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 > How often and how to clean black tank

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jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 08/27/20 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Biodecomposition? LOL. It's not a septic tank with a leach line. If it smells, you got problems. The water in the toilet should stop all odors from coming in.

I flush my tank every time I get back from a trip. It takes 3 minutes using a Flush King.

Trackrig

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Posted: 08/27/20 07:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've never cleaned the black tank in my trailer or DP. After you empty it, put several gallons of water in it which will get swished around, don't empty it. Things don't bio-degrade in a black tank, it is not a septic system.

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pbeverly

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Posted: 08/28/20 05:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I take a 5 gallon water tote that I use for coffee, ice and drinking water. At end of trip when I dump whatever is left in toe is dumped into toilet for swishing as I drive home. That is drained, run water thru flush system for a few minutes. Black and Grey tanks with water adding Tank Blaster which is cheap on Amazon. It works for me. I will let they sit for at least 24 hours and then dump. Water ends up coming out clean. I also park RV where I can dump in this manner.


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Posted: 08/28/20 05:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rvshrinker wrote:

We have sani flushed the tank only once in 3 years. Recently I read I should be doing this more often. On the other hand some places say not to empty black too often because then there is an inadequate amount to drive biodecomposition. It does smell now despite minimal use so I'm planning to flush.

Also I read to 1. Empty tanks. 2. Fill with some toilet flushes. 3. Add some bleach and dish soap. 4. Let sit. 5. Empty. 6. Leave black tank open. 7. Flush for a while (how long?). 8. Close up. 9. Flush some water into toilet.

We use the rv for 3-6 4-16 day trips per year. And occasionally at home as a spare bedroom or office. In The latter cases, if it makes sense to avoid using the toilet we could easily do this.


I drain and flush the black tank on our TT after every trip. Then I fill the black tank with water and a big dollop (1/2 - 1 cup) of bleach, let it sit about an hour, then drain it again.

We go weeks or months between trips, so the camper is just sitting. If the black tank isn't thoroughly rinsed out and sanitized it will stink up the camper.

We used to camp a lot with 2 other families, brothers, who own a septic / excavation company. When they bought new campers, they insisted that people were wasting their time flushing black tanks, as they were experts and knew that the "stuff" in the black tank would biodegrade and not smell. I just shrugged my shoulders.

Next camping trip they said that their shop where they store their campers stank to high heaven, and they sheepishly said "yea, the campers don't have septic tanks but holding tanks that need to be cleaned".


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lots2seeinmyrv

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Posted: 08/28/20 06:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After camping, before heading home, we drain the tank. Fill with water to rinse out and empty the tank.

Hooking up for the next trip we put 3 buckets of water in the black tank. We add one cup liquid Calgon water softener and one cup 20 Mule Team Borax.

We let that slosh around on the drive to the campground.

We dump that when we get to camp. Then fill the black with a couple buckets of water and use the commode.

Repeat the same process. Never had any issues.

dodge guy

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Posted: 08/28/20 07:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All of my RV`s have had a black tank flusher. I have used it after every dump. we almost always have FHU`s. once in a while I`ll have to use the dump station. if there is no one in line I`ll flush it like always, otherwise it just gets a quick flush. No smells in 16 years.


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rvshrinker

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Posted: 08/28/20 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the info and ideas. I can dump at home, which is convenient, but means I don't empty before leaving camp and therefore don't rinse on the drive home. We often don't have a dump at camp anyway. I think I'll just empty and rinse and maybe try some soap and bleach and water again and see what happens. Doesn't sound like I can hurt it.

way2roll

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Posted: 08/28/20 07:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rvshrinker wrote:

Thanks for all the info and ideas. I can dump at home, which is convenient, but means I don't empty before leaving camp and therefore don't rinse on the drive home. We often don't have a dump at camp anyway. I think I'll just empty and rinse and maybe try some soap and bleach and water again and see what happens. Doesn't sound like I can hurt it.


Adding bleach to your holding tank means eventually you will be dumping that bleach into a septic system and effectively killing a lot of bacteria that are needed in an actual septic system.

Water, water, water. A holding tank is not a septic system and so there is no need to maintain any level of bacteria. Make sure you use enough water while camped and keep a layer of water in the tank after you've dumped and flushed. Your RV holding tanks are a temporary place to store waste until you can dump - that's it. If your unit does not have a black tank flush, install one. I have a clear elbow on my dump line and after I empty grey, then black, I flush the tank (run the tank flush, close the valve let it fill a bit, dump repeat) until things run clear, then add a little water and close up. Granted this may not be practical in the line at the dump station, but if no line then no problem, otherwise I do it the next time I can.

2 things that will cause smell - not using enough water while camping (can end in the dreaded poo pyramid) or leaving it too dry after you dumped.


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bigorange

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Posted: 08/28/20 07:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you can dump at home, just give it a good flush after you dump since nobody is waiting in line. We have a dump station at storage so there’s rarely anyone waiting...I dump the black then close the valve and turn on the hose to the flush for a minute or two...then dump again. Repeat as necessary based on what’s coming out the hose. Use the flush again to add a little water back into the tank for storage.


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C.B.

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Posted: 08/28/20 08:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After reading about the geo method for days I decide to clean my tanks for the first time. This morning I treated both gray tanks with 1 cup of Zep Heavy Duty Citrus Degreaser in 5 gallons of water.

The black tank I used 1 cup of Borax (had a hard time finding,couldn't find Calgon in any local stores) and 1 cup of Cascade dish washer soap to 5 gallons of water. Will be traveling about 45 miles today. Will be dumping tanks on Sunday.


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