me. The toilet wands work ok, but you'll need to soften the mountain if thats so. Can't change what the previous owner did but once cleaned and you can judge the level. Then bring the tank up to 3/4 and dump right after a trip even if it's at 1/4. A couple gallons water and a digester packet added afterwards to slosh around during your next outing and to work on remaining solids while parked at home. Sh***y job is right, good luck.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:35 PM   #18
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If you have the poo pyramid, you need to get an RV holding tank product that dissolves solids. Something like Happy Campers powder or an RV Digest-It product.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:50 PM   #19
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Remember...never leave your black tank dump valve open while camping and hooked up to sewer. That is probably what the previous owner did, and that is what causes the poo mountain. You need LOTS of water in the tank to flush out all your solids. I dump and rinse my black tank about once a week on average while hooked up long term.
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Old 05-30-2019, 03:24 PM   #20
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that is indeed an unpleasant job. Once when I accidentally left my black pipe valve open and found out a few days later I had the joy of getting this job done. One thing that helped a lot (if you have a straight shot down into the black tank) is to use the handle end of a broom and "stir" the pot every so often through the toilet. This helped break up the poo pile much faster than if I'd just used water. It still took a long time and lots of water (filled and dumped multiple times), but was fater since it broke up the pile quicker. good luck
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