How To Figure Out If Your Rv Septic Tank Is Full?

There is another way to know your tank is full (or close to it) besides using sensors or sound. “Sound” is also a good indicator, but in addition to that method, the closer to full, the more it smells (even if you use chemicals). You’ll want to dump for sure when you can’t take the smell any longer.

How often do you empty a septic tank in RV?

In simple terms, if you have lots of people on board, you might need to empty the tank daily. But if you are just traveling alone or maybe with one more person, your tank would need emptying less frequently – maybe even once a week. The rule of thumb is to empty the tank before it fills up.

What happens if I overfill my RV waste tank?

The Holding Tank for Your RV May Physically Burst. If your tank has filled beyond capacity then the materials may give out due to weight and pressure. This will cause the waste to pour into the area that the tank occupies. The waste will also spread anywhere that a liquid can go.

How do I know if my tank is full?

How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying

  1. Pooling water.
  2. Slow drains.
  3. Odours.
  4. An overly healthy lawn.
  5. Sewer backup.
  6. Gurgling Pipes.
  7. Trouble Flushing.

How do I know if my RV GREY tank is full?

If your gray tank is full, water will stop draining from the sink and/or shower pan and they will continue to fill with water. If your black tank is full, the same thing happens except it is much nastier.

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 empty RV tank into septic?

In summary, yes you can dump RV waste water into house septic systems. Don’t use chemicals in your black water tank that may destroy your tank’s natural ecosystem. When dumping from an access port, try to make sure you’re on the correct side of the baffle.

Can you overfill RV fresh water tank?

You never want to overfill the tank. Leave the tank valve on “tank fill,” unhook the hose and store it away from your septic hoses. It’s usually a good idea to store them in completely separate compartments, if possible.

What happens when black tank gets too full?

If you are using your tank flush and close your valves, you run the risk of it overfilling. When you over fill the tank, if you are lucky the waste will travel up the vent pipe and make a mess on your roof, or over flow through your toilet and flood your bathroom. If you’re unlucky, it could burst your tank.

Can you drive with water in your RV?

If you are, and there’s no water close to your boondocking location, you may have no choice but to travel with the water on board. On the other hand, if you’re headed for an RV resort with full hookups, or a campground with a “known” good water supply, you can skate in and fill up (or hook up) on arrival.

How long can you leave black water in RV?

You should not leave matter in your black water tank for more than a week. Your black water tank should be emptied once it’s ⅔ full and/or at the end of every trip. If that isn’t possible, make sure to add water to the tank and add a holding tank cleaning chemical to avoid odor and backup.

What happens if holding tank is full?

Everything is based on the size of the tank and the amount of water which you use. Everything (showers, toilets, dishwashers etc), will drain into the holding tank. If the holding tank becomes full, it can back up into the house.

Should I leave my GREY tank open?

Leaving your RV’s gray valve open when fully hooked up allows you to take long showers without worrying about dumping or filling up the gray tank. Some people recommend that you should never leave the gray valve open either, as it can allow odors from the park’s sewer system up into your RV.

A Beginner’s Guide To RV Holding Tanks

Liz Wilcox contributed to this article. RVing may take you to some breathtaking destinations and provide you with the opportunity to make lifelong memories. However, not every aspect of RVing is visually appealing. It’s an unglamorous — but vital — aspect of any RV excursion to keep up with and empty your septic system on a regular basis. And if this system is not properly maintained and cared for, things may get rather unpleasant. Whether you’re a first-time RV owner or you’re planning to rent an RV via Campanda, it’s crucial to understand how to properly maintain your RV tanks.

What does an RV septic system look like?

Recreational vehicles are often equipped with three tanks, which are positioned on the underneath of the vehicle to ensure that everything runs properly.

1. Fresh Water Tank

An RV typically has three tanks: one for fresh water, one for gray water, and one for black water. This tank is used to store fresh water, as the name implies. This is the water that comes out of your faucets and showers.

