- Just boil up some water (2-3 cups usually works) and slowly pour it down the toilet. Just make sure to open the toilet valve first so that the water can move from the toilet to the holding tank. The idea behind using boiling water to unclog your RV toilet is that it loosens up the clog and pushes it through.
How do I unclog my RV septic tank?
Begin by boiling several pots of water. Pour the water down the toilet and let it sit overnight. Attempt to dump the tank in the morning. Sometimes the super hot water is enough to break up a stubborn clog, especially if the tank isn’t already full.
Can I use Drano in 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 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.
Can you use vinegar to clean RV toilet?
Yes, you can put vinegar in an RV toilet. Vinegar in combination with baking soda is great for cleaning and whitening the toilet bowl. To clean your RV toilet tank you will need: A bottle of white vinegar.
What can I use to unclog my RV toilet?
How to unclog an RV toilet with the ice cube method: Fill the toilet basin to 1/3 full of water. Add ice and fill the rest of the toilet. Flush the ice down the toilet and drive around. Keep flushing with lots of water.
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).
Is Liquid Plumber safe for RV?
Yes, Liquid Plumber is safe to use in an RV as long as you respect the correct proportions. Add the suggested amount of Liquid Plumber in the tank; Let the mixture stay for the recommended time; Dump the water in the tank and refill it with clean water.
Can you pour boiling water down RV sink?
Do NOT pour boiling water down your sink or toilet. While it’s probably okay to dump boiling water in the sink when your pipes are clear, a clog will trap the water in the pipe. This can melt PVC piping and pipe seals, causing serious damage.
Will Drano hurt RV pipes?
Avoid using caustic drain cleaners like regular Drano, as they may damage your valves. Instead, choose drain cleaners that use liquid bacterial enzymes to break down the mass. Another option is to use a drain snake suitable for use in your RV’s water lines.
How do you know if your black tank is clogged?
Clogged Pipe: Nothing will go down the toilet, and nothing (or not much) comes out when you dump. You did NOT leave your black water valve open while parked. Compacted/Dried Up Tank: You can add liquid into the toilet, and it flows into the camper blackwater tank, but nothing comes out when you dump.
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 primarily 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 include 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.
- In reality, you have two alternatives when it comes to doing so.
- Yes, an auger is a form of toilet snake, which I have previously stated should not be used.
- Because the line contains pipe, an auger is entirely acceptable for usage, but just for this particular project.
- If you’re not careful, a motorized auger can puncture the blackwater tank and cause a backup of dirty water.
- Breaking apart the pyramid plugs should begin as soon as you start poking about.
- A long spray wand will suffice in the absence of a long wand.
- To do this, you must add water to your blackwater tank until it is halfway full.
- 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 nearly always the most effective solution, there are other options available if you cannot wait for them to arrive or would want to avoid using chemicals altogether. This procedure should be effective in eliminating smells and trash from your blackwater tank without the use of chemical cleansers. This procedure necessitates the following:
- It’s a drill
- A hose for delivering water
- A water piping connection with a minimum length of five feet
- A sewage hose for an RV
- A hose connection with a transparent casing
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.
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:
- It should be cleaned on a regular basis. When you get in there and utilize a cleaning on the tank on a regular basis, the less likely it is that muck will collect. If your blackwater tank is equipped with sensors, they will alert you when it is time to clean it. If you don’t already, get into the practice of cleaning out the tank once a week, or at the very least every few weeks. Don’t forget to clean your graywater and freshwater tanks, as well as the sensors on your water meters. Aside from that, you’ll obtain erroneous readings, which will cause you to have to clean the blackwater tank more frequently than is absolutely necessary. That is something no one wants. Use only chemicals and products that are intended for use in RV or camper toilets and blackwater tanks to avoid contamination. You might believe that the drain cleaner you have on hand would do the task, but that is not the case. It has the potential to cause drain valve seal deterioration. It is also possible that the waste in the tank may not dissolve as quickly as it should
- Avoid leaving the blackwater tank full for any longer than is absolutely necessary. Make certain to dump it in the middle of, or at the very least after, your road trip. Only in a dumping site should this be done! Afterwards, install a graywater tank, and make an investment in environmentally friendly toilet paper. Thetford’s Soft Aqua toilet tissue is one of the most effective toilet paper solutions available to RV and camper owners. It is designed for use in both automobiles and maritime boats. On Amazon, you can get a four-pack for $8.55, which is almost the same price as conventional toilet paper, give or take a few cents. Soft Aqua, on the other hand, is just two-ply and will break down in the toilet or blackwater tank, which is a significant difference. That means no toilet paper in the way of your sensors, and never leaving your blackwater tank completely depleted of water. The bottoms and sides of the tank would otherwise be the only places for wastes, toilet paper, and other solids to go. You’ll definitely be able to smell the waste while it sits, especially if it’s warm outside. When filling the tank with water, it is advised that you fill it slightly more than halfway. The toilet should be flushed often while using an RV or camping toilet. Do this at least twice every trip to the restroom, and if required, even more frequently.
