The Black Water Tank On My Rv Will Not Drain
I have an 18 foot Coachman Catalina Travel Trailer. The black water tank doesn’t drain, meaning I have to siphon it out every 3-4 days. Does anybody have any ideas what the problem might be and what options there are for repair?ANSWER: Greetings Greg thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.With the information you have provided me I really cannot tell you the exact problem with your Black Water Holding Tank. If it is because the Holding Tank Dump Valve is not opening and closing, you will probably end up having to replace the Dump Valve.In some cases the holding tank itself could have a blockage in it. Sometimes using Holding Tank Waste Digesters can clear up the blockage. If all else fails, you may have to take the trailer in and have the holding tank dropped and cleaned out manually.We have all kinds of information on holding tank care and maintenance on our website you might want to review the answers I gave to the questions listed below to get further information.
Black Water Tank Not Draining On My New 369rl
I just tried to drain my black water tank for the first time this past weekend.Can someone tell me how to properly use the flush out for the black water tank? A note near the water connection says not to use it without having the “#%” valve in the open position. I don’t remember the reference used for the valve name but whatever the name was it wasn’t labeled on any other valves in the compartment. Very confusing.I did run water to the flush valve because I of course wanted to flush the tank after draining it but when I opened the black water tank drain valve only a very small amount of the contents came out and that was in a small stream rather than in a big WOOSH like I’m used to with my previous trailers. After a while the stream stopped and I was left with 2/3 of the tank contents still in the tank according to the gauges inside.This is my first 5ver so I don’t know anything about how the utilities are configured. I crawled under the trailer to try and look at the actual valve to see if the lever was fully extending but of course all I could see was the black underbelly material that I suppose is part of the winerizing?Anyone have an idea about how I should start troubleshooting when I visit my trailer again this weekend?Thanks,
Get a flush king and you can back flush the tank and then drain itI have used it many times to clean black tankWorks greatSent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
Types Of Rv Toilet Clogs
Types of RV toilet clogs:
Paper Towel Clogs: These clogs are caused by people flushing paper towels down the toilet. They can quickly cause a blockage in the RV toilets plumbing.
Human Waste Clogs: These clogs are caused by people not properly disposing of their human waste. This can cause a nasty smell and attract insects.
Foreign Object Clogs: These clogs are caused by people flushing objects down the toilet that shouldnt be flushed. This can cause serious damage to the RV toilets plumbing.
Hair Clogs: These clogs are caused by people allowing their hair to go down the drain. This can quickly cause a blockage in the RV toilets plumbing.
Grease Clogs: These clogs are caused by people pouring grease down the drain. This can cause a slow drain and eventually a blockage.
To avoid these types of clogs, it is important to only flush human waste and toilet paper down the RV toilet. Additionally, it is important to dispose of grease and hair properly. If a clog does occur, it is important to contact a professional to have the RV toilets plumbing inspected and repaired.
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How To Dump Out An Rv Black Water Tank
Emptying out an RV black water tank is easy, but there is a specific method youll need to follow. Youll want to wear gloves and keep the sewer hose away from your face to avoid inhaling sewer gasses.
- Connect your sewer pipe to the RV holding tank connection.
- Connect the other end of the pipe to a sewer drain.
- Open the black water valve to allow the tank to empty.
- Flush your toilet continuously for one minute.
- Close the black water valve.
- Open your gray water valve and allow the tank to empty.
- Close the gray water valve.
- Disconnect the sewer pipe from the RV and flush it out with a hose.
- Disconnect your sewer pipe from the dump station and stow it away.
How Can You Clean Out Your Black Tank
Three ways to clean your black water tank are:
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Upgrade To A Macerator Toilet
RV macerator toilets have a built in motor pump and set of blades that grinds up the waste in your toilet before sending it to the black tank.
Reducing the solids in the black tank, especially toilet paper wads, will prevent clogs from happening in the first place. See my introduction to RV macerator toilets for more in-depth details.
How To Maintain A Healthy Blackwater Tank
Congratulations! Now its time to figure out why you had a clogged black tank pipe and learn what it takes to prevent future clogs. There are a few things you can do to maintain a healthy blackwater tank.
The first step is to practice proper wastewater disposal. This means only flushing human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Additionally, it is important to dispose of grease and hair properly.
The second step is to empty the tank on a regular basis. This will help to prevent clogs and keep the tank clean.
The third step is to use biodegradable products. These products will break down quickly and wont cause clogs.
The fourth step is to avoid non-flushable items. These items can cause serious damage to the RV toilets plumbing.
If a clog does occur, it is important to contact a professional to have the RV toilets plumbing inspected and repaired. By following these steps, you can help maintain a healthy blackwater tank.
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Flushing A Black Tank With Pressurized Water
Using a wand that can enter and spray water all around your black water tank should flush out any clogs and loosen any built up solids from your tank.
The Camco swivel stick is one of the most popular products for this use because it has a rotating spraying head and an on/off valve on the handle.
- Connect your sewer hose to the RV and dump station.
- Open your black water valve.
- Connect your swivel stick to a water supply using a hose.
- Hold open the toilet flapper and insert the wand down into the black tank.
- Turn on the valve and move the wand up and down inside the tank to rinse away any clogs and buildup.
- Turn off the water valve and remove the swivel stick from the tank and toilet.
The swivel stick comes in a rigid and a flexible option to suit the setup of your toilet and tank system.
If you have a tool like the swivel stick its a good preventative maintenance step to use it after every couple visits to the sani dump. Give your tank and sewer pipe a rinse after you dump but while youre still connected to the drain pipe.
Rv Black Tank Flush Kit
Our final DIY suggestion? Flush your black tank out.
