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Old 01-12-2016, 12:58 PM   #1
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Black & gray tanks

Maybe I'm overlooking an obvious, but why wouldn't an RV manufacturer design an RV where the gray water flushes thru the black water tank.
If the gray tank sat above the black water, you could get a much better black flush.
Please feel free to point out any obvious issues I may have overlooked.


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Old 01-12-2016, 01:03 PM   #2
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Probably if the black water tank overflowed it would backup into the gray. And add complexity.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:05 PM   #3
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I always keep my grey valve open when camping with full hookups and only pull the black when it's full. If the grey ran through the black, I'd be dumping much more often. I will say that with the black tank flush installed on our Berks, it cleans the tank really good! I use a clear sewer connector and flush the tank for a good 20 minutes or so and the water comes out crystal clear.

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Old 01-12-2016, 01:06 PM   #4
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I have to drain the gray twice before the black needs to be drained.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caper View Post
I have to drain the gray twice before the black needs to be drained.

A good reason for a setup like this


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Old 01-12-2016, 01:23 PM   #6
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I think I understand what you are wanting and I agree. What I do is when my gray is full I dump my BT. As it finishes and the hose is still full I pull the gray and count to ten. This pushes a good amount of gray water into the BT I then shut the gray off and flush the BT. Then empty the gray. It seems like all that gray water would be a good way to flush the BT. This only works if I remember to close the GT so it fills up as I do leave the gray open all the time.



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Old 01-12-2016, 01:39 PM   #7
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Phil,

I do the same thing, except leaving the gray tank open. I'm currently wintering in Colorado so that wouldn't work here lol.


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Old 01-12-2016, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jegstrup View Post
Maybe I'm overlooking an obvious, but why wouldn't an RV manufacturer design an RV where the gray water flushes thru the black water tank.
If the gray tank sat above the black water, you could get a much better black flush.
Please feel free to point out any obvious issues I may have overlooked.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jegstrup View Post
A good reason for a setup like this
Another reason has to do with plumbing mechanics. It is difficult to put the gray tank "above" the black tank - they are both seated on the frame at the same level, so the natural exit point for each tank would be the low point.

All Berks have a excellent Black tank flush system and, if you are practicing the GEO method you should have zero problems with your black tank--even when using comfy 2 ply household toilet paper (like Northern or Charmin) but NOT moist wipes (those need to go in the trash).
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:38 PM   #9
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My flush system hasn't worked since the first time I tried it. Pressure builds up in the line then I hear spraying water, the. The water starts running out the top of the storage compartment next to it. I've tried to take panels off to see where this is happening but no luck yet.
But, the flush system just used more water and we already have a full tank of soapy water that would be a good flush.


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Old 01-12-2016, 04:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jegstrup View Post
My flush system hasn't worked since the first time I tried it. Pressure builds up in the line then I hear spraying water, the. The water starts running out the top of the storage compartment next to it. I've tried to take panels off to see where this is happening but no luck yet.
But, the flush system just used more water and we already have a full tank of soapy water that would be a good flush.


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Something is *NOT* right with your black tank flush. But first, to clarify, when you turn on the black tank rinse your black tank valve is *open* correct? If you keep that baby closed "bad things happen™"

Don't ask me how I know....
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jegstrup View Post
My flush system hasn't worked since the first time I tried it. Pressure builds up in the line then I hear spraying water, the. The water starts running out the top of the storage compartment next to it. I've tried to take panels off to see where this is happening but no luck yet.
But, the flush system just used more water and we already have a full tank of soapy water that would be a good flush.


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If you take the white panel off on the water pump side of your utility bay, you'll have access to the top of the black tank and the actual black tank flush sprayer. Mine stopped working (my fault, drove the camper with an almost full black tank and it clogged the holes of the sprayer) so I had to remove the sprayer head, soak it in hot water and clean it. Cleared all the little holes out and reinstalled it and works like new. Lesson learned don't travel with the tank over 2/3!!

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Old 01-12-2016, 07:07 PM   #12
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I ALWAYS run a LITTLE grey tank water through the sewer hose first to test my connections. Then I close the grey and run the black empty. This lesson comes from my discovering a pin hole leak in my hose while dumping the black. Better to be leaking grey and aborting the tank emptying process than black. Trust me on this!


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Old 01-12-2016, 08:09 PM   #13
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I think the obvious problem would be too much potential for operator error.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:14 PM   #14
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I think the obvious problem would be too much potential for operator error.
I agree with this post.




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Old 01-12-2016, 09:08 PM   #15
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I never leave the gray valve open since it often results in nasty smells coming into the coach.

Drain the black tank first and then flush the hose with the Grey.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by lefaivre View Post
I never leave the gray valve open since it often results in nasty smells coming into the coach.

Drain the black tank first and then flush the hose with the Grey.

Interesting, I've left my grey valve open on all of the campers I've owned and have never had a smell come in the coach. I would inspect your tank vents on the roof and ensure they are working properly. We usually just do weekend camping with a few longer trips but I lived in my Berk for about a month and a half while on travel for work and never shut the grey valve and never had a smell in the MH.

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Old 01-13-2016, 09:02 AM   #17
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On my last 5er, I had 3 gray tanks and 2 black. When I was set on my seasonal site for any length of time, I usually left my gray tanks open, but closed them when I left (added some water and tank treatment) just to keep them fresh smelling and keep the traps from evaporating (plugs in sink also). Not sure if that actually helped, but never had a smell problem. As for the black tanks, on seasonal site I usually had all day Sunday to clean up and piddle, so I would empty tanks and then flush/fill/flush a couple times until water was clear and no residual paper product was present. I always set an alarm on my phone when filling tank, so I wouldn't get distracted and forget (came close once ). When moving around and not on seasonal, I would save shower tank for flushing hose. This process may change if in areas where there is a water shortage. Haven't devised a good plan yet for the GT, but with 2 baths and 2 showers, shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by lefaivre View Post
I never leave the gray valve open since it often results in nasty smells coming into the coach.

Drain the black tank first and then flush the hose with the Grey.
The traps should keep the smells from the gray tank out.
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:08 PM   #19
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I go every year and stay for 6 mo. at a time at one place.. I drain the black tank and then the gray tank-----once a week. that is when the wife washes---leave the gray tank valve open till she finish , then close it till the next time she wash
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:10 PM   #20
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Drains and Vents

I used to keep the gray water drains open when hooked to park sewer. At times, I would experience sewer gas odors when out and around my unit. Sometimes I would also pick up sewer gas odors in my toy hauler garage (that's where the washing machine fittings are).
I could solve the garage area odor problem if I was careful to keep the washing machine drain trap charged (sealed with water). Then I realized, that the black and gray water systems are fitted with plumbing vents exiting through the roof, and since I have three gray tanks as well as the black tank, I've got 4 plumbing vents on my roof, and with gray drains open, I am venting the parks sewer gasses through my unit's gray vents - 3 of them.
As soon as I started closing the gray drain valves, and I installed a twist-on gate valve at the sewer hose connection (to isolate the washing machine drain), I've had none of those odor problems - and have had no need of tank deodorizer. Sure, the onboard tanks are still vented, but apparently the onboard black gray tanks do not produce enough sewer gas to be noticeable.
We have been full-timing for over a year now, and this strategy has been working for 10 months.
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