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!
How To Clear A Clogged RV Or Camper Blackwater Tank
The blackwater tank in your RV or camper is something you may not want to worry about too much. But it is necessary. It is, nonetheless, essential to enjoying a pleasant and comfortable RV trip. Furthermore, if your RV toilet becomes blocked, you won’t have much of an option than to call for assistance. After all, the toilet is a very necessary component of your RV. Because the blackwater holding tank is such an important component of the system, any blockages must be removed as soon as possible.
You will learn all you need to know about maintaining your blackwater holding tank and preventing blockages in the future with the aid of this tutorial as well.
Table of Contents
- Learn about your blackwater tank
- What causes a clog in my blackwater tank
- Get ready to clean
- Preventing future clogs. Finally, good habits to develop for your blackwater tank are discussed.
Understanding Your Blackwater Tank
How to Understand Your Blackwater Tank; Why Is My Blackwater Tank Clogged; How to Prepare for Cleaning; How to Prevent Future Clogs Finally, some good habits to develop for your blackwater tank.
Why Is My Blackwater Tank Clogged?
You may be wondering what the most prevalent causes of black tank blockages are. Here are some suggestions. There are a variety of conditions that might result in a clogged RV toilet/black tank. Here are some examples. These are the ones:
The collection of waste in a black tank is the most typical source of clogs in this system. An excessive amount of solids can accumulate and, after a given amount of time, constitute a blockage. To be clear, I’m referring to the use of toilet paper and, of course, feces in general. This might happen if you haven’t been dumping your tank on a regular basis. In addition, failing to clean the tank on a regular basis might result in waste accumulation in both the line and the tank itself. It’s understandable that if your blackwater holding tank is fitted with sensors, you would be concerned about how waste could accumulate without your knowledge.
Unfortunately, tank sensors can fail over time, especially if they are not maintained or serviced properly. Sensors that are dirty might give you erroneous readings. It’s possible that you believe your tank is just half-filled when it’s actually completely full.
Flushing The Wrong Items
Things like wet wipes and sanitary products should never be flushed since they might cause blockages in the pipes. It is possible that these things will aid in the building of clogs, especially if you are flushing your toilets often.
Dumping Too Often
It may seem contradictory, but dumping your tank too frequently might result in clogs in the system. Dumping your RV tank on a regular basis may cause it to dry up, which should be avoided at all costs. Waste and other particles can adhere to the dry walls of a tank, causing blockages to form over a period of time.
Get Ready To Clean
Dumping your tank too frequently might produce clogs, which seems odd. In addition to being environmentally unfriendly, frequent dumping can also damage your RV tank. Waste and other substances can adhere to the dry walls of a tank, causing blockages to form eventually.
1. Take Safety Precautions
The fact that you should avoid exposing yourself to garbage at all costs should come as no surprise to you. Not only is it repulsive to come into contact with human excrement, but it is also potentially hazardous since it can cause physical illness. It’s possible that you’ll be working with hazardous chemicals to clear the clog. Make sure you have a nice pair of gloves on before you start working on resolving the problem if this is the situation. Because you’re going to get up close and personal with your black tank, you might want to consider shielding your eyes as well.
- I strongly advise buying protective eyewear that is adjustable (such as theSuperMore Anti-Fog Safety Goggles available on Amazon) so that it may accommodate people with varying head shapes and sizes.
- Some of the approaches are easier to do if you have an extra pair of hands to assist you.
- If you’re the sort of RV owner who gets nauseated just thinking about emptying the tank, it’s better not to push yourself to deal with the clog right away.
- The option of hiring a professional to remove the obstruction on your behalf is always available.
