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Old 05-23-2020, 10:25 PM   #1
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Probably a very dumb question... re: flushing the black tank

I see all kinds of posts on here about folks flushing and cleaning their blank tanks. It seems that a lot of time and effort goes into cleaning the tank that is meant to hold poop. I will admit, I have been sucked in to this in the past, myslef. I have dumped a bag of ice in there on occasion, and even done the calgon thing before. My only reason was that my sensors never seem to work. But then I realized that these sensors seem to be garbage and are questionable, at best, in all of my tanks.

Then I stepped back and wondered. WHY am I worried about the cleanliness of my sewage tank? There is not an odor issue. I tried to keep my kids from using the camper toilet for #2, but telling them not to poop in the camper only seems to make them suddenly have to poop. In the trailer. So it happens in there and there is never an odor issue. We dump when we leave the campground and everyting seems fine.

I have a septic tank at my house. I get it pumped every few years. I never worry about flushing it out. So what am I missing about the balck tank in campers?
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:44 PM   #2
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If you don't have an odor from you're tank, you're probably doing the maintenance required. You've done the ice and the calgon thing. It's worth doing occasionally, but as long as you're treating it with chemicals and using enough water, I don't see why you should be concerned.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by A2pfunk View Post
I see all kinds of posts on here about folks flushing and cleaning their blank tanks. It seems that a lot of time and effort goes into cleaning the tank that is meant to hold poop. I will admit, I have been sucked in to this in the past, myslef. I have dumped a bag of ice in there on occasion, and even done the calgon thing before. My only reason was that my sensors never seem to work. But then I realized that these sensors seem to be garbage and are questionable, at best, in all of my tanks.

Then I stepped back and wondered. WHY am I worried about the cleanliness of my sewage tank? There is not an odor issue. I tried to keep my kids from using the camper toilet for #2, but telling them not to poop in the camper only seems to make them suddenly have to poop. In the trailer. So it happens in there and there is never an odor issue. We dump when we leave the campground and everyting seems fine.

I have a septic tank at my house. I get it pumped every few years. I never worry about flushing it out. So what am I missing about the balck tank in campers?
I agree with you.

In my opinion, 99% of black tank issues (Sensor issues, oder problems, toilet paper clogs or poop pyramids) can be solved by using more water than you think is necessary. My camper has 38 gallon black and gray tanks and 100 gallon fresh tank.

The first thing I do after dumping my tanks is go in and hold the toilet foot flush down until the sensor tells me I have 1/4 tank full. I would have to camp for 3 weeks straight to fill 39 gallons of black tank even if I had a couple of guests joining my wife and I. Plus the grays going to fill long before the black does.

So plenty of water for TP and Solids to break down in, a RV or septic tank safe TP and a a couple toilet tablets right off the bat and I don't have sensor, order or TP or Pyramid issues.

I hook a hose to the black tank flush about once a quarter at most and let it spray the walls and whatever it hits in the tank. Never had issues using this method on the old camper and it didn't have a black tank flush.

Operator error most of the time for black tank issues is my opinion. Maybe I'll jinx myself but 10-11 years in and haven't yet.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:05 AM   #4
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I agree also. It took me a couple of years to figure out I don't need the sensors and don't need to let a flexible hose flop around in there when we get home. I do add some enzyme stuff after each dump. Even if I flush with the overhead fan running I smell nothing.

Early on I worried that I might fill the black tank during our two-week boondocks (two adults). Then I looked at the fresh water we use and subtracted the grey and galley tanks (which do fill up), and there's not enough left to get the black tank over about 75%. In fact, when the galley waste tank fills up, we start dumping dish water into the black tank.

The grey tank sensors still work for the most part. The galley tank sensors turn on prematurely except the full one seems to only turn on when the tank is very close to full.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:35 AM   #5
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I kinda laugh at people who think it has to be spotless. The bag of ice people crack me up the most....well maybe the people that never poop in their toilet.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:29 AM   #6
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Five gallons of water and a capful of Rid-X will keep the solids under control. I never worry about it.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:47 AM   #7
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Yahoo , I finally got people that agree with me . If it ain't a problem do not make it one ! I have also found that a lot of black tank problems can be cured by going for a drive which will agitate the contents and cure some clogs .
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:02 AM   #8
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Five gallons of water and a capful of Rid-X will keep the solids under control. I never worry about it.
I've carried 2 5 gal. cans with ever since the first pup. Dump both through the toilet as fast as you can fill it and push the pedal. You'd be amazed at what that slug of water going into the tank dislodges and pushes out. Great procedure at end of the season or if you aren't going to use it for a while
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:16 AM   #9
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You can’t think of the black tank as a septic tank, it’s a holding tank. You dump it relying on gravity, not pump/suck out the contents.

The sensors may never work 100% but I don’t understand why it’s a big deal to flush the tank (using the factory-installed flusher) and add something of your choice to break down the solids and control odour. I do the dumping and flushing outside while my DW is inside preparing the Geo Method mix and dumping it into the toilet. It adds maybe 5 minutes to the whole dumping process. If I’m dumping at a dump station and there’s a line up we skip the flush that time. No sweat.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:04 AM   #10
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I agree that it's not necessary to use the black tank flush if you otherwise maintain it properly and travel. I think having a few gallons sloshing around really helps break things up.

We used to leave our tt at a seasonal site where I used the flush for 15 minutes at the end of each visit.

I see nothing wrong with using it otherwise...just limited value. Probably wise to keep the sprayer nozzle clean and functional for the time you really need it.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:04 AM   #11
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You canít think of the black tank as a septic tank, itís a holding tank. You dump it relying on gravity, not pump/suck out the contents.

The sensors may never work 100% but I donít understand why itís a big deal to flush the tank (using the factory-installed flusher) and add something of your choice to break down the solids and control odour. I do the dumping and flushing outside while my DW is inside preparing the Geo Method mix and dumping it into the toilet. It adds maybe 5 minutes to the whole dumping process. If Iím dumping at a dump station and thereís a line up we skip the flush that time. No sweat.

But why go to the dump station when you can do all that right on your site? See so many people lined up at station when itís time to go. Iíve asked people who are in line and they all pretty much say same thing.... ď thatís what everyone does when itís time to leaveĒ. I donít get it, but I guess if they donít mind waiting for a while in line, itís none of my business. Lol
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:08 AM   #12
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But why go to the dump station when you can do all that right on your site? See so many people lined up at station when itís time to go. Iíve asked people who are in line and they all pretty much say same thing.... ď thatís what everyone does when itís time to leaveĒ. I donít get it, but I guess if they donít mind waiting for a while in line, itís none of my business. Lol
You canít ďdo all that right on your siteĒ if you donít have a full hook up (sewer) site.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:13 AM   #13
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You canít ďdo all that right on your siteĒ if you donít have a full hook up (sewer) site.
You can if you have a portable holding tank.

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Old 05-24-2020, 09:15 AM   #14
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You can if you have a portable holding tank.

Bruce

As I read this forum, it seems most people wonít put black tank contents in their ďstool busĒ.
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:40 AM   #15
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You can if you have a portable holding tank.

Bruce
That doesnt seem like a solution if you're goal is to reduce time spent at the dump station on a busy departure day!
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:04 AM   #16
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The black tank flush fitting is not much good for anything except putting water into the tank. Only seven really small streams of water so it’s not going to cover much.

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Old 05-24-2020, 11:06 AM   #17
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I have a macerator pump and a hose that reaches a sewer clean out. If my next stop is home, I skip the line.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:34 PM   #18
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If you don't have an odor from you're tank, you're probably doing the maintenance required. You've done the ice and the calgon thing. It's worth doing occasionally, but as long as you're treating it with chemicals and using enough water, I don't see why you should be concerned.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:11 PM   #19
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But why go to the dump station when you can do all that right on your site? See so many people lined up at station when it’s time to go. I’ve asked people who are in line and they all pretty much say same thing.... “ that’s what everyone does when it’s time to leave”. I don’t get it, but I guess if they don’t mind waiting for a while in line, it’s none of my business. Lol
About half of our camping is at Provincial Parks where they only offer electric-only or non-electric (unserviced) sites. So in those campgrounds we have to go to the dump station. We tend to book so we can depart on a weekday to avoid the long lineups on Sunday. Our fifth wheel is too big to fit in our suburban home’s driveway so we can’t empty the tanks at home.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:42 PM   #20
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My black tank flush goes in right above the black tank drain, so it doesn't do much in the way of a "flush."

So I've never bothered to use it.
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