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Old 01-24-2012, 09:39 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westyguy View Post
Interesting exchange. Is Calgon different or would any water softener work. Also, why not use the liquid form and avoid the issue of dissolving?
Any water SOFTENER will work. I use the liquid Calgon myself since it is readily available here.

Remember that water softener SALT is NOT a water softener. It is the FLUSH for the ion exchange column. Adding water softener salt to your black tank is a VERY bad idea for many reasons (corrosion is one).
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:54 AM   #42
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Thanks herk7769.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:03 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Any water SOFTENER will work. I use the liquid Calgon myself since it is readily available here.
Back when I was a kiddo in the late 40s and early 50s, my mom
used to add "Borax" to the wash, claiming that it would soften our
titanium hard water. (nobody we knew then had heard of regular
water softer systems.) Do you know if that is true about Borax
or just an Old Mom's Tale?

(Yes, I was REAL careful with the spelling!!!)


cheers,
johnd
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:06 PM   #44
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BORAX is not a water softener; it is a detergent (like soap).

Borax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Calgon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Calgon water softener contains the active ingredients zeolite and polycarboxylate, which are less problematic in wastewater treatment than phosphates.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:37 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
BORAX is not a water softener; it is a detergent (like soap).

Borax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Calgon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Calgon water softener contains the active ingredients zeolite and polycarboxylate, which are less problematic in wastewater treatment than phosphates.
Hmmmm.
Lou, I read your borax link and saw the following paragraph:

[Borax as a source of borate has been used to take advantage of the co-complexing ability of borate with other agents in water to form complex ions with various substances. Borate and a suitable polymer bed are used to chromatograph non-glycosylated hemoglobin differentially from glycosylated hemoglobin (chiefly HbA1c), which is an indicator of long term hyperglycemia in diabetes mellitus. Borate and a proprietary synthetic amino acid, Deselex (from Henkel) have been used to complex water "hardness" cations to make a non-precipitating water "softener". Borate alone does not have a high affinity for "hardness" cations, although it has been used for that purpose.]

The last sentence sheds a little dark on the subject, but it
seems to imply that borate (borax) has some
ability to water soften, but not much.....?....
(Moms aren't always right - even about the laundry, but
they're always moms and we love 'em for it........)

Guess that I'll be "Mr. Calgon" when I get the TT going!

Thanks for the help,
johnd
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:52 PM   #46
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The last sentence sheds a little dark on the subject, but it seems to imply that borate (borax) has some
ability to water soften, but not much.....?
John, you read that right. Calgon (both the dry and liquid varieties) is formulated to JUST soften water. It does not wash clothes at all and you would still need to add soap to wash your clothes.

As to black tank maintenance; I use both 1/2 cup of Calgon and 1/2 cup of laundry soap (plus 3-5 gallons of water) in my black and gray tanks on my way to the campground. Then dump as usual for my stay. Power flush with the turbo flush prior to the ride home. We do this EVERY time without fail.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:46 PM   #47
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Recent Order of Calgon - Amazon

Just received my order of Calgon (pwdr) from Amazon.
Amazon.com: Calgon Water Softener Powder, 40-Ounce (Pack of 2): Health & Personal Care

Could not find any local, even in Wally.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:46 AM   #48
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Holding Tank Questions

We just picked up our NEW camping trailer and we want to start using this holding tank "recipe" from the get-go, so a couple of questions to make sure we're doing it right!

Every time we dump we should then add 2 cups of diluted Calgon powder to the tank (with a few gallons of water)?

Then add one cup of detergent also?

Liquid or powdered detergent?

When should a gallon of bleach be added?

We "newbies" really appreciate any and all suggestions from this board!
THANKS

FYI - Picked up powdered (40oz) Calgon at Walmart in the laundry detergent isle for under $4.00 a box....



Quote:
Originally Posted by NDJollyMon View Post
Black and Gray Water Holding Tank Maintenance
By Charles Bruni

Everyone who owns an RV should be concerned with maintaining its wastewater tanks. Problems with wastewater tanks that can be avoided should be avoided. Wastewater tank repair is expensive. Due to health concerns, many service facilities will not work on wastewater tanks and lines until the tanks have been completely emptied and sanitized. This may be quite difficult when the tank(s) is in need of repair. So, common sense dictates that the tanks should be kept relatively clean at all times. Additionally, improper use of the wastewater tanks can lead to a build up of solid wastes, which in itself may cause the system to fail.

Iíve discovered very simple, effective, and inexpensive methods of maintaining my wastewater tanks in a relatively clean condition at all times. I developed these methods myself through my understanding of chemistry, physics, and biology with a smidgen of common sense thrown in for good measure. I also read my RV ownerís manual. Although we are not full time RVers we use our fifth wheel camper at least one weekend a month. We never use public bathing and toilet facilities. In other words, our wastewater tanks are fairly heavily used. Since Iíve met a number of RVers who donít seem to know how to maintain their wastewater tanks I thought many RVers would find my tips useful. If you have not been maintaining your tanks I believe you will be pleasantly surprised the first time you employ these tips. I do these things and they work.