2. Clean The Waste Pipe
If the clog is not found in your black tank, it is possible that the problem is with your waste pipe. Your waste pipe is most likely to blame if you’ve drained out your black tank yet still have a blockage after doing so. In the event that you are dealing with pyramid plugs and are unable to recall the last time you cleaned it, it is possible that you are dealing with them. Pyramid plugs are an unusual term for an unpleasant occurrence, but it is a good one. These are the result of a buildup of waste that finally becomes hard.
You’ll have to get your hands dirty if you want to remove pyramid plugs.
You’ll need to get your hands on a toilet snake and be prepared to put in some effort in the process.
As you probe about, you’ll most likely be able to feel the pyramid plugs in your hands.
Alternatively, a toilet wand equipped with a motor can be used. As I’ll explain more below, make sure to use a toilet bowl cleaner that is safe for RV or camper toilets.
3. Check For Other Potential Issues
The next step is to rule out the likelihood of any additional problems, both small and significant. Trying to unclog something that doesn’t exist isn’t something you want to waste your time and energy on. The presence of a blockage is usually indicated by a foul odor coming from the toilet and difficulty dumping the tank. However, there are a number of additional issues that might be at the base of these manifestations of symptoms. These are some examples:
If there is water on the floor of your RV or 5th-wheel bathroom, it is possible that your toilet is leaking. It’s possible that your toilet’s connection to the bathroom floor is insufficient. If this is the case, don’t be concerned; it’s a rather simple problem to resolve.
A strong stench emanating from your toilet might be caused by waste that has accumulated inside. Give your toilet a good cleaning and see if it makes a difference.
Broken Or Stuck Toilet Flapper
It’s possible that a faulty toilet flapper or ball valve is causing the odor. When the toilet is flushed, this device is responsible for creating a seal between the black tank and the toilet bowl. It is possible that odours will escape if this seal is not airtight. Check to discover whether any waste or toilet paper has become stuck in the flapper, preventing it from closing. A broken item will have to be replaced with a new one, as stated above. With the aid of this video, you will learn how to replace the seal:
Improperly Set-Up Tank Valves
Testing the valves on your black tank will save you a lot of work in the long run. Perhaps you neglected to turn on a valve or connect the sewer line properly before you started. Fortunately, this is the best-case situation, and nothing further is required.
4. Don’t Make The Problem Worse
Let’s be on the same page as far as the things you should avoid doing while unclogging your RV’s tank is concerned. Approaching a barrier in the incorrect manner might be quite dangerous. There’s no way you want to do irreversible harm to your tank. Additionally, attempting to implement these tactics might have disastrous repercussions, such as garbage being dumped in places it shouldn’t be.
Motorized Toilet Wands For Regular Toilets Are Unsuitable
When it comes to unclogging your toilet tank, a toilet wand (also known as a snake) will come in help. Why not take advantage of the fact that a motorized one can save you some elbow grease? There’s a perfectly excellent explanation for this, after all. In order to avoid accidently puncturing your toilet tank, it is not recommended that you use a motorized wand designed for domestic toilets instead. Always use toilets that have been particularly developed for RVs.
Don’t Use A Pressure Washer
Pressure washers may appear to be a simple answer to your clogged problem at first glance. Isn’t it true that water blasting at high pressure will get rid of even the most obstinate trash accumulation? Yes, it’s possible that it will help to clear the blockage.
However, it has the potential to cause trash to spill all over the place accidentally. Think about the hazards you and your tank are exposed to if this isn’t enough to convince you not to use one. A pressure washer has the ability to damage your tank and cause you physical harm.
Pressurized Air Is A No-No
The use of pressured air offers the same issues as the use of pressure washers. Because of the pressure, your tank may crack or even break apart. Although this is unlikely to occur, you will not be able to directly target the barrier. There is a good chance that other waste may blow into the tank and potentially out of it, towards you.
5. Try Cleaning Your Blackwater Tank
Give your tank a thorough cleaning before proceeding to more time-consuming approaches. If the obstruction is not too severe, cleaning your tank may be sufficient to resolve it. If it doesn’t work, you’ll at least attempt the most obvious solution. You most likely already have a product that you use to clean out and maintain the black tank in your RV. If you don’t, it’s possible that you’re dealing with a blockage as a result of anything else. When it comes to general maintenance of black tanks, certain powders and solutions are employed.
