How To Unclog A Septic Tank On A Rv? (TOP 5 Tips)

How to Unclog RV Black Water Tank? – OuterSquad

  • Pour a generous amount of liquid laundry soap down the toilet and into your black water tank and fill the tank about half-full with water. Then take your RV for a drive—the bumpier, the better. The goal here is to knock off and disintegrate any build-up and clogs within the blackwater tank.

Is Ridex safe for RV tanks?

RID-X RV Toilet Treatment is safe for RVs, portable toilets, and portable marine toilets. Use our toilet chemicals once a week to combat odors and break down waste.

How do you get rid of the poop pyramid in RV black?

To eliminate a poop pyramid, you need to get water into your black tank. The first thing you should do is close the black tank valve and get as much water into the black tank as possible. If the poop pyramid prohibits you from putting water into the tank, get some tank cleaner to pour down into the sewer drain.

How do you deep clean an RV black tank?

Directions for Cleaning an RV Black Water Tank:

  1. Close the gray water tank valve the night before cleaning.
  2. Clean your toilet.
  3. Connect your hose.
  4. Slowly turn on the water.
  5. Pull the black water tank valve.
  6. Slowly turn the water on more.
  7. Close the black water tank valve.
  8. Open black water tank valve again.

What is the best black water tank treatment?

5 Best RV Black Tank Treatments Reviewed (1 Clear Winner)

  • Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment.
  • Walex BOI-11530 Bio-Pak Natural Holding Tank Deodorizer.
  • Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins.
  • CAMCO TST Ultra-Concentrated Orange Citrus Scent.
  • TankTechsRx – RV Holding Tank Treatment & Cleaner.

Is Pine Sol safe for RVs?

for the gray tank, just like you did when you used rv holding tank chemicals. Pine-sol is for odor and the Bath Beads are to keep the tanks slippery as well as to lubricate the seals. You can also mix the water and bath beads in the gallon jug and only add pine-sol in the tank if needed for odor.

Can I use Drano in my rv black tank?

for clearing a clogged black tank are usually the most efficient and cheapest, I see no problem with using chemicals if one wants to do so. I’ve never agreed with those who caution against using Drano, Liquid Plumber, etc. in RV plumbing because it will harm something in the system.

How do you clear an RV toilet blockage tank?

Here’s how to unclog an RV with a poop pyramid.

  1. First and foremost, CLOSE your black tank valve.
  2. Pour some liquid plumber type of enzyme RV black tank treatment into the toilet.
  3. If a channel opens up, fill the tank with water and an enzyme treatment that will go to work breaking down the waste buildup.

What will dissolve feces?

Household Bleach Use bleach just in case when your toilet is clogged severely. You will need to pour two to three cups of household bleach to the bowl. Wait until it dissolves the poop, and then flush the toilet a few times.

How do you unclog an RV black vent?

Using a Flush King, flush all the black water stuff out of the tank. This can take quite a few flushes. When it’s clean (you could chlorinate it), just keep filling the tank until water comes out of the top of the soil stack (the plumbing name for the vent pipe).

How often should you flush your black tank?

You should dump your black water tank every 3-5 days or when it gets to be two-thirds full, whichever is first. The steps to emptying your black water tank are listed below: Put on gloves. Connect the hose to the black tank water drain.

How much Borax do I put in a black tank?

This helps to further clean and deodorize the tank. Many RVers also include ¼ cup Borax to the black tank along with the detergent. Borax serves as an excellent cleaning agent.

How to Clear a Clogged RV or Camper Blackwater Tank: A Step by Step Guide

Please bear with me while I describe something that will sound disgusting: A clogged blackwater tank is quite similar to a clogged toilet in terms of appearance. As a matter of fact, as a disclaimer, this entire piece is going to be offensive. Here, we’re talking about your blackwater tank, if you have one. As an RV owner, it’s not the most pleasant of subjects to talk about, but it’s one that you must get intimately acquainted with. You’re probably already aware that drinkable water is obtained from the freshwater storage tank.

It is disposed of in the graywater collection tank.

You can see how this tank may become the dirtiest in the shortest amount of time.

In order to clean and unclog your blackwater holding tank, you must first identify its source.

What causes clogs, as well as how to avoid them in the future, will also be discussed.

What Causes Blackwater Tank Clogs?

When trying to determine what causes blackwater tank blockages, simply ask yourself what causes your toilet to become blocked as a starting point. Yes, once again, this isn’t nice, but give it some thought anyway. There are generally two factors that contribute to the accumulation of debris in your blackwater tank. The first is made up of human waste (yep, excrement), while the second is made up of clumps of toilet paper. If your blackwater holding tank is a more contemporary, high-end model, it may incorporate a series of sensors to monitor its contents and function.

  • They use a gauge to determine how full the blackwater tank is.
  • After that, you may clean out the tank.
  • In the event of a buildup of human waste or toilet paper in the tank, the sensors may become clogged and ineffective.
  • Even if your blackwater holding tank does not have sensors, the accumulation of human waste and toilet paper is still a major source of frustration.

How to Clear a Clogged Blackwater Tank: Step by Step

It is typically necessary to identify and eliminate the source of the blockage before you can begin to remove the sludge from your blackwater tank. After all, how can you remedy a problem if you don’t know what’s causing it to begin with? To be clear, just because I compared your blackwater tank to a toilet in the introduction does not imply that you can just take a large plunger and pull all the garbage out of it. That would be fantastic, but there aren’t any plungers large enough for the task.

It’s possible one day.

If these procedures are attempted, they have the potential to cause significant damage, if not outright failure, to the blackwater tank.