1. DUMP A FULL TANK
When you are camping and your RV is connected to a sewer/septic intake, leave the drain valves closed until the tank is full and ready to dump. Dumping a full tank provides a sufficient quantity of water to flush solids from the tank. Leaving the drain valves open allows the water to drain off without flushing out solid waste. That solid waste will collect in the tank(s) and cause problems over time.

2. DUMP TANKS IN ORDER FROM DIRTIEST TO CLEANEST
In other words, dump the black (commode) water tank first, then dump the galley tank, then dump the shower and bathroom sink tank. This way you will be flushing out the dirtiest water with progressively cleaner water.

3. USE WATER SOFTENER
This stuff is amazing and it works. Buy a couple of boxes of powdered water softener at the grocery store. Youíll find it located with or near the laundry detergent products. I prefer Calgon Water Softener because it dissolves quickly in water. Cheaper water softeners work just as well but dissolve more slowly. Dissolve two (2) cups of the water softener in a gallon of hot water. Then, pour the solution down the drain into the empty tank. Use two cups of softener for each wastewater tank in your RV. The tankís drain valve should be closed otherwise the softened water will just drain out. Then use the tank(s) normally until it is full and drain it normally. Add a cup of laundry detergent to the black (commode) water tank at the same time. This will help clean the tank.The gray water tanks should already contain soap through normal use.

The water softener makes the solid waste let go from the sides of the tanks. If youíve ever taken a shower in softened water you know that after rinsing the soap from your body your skin will feel slick. Thatís because all the soap rinses away with soft water. Softened water also prevents soap scum from sticking in the tub. Get the connection? With softened water gunk washes away instead of sticking. The same thing applies to your RVís wastewater tanks.

I use one of those clear plastic elbow connectors to attach my sewer drain line to the wastewater outlet on my RV. It allows me to see how well things are progressing during a wastewater dump. Before I began using water softener regularly the black water tankís water was brown, the galley tankís water was brownish, and the bathroom tankís water was white. The first time I added water softener to the tanks the water coming from the black water tank was actually black (not brown) and the kitchen tankís water was also black (not brownish). The bathroom tankís water remained white. That told me that the water softener had actually done what I had intended for it to do and made solid waste, which had been stuck to the interior of the tanks, let go and drain away. I added water softener to all the wastewater tanks for the next few dumps to be certain all the solid waste possible had been cleaned away. The wastewater only appeared black on the initial treatment. I now add water softener to each tank once after every few dumps to maintain the system.

Occasionally, I pour a gallon of liquid bleach into each tank to sanitize and disinfect them. I no longer use the blue toilet chemical because it isnít necessary. I have no odors coming from my black water tank. Generic brand liquid bleach is cheap and very effective.

4. USE A WATER FILTER ON YOUR FRESH WATER INTAKE LINE

Most fresh water contains sediment. Sediment will accumulate in your wastewater tanks and your fresh water lines. It also tends to discolor your sinks, tub/shower, and commode. I use the disposable type and have found that they eventually fill up and begin restricting the fresh water flow resulting in low pressure. Thatís how I know itís time to get a new filter. It works, itís cheap, it avoids problems, do it.

SOME OTHER THOUGHTS

ē I believe occasionally traveling with partially filled wastewater tanks that contain softened water promotes cleaning by agitating the water. The same goes for chlorine bleach.
ē I believe this process works faster and more efficiently during warm weather. However, I know it works well even during cool/cold weather.
ē I believe the process works best the longer the water softener remains in the tanks. So, I donít add water softener during periods of heavy wastewater generation. I wait until I know we wonít be generating wastewater quickly so that the softened water remains in the tanks for several days before dumping.
ē I add a small amount of chlorine bleach to the fresh water tank twice a year to disinfect and sanitize the fresh water tank and fresh water lines. A weak chlorine bleach solution will not hurt you. However, it certainly makes the water taste bad. When we have chlorine in the fresh water system we use bottled water for drinking and cooking until the chlorine is gone.
ē My tanks are plastic and my pipes are PVC.
ē Donít be afraid to use your tanks. Just use common sense about their care and maintenance.
ē These tips are inexpensive to do. Some of them donít cost anything. You have nothing to lose in trying them and I encourage you to do so. I actually feel a certain amount of pride in the condition and cleanliness of both my waste and fresh water systems. Naturally, these tips make dumping a much more pleasant and sanitary procedure.
ē If you have odors in any of your water systems these procedures should eliminate them. Odors indicate a sanitary problem and degrade the enjoyment you derive from your RV.
ē When my RV is parked and not in use I place stoppers in my sink and tub drains. This allows the wastewater tanks to vent through the vent pipes to the outside instead of through the drains into the RV.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:43 AM   #49
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There is a big difference between a capful and a cup full.
I use whatever it takes for a load of laundry.

1 Capful of Calgon Liquid and One Capful of liquid laundry detergent WITHOUT fabric softener.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:54 AM   #50
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Anyone using this technique also use the enzyme-producing bacteria products that are available or is that not necessary?

Also, does everyone use RV toilet paper or with this technique can you use home type TP?
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