It is vital to utilize these items on a regular basis in order to see results.
It’s possible that you prefer items that contain natural components.
Consider utilizing a rinser to clean the wastewater tanks in your RV.
6. Unclog Your Blackwater Tank Using Products
Cleaning your tank and line may have failed, therefore it is time to bring in the heavy guns. There are a variety of devices available that are designed to break down even the most difficult of obstacles. It’s important to understand that they are not the same as black tank maintenance products. They have a tendency to be stronger and are designed expressly for the purpose of removing impediments.
Natural treatments are not just useful for keeping your tank in good condition. You can acquire items that break down clogs by utilizing high amounts of enzymes or probiotics to break down the obstruction. These act by physically digesting the material that has accumulated and formed the clog. Their focus might vary depending on the company, however they can be on organic or artificial trash.
If you wish to use a chemical-based product to do the task, look for one that is designed specifically for RV tanks.
7. Unclog Your Blackwater Tank Without Products
There are a few simple methods for cleaning up your black tank that do not require the use of specialist chemicals or equipment. If you can’t wait for the product you bought to arrive, you might want to consider trying one of these alternatives. One of the approaches that you may have heard of is the use of ice to cool things down. The practice of filling your tank with ice and driving around is said to be effective in dislodging jams.
However, it is possible that this is not the best solution. With this method, there are a plethora of factors that must be considered and considered carefully. The size of your tank, the amount of ice you use, the severity of the obstruction, and so on.
The Geo Method
The GEO approach has been proven to be effective in unclogging black tanks. A bottle of Calgon water softener and a clear sewage hose adaptor are all you’ll need for this project. You’ll need the adaptor to test if the water is clear as it comes out of the faucet. Install a sewage connection between your black tank and a sewer line to begin. Dump the water softener down the toilet and into the black tank to get rid of it. You may be generous with the amount you use because the water softener will not damage the walls of your tank.
When you flush the toilet, one of you should keep an eye on the sewage hose adapter while the other keeps an eye on the toilet.
You may find out more about the GEO approach by watching this video:
8. Clearing A Clogged Blackwater Tank On The Road
As a driver, what do you do when a roadblock occurs in the middle of your journey? It’s possible that some of you are now coping with this problem. When you are away from home, ordering goods and tools to remove a clog may be challenging, and finding a local specialist to assist you can be tough, not to mention expensive. No, you will not be required to reverse your RV and return to your campsite. The following approach, which makes use of commonly accessible things, can be used to break down an obstacle.
- Same goes for when your tank sensors indicate that the tank is full but won’t let you discharge the contents.
- Simply boiling water — and enough of it — is all you’ll need for this technique.
- After that, flush your toilet with hot water and allow it to rest for a few hours.
- Turn on the black tank heaters to provide additional warmth.
Preventing Future Clogs
A very simple duty is to prevent clogs from building in your black tank’s drain. Regular maintenance, along with a dash of common sense, may go a long way toward extending the life of your vehicle.
Watch What You Flush
Recall how I stated that some items should never be flushed down RV toilets? Take that statement seriously. There should be no sanitary products, wipes, or paper towels flushed into the toilet. This is true for both thick toilet paper and light toilet paper. Special varieties of septic-safe toilet paper are available that are specifically developed for RV toilets. These have the ability to break down more quickly than other brands. The more quickly toilet paper degrades, the less likely it is that it will clog your black tank.
Learn How Often To Dump Your Tank
As previously said, you should avoid emptying your black tank on a regular basis or too frequently in order to conserve water.
Allow your tank to fill up to at least two-thirds of its capacity before dumping it into portable tanks. Don’t forget that drying up your tank might produce obstacles in the water flow. Keep some liquid (water and a maintenance solution) in your tank at all times to prevent corrosion.
Maintain your tank as often as possible by using maintenance items. The better off you are if you maintain your tank and waste line as clean as possible. Maintain in mind to keep your sensors clean as well, so that you can get accurate data from them. Keeping up with your black tank maintenance schedule will also help to prevent the presence of unwanted odors.
Good Habits To Practice For Your Blackwater Tank
You should observe a number of excellent habits when using the toilet in your RV, and these are listed below. These will assist you in reducing the likelihood of garbage accumulation.
If you have solid waste in your toilet, make sure to flush it at least twice more than usual. This is done to guarantee that everything goes through the waste pipe without clogging.