2. Grey Water Tank

The grey tank is responsible for storing the waste water from your RV shower and kitchen sink. It is possible that some secondhand campers and older RVs may not have this tank.

3. Black Water Tank

For novice RVers, this is the one that gives them the creeps. The black tank is responsible for storing waste water from the toilet. This tank is used to collect all filthy water if your RV does not have its own separate gray tank. Any one of these tanks, if not properly maintained, might pose difficulties for the owner.

How often should I empty my RV tanks?

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to how often you should empty your tanks; it all depends on how frequently you use them. The frequency with which you should empty your tanks is a matter of personal preference. If you are traveling with a large group of people, it is possible that you may need to empty your tanks every two days. If you and your spouse are the only ones in the house, once a week may be plenty. As a general rule of thumb, you should wait until your tanks are approximately two-thirds full before empties them.

Some recreational vehicles are equipped with devices that allow you to see exactly how much fuel is left in your tanks.

This type of sensor begins to malfunction after a few years of use.

Keeping track of how much water waste you generate is critical to staying on top of the situation.

How do I empty my RV tanks?

Your recreational vehicle’s holding tanks should be prominently labeled. If you’re renting an RV, make sure you obtain a tour from the RV owner before leaving. Before you start your first waste water dump, make sure you have a sewage hose and some gloves to keep your hands safe from the chemicals. Next, make a note of the valves that are located on the outside of your RV. These will be prominently labeled with the words “grey” and “black.” Connect your sewage hose to the RV’s waste water shutoff valve.

  • Before pulling the valves, double-check that it is securely attached on both ends.
  • It’s important to remember that the toilet waste water empties straight into this tank.
  • Dump stations are always prominently labeled and easily identifiable.
  • When you can no longer hear any liquid coming through the line, turn off the valve and remove the hose.
  • This is critically crucial.
  • It will force all of the liquid to drain out, leaving no route for the particles to drain out as a result.
  • Pull the grey tank valve once you’ve made sure the valve is completely closed.
  • Some RVers choose to keep the gray tank valve open outside the RV and allow it to drain continually to save time.
  • Flushing the gray tank after flushing the black tank can assist in flushing any sediments that have been caught in your sewage pipe.

When removing the sewage pipe, go cautiously to avoid creating a mess. When the hose is not in use, many RVers store it in a bucket or tub to keep it contained.

How do I maintain my RV septic system?

Starter kits like this one are available at places like Walmart and RV retailers. Once you’ve gotten the hang of emptying the tanks in your recreational vehicle, the task can be completed fast and efficiently. However, there is more to properly operating your tanks than simply emptying them – upkeep is just as vital and will help you avoid problems down the road if done correctly. In general, flushing your system on a regular basis, as well as cleaning and sanitizing your tanks, will keep your system up and running relatively trouble-free.

Other things to know about your RV holding tanks:

The fresh water tank, however it is the least frightening of the three tanks, nonetheless need care from time to time. When connected to water or filling the tank, only use a potable water hose to avoid contaminating the water. Because of their white tone, they are simple to distinguish. When using this tank, it is critical to pay close attention to the weather. Insulate your hose during freezing weather and drain your fresh water during periods of excessive heat to avoid water stagnation and evaporation.

It’s the least frightening of all of the RV holding tanks.

To clean the tank, use regular household bleach.

  1. However, even though it is the least frightening of the three tanks, the fresh water tank does require maintenance on a regular basis. The only hose that should be used when connected to water or while filling the tank is a potable water hose. Because of their white tint, they are simple to identify. The weather should be taken into consideration when using this tank. Maintain water flow by insulate your hose during cold weather and empty your freshwater during severe heat to avoid water stagnation. The water that comes out of your faucets is stored in the fresh water tank. Most people find it to be the least intimidating of the RV storage tanks. This indicates that the tank has become polluted. To clean the tank, use a household bleach.

