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Old 04-05-2020, 01:37 PM   #1
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black water clog cleared, how to follow up

My son and his family are staying in my Cherokee full time while building a small home. Been in there a month, everything has been good. But this week, one of them forgot to close the black water valve after dumping and flushing, took them a week to figure out something was wrong. After researching the archives here, we filled the tank with a hose into the toilet, and got a successful dump. Then flushed with the built in flush hookup. Did this twice, still had some solids and paper come out the second time. I guarantee they won't ever make that mistake again, the clearing process wasn't pleasant at all!

Our plan is to just start using the toilet as usual again. We have Happy Camper and will use that. I'm confident that any solids left will get cleared just by a few cycles of normal use. But they are concerned there might still be some solids in the bottom of the tank, even though the valve was only open for one week. Any other ideas on how to follow up and make sure all the solids are gone? Everything seems OK now, but making additional fill/dump/flush cycles won't hurt if it's called for.
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Old 04-05-2020, 01:58 PM   #2
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Get a spray wand, attach to a water hose, and flush the tank reaching down through the toilet. Twist and turn the wand to spray into all corners.
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:09 PM   #3
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I have one of those clear sections with a flush attachment. I added a gate valve and just that to back fill either tank several times to flush. Does a better job then the built in tank flush. First time I did it was surprised what came out of the tank after dumping and on board flushing.
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:54 PM   #4
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Camera

I have a camera on a long flexible shaft with a LED light built into the tip of it. They were kind of pricy when they first came out but now you can get them for cheap. The one I have is an early generation Milwaukee brand and it works ok, but you won't want to use it for taking wedding photos. It's nice for seeing into all kinds of places you'd normally have no way to see.

They sell some expensive ones that you can even steer around corners and HD resolution, but the cheap ones work good enough to see what you really don't want to see down in that tank. If I needed to buy another one I probably wouldn't go so cheap next time, the resolution isn't very good and it's hard to tell which way is up sometimes when you're looking at the screen.

RidX will slowly dissolve away what's built up in there, but pool acid eats stuff up fast. I wouldn't leave pool acid in to long though, it'll eat at the metal on your sensors.

Edit: The one I have is a Milwaukee 2309-20 that takes a 9V battery, I don't recommend that one, I kind of keep hoping it breaks so I have an excuse to get a better one.
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Old 04-05-2020, 06:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Get a spray wand, attach to a water hose, and flush the tank reaching down through the toilet. Twist and turn the wand to spray into all corners.
We actually have one, will do this.
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Old 04-05-2020, 06:28 PM   #6
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I have a camera on a long flexible shaft with a LED light built into the tip of it. They were kind of pricy when they first came out but now you can get them for cheap. The one I have is an early generation Milwaukee brand and it works ok, but you won't want to use it for taking wedding photos. It's nice for seeing into all kinds of places you'd normally have no way to see.

They sell some expensive ones that you can even steer around corners and HD resolution, but the cheap ones work good enough to see what you really don't want to see down in that tank. If I needed to buy another one I probably wouldn't go so cheap next time, the resolution isn't very good and it's hard to tell which way is up sometimes when you're looking at the screen.

RidX will slowly dissolve away what's built up in there, but pool acid eats stuff up fast. I wouldn't leave pool acid in to long though, it'll eat at the metal on your sensors.

Edit: The one I have is a Milwaukee 2309-20 that takes a 9V battery, I don't recommend that one, I kind of keep hoping it breaks so I have an excuse to get a better one.
MOST solids will build up in the drop zone. I've never found the need to "borescope" my black tank. Just turn off water, press foot lever, and look down the hole with a flashlight. Any buildup will be obvious.

To prevent, just make sure that the valve is closed and there is water across the bottom of the tank before solids are dropped in.
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Old 04-05-2020, 06:35 PM   #7
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add some dish soap like Dawn to the black tank mixed in a bucket of warm water... this will help to keep things slippery...
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Old 04-05-2020, 06:48 PM   #8
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On my last RV I could look straight down the toilet hole and see the bottom of my tank. On my Forest River I can’t, the pipe does an immediate 90 directly off the toilet flange in the opposite direction of where the drain hole is located on the tank.
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:16 PM   #9
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Clearing black tank

Get some Digest-it and use that in your black tank. The instructions are clear. It is what many use all the time and it works well.
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Old 04-06-2020, 01:30 PM   #10
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Fill it 1/4 full of water after each dump. If you keep the bottom wet and let it work on the solids, everything will soften up and move with subsequent dumps. No additional costs but a little slower and a lot less effort than the other methods. My black tanks always get a 1/4 tank of water and a couple tablets of tank treatment onced dumped. Only time I've ever had a blockage was when a guest camper brought their own baby wipes and threw them in the toilet over a 3 day weekend, not knowing better.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:42 PM   #11
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I put ice cubes down the toilet right before driving for a half hour then flushed the tank when I got to my destination and it was clean after.
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:12 PM   #12
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We collect dish water in a Rubbermaid pan. Dump it in the toilet with a quarter cup of dawn plus water softener(Calgon).

Before the first major deposit!

All that soapy water softener with warm water does wonders.

Traveling with half a tank of whatever does remove deposits.

Going around turns helps.
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsdata View Post
add some dish soap like Dawn to the black tank mixed in a bucket of warm water... this will help to keep things slippery...
This^^^^^ First use the wand, then dish soap and water softener (not fabric softener) with plenty of water will help keep the tank cleared out.

My .02
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:30 AM   #14
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That... and use a dishpan when washing dishes. Rather than dumping that dishwater (via the sink drain) into the gray tank, dump the used dish soap water into the black tank via the toilet. As the black tank normally fills at a slower rate than the gray tank, the former needs the water in order that it remain easier to clean.
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:35 AM   #15
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That... and use a dishpan when washing dishes. Rather than dumping that dishwater (via the sink drain) into the gray tank, dump the used dish soap water into the black tank via the toilet. As the black tank normally fills at a slower rate than the gray tank, the former needs the water in order that it remain easier to clean.
That's one of the reasons I alway put a 1/4 tank of water in the black after dumping. Gray water is going to determine when I have to go to the dump station long before the black tank ever gets close to full. Not even a contest which fills faster. Generally have around half a black tank when the gray hits full.
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Old 04-26-2020, 06:18 PM   #16
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First poop that goes in the tank would be a solid so it always has some solid in our tank. Never worried about any solids in there but then again never had solids fill up the tank.

When it rains and I mow, dog crap gets to the point of being fresh again. Water will make poop loosen up. Doesn't need to be clean, just more or less empty.
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Old 04-26-2020, 06:54 PM   #17
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This^^^^^ First use the wand, then dish soap and water softener (not fabric softener) with plenty of water will help keep the tank cleared out.

My .02
Why not fabric softener?
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Old 04-26-2020, 09:25 PM   #18
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Why not fabric softener?
Water softener removes particles from the water which in turn makes the inside of the holding tank(s) slippery. When used with ample water this helps to completely flush solids from the tank.
You can find Calgon Water Softener at Walmart. Also, if you google "RV Geo-Method" you'll find plenty of information about the role water softener plays in keeping RV tanks clean. Here's a brief explanation... https://mountainmodernlife.com/keep-rv-tanks-clean/
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