Educate All Travelers
If you’re traveling with children or anyone who is unfamiliar with the RV lifestyle, take the time to educate them. Educate them on the fact that these toilets are more delicate than the toilets at home. Make it clear that nothing but toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. You don’t want to discover mid-trip that your black tank has been blocked as a result of the negligence of a fellow passenger.
Use Products Specific For RV Or Campers
If you use an unclogging product at home, it is possible that it can harm your pipes or black tank. Recreational vehicle sewage systems are not constructed of the same materials as residential sewage systems. To stay on the safe side, only use items that are designed exclusively for recreational vehicles.
I sincerely hope you find this step-by-step instruction to be beneficial. If you are an RV owner, you know how difficult it can be to deal with a blocked black tank. Taking proper care of your black tank, as well as maintaining good practices when it comes to using the toilet in your RV, will lessen the likelihood of clogs. Any further suggestions or ways for unclogging a clogged RV black tank would be much appreciated. Please share your expertise with us by leaving a comment below this article.
How To Clear A Blocked Line In Your RV Black Tank
An issue with a holding tank will arise for a large number of RV owners, particularly those who are new to the lifestyle. These issues can include a pyramid plug, a compacted tank, or a clogged drain line. A blocked line, on the other hand, might be the most deceiving of all of these different sorts of clogs. Even though a clogged RV toilet line is a very rare occurrence, it can be difficult to identify since it is sometimes mistaken for a pyramid plug. In most cases, though, a clogged toilet line is far easier to cure than a pyramid plug, and it is also much less serious!
How Does a Blocked Line Develop?
A clogged RV toilet line happens when solid waste (often toilet paper) begins to accumulate in the pipe that connects your RV toilet to your black water holding tank, causing the toilet to get clogged. This can eventually jam the whole waste pipe, resulting in a backlog that extends all the way to the toilet tank! Lines that become clogged are most commonly found in RVs where the toilet is not immediately over the holding tank, such as fifth wheels. Also frequent in recreational vehicles (RVs) with intricate plumbing that includes bends and turns in the lines between their toilet and holding tank (like a 90 degree elbow, for example).
When a pyramid plug (which is considerably more frequent than a blocked line) is present, many individuals believe they have a blocked line.
It is usually preferable to avoid these sorts of blockages from developing in the first place, and the most effective method to do so is to follow The Unique Method.
However, if you are currently suffering with a clog, you need first determine what type of blockage you are dealing with. As previously said, some clogs exhibit the same symptoms as others, so be sure to complete our simple diagnosis exercise in the next area to be certain of what’s wrong.
Determine the Type of RV Toilet Clog
Knowing what sort of clog you are dealing with is critical since there are different approaches that may be required to release one clog as opposed to another depending on the type of obstruction. Our very simple litmus test is provided below to assist you in determining what type of issue you are having, and then we’ll show you how to resolve it. Fill your RV’s black tank with water by flushing it down the toilet bowl.
- If the water in the toilet bowl begins to accumulate fast, you may have a clogged toilet line or a pyramid plug.
- If you have kept your black tank valve open for an extended length of time, you are most likely suffering from a pyramid plug. if you never leave your black tank valve open, it’s likely that you have a clog in the pipe that runs from your toilet to your holding tank.
- It is possible that the extra water may readily flow into the black water tank due to a compacted tank or inaccurate sensors.
- If water starts to run out of the tank when you release the black valve, it is most likely due to misreading sensors on the tank. Refer to the post How to Clean and Restore RV Holding Tank Sensors for more information. When you open the black valve on the tank, nothing comes out, indicating that the tank is compressed.
Refer to the Clearing a Blockage in the Line part of the Clearing RV Toilet Clogs guide once you have completed this diagnosis exercise and determined that you are dealing with a clogged toilet line.