If you dont have one built into your rig, grab an RV black tank flush kit.This simple device twists onto your RV dump pipe. After attaching it to the pipe, you will attach a sewer hose to the other end, add a water hose to the back-flush device, open the RV black tank valve, turn on the water, and allow the strong spray of water to break up your clog.
Please note that you will need to be careful flushing your tank when a clog is involved. If flushing doesnt work right away, you might just end up with too much water in your black tank and a stinky mess inside of your RV.
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Adding Clog Digesters To The Black Water Tank
Adding a liquid holding tank treatment like Unique RV Digest It will eat away at the poop, paper and other solids inside your black water tank and free up any clogs quickly. Because it is a blend of microbes and enzymes it wont damage the materials of your RV sewage system like some harsh chemicals can.
- Hold open your toilet flapper with the flush handle or foot pedal.
- Add the recommended amount of RV Digest It.
- Wait a few hours for the clog to be consumed and liquified.
- Connect your Sewer hose to your rig and a dump station.
- Open the black water valve and the clog should be cleared.
This type of treatment will also help keep the sensors and seals in your tanks clean and prevent leaks and electrical faults due to sewage buildup. It also does a great job of eliminating odors from wafting out of your holding tanks without the use of perfumes or obnoxious scents.
Whatever brand you choose to use, just make sure they are septic-safe, or they could ruin the wastewater system of your RV.
Vinegar And Baking Soda
Again. Please. Maybe try pouring this onto some dog poo and see what it does. It will be a whole lot of nothing. Don’t waste your time.
If you think some tiny bubbles are going to move sh**, you’re wasting your time. Besides, the reaction that causes the bubbles lasts for a very short time.
No, this one is not going to work.
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Final Thoughts On What To Do If The Black Or Grey Waste Tanks Wont Drain
Things go wrong with RVs, travel trailers, and 5th-wheels all the time.
Ive had to fix almost everything on my used travel trailer even after just a year of owning it. Having clogged holding/waste tanks is just another part of RV ownership.
Hopefully being able to go camping or travel the world in an RV makes up for all of the problems you experience along the way.
There are things you can do to properly maintain RV holding tanks so you never experience any clogs. You can read about that in this article here.
I hope at least one of these methods has worked for you and you havent given up on camping or RV life.
As a reminder, if you have bought a used RV whether it was from a private seller or a dealer make sure you fill the holding tanks with water and dump your RV before taking it camping.
You never know how someone else has treated their RV holding tanks and you can hopefully avoid any future clogs by cleaning your holding tanks really well before using them.
Have any more questions about RV black or grey tanks and fixing waste tank clogs? Leave a comment below.
The Broom Stick Method
This technique is probably my least favorite method since it can be messy, and you may never want to use the broom again. You dont need a broomstick, but you want something rigid that wont break. With the toilet valve open, stick a long rigid pole down into the tank and push things around.
This technique will only work if you have a straight opening into your RV toilet holding tank. If the clog is within reach of the stick, you should be able to break it up and solve your problem.
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Check The Drain Valve
Before attempting to actually unclog the RV grey tank, you should check the drain valve to see that it is functioning properly. When you turn the handle for the drain valve on the outside of the drain, this would translate to movement on the inside.
However, if the handle or the drain valve is broken, turning the handle might not cause the valve to open. If this is the case, then you will need to repair the drain valve handle and the valve itself.
However, this is something that is quite difficult to do. If it is the drain valve handle that is broken, you may require professional assistance.
That said, if this is not the problem, then you definitely have a clog in your RV grey tank. Generally speaking, its much more likely that your RV grey tank is clogged than the handle being broken. Therefore, lets move on and figure out how to actually unclog an RV grey tank.
Pour Boiling Water Down The Toilet
This is a technique thats been used by experts for decades because it is simple, easy, and anyone can do it. Also, it does not require a technical hand.
- Turn off the fresh water supply to the toilet, if possible.
- Hold down the flush handle or pedal to open the valve to the black water tank.
- Pour a few pots of boiling water into the black tank.
- The hot water should accelerate the breakdown of the solids clogging your RV black tank.
I recommend doing this at night so the waste has time to soak undisturbed in the hot water. Keep in mind that if your tank is full, the water wont heat up as much as if it were ½ to ¾ full.
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Compacted Tank Or Hardened Solids
It’s not super likely, but it’s possible that if you don’t use enough liquids, a mass of solid matter could accumulate at the bottom of your RV toilet holding tank.
Similarly, if you store your RV for long enough with contents still in the RV’s black tank, the liquids will eventually evaporate out.
This practice leaves the solids in there, and eventually, at worst, they will dry and harden.
What Do You Do When Your Black Water Tank Is Clogged
How to Clear a Clogged Blackwater Tank: Step by Step
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What Happens When Your Grey Water Tank Is Full
If the grey tank on your RV is full, the water will no longer be able to move down the drains from your shower, sink, and toilet.
Generally speaking, that water is going to back up, and this means that it is going to come out of the drain that is the shortest distance from the grey water tank.
If you see water backing up in the sink or shower closest to the grey water tank, then you know what the issue is.
How To Clear An Rv Toilet Clogged Pipe
This type of RV toilet tank clog might act like having a poop pyramid.
However, if you DID NOT leave your blackwater tank open while connected to a sewer, and you DO NOT have a black RV tank leak anywhere, a toilet that won’t drain out the sewer line means a clogged pipe.
Here’s how to unclog an RV with a clogged toilet pipe.
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Why Is My Rv Black Tank Flush Not Working Solved
9 reasons why your RV black water tank flush is not working are: