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Old 11-13-2017, 09:18 AM   #1
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Black Tank Clogging!!!

Iíve got a 2017 Chaparral 392 MBL and had an issue not being able to drain my black tank at the end of the summer. We leave it at our lake lot so it only gets moved twice a year.

I️ waited until the gages indicate that the tank is around 3/4 before dumping and am able to let it run out without stopping the flow. After every dump I️ would add some dish soap, Borax, Mr. Clean lavender and roughly a gallon of water.

At the end of summer it suddenly would not dump!! I️ added roughly 10 gallons of water and got back MAYBE a litre. In the end, the dealer poured some ďindustrial strengthĒ stuff and power flushed it out but I️ would REALLY like to avoid that in the future......any suggestions???
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:31 AM   #2
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Sensors lie. They all lie. It's a training class that sensors go to while we sleep. It's in their blood to lie. They can't be honest. Don't trust them.

I have found "RidX for RV's" helps dissolve the TP (that's always the problem it seems) that 'somebody' uses by the case load.
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:34 AM   #3
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Campers that don't move are challenge all right.

The dreaded "pyramid of doom" at the dump valve scares everyone.

The problem comes in not using enough water "per flush" and not having enough water to cover the bottom a few inches to start with.

Using a water softener like liquid Calgon, can help by making the surfaces of the tank more "slippery".

When it comes to the black tank, more water is the key. Solids and non-dissolvable paper can pile up at the drop tube and eventually move as one and block the outlet valve.

Frequent (monthly?) use of a full black tank of warm water, Rid-X or Unique's RV-Digest-It, and let soak for 3 or 4 days. That should digest the stuck solids. Flush and turboflush till the disgested solids do not appear in the flush water.
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:46 AM   #4
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Lots of water is always the key to any holding tank.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:02 AM   #5
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Lots of water is always the key to any holding tank.
X2
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:15 AM   #6
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Funny, there is another thread running complaining about people taking too long to dump the black tank. The OP in the other thread advocates "dump and run."
I always had the clogged tank problem when camp hosting. My solution was to pull the trailer over bumpy roads for about twenty miles and then dump. This would satisfy the OP's in both the dump posts.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:30 AM   #7
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The challenges healthy holding tanks of a seasonal camper are very different than a camper that travels from spot to spot.

The gray tank is usually open all the time and may very well be hard plumbed to the sewer. Food and grease can build up in the tank until "suddenly" you have backups. Frequent treatment with Rid-X or RV-Digest-It can help there too.

Black tanks should never be open all the time. They should be dumped when full only and aggressive use of water with each #2 flush as well as only use a good quality Septic Tank type (dissolving) TP.

Scott's RV TP is a good balance between softness and dissolvability.

https://www.amazon.com/Scott-Rapid-D...t+toilet+paper
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:25 PM   #8
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You should probably spend at least 20 minutes flushing it when you dump 😀
I would say this is the answer to the op of that other thread... "Why do some people take 20 minutes blah blah blah"
The answer.... Because they don't want a clogged black tank
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:41 PM   #9
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We are seasonal so our trailer never moves. We've never had a problem with it not draining but once or twice we had a problem with it clogging up somewhere between the toilet and the black tank. I had to shove a flexible spray wand into the toilet to clear that up.

The simple answer, as others have mentioned, is use lots and lots of water. Make sure that everyone that uses your toilet (whether it's family members or guests) knows to use plenty of water when they flush.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:54 PM   #10
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My father spent years working heavy construction living in a 5er set up for months at a time. I borrowed it and lived in it for a year while going to school in Colorado Springs. His camper was purchased in the early -70s, so no sensors, no black water flush.


I did exactly what he told me to do, and neither of us ever had a problem.


Many disagree, but this worked for us.


We had a solid support for the sewer line to ensure no sag, and left both valves open all the time. Yup, left 'em open.


Then kept a small bucket in the shower. While you're sitting there reading your Bathroom Reader, turn on the faucet and put about 2 gal. of water in the bucket. Then pour the additional 2 gal. down while flushing.


No sensors, no messing with the valve, and no problems. Ever. Never even used anything but cheap residential TP. Actually, when it's below freezing it's better if you can avoid messing with the valves.


But, of course, your mileage may vary, depending on your plumbing, I guess.


Now, however, we can only camp less than a week at a time, so I follow a more customary approach and don't bother with the bucket.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:17 AM   #11
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Black Tank Clogging!!!

Thanks again for all the advice....it was definitely WAY easier to take care of when we traveled from place to place camping. I️ used to just dump a cup of soap, 10 gallons of water and a bag of ice down the toilet and drive home....worked like a charm.

Iíll definitely have to get some Rid-X or something like it. I️ guess, for some reason, I️ just assumed you could not use those products in an RV as apposed to the house....donít know why.

As for dumping, I️ am fortunate enough I️ can spend as much time as I️ want since I️ ran a line from our trailer to the underground black holding tank....Iím the only one who ever uses it!!! That being said, Iíve always kept both the black AND the grey closed until I️ was ready to dump. I️ use the grey to ďflushĒ what is left in the hose after I️ close the black.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gsxrgrizz View Post
Iíll definitely have to get some Rid-X or something like it. I️ guess, for some reason, I️ just assumed you could not use those products in an RV as apposed to the house....donít know why.
Remember that an RV tank is not a septic system. It is a HOLDING tank. It is designed to hold the waste until you can dump it. It should never stay in there long enough to be "digested" by a microbe.

However, once the waste gets stuck to walls and floor so it can't be dumped, you need a way to break it up and make it move again. Baring removing the tank, using a septic digester is the only inexpensive option.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:40 AM   #13
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I've had pretty good success with a Flush King. One of my camping buds was guilty of the too little water and too infrequent of dumps scenario and I was able to bail him out with th FK. You do have to use your head and listen to how much hydraulic pressure your building up and pulse the FK gate valve, but they do work. I think one of the best things you can do if you got the time is: after you dump, pour a couple 5 gal jerry cans of water down the toilet over/in about 6 flushes of a full bowl. Seems like it works better than all these gizmos you buy extra
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:40 AM   #14
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Remember that an RV tank is not a septic system. It is a HOLDING tank. It is designed to hold the waste until you can dump it. It should never stay in there long enough to be "digested" by a microbe.



However, once the waste gets stuck to walls and floor so it can't be dumped, you need a way to break it up and make it move again. Baring removing the tank, using a septic digester is the only inexpensive option.

We only leave the waste in long enough for the tank to become full again which, for the three of us, usually takes roughly just over a week of constant camping.

I️ really donít want to run into this issue a second time as it was a HUGE PITA to get the tank to dump again and I️ am still not 100% convinced I am in the clear!! If I️ can use a digester and it wonít harm the tank then that just might be the route I️ go.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:48 AM   #15
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Black Tank Clogging!!!

Another thing that might work more quickly than a digester is dishwasher powder. (Seems like pods would require more agitation than I have, no auto flush or anything fancy.) Itís meant to break up food particles and rinse them off quickly, in a fast cycle, right?
Iíve only tried it once, when my sensors were malfunctioning, and it worked like a charm. I just added some water, then added a bucket of water and detergent, then more water, until it was full. Left it overnight, then dumped, all fixed. I did rinse in case the detergent was harsh against the gaskets.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:56 PM   #16
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I am fulltiming in mine which is a twin to yours. I am fighting this battle right now. I'm not convinced my gate valve is opening. My plan is to cut into the drain just past were it comes out, put in a 3" by 2" y creating a clean out. I bought a stick of 1/2" Pex that I'm adapting a hose bib to making a wand to shove through and blast the tank if the valve is indeed open. Hoping it doesn't freeze before I can fix it. Have had Rid X in it for 4days and keep hoping I can just pull the valve and here a giant whoosh but no luck. The delay is the 2 procedures to remove a 10mmx6mm kidney stone that has me down for the count.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:07 PM   #17
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Sorry to hear about your health issues, I work in the emergency medical field...stones can really suck!!!

Thatís actually a good idea. I was looking at my pipes underneath and was wondering why the would make such a convoluted setup.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:52 PM   #18
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Sorry to hear about your health issues, I work in the emergency medical field...stones can really suck!!!

That’s actually a good idea. I was looking at my pipes underneath and was wondering why the would make such a convoluted setup.
Yes, never been down this road but peeing in a jug, trying not to cry while Wisconsin gets colder sucks. I will trek to the comfort station once the miralax works lol but not to pee. Went up with a scope Monday pushed it back in my kidney and blasted it with lithroscopy (sp?) Tuesday. Now trying to flush out the fragments. No fun at all and I have a very full tank because I was trying to flush it before I realized it was clogged. Clogged shitter, clogged kidney what a week.
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:21 AM   #19
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Well this fiasco has been resolved, hopefully my experience can help someone else. My 1/2" X 10' pex water wand did not produce a jet of water. It may have needed further reduced for that effect. I bought a sanitary tee and the bend was too sharp to get the pex to slide into the main pipe effectively, a long radius tee or a y type would have resolved that. Quick layout of my pipe, starting at the dump port the pipe travels in about 3' has a 90 travels about 5' through the bulkhead to a 90 then the gate valve into the side of the tank. From the connection to the sewer I installed a twist on gate valve which connects to a twist on sewer end 90. This allowed me to thread on a 3" pvc adapter and run pvc to the sewer.

Now for the fun, after cutting the tee into the sewer side of my pipe I discovered my inability to get it around the bend.After fiddling around trying some way to make it work. I abanded that plan. I took one of my old stinky slinky made a slit and attempted to slide it up that way but the force to get around the bends made the small hole a large tear. But I had a trickle, which quickly stopped. Now here is where all the criticism can start. I had recruited a buddy to help (he may never help me again). I positioned him st the gate valve abandoned all connection to the sewer and hoped it didn't all come out in a giant whoosh. I shoved that pex pipe through the bends into that pyramid. As soon as I began to get a decent flow (a bit above a trickle but below a stream) I yanked on the pex and yelled close it, close it, for the love of god close it. I pulled as fast as I could and then closed the outside valve. I did get about 3 or 4 gallons on the ground and a big pile of TP. Hooked it all back together and commenced flushing. I mixed about five 2 gallon bucketsif bleach and water and saturated the ground. A smarter guy may have had the bucket under the end of the sewer pipe......
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:40 AM   #20
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What I would do in hindsight, buy a 3" by 2" wye and put it close to where the drain goes into the underbelly. Add about 12" of 2" ABS and glue a threaded adapter at the end so I could cap it. Use a rubber pipe reducer to get a snug fit on the pex and attack it from there. I would shorten the pex and find an adapter to get the jet effect I was looking for.
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