That is something you do not want to witness firsthand at any point in your life. If you want to ensure your safety and the durability of your blackwater tank, you should avoid using the following methods:

  • Using a pressure washer or power washer: On the surface, this appears to be a smart idea, and some self-proclaimed RV “experts” even propose power-washing your blackwater tank as a first step in the cleaning process. Don’t take everything you read on the internet at face value. In the case of a blackwater tank, the use of a pressure washer or a power washer might result in the tank being damaged. It’s also possible that you’ll be hurt. It’s not worth it. Using compressed air as a source of energy: Once again, any form of pressure should be avoided. The use of pressurized air from a device has the potential to pump large amounts of air into the blackwater tank. This can cause waste and toilet paper to become stuck in difficult-to-reach areas, as well as damage to the tank itself. That’s not going to assist you at all
  • Using a toilet snake is a good idea: Having a toilet snake on hand is a convenient and useful equipment to have around the house. Their performance when it comes to cleaning dirt out of pipes is excellent. With the use of blackwater tanks? That’s not the case. The snakes will not properly remove the waste accumulation, so save yourself the time and trouble by skipping them altogether.

After getting all of that out of the way, you now know what not to do in order to unclog your clogged blackwater storage tank. All well and good, you’re presumably thinking. But what are you going todo with it? Let’s get into it right now.

Step 1: Clean the Tank

A tank that is clean is a tank that is content. As a result, cleaning your blackwater tank is the first step in unclogging it. Now, ideally, you’ve gone through the bullet points above and decided not to use any of the ways mentioned. It is possible to acquire a septic system powder treatment and pour it down the toilet. Rid-X is a well-known brand among RV and camper enthusiasts. Amazon allows you to purchase enough for several months’ worth of consumption in a single order. Rid-X is available for purchase for $6.88 for a single month’s supply, $13.88 for a three-month supply, and $73.66 for a year’s worth of treatment.

  • It is recommended that you apply Rid-X or your favorite product at least once a month to ensure the longevity of your blackwater tank.
  • This should certainly avoid future blockages (and don’t worry, I’ll have many more advice on how to do so later on in this article).
  • Approximately 9.8 ounces of enzymes and natural microorganisms are contained in each month’s supply, which is in powder form.
  • The instructions on the Rid-X box or powder cleaning of your choice should be followed to guarantee that your blackwater tank is free of debris.

Step 2: Wipe down the Line

Your blackwater tank collects all of this waste, and a connection links it to the toilet to dispose of it. Pyramid plugs can form in this line if it is not cleaned on a regular basis. These are a sort of hardened waste material that develops on and around the line while it is being manufactured. An excessive number of pyramid plugs might cause your connection to become clogged. How does one go about obtaining pyramid plugs in the first place? The primary reason for this is a failure to clean the blackwater tank.

  1. In reality, you have two alternatives when it comes to doing so.
  2. Yes, an auger is a form of toilet snake, which I have previously stated should not be used.
  3. Because the line contains pipe, an auger is entirely acceptable for usage, but just for this particular project.
  4. If you’re not careful, a motorized auger can puncture the blackwater tank and cause a backup of dirty water.
  5. Breaking apart the pyramid plugs should begin as soon as you start poking about.
  6. A long spray wand will suffice in the absence of a long wand.
  7. To do this, you must add water to your blackwater tank until it is halfway full.
  8. After that, you’ll have to start up your RV or camper and drive about in the rugged terrain.

In order to do this, the water must be moved about without your intervention. Allow the water to rest in the tank once it has passed through your pipes. After a few hours, you’ll be able to cleanse the system. Hopefully, you were successful in getting rid of all of the pyramid plugs.

Step 3: Test Tank Valves

Now that your blackwater tank and line are almost completely free of debris, it’s time to move on to some troubleshooting techniques. The first step is to check your tank valves and make sure they are open and operating properly. You may think this is a stupid question, but you may have overlooked something while you were setting up your car. Is the sewer line, for example, properly connected? Did you make sure that every valve was turned on? If this is the case, go back and double-check your work.

Neither a significant amount of effort nor monetary investment was required.

There’s still a lot you can accomplish in this situation.

Step 4: Try a Chemical Treatment

Isn’t it annoying to have to rummage around in your toilet for things? If there’s a chemical that can accomplish the job faster and more efficiently, you’ll probably use it, right? The same may be said for your blackwater tank as well. If you aren’t going to be reaching around in there too much, then save yourself the trauma of doing so. Chemical treatments are quite widespread, and there are a plethora of options available on the market. You might want to consider the following for your own blackwater tank, all of which are available on Amazon:

  • Drop-Ins for Camco’s TST Ultra-Concentrated RV Treatment include: These orange citrus-scented drop-ins are free of bronopol and formaldehyde, making them completely safe to use. For $20.35, you may receive a box of 30 cards. As long as your blackwater tank holds at least 40 gallons, a single one of these drop-in cleaners will be adequate to clean it. When you call Camco, their drop-ins will begin to work right away, dissolving gunked-up waste and making your tank smell nicer as well
  • Happy Campers’ Extreme Cleaner (also known as Happy Campers’ Extreme Cleaner): This cleaning from Happy Campers may be used on both the sensors and the blackwater tank itself. It has a four-star rating and can be purchased for $23.95 on Amazon. To make use of it, simply fill a bucket halfway with hot water (warm water also works). The bucket should be able to hold at least five gallons of liquid. Then, throw the Extreme Cleaner into the tank and let it sit for a while before emptying it. You’ll notice a reduction in odor and improved sensor performance, as well as a significantly cleaner blackwater tank. Holding tank treatment package from Thetford, which comprises six packets of the detergent and digester, is available for purchase separately. Each pack contains eight ounces of product. For $21.18, you may get the entire six-pack set. It’s no surprise that this product has received five stars on Amazon. In addition to being biodegradable, the deodorants may be used to clean drain lines and the walls of your blackwater tank. Because tissue and other debris are transformed into a liquid, blockage is no longer a concern. Not only that, but Aqua-Kem has a nice smell that effectively eliminates odors. Drop-Ins for Walex’s Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer include: Walex’s Porta-Pak drop-ins are another excellent alternative to keep onboard your vehicle, and they have the pleasant scent of Sunglow to accompany them. Alternatively, you may get a 10-pack for $9.98 or a 50-pack for $45.99. That’s a fairly decent deal for the money. Similar to Camco’s offering, you just drop one in your blackwater tank and forget about it. Drop-ins emit chemicals into the environment (which do not include formaldehyde), and toilet paper and other toilet waste are unable to survive as a result.