How to Prevent a Blocked Toilet Line
As previously said, a clogged RV toilet line is a rare occurrence, but it does occur from time to time. The easiest method to avoid this is to follow the proper care practices, which are detailed in The Unique Method. In order to avoid a clogged toilet line in the future, here is a quick review of the Unique Method principles you should follow:
- Always make sure that your toilet bowl is completely filled with water before using it. If you’re not driving, always keep several inches of water in the toilet bowl at all times. Each time you flush your toilet, depress the flush pedal for a full ten seconds before releasing it. Make an effort not to use excessive toilet paper. Make frequent cleanings of your bathroom toilet bowl, as the cleaning solution that passes through the line will aid in keeping the line free of dirt. If you are currently struggling with a toilet clog, prevention tactics will not be of use
- Therefore, consult our guide onClearing RV Toilet Clogs to resolve the situation
Adopt The Unique Method
You purchased your recreational vehicle so that you may enjoy life and spend time with family and friends on the road. The last thing you want to do is squander valuable time and resources attempting to resolve wastewater holding tank complications. It is not necessary to spend a lot of time or money on keeping your tanks in optimum functioning condition if you follow our tried and true process: The Unique Method. After years of talks with actual clients who were dealing with genuine difficulties, we developed The Unique Method, which is a complete tank maintenance plan.
Try it for yourself and learn why thousands of campers rely on TheUnique Method to keep their RVs running well every day.
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WARNING: This process necessitates a basic understanding of RV tanks. This article should be read in its entirety, and the videos should be seen, before attempting to remove your own blockage. At the absolute least, you should view this rather quick instructional video if you want to throw caution to the wind and give it a shot without all of this knowledge.
CHECK THE VALVES
You’re thinking to yourself that this is a stupid move. Your valves are, without a doubt, open! However, you must make certain that all of the valves are open and that the sewage line is connected to both the tank and the sewer. Some tanks have TWO valves, and the galley is frequently equipped with a separate tank and valve. Come back here and read this once you have made absolutely certain that all of the valves are open. if it is what you require. (I’m willing to guess that I just lost a significant number of readers.)
CALL A PRO
Professional tank hydro-jet cleaning should be sought if at all feasible. Fortunately, a qualified expert at TankTechsRx has the tools and skills to take care of the problem as fast as possible while still doing it correctly and safely. In many cases, RV service facilities can connect you to a nearby professional who may even come to you.
It’s well worth the effort. If the service facility does not know of anybody in your region, tell them about TankTechsRx, or contact us and we will send them our free training booklet, which explains in full how to clean a tank from top to bottom.
KNOW WHAT NOT TO DO
Why not make use of a toilet “snake” or auger to flush the toilet? Most of this is due to the fact that they are useless in a congested tank. They were not intended for use in open tanks, but rather in pipes. They may quickly become twisted or knotted, making it nearly hard to get them untangled. They will, at the at least, puncture a small hole in the blockage to enable some drainage, but that small hole will quickly get clogged once more. Isn’t it better to contact a septic service/pump truck?
- As for the pumper truck, it will suck a small amount of sludge out, but as soon as it comes into contact with air, it will cease to be effective, and the heavy sludge will simply sit in the holding tank.
- Why not try blowing it out with pressured air to see if it works?
- Because of the pressure, anything it comes into touch with will be forced to travel somewhere it does not want to go, and once it has created an airway, nothing else will be able to escape.
- Numerous tank treatments make the promise that their solution would unclog a blockage in 24 hours or less time.
- Actually, it is more likely that the motion of driving, rather than the chemical, is what causes the plug to break apart.
- In other words, if you have all the time in the world to just sit back and watch what occurs, go ahead and do it.
- Because nothing will keep a tank from blocking if not enough water is utilized or if a valve is leaking and preventing liquid from remaining in the tank, it is quite probable that the problem will recur sooner rather than later, even if it is successfully unplugged.
- I ask that you do not insert a pressure washer line into a toilet or tank, as I demonstrate in my YouTube movies.
- In order to make this equipment workable, we employ custom-made parts that are not available to the general public.
- Alternatively, is the toilet blocked or is the toilet tank clogged?
The “pyramid” plug is the most prevalent type of blockage. Technically, it takes place in the tank, although it takes place directly below the toilet bowl itself. In the instance of a pyramid plug, your tank may be completely empty, yet you will still be unable to flush any waste. In either case, the blockage develops when there is not enough water poured to the toilet during flushing, or when a worn valve gasket enables water to flow out of the toilet before flushing. In order to unplug this sort of blockage, it is best to drain the standing water or shop vac out as much as possible before beginning the process.
- Then, after watching the video below, creating the tool (or purchasing TankToolRx) and following the instructions are all that is left.
- Individuals from all around the country have used this easy method to successfully disconnect their tanks, and you can do it as well.
