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Old 08-21-2010, 10:51 PM   #1
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Black holding tank will not drain

Hello all,

Dan here from Houston area, I am having a problem getting the black holding tank to drain. The monitor panel shows 2/3 full and when the potty is flushed you can see the tank has contents in it. went to a dump station and tried to dump black tank and only a few gallons came out. the Grey tank did drain completly. Only the black tank is having a problem.
I did run a water hose up into the drain and I am sure into the tank as well, I pushed about 6 feet of hose into the drain still nothing. The black holding tank is only about 1-2 feet from the drain so i know the garden hose went into the tank. It has not been dumped for some time we bought it used and did not know the tank had a problem.
We bought the camper AS-IS so I am on my own to get this tank to drain. I am putting the toilet chemical in tonight to see if it will brerak anything down that may be causing a blockage.

if you have any ideas or suggestions to get the tank drained, please let us know.

Thank you for any help,

Dan and Kelly
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:01 PM   #2
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It's possible that there is a lot of "solid mat'l" accumulated on the bottom of the holding tank. I have read on the 'net where folks that dry camp & try to minimize their water consumption. They end up w/ not enough water to loosen the "mat'l" & they wind up w/ a mound in the tank.

Do a search for Calgon and/or Geo Method on this forum. Some tips for dealing w/ sewage issues. You may have to do a couple of fill/drive/dump trips to try to empty the tank.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:06 PM   #3
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Thank you for the information I am thinking the same thing, I just put a few gallons of water and chemical into the potty will do a drive and dump again tomorrow.

Dan nad Kelly
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:06 PM   #4
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X2 what Revrnd posted.

However I would never advise putting a hose up the drain pipe, unless you plan on throwing that hose away when you are done. The more preferred method is to run water down the toilet with a hose (don't cram it down there for the same reason) and or use a cleaning wand available at many RV supply stores for just such a purpose.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:07 PM   #5
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I just remembered another idea that others have used. Fill the tank half full and pour a bunch of ice down, go drive around, the hard ice sloshing around can help knock things loose.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:11 PM   #6
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Someone may have dropped something solid down into the tank and at times covers the botton 4" hole which would stop the rest from draining. Piece of plastic or maybe a toy from the last owners kid.

Good luck
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:14 PM   #7
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Or that pop/soda can that someone posted about recently.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:20 PM   #8
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Yes I threw the hose away, it was old and useless anyway. i thought something may be blocking the outlet and the hose would move it aside. A friend was also suggesting the ice method, may try that tomorrow.

Thank you for the help!
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:02 AM   #9
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This is an excellent example of why you don't camp with the black valve open..! I have seen countless people in an RV park set up with their black valve open. Valve should stay closed till the black tank is 1/2 full or better and then dump as soon as you get off the road while solids are still suspended in the liquid, then, close black valve, then, drain the gray to rinse the hose with your soapy bathwater, then close gray valve and the cycle starts over.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:18 AM   #10
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Here is a product I can highly recommend. It is called R.V.Digest - It concentrate. Manf by a company called UNIQUE Here is their web site: Unique MM :: All Natural & Green Cleaning Products :: Safe For Your Family & Pets Their phone # is 1-800-221-3259 This is truly a Unique product all natural Environmentally correct bacterial/enzyme action.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:24 AM   #11
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mmmm

Sound too good to be true?

I will order some and let you know my experience with it.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:19 PM   #12
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I think I will give this stuff a try also, wne out to dump it again today and the same as yesterday. Only about 1 gallon or so came out. I am going to keep trying the fill and dump method also.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielflading View Post
I think I will give this stuff a try also, wne out to dump it again today and the same as yesterday. Only about 1 gallon or so came out. I am going to keep trying the fill and dump method also.
Does the tank indicate full and yet only a gallon drains out?

Try putting a measured amount into the toilet. Say five or ten of gallons of water; then dump into a blue boy or at least something where you can measure with is coming out.

Can you see liquid when you look into the toilet? I mean all the way up to the floor gasket?

I can't believe you are putting all that water in and almost nothing coming out. They only hold 30-40 gallons. Maybe the sensors are showing you that its full but its really empty (or only a few gallons in it).
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:33 PM   #14
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LOU,
You may be right.
Quote:
"I can't believe you are putting all that water in and almost nothing coming out. They only hold 30-40 gallons. Maybe the sensors are showing you that its full but its really empty (or only a few gallons in it)."
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:42 PM   #15
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still not draining

Thank you for the replies, I also can not believe that is all that is coming out. I poured water in today before I went to dump and I can clearly see the tank has plenty of contents in it. The fluid is close to the top but there must be a layer of "sludge" because it will not drain. I have put in a total of about 10 gallons of water and chemical to break it treat the contents. I did however today get blue water out that the chemical has colored. I think the tank has quite a bit of build up in it. I may have to give in and take it in for a tank cleaning, do RV repair places do this type of work? My wife would like a new potty installed also, is this a big job to replace the potty is it a DIY repair? I have reaplced them in a residence but never in a TT.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:49 PM   #16
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I am thinking you may have a sensor problem.

Here is what the manufacturer says about trouble shooting the sensors.

http://www.kibenterprises.com/manuals/m21vw.pdf

http://www.kibenterprises.com/troubleshoot/m_panel.pdf

There are other panels on their web site. I included the ones for my M21 display and sensor array.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielflading View Post
Thank you for the replies, I also can not believe that is all that is coming out. I poured water in today before I went to dump and I can clearly see the tank has plenty of contents in it. The fluid is close to the top but there must be a layer of "sludge" because it will not drain. I have put in a total of about 10 gallons of water and chemical to break it treat the contents. I did however today get blue water out that the chemical has colored. I think the tank has quite a bit of build up in it. I may have to give in and take it in for a tank cleaning, do RV repair places do this type of work? My wife would like a new potty installed also, is this a big job to replace the potty is it a DIY repair? I have replaced them in a residence but never in a TT.
I am sorry to say that if you can see liquid and sludge at the toilet hole, you have a tough problem for sure. Sounds like the previous owner put away the camper with a full black tank and it dried out in there. Now there is potentially 3 inches or so of solid waste blocking the valve. When you open the valve there may only be a fraction of an inch of space from the top of the solid mass to the top of the valve opening.

A tank replacement may be your only option if you want to get going quickly. If you have time to let it sit and "cook" with the RV Digester in the tank for a few weeks.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:20 PM   #18
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I still think you should hook up to the sewer and open the valve and take a water hose with a power head and drop it down into the tank via the toilet and let it rip.

I would delinitely have someone to insure that the water doesn't over flow out the toilet.

The pressure nozzle will do exactly what a shop would do anyway.

OR

Have you thought about flushing it from the outside back into the tank?
They have a cover that fits over the outside and you can attache the hose from the outside and pump water into the tank.

Just another thought.
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:17 PM   #19
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John,

If what I think is happening really is the problem, the blast and pray method could become very messy. I think giving the digester a chance is a safe next step.

If that is not in the cards, dropping the belly and getting at the valve itself and looking is the only option IMHO.
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:25 PM   #20
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John,

If what I think is happening really is the problem, the blast and pray method could become very messy. I think giving the digester a chance is a safe next step.

If that is not in the cards, dropping the belly and getting at the valve itself and looking is the only option IMHO.

Won't be the first time I'm FULL of it.
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