Step 5: Try the Water Hose Method

However, while chemicals are almost always the most effective solution, there are other options available if you cannot wait for them to arrive or would prefer to avoid using chemicals altogether. This method should be effective in eliminating odors and waste from your blackwater tank without the use of chemical cleaners. This method necessitates the following:

  • However, while chemicals are nearly usually the most effective solution, there are other options available if you cannot wait for them to arrive or would want to avoid using chemicals entirely. Chemical cleaners are not required for this way of cleaning your blackwater tank, which uses a water hose. In order to use this approach, you must have the following:

Bring the clear hose connector over to the blackwater tank and attach it to the tank using the clear hose connector. Clarity or translucency of the hose is required. Otherwise, how else will you know whether or not this strategy is effective? Check to see that the connector is properly secured. After that, you’ll need to drill a hole into the connection using your drill. Make the hole at the top of the hole and make sure it is large enough to accommodate the water line passing through it. It should not be larger than the water line, or else leaks may occur.

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Turn on the blackwater tank’s valve to allow water to flow through the system to the storage tank.

The majority of the time, water should be turned on, but this is not always the case.

If this is the case, waste should begin to flow via the water line rather than water.

Step 6: Or the Ice Cube Method

If drilling appears to be too much work (which is understandable), there is one more alternative available to you. The ice cube approach is what this is referred to as. It may appear unusual at first, but don’t dismiss it until you’ve given it a go. Many RV and camper owners have found it to be effective. What you’re really doing is pouring water into your blackwater tank to flush it out. It shouldn’t be entirely full, but only about a third of the way full is OK. After that, fill the remainder of the tank with ice.

Using your RV or camper to move around might help to release any tenacious waste or toilet paper that has become lodged in your blackwater tank. After that, you may empty the entire thing, and your tank should hopefully be cleaner as a result.

Step 7: Bring in the Pros

If none of these options work, you are left with just one option: pull over and call a professional repairperson for assistance. This may be expensive, but at the very least you will be guaranteed that your blackwater tank is completely clear of garbage and residue.

Tips for Preventing Future Clogs

Hopefully, one of the ways suggested above was successful in totally cleaning your blackwater tank. Regardless of whether you used chemicals, performed physical labor, or even hired professionals, your tank is now completely clean. If you have sensors, be sure that they are not obscured by toilet paper chunks. Great! You’ll have to put in some effort now if you want to maintain your blackwater tank looking and functioning as well as it does. Sorry for the inconvenience, but frequent blackwater tank repair is an unavoidable aspect of RV and camper ownership.

In order to avoid future blockages and maintain your blackwater tank as clean as possible, you should follow these guidelines:

  • One of the ways suggested above should have been successful in totally cleaning your blackwater tank. There is no waste in your tank anymore, whether you utilized chemicals, did some physical labor, or even called in the experts. No toilet paper chunks get in the way of your sensors, assuming you have any. Great! In order to maintain your blackwater tank looking and operating as efficiently as possible, you’ll have to put in some effort. No offense, but frequent blackwater tank maintenance is a necessary component of owning an RV or camper. However, the situation is as it stands. In order to avoid future blockages and maintain your blackwater tank as clean as possible, you should follow these instructions:


Despite the fact that it is not a pleasant subject to discuss, the blackwater tank is a crucial component of any RV or camper. It is the location where all toilet waste is disposed of, including excrement and toilet paper. It has the potential to get clogged, resulting in severe headaches. Fortunately, determining the root cause of the problem is rather simple. There are a variety of troubleshooting approaches that you may use to get to the bottom of a blocked blackwater tank, as mentioned above.

Never leave the tank empty!

Your RV Sewer System: Unclogging Your RV Black Water Tank

If you’ve found your way to this website, it’s most likely because you’re experiencing difficulties with your RV’s black tank. Isn’t it exciting? No greater feeling than waking up to a beautiful sunrise, brewing your morning coffee, putting on some rubber gloves, and hauling out the plunger, drain cleaner, sewage hose, scrubber and any other instruments you may have in your plumbing armory to deal with your tank problems. Now, let’s go back to your black tank issues. Clogs in black tanks and determining whether to dump the RV holding tank are the two most prevalent problems that RV owners encounter.

Dealing With Black Tank Clogs

First and foremost, where exactly is your tank clogged? You’re having trouble emptying your tank at the RV dump station, aren’t you? Alternatively, do you notice that your toilet is backing up when you flush? A blockage in your holding tank is obvious if you’re trying to empty it and only see a trickle of waste water come out while you’re quite certain your tank is full. In the event that you are connecting your clear sewage hose adapter to the dump valves, it should be straightforward to verify whether the blockage is in your sewer hose or in your black water tank.

  • If there is only a trickle of water flowing out of the holding tank, it is blocked with debris.
  • Among the most prevalent causes of tank blockages is the dreaded “mountain of.
  • This frequently occurs when you connect your campground to municipal sewer lines and leave your black water tank drain open, enabling liquids to seep into the sewer system with each flush.
  • Not to worry, you’ll only make that mistake once in your life.
  • Attaching a high-pressure water line to the dump valve and cleaning out the tank with a high-pressure water stream will be their method of choice.

Here are a handful of approaches you may attempt to get the dried-out pile moving again (without producing blockages later on) if you’re convinced that the problem is inside your tank and not in the pipeline:

  • Some RVers recommend that you put a large amount of ice water into your black tank before embarking on a rough or long journey in your RV. According to the theory, the water will rehydrate and clean the tank’s inside while the ice acts as a gentle scrubber, working its way through all of the dried-on areas to break them up. Some people respond positively to this, while others respond negatively. If you’re in a hurry and need to relocate, this may be a smart initial attempt to make while on your way to your new location. Keep in mind that ice will melt. With the washing sloshing around in the tank, spreading the “stuck” contents around as it goes, it is likely that this procedure is more effective than other approaches because of the water rather than the ice used. Alternatively, fill the tank with warm water and a tiny quantity of detergent, such as Dawn dish soap, and allow it to sit for a day to see if that helps
  • If it doesn’t, at the very least you’ll have a cleaner and more hydrated tank. It may take a few cycles to get it clean enough to flush as desired, but you’ll end up with a well-functioning and sanitized black tank by the time you’re finished
  • If you choose to use chemicals, be sure anything you choose is safe for RV septic systems before you begin. It does not follow that just because your go-to product was safe for city sewage lines in your house, it would be safe for your RV system. Along with harming the pipes, it has the potential to harm seals surrounding your toilet and tanks, and/or it has the potential to release odors that, when contained in a tiny black tank rather than massive sewer tunnels, may be detrimental to your health. Once your tank has been restored to its former glory, you may apply treatments to keep blockages and build-up from forming in the future, if necessary. It will be our pleasure to provide our advice for this in a moment
  • Another option is to utilize a sewer wand. It is connected to a water hose and then flushed down the toilet bowl with water. Swivel heads are seen on certain batons, however not all batons are equipped with this feature. In order to break up the sediments and wash out the tank, they both require high-pressure water.

If you think that the blockage is in the line that runs between the dump valves and the tank itself, you’ll need something more forceful than the solutions listed above.

  • Backflush your tank to get rid of any remaining waste. This indicates that you should flush the tank from an external source rather than from an internal one such as your toilet. The use of a flush valve is particularly useful in this situation since it attaches to the outlet of your black tank and allows you to pour moderately pressured water into your tank in order to clean it out and break up obstructions. Once it’s attached to your tank, you’ll need to link a water hose to the device (ideally not your fresh water line) and either pour water into the tank or, once you’ve finished emptying the tank, direct water down the pipe to clean the interior of the hose with soap and water. In addition, you may discover ones that are transparent, enabling you to view the flow of water as it leaves your tank. Changing the color of your water from muddy to largely clear indicates that you’ve done a decent job. Does it appear like backflushing helped, but did not totally eliminate the clog? Fill a huge bucket halfway with water and drop it down your toilet. This should work. The rapid pressure created by a high amount of water might assist in dislodging the remaining components of the blockage. As a precaution, make sure your external valve is closed or that your sewer line is connected and guided into the sewage dump, otherwise you will wind up with a messy situation outside your rig.

What About a Clogged Hose?

Fortunately, dealing with a blocked hose is far less difficult than dealing with a clogged tank! When a clog occurs, you will most likely notice a slowdown in the flow of water before it is totally stopped. It is important to completely clean your hose each time you empty your tanks in order to avoid solid waste from piling up, which will result in a clog in the system. However, even if it is too late for this, for example, if the blockage occurs when you are waiting at the dump station with a long line of RVs behind you, there is still hope.

  1. In addition, this might assist you in determining where in your hose the blockage is situated.
  2. Please use caution when using this method; you do not wish to rip a hole in your hose!
  3. An easy way to accomplish this is to use a mix of water and bleach, and then flush it via the hose once you have emptied the tank.
  4. If you haven’t done so before, a simple advice to follow is to empty your black tank first, followed by your grey water tank.
  5. If all else fails, pick up a replacement hose the next time you’re out shopping and start over with improved cleaning practices with each subsequent dump station visit.

Want to see more of the gadgetsgizmos Mark recommends?We have an entire catalog of his RVer Gadget Box articles.

Following the resolution of your current problem, how do you go about avoiding another problem in your black tank or your gray tank from occurring in the future? As previously said, maintaining a liquid level in your tank will help to guarantee that the solid components do not accumulate and dry up. However, there comes a time when you must empty your tank in order for it to be ready for more. What is the best way to determine when it is appropriate to act? Tank sensors, particularly those in your black tank, are notoriously unreliable and unreliable.

  1. There is no fail-safe way to ensure that these sensors continue to function effectively, short of going in and manually cleaning it on a regular basis.
  2. There is also a tank sensor that can be connected to the outside of the black and grey tanks in order to provide you with an extremely precise measurement.
  3. Paying attention is a better approach to determine when your tank is ready to be emptied than guessing.
  4. Between conserving water and maintaining a proper quantity of liquid in your black tank, there is a delicate balance to be struck.
  5. You’re using too much water, which means you’re emptying your tank more frequently than necessary.
  6. When you’re approaching near to that limit, though, there are warning indicators that you should pay attention to.
  7. When you flush your toilet, does it make a “burp” sound?
  8. Has there been a major slowdown in the drain?
  9. Yes, it is most definitely time to empty that tank!
  10. Continue to do this each time for a few more dump days, and you should begin to see a pattern form, which will assist you in determining how frequently you should empty it in order to prevent difficulties.

Curious about how to best maintain all of your RV’s systems?RVers Boot Camp and RVers Online University both can teach you more about caring for your RV.

Keep in mind that the same material that causes your toilet to clog. is also responsible for clogging your black tank. Ew. If you don’t appreciate getting your hands filthy in the sewer, now is a good moment to think about your waste holding tank maintenance and what habits and chores you should do to prevent this from happening again in the future. Additionally, you will want to devise a strategy for keeping your black tank in excellent condition between dumping sessions. This will include developing a consistent timetable for dumping and flushing your black tank.

  1. It is adequate for the majority of people to flush their toilets with an acceptable amount of water each time, with an occasional hot water soak to release any build-up and keep smells under control.
  2. This one has become quite popular among RVers, and it is completely safe for your system to use.
  3. Finally, avoid flushing stuff down the toilet that won’t decompose in your tank.
  4. Please keep in mind that not all toilet paper is made equal!
  5. The use of “flushable” wipes is not recommended for septic systems (and, despite their marketing, they are not recommended for city sewer systems), so if you must use them, have a small trash can nearby for convenient disposal.
  6. You and your child should also avoid the temptation to use toy boats to navigate the rough waters of the toilet bowl.
  7. Don’t let this deter you from wanting to travel by RV!
  8. Many of these preventative actions are minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of things, much as you would have a maintenance plan for your home (cleaning gutters, mowing the lawn, changing the air conditioning filter, and so on).
  9. Did you like reading this post?

How To Fix A Clogged RV Blackwater Tank

Kelly Beasley contributed to this article. Date of publication: October 5, 2021 The most recent update was made on December 14, 2021. When your camper’s toilet backs up, it’s undoubtedly one of the most uncomfortable elements of RVing! It is not need to occur, and it is entirely avoidable. I’m assuming, though, that you already have a clogged black tank, my buddy, because you’re reading this. It’s a bummer for you. The good news is that most waste obstructions can be cleared out. It is OK to use your dump tank as long as there are just four items in it: water, pee, toilet paper, and feces!

Don’t be concerned. In this lesson on how to unclog an RV black tank, you’ll discover all you need to know about diagnosing, treating, and, most importantly, FIXING a backed-up RV toilet. Continue reading to find out how to clear a clogged RV black water tank.

Types Of RV Toilet Clogs

The things that clog an RV toilet are any combination of these three things: toilet paper, solid waste, and hardened solid waste. That said, there are three ways an RV toilet can clog:

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Pipe Clog

The drain pipe for your RV toilet extends from the toilet’s base and transports all waste down to the black tank below. While sometimes it’s just a straight piece of pipe, sometimes there are bends in the waste pipe that go down to the waste collection system. The majority of the time, a pipe blockage occurs in an RV toilet design that includes twists and turns in the pipe. The use of bent elbows (pipe turns) to guide sewage into the black tank is necessary if the black tank is not located immediately beneath the toilet bowl.

The following are examples of errors that might clog a pipe:

  1. Using insufficient water in the toilet bowl for flushing purposes
  2. Using an excessive amount of toilet paper or toilet paper that is not septic-safe
  3. Large or difficult bowel motions (this is dangerous)

Poop Pyramid

This one is exactly what it says on the tin. Down in the dark tank, there’s a mound of your feces in a pyramid form. This is often typically caused by a rookie RV owner forgetting to close the valve to your black tank while parked and linked to a dump station, as described above (most likely when you are at an RV site with full-hookups). When the black tank valve is left open when connected to a dump, the liquids can escape from the black tank and into the dump. Meanwhile, the particles remain where they fell when they exited the RV toilet’s discharge line, where they remain.

Eventually, the pyramid develops to such a height that it contacts the toilet pipe, preventing the toilet from draining into your tanks.

Compacted Tank Or Hardened Solids

It’s not probable, but it’s conceivable that if you don’t utilize enough liquids in your RV toilet holding tank, a mass of solid stuff will collect at the bottom of the tank. Similarly, if you keep your RV for an extended period of time with the contents of the RV’s black tank still there, the liquids will ultimately evaporate. This approach leaves the solids in the container, where they will ultimately dry and solidify, at the very least. (Remember that your RV’s blackwater holding tank has a vent for this purpose.) As a result, it is not completely sealed.)

So My Black Water Tank Clogged. Now What?

After that, you need to figure out what kind of clogged black water tank you’re dealing with. (This can be in the form of a pipe, pyramid, or compressed.) Which sort of blocked black tank problem you have will dictate which procedures you will need to take to clear the obstruction. There are three indicators that something is going on:

  1. When you flush your RV toilet, nothing goes down the drain anymore. When you empty your RV’s black holding tank, very little or nothing flows out of the tank. You’re dealing with two issues at the same time.

The use of clear RV sewage line adapters allows you to see how much waste is emptying from your black holding tank, which is a great idea.

How to figure out what these clues mean:

  1. No matter how hard you try, nothing will go down the toilet bowl and nothing (or very little) will come out when you dump. It is your fault that you have left the black tank valve open while connected to the sewer system. You’ve got a poop pyramid on your hands. Nothing will flush down the toilet, and nothing (or very little) will come out when you defecate. Clogged Pipe: You did not leave your black water valve open when you were parked, as claimed. Tank that has been compacted or dried up: When you flush the toilet, liquid enters the camper blackwater tank and runs into the toilet bowl, but nothing comes out when you dump. During your camping/connection to the sewer, you did not ever leave the black tank valve open
  2. Misreading Tank Sensors:an Here’s example you might not have considered before. However, your sensors indicate that your black tank is full, although you have just emptied it. If everything appears to be working properly (you can dump without issue, and toilet contents flow into the blackwater holding tank without issue), but the RV black tank sensors indicate otherwise, your sensors are generating erroneous readouts (this is a very typical issue).

How Do You Unblock An RV Black Tank?

The approach you’ll need to use to unclog your black water holding tank is entirely dependent on the sort of obstruction you’ve discovered. We’ll show you how to repair each one in this section.

How To Unblock A Poop Pyramid

Prior to attempting to clear pyramid clogs, you must first determine whether or not a poop pyramid is responsible for the blockage in your tank.

There are three factors that indicate if a pyramid is blocking your toilet:

  • You forgot to close the black tank valve while camping and were disconnected
  • Nothing (or very little, or it moves very slowly down the toilet) is flushed down the toilet any more. Nothing comes out of the sewage hose
  • It is completely dry. Maybe you observed that the RV toilet was emptying slowly before it stopped draining completely. It will begin to drain slowly before the poop pyramid begins to totally obstruct the pipe.

If any of these three statements apply to your circumstances, you should be pleased. You’ve got a poop pyramid on your hands.

Here’s how to unclog an RV with a poop pyramid.

You can experiment with a variety of approaches. Your primary objective is to create a route via which water may be pumped into the tank in order to fill it. What you should do initially is the following:

  1. The first and most important step is to CLOSE your black tank valve. Pour some liquid plumber type enzymeRV black tank treatment into the toilet and flush it down the toilet. It could be able to accomplish the task of breaking down solids in order to create a channel. Allow it to sit for as long as the maker specifies. Typically, this will take a few hours or as long as a few days
  2. Whenever a channel opens up, fill the tank with water and an enzyme treatment, which will immediately begin working to break down the waste accumulation. If no channel opens up, you must manually open up the socket that is causing the problem. You may perform this with a flexible PEX pipe (which looks similar to a toilet snake) to save time. It should be flushed down the toilet and moved about. If everything goes according to plan, the recalcitrant material will finally give way. Once the door is open, continue with 3
  3. Keep in mind that you must allow the product to sit for at least the amount of time specified by the manufacturer. If you have the ability to go a bit further, that is probably even better. Allow enough time for the product to break down the solids. After the stipulated time has expired, flush out the clogged RV toilet tank with fresh water. Everything has to be dissolved and let to flow freely
  4. However, even if everything appears to be flowing well, it is a good idea to repeat the process at least once more to ensure that the entire pyramid has been dissolved.

How To Unblock A Compacted Black Tank

To unclog a compacted tank, you must first check that the tank in question is truly a compacted RV holding tank. What decides whether or not you have a compacted tank is as follows:

  • When you flush water down the toilet, liquids enter the toilet bowl. When you dump the blocked black tank of your RV, nothing comes out
  • NOTE: If liquid does flow out of the tank when you empty it, it is most likely due to faulty sensors rather than a blocked black tank, as previously stated.

So you’ve learned how to clear a clogged RV black tank. Keep in mind that clearing up this sort of obstruction may take a bit longer than usual (no pun intended). This is especially true if you haven’t emptied your RV’s blackwater tank before putting it away. The solids at the bottom of the tank have now solidified and are ready to be removed. Maybe you’ll have to read it twice or three times before it sinks in entirely.

Here’s how to unclog an RV with a compacted blackwater tank:

  1. Prepare by filling your blackwater tank completely with water
  2. Fill the container with your selected enzyme therapy. It’s possible that the manufacturer wants you to utilize the full bottle. Keep it in for as long as the manufacturer recommends. The more time you have, the better. It is preferable if you can let it sit for at least one night. Alternatively, you might try dumping the tank at an RV dump station once the authorized time has passed. If there is no liquid waste coming out, leave it for a little longer. Empty the blackwater tank and dispose of it at the disposal station. If you believe there are still particles of debris left, repeat the process.

Liquid Tank Unclogger

In order to disconnect an RV holding tank, all three methods necessitate the use of a liquid enzyme treatment to aid in the process. You might want to consider using the Unique brand tank cleaning, which is particularly designed to deal with clogged pipes, feces pyramids, and a compacted tank.

How To Clear An RV Toilet Clogged Pipe

A liquid enzyme treatment is required for each of the three methods of unplugging an RV holding tank in order to aid in the process. Consider using the Unique brand tank cleaning, which is particularly developed to deal with clogged pipes, feces pyramids, and a compacted tank, among other problems.

Here’s how to unclog an RV with a clogged toilet pipe.

  1. Plunge it into the water to see what happens. If the pipe is actually clogged, this procedure will be effective in clearing it. However, it is possible that it will not be enough to remove the obstruction. If it still doesn’t work, flush your enzyme treatment down the toilet and let it rest for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer. After the allocated time has passed, flush the system to check whether it works. If it doesn’t work, try again. Repeat the enzyme treatment until the blockage is successfully eaten away by the enzymes. When everything else fails, grab yourself a PEX pipe and try pushing it through into the black tank. As soon as the blockage has been cleared, fill your tank with water and flush it to remove any leftover “junk.”

How To Maintain A Healthy Black Tank

Congratulations! It’s time to figure out what caused your clogged black tank pipe in the first place and what you can do to avoid further obstructions in the future. The following are the traditional methods of avoiding a blocked toilet:

  1. Use toilet paper that is suitable for septic systems. Before you use your toilet paper, rip it up into small pieces. Make use of a lot of water when flushing your BM (How much water? At the very least, half-fill the bowl. The greater the amount of water, the better)
  2. If you are constipated or have firm stools, you may be suffering from a digestive ailment. Stools that are too hard or too lengthy might become trapped. If and when this occurs, remove them from the equation. Disgusting? Yes. Effective? Yes, as well

DEMONS! LOL The most effective approach to avoid a clog in your blackwater tank is to avoid flushing your toilet paper down the toilet. Instead, throw it away in a trash can or recycling bin. It may seem disgusting, but it isn’t at all. Kelly has not dumped toilet paper down the plumbing of her toilet for about 5 years, and she has never experienced a blockage. Even better, I can use whichever brand of toilet paper I choose! Final point: it conserves gas tank space when boondocking, allowing you to remain out longer before needing to dump.

In the hopes that you’ll continue to use septic-safe toilet paper and more water than you used previously, and that you’ll never have another blockage in either of your tanks again.

Whatever the case, I pray you never have to deal with your human excrement in this manner again!

How To Unclog A RV Toilet Holding Tank- MYTHS!

I’m providing several techniques. Others have claimed to have found jobs simply performing a Google search. Some of them are really outrageous in their absurdity. But here’s what we’ve got:

Ice Method

Nothing can be removed from your black water tank by using this method, it just does not work. Even if you tried something and it worked, it was all by chance. A blocked pipe means that neither water nor ice will be able to reach the obstruction and remove it from the pipe’s interior.

Unless you have a poop pyramid, the only ‘rubbing’ that the ice can perform is extremely minor and will only affect a single level of the blockage at a time. If you have a tank that has been compressed, floating ice will not even get close to touching the tenacious waste.

Boiling Water

Okay, can you assist me with this hot water method? HOW is it that hot water, boiling water, or even warm water will be able to break apart anything? It does not have the ability to ingest or remove anything from its environment. Even seeing this as a’solution’ on another page makes me wonder how I came to be here. Is there hot water? Please. Is it effective against grease clogs? Maybe. Is it effective for feces clogs? Nope! (Unless, of course, you consume an excessive amount of grease.)

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Again. Please. Perhaps you could try dumping this on some dog feces and see what happens. It will be a complete and utter waste of time. Don’t squander any more of your time. If you believe that a few little bubbles will make a difference, you’re wasting your time. Furthermore, the process that produces the bubbles is only active for a relatively brief period of time. No, this one isn’t going to work out for you. (Even though that is a fantastic technique to create a volcano!)

Dish Soap

Once again, how does liquid soap intend to function? Anything that gets between the stuck object and the wall or pipe, such as toilet paper and feces, will not be able to get soapy water in between them. This method of repairing tanks is just not a realistic alternative, despite the fact that some individuals say it worked for them while they were rebuilding their camper toilets. At the very least, it MIGHT assist in degreasing and doing some minor tank maintenance in a gray water tank. It is necessary for anything to EATEN/LIQUEFY their solid waste or for an object such as PEX pipe to physically transport it if their solid waste is the source of black tank clogging.

Harsh Chemicals

You might be tempted to use some harsh chemicals in your holding tanks to get rid of the waste that has accumulated there. Why, once more? You run the risk of damaging the seals in the plumbing that prevent leaks from occurring. Furthermore, it is preferable to keep these chemicals out of the dump station or septic tank that you are currently using.

See also:  How Deep Is A Septic Tank Barried In Michigan? (Question)

Pressure Washing

It is possible that using a pressure washer will be effective. Using a drain snake to penetrate through pyramid obstructions or RV clogs, on the other hand, is far less nasty and much easier. Some people say that utilizing a pressure sprayer into the toilet and accidently puncturing through your clogged blackwater tank is a possibility, but I don’t believe so. In the event that your black tank is in desperate need of a thorough cleaning, there are specialists that can pressure wash your holding tanks.

Black Tank Flush

If you use a wand style flusher to flush your black water tank, it could work. Not to mention the fact that if you have a blockage, you must puncture a hole through the tank’s contents, thus it might either drive a blockage through or at least open a hole so that you can get drain unclogger product down the tank. In that case, good luck if you attempt to employ a backflush method in which water is poured into the tank through its exit plumbing (the drain line in your RV that you use to empty the tanks).

This isn’t going to work. Those who have witnessed the inside of a tank during one of these utterly pointless flushes would appreciate why.

RV Blackwater Tank Clogged FAQs:

Black water tank flushes may or may not be effective, but only if they are the wand-type. Not to mention the fact that if you have a blockage, you must puncture a hole through the tank’s contents, so it might either drive a blockage through or at least open a hole to allow you to pour drain unclogger solution down the tank’s filling tube. If you attempt to backflush the tank by spraying water into it through its exit plumbing (the drain line in your RV that you use to empty the tanks), you will have a difficult time, at best.

Those who have witnessed the inside of a tank during one of these utterly pointless flushes would understand why.

  1. When you flush the toilet, you are not utilizing enough water. You’re either using too much toilet paper or you’re not utilizing toilet paper that is safe for septic systems. In the pipe that leads into the tank, there is an obstacle that keeps collecting objects on it.

How Do You Snake An RV Black Tank?

Get yourself some PEX pipe if you want to snake an RV’s black tank. Because it is flexible, it will still function even if your waste pipe has bends in it. Plunge your way through the obstruction until you can get water into your tank again. Fill it with water, and then apply an enzyme treatment to dissolve the clog in the hole.

What Do You Do If Your Black Water Tank Won’t Drain?

Don’t get too worked up if your black water tank refuses to empty or flush. You’re dealing with a barrier that has to be removed. To begin, determine what sort of obstruction you are experiencing, and then follow the instructions provided above to remove that blockage.


RV owners do not want their RV’s black tank to become blocked. If you’re in a travel trailer, 5th wheel, or motorhome, it’s bad enough that you have to deal with your RV dump hose and human waste on the road. A toilet that isn’t operating properly in your RV, on the other hand, might cause your camping trip to go horribly, horribly wrong. It’s a filthy and stinky chore to clean it up. If your black water tank is not draining its waste water, there are three sorts of obstructions that you might be dealing with at the same time.

  • It shouldn’t be too difficult to correct them.
  • It is hoped that this will be the last time you have to deal with blockage, as it is a common problem.
  • You should now be aware of how to avoid future jams.
  • I’m the co-founder of Camp Addict, which was founded by my business partner and me in 2017.
  • Heck, I lived in my travel trailer for more than 5.5 years, primarily boondocking during the duration of that time.
  • Anyway, I’m a huge animal lover who despises campsites and seldom cooks.

My current activities include plotting and strategizing over whether or not to begin collecting farm animals (or planning my next RV vacation!) at my gorgeous new ‘ranch’ titled ‘Hotel Kellyfornia,’ which is located in Southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Other Articles That You Should Check Out

How to Unclog an RV Toilet – (4 Easy Methods That Actually Work)

Unless otherwise stated, all of our reviews are based on in-depth research, industry knowledge, and, if feasible, hands-on testing. When you make a purchase through one of our carefully selected links, we will receive a tiny part of the revenues as compensation. As a result, the site is supported and Jeffsetter continues to operate. More information may be found here. When it comes to some of the most difficult RV jobs, unclogging your RV’s toilet has to be towards the top of the list of the most difficult tasks to complete.

It’s also possible to conduct some simple home cures that are both inexpensive and effective in clearing a blockage as rapidly as possible.

Come with me as I go through some of the most useful tips and tactics I’ve picked up while living full-time in a vintage travel trailer.

How Does My RV Toilet Get Clogged?

One of the first questions you might have is, “How did my RV toilet become blocked in the first place?” While the exact cause of a blocked RV toilet or black water tank is unknown, there are a few significant factors that contribute to the problem. It is the inability of your waste and toilet paper to decompose correctly inside your tank that is the most common cause of a blocked black water tank. Nevertheless, because your varied solid wastes will not decompose on their own, leaving your RV toilet and sewage system unattended will result in a blocked sewer system.

Because your black tank is placed below your rig and has little to no insulation, the different wastes solidify more frequently in these sorts of weather situations than in other weather settings.

Water and other liquid waste are harmful to the complete emptying of your RV’s black water tank!

You are not alone in your difficulty, and fortunately, numerous firms have developed items to aid with blocked toilets when traveling in an RV or motorhome.

What Products Should I Purchase for Unclogging My RV Toilet?

Because a plunger would not function in an RV toilet system, you may be wondering what things might truly do damage to a blocked toilet. Here are some suggestions. Here are my top ideas for extra purchases that you may make to assist in unclogging the sensitive sewer system in your recreational vehicle.

Black Tank Cleaners

When it comes to unclogging the toilet in your RV, the most obvious solution is to use a black tank cleaning. If you’re looking for a quick and effective solution to a blocked toilet, these chemical-based treatments are a good choice. It is something that every RVer should be familiar with from the beginning of their camping adventures! Black tank cleaners are available in a plethora of varieties, and you can learn more about them by visiting this website. A few forms may be more straightforward to complete than others, and you will undoubtedly have your own unique preferences.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Its highly concentrated water-activated mineral combination reduces odor and breaks down both solid and liquid waste, making Happy Camper the perfect camping companion. Remove clogs in a short amount of time using this simple technique!

Wand or Snake Options

Did you know that you can unclog a blocked toilet with only a little bit of warm water? It is possible to get goods on the market that are specifically designed for RVs and that can clean or otherwise power wash away the interior of your black tank. Cleaning your holding tank is vital because it helps to keep the sensors in your holding tank clear and functioning properly. Moreover, it aids in the prevention of unpleasant smells from persisting in the tanks after they have been emptied. This Flexible Swivel Stik from Camco is ideally suited for usage in recreational vehicles when the holding tank is situated at an angle or away from the restroom.

With its vigorous rotational cleaning action, the holding tank’s sides are sprayed with water, which helps to remove waste that has remained after the tank has been completely emptied.

Sewer Hose Attachments

It is highly recommended that you use this product from Camco if you are a full-timer or if you want to have your black tank cleaned on a regular basis without a lot of bother. As a result of this product’s attachment to your RV sewage hose, you may use it while your RV is completely connected to a sewer system. The Rhino Blaster Tank Rinser attaches securely to the sewage outlet of your recreational vehicle. Due to the 45-degree angle, water can shoot straight into the exit, effectively washing away debris.

Backflow into the water pipe is prevented by the use of a vacuum breaker.

I’m aware that I used my Rhino to clear blockages when my tank was still full.

Are There Home Remedies for a Clogged RV Toilet?

Was there anything else that you could do if you didn’t have the time, money, or chance to acquire any of these extra things when your black tank became clogged? Fortunately, there are several home cures that may be performed almost anywhere, at any time, and on a little expense!

Ice Trick

One of the most straightforward ways to break down sediments in your black tank is to use ice, which is an old-school RVer tip that has stood the test of time. In addition, ice can be purchased in campsites and convenience stores, making it a low-cost and simply available at-home treatment solution. Pour a whole bag of ice or two down the toilet and into the black tank. a. Check to see that all of your valves are closed, and then go for a drive. If there are any speed bumps on the road, feel free to drive over them since the more shaking of your tank occurs, the better!

Your tank sediments should have been crushed or somehow loosening as a result of the ice, which should have reduced the likelihood of blocking your sewer system.

In addition, adding even more moisture to your tank means that there will be even more water to assist with the movement of particles out of your black tank when it is time to drain it. This is a very beneficial aspect of utilizing ice.

Dish Soap or Vaseline

Finding a cost-effective solution to an obstruction that may even be accomplished using goods that you already have in your truck or trailer? Look no further. Take a look at this simple home treatment, which makes use of dish soap or Vaseline! Fill the container with a whole bottle of dish soap or a couple of servings of laundry detergent. Allow it to sit in your tank before attempting to empty it. Although this procedure is most effective as a preventative measure, several RVers have claimed that it is effective in clearing existing blockages as well.

These soapy substances can cover the walls of your black water tank, preventing any solid substances from moving when it’s time to empty the contents of your tank into a disposal container.

If you happen to have any Vaseline or any other off-brand petroleum jelly on hand, it would be a great alternative.

Boiling Water

The use of boiling water is another inexpensive and efficient method of removing clogs in a black water tank. Boiling water is excellent for breaking down any solid waste, particularly paper goods, that may have accumulated in your black tank. Prepare your water by boiling it and allowing it to cool for a little period of time before putting it into your toilet. I recommend at least a gallon, if you have the space in your congested black water tank to accommodate it. Allow it to sit for about an hour before attempting to drain your tank.

The majority of recreational vehicles should be constructed of robust plastic or metal so that hot water will not damage anything.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

While this approach may or may not work, I’ve used it in my rig with varying degrees of success in the past. Empty the contents of a full box of baking soda into your waste tank. After that, pour in half a gallon of vinegar. The chemical reaction that occurs when these two chemicals are combined may not be pleasant to smell, but it has been seen to fizz and agitate the contents of black water tanks, occasionally resulting in the loosening of a blockage as a result of it. Some RVers do not find this strategy to be effective, while others do.

No doubt, it had some type of effect on the most recent blockage I encountered in my small truck!

How Can I Prevent Future Clogs in my RV Toilet?

Let’s imagine you’ve successfully unclogged a clog in your black water tank and you don’t want to experience the same blockage again in the near future.

Congratulations on your accomplishment! What can you do to keep clogs from forming in the future?

Use Less Toilet Paper

While it may not be ideal, especially if you are traveling with a family that is accustomed to indoor plumbing, using less toilet paper is a simple remedy to a blocked RV toilet when you are on the road. It is also a very cost-effective solution! I’m not advocating that you stop using toilet paper altogether; rather, I’m suggesting that you use a few less sheets than you typically would. Your sewer system will be grateful to you. If you have a rig that is particularly fussy, you might want to consider getting RV-specific toilet paper.

Use Extra Water

If you and your family are accustomed to indoor plumbing, using an RV toilet may be a challenge. The quantity of water used by the normal household toilet is dictated by the mechanism and internal workings of the toilet itself. It is customary in RVs for the amount of water that is used in the toilet to be determined by the individual using the toilet. This can be beneficial in terms of utility, but it can also be detrimental to the health of your black tank. By being able to flush the toilet with more water than you normally would, you may encourage greater lubrication and a more natural flow of the solid waste that collects in your black tank.

However, if you aren’t boondocking and have access to a dump station, having additional water is typically a good investment.

Perform Regular Maintenance

You may be wary of employing chemical-based black tank cleansers because of their reputation. I appreciate your point of view, but they certainly are the most effective instrument for maintaining your sewage system in good working order and routinely maintained. Add a black tank cleaning solution to your camping supplies towards the conclusion of your camping season, whether it’s in the form of a pod, capsule or pill; powder; or liquid form. It also contributes to the pleasant and fresh fragrance of your tank!


Having a clogged RV toilet is never a pleasant experience. It has the potential to spoil a camping vacation, but fortunately, you do not have to let it ruin yours! Following this advice for both useful RV toilet products and home treatments is a good idea, so that you can get back to enjoying your camping experience without having to worry about a blocked toilet! –

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