- They are purple in color and can be found at most RV supply shops.
- This should work if you did not use one of the chemical tank treatments to try to clear the clog before doing this.
- Check out the video below to learn more about this.), and it is not uncommon for a TankTechsRx specialist to labor for more than 30 minutes using custom-made equipment to grind this stuff out of a tank.
- This technique will not completely clean out the tank, but it may allow you to continue using it for a short period of time.
(You may interpret that whatever you want.) In the absence of professional cleaning by a TankTechsRx qualified technician, switching promptly toTankTechsRx, and correcting the behavior or fault that caused the plug, it is likely to clog again.
Tank blockages are most often caused by a valve that has been left open or has been leaking. In either case, unplugging will be extremely difficult and will take some time. It is feasible to unhook a tank on most motor homes and travel trailers, but it is quite difficult on most fifth wheels, unless you are extremely brave or desperate. Why? Many 5th wheels have a distance between the outlet and the tank that is too big for a hose to reach properly. It is possible to disconnect a tank in your RV if it has a straight line from the drain valve to the tank.
- Alternative options include purchasing a Dual Flush from Camco.
- Carefully follow the directions for connecting the Dual Flush to the water supply.
- No, I didn’t believe that.
- It will not clean the tank, but it may assist in clearing a line or creating a little amount of space so that you may utilize the tank.
- TankTechsRx can be put to the tank if there is any flow from the toilet through the tank and out the valve.
- Again, this technique will not completely clean out the tank, but it may allow you to continue using it for a short period of time.
USE ONLY TANKTECHSRX IN YOUR TANKS
If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve mentioned our product, TankTechsRx, several times. Rather of doing so only for the sake of selling our products, we have purposefully developed them to be unlike anything else now available on the market. As a result of our probiotic tank treatment, the solids will be liquefied, allowing the tank to be entirely emptied because the heavy sludge will be transformed into water. The length of time it will take depends on how thick the sludge is, but with TankTechsRxon board, the tanks are being cleaned continually rather than becoming tougher.
You may be skeptical, but I have personally cleaned over 12,000 holding tanks, and I developed TankTechsRx (with the assistance of the world’s finest probiotic microbiologists) based on my real-world experience in the tank cleaning industry.
This is demonstrated by the fact that I have uploaded over 100 videos on YouTube. Have you ever seen anyone else do something like that? Neither do I.
Here’s a video to help you understand the differentkinds of tank treatments on the market today
Having made it all the way to the conclusion of these instructions, I’m rather impressed with you! The option to watch a pair of films that I prepared to assist you in unplugging your tank has been provided to you, and I hope you took advantage of the opportunity to do so. In the case of a thousand words, such films are the equivalent of a complete library! To the point that I strongly recommend that you watch the whole Unplugging a Toilet and/or Tank playlist on YouTube if you have the opportunity to do so Some of these are simply me going about my business, but you can get a sense of how I do things, which will be useful when you attempt to unclog your own drains and pipes.
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.
- In addition, this might assist you in determining where in your hose the blockage is situated.
- Please use caution when using this method; you do not wish to rip a hole in your hose!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 entirely ceases. 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 blockage in your system. If it’s too late for this, such as if the blockage occurs when you’re standing at the dump station with a line of RVs behind you, there is still a chance to fix the problem.
- This can also assist you in determining where the blockage is situated in your hose.
- Take cautious not to puncture your hose with this method; you don’t want to ruin it!
- After you have emptied the tank, you may flush it through the hose with a mix of water and bleach.
- In addition to assisting in the movement of any residue, this will help cleanse the hose as well.
- Using the grey water, which is usually soapy water from dishwashing and bathing, you may flush out any residue that the black tank may have left in your hose after it has been emptied.
If all else fails, get up a replacement hose the next time you’re out shopping and give yourself a fresh start, committing to improved cleaning practices with each subsequent dump station visit. This one from Camco comes highly recommended by our resident Gadget Guru, Mark Nemeth.
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.
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.
This one has become quite popular among RVers, and it is completely safe for your system to use.
Finally, avoid flushing stuff down the toilet that won’t decompose in your tank.
Please keep in mind that not all toilet paper is made equal!
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.
You and your child should also avoid the temptation to use toy boats to navigate the rough waters of the toilet bowl.
Don’t let this deter you from wanting to travel by RV!
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).
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