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Old 11-29-2015, 01:45 PM   #1
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Clogged Tank Flusher? baking soda and vinegar

I just went to flush my black tank after this Thanksgivings usage. Found out quickly that the tank flush was clogged. This is already my second flush valve, so this time I decided to try something else. I read online that baking soda and vinegar are good at clearing drain clogs.

Here's what I did:
1)Blew the water out of the hose I use to connect to the flush valve.
2)Used a funnel and with a tapping motion poured in about 1 cup of baking soda into the end of the hose that screws onto the motorhome flush valve.
3) Used funnel to pour about 1 cup of vinegar into the other end of the hose that connects to the faucet.
4) Connected hose to faucet and turned it on!

It cleared the flush valve rather quickly... I could hear it flowing and spraying inside the tank as normal by the time I could walk back to the service bay.
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:18 PM   #2
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I read online that baking soda and vinegar are good at clearing drain clogs.
I'll bet it will! Mixing baking soda and vinegar causes the creation of carbon dioxide bubbles that will increase the tanks internal pressure. You should have a corresponding increase in the exit pressure. Just be very careful you don't over do it and damage your plumbing.

When I was a kid my parents gave me a "Chemistry Set" for Christmas. It had a six inch "rocket" that used vinegar and baking soda for fuel. A good mix would give me a 30 foot launch. You can still buy "rockets" like I had back in the early 60's. Here is a link for one of them...now they'll do one hundred feet!
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:44 PM   #3
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Interesting- so if your black tank emptying valve is open, won't that be sufficient to release any pressure?


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Old 11-30-2015, 07:11 PM   #4
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Interesting- so if your black tank emptying valve is open, won't that be sufficient to release any pressure?
I think it should... But I haven't tried doing this and I don't know the limits. I just remember the fun I had with this "rocket fuel" and the mess it made... That is why I suggested being very careful not to over do the amounts you use.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:28 PM   #5
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Correct me if I am wrong ,but black tanks are vented to the roof anyways.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:03 PM   #6
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I think the problem would be more in the hose connecting the rinse inlet to the rinse head. That's where the pressure could build up, not in the tank itself.


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Old 12-01-2015, 10:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by wana65stang View Post
Correct me if I am wrong ,but black tanks are vented to the roof anyways.
They are...

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I think the problem would be more in the hose connecting the rinse inlet to the rinse head. That's where the pressure could build up, not in the tank itself.
I agree... And I'd be cautious using this technique to clear a clogged sink drain, as shown on the web, since the grey side piping is much smaller and the system is closed.

My biggest concern though doesn't relate to any "damage" per se but to the collateral mess it can create if you aren't expecting pressurized "foaming bubbles". Baking soda can make an ugly mess. Been There, Done That, And My Folks Weren't Happy...
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:57 AM   #8
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Just to add some fun to this conversation, I'll tell you guys a true story that happened to me and some buddies in high school. We all worked at a popular Mexican food restaurant at Six Flags Over Texas and often had issues with clogged floor drains. One of the guys there (he'd been working there through high school and now most of college) had a friend who made a device that allowed us to connect a water hose to the outlet on a CO2 tank from the drink machine. When we had a clog, we would remove the grate on the drain, push the hose in until we hit the clog, then pack rags around the hose at the drain inlet and open the gas bottle to blow out the clog. One evening we did this and it took a LOT of hose to reach the clog, then we gave it a blast of CO2. What we didn't know (being brilliant 17 year old's at the time) was the "clog" we had hit was actually inside the grease trap in the dishwasher room. Blew the lid right off the grease trap and covered everything (walls, ceilings, equipment, et al) with rancid grease. Finally had to fill the dishwasher with hot soapy water, remove the drain pipe extension under the machine and drain it into the floor, then use mops to scrub down the room. Never made that mistake again!
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:53 PM   #9
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Great story!!! But it solved the problem! I expect no one laughed when it happened. LOL


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