Gray Water Tank

Once again, here is the location where the water from your sink or RV shower is collected. Large travel trailers and fifth wheels may have two gray tanks to accommodate the additional space. It’s vital to notice that the drain into this tank is rather modest in diameter. Take all necessary precautions to guarantee that food particles do not end up in the sewer. Even something as little as a pea has the potential to block a drain.

Black Water Tank

You should only ever empty your tanks at a dumping site that has been authorized for that purpose. There are a few basic rules of thumb to follow in order to keep the dreaded black tank from causing problems:

  1. Emptying your tanks at a designated disposal site should be your sole option. In order to keep the dreaded black tank from causing too much difficulty, follow these simple guidelines:

Although draining sewage may not be a part of your RVing dreams, it is a very real and necessary element of the RVing experience. Ideally, it should be a short and painless process if everything is done correctly. Follow the instructions above, and after a few trips to the dump station, you’ll be an expert at dealing with your RV’s septic system! Even though emptying your RV’s tanks is not a pleasant task, it is an essential aspect of RV life. Are you apprehensive about the prospect of emptying your own recreational vehicle tanks?

By clicking on the following link, you may view Campanda’s variety of trailers, motorhomes, and campers: To Rent, Please Click Here.

An RVDo you want to experience the delights of RVing — black water tank and all — with other RV enthusiasts? Consider purchasing an RV. You may rent out your RV on Campanda and convert your investment into a second source of income! To List Your Recreational Vehicle, Please Click Here.

RV Black Water Tank: 6 Things You Need to Know

An very crucial piece of equipment in your RV is the black water tank, which can be found underneath the vehicle and contains the waste water from your toilet. However, while it’s not everyone’s favorite thing to think about when they “go,” it’s a big part of what makes RVing so much more easy and fun than traditional vehicle travel or tent camping – no more having to rely on stinky pit toilets at the campsite! If you want to ensure that your RV’s black water tank is always operating correctly and efficiently, there are a few things you should be aware of regarding how it is designed to function.

before you depart.

1. What is an RV Black Water Tank?

The majority of self-contained recreational vehicles are equipped with two types of waste tanks: a gray water tank and a black water tank. A gray water tank is a container that catches the water that drains from your RV’s shower and sink drains. It is the presence of soap residue and dirt in this wastewater that gives it its name and gray-ish appearance, respectively. Check out this page for additional information about grey water tanks. Rather than the gray water tank, we’re more interested with the black water tank, which collects the effluent from your RV toilet.

When you use your RV’s onboard facilities, you won’t have to worry about being continually connected to a sewage line since this tank will take care of that.

Because the black water tank gathers both liquids and solids, it requires a different level of maintenance than the gray water tank.

What you should use instead is RV-specific toilet paper, which is more easily degradable and less likely to clog your rig’s delicate plumbing system!

See also:  How Can I Find My Septic Tank Leach Field And Piping? (Perfect answer)

2. How do I Clean my RV Black Water Tank?

Knowing how much waste is contained within your black water tank, the next obvious thing to ask is: how in the world do you maintain it clean and free of odors? What are the finest chemicals for cleaning the black water tank in an RV or other recreational vehicle? Is it necessary to use bleach? Fortunately, the widespread availability of commercial chemicals and deodorizers makes it quite simple to keep your black tank in good working order on a regular basis. In order to properly prepare for your camping vacation, you need add a dosage of RV black water tank treatment, which may be in liquid form (such as Aqua-Kem) or in packets that look similar to Tide Pods (such asthese).

  • These chemicals not only have the potential to reduce tank smells, but they also have the power to break down solid waste and toilet paper.
  • Apart from keeping your black water tank in good condition using these cleaning methods, it’s also a good idea to deep clean your tanks on a regular basis, possibly between camping excursions or before putting your RV into storage.
  • The process is typically the same: drain your waste tank entirely before filling it three-quarters full with new water and a small bit of bleach, Pine-sol, or laundry soap.
  • This final step should be repeated until the water flows clean.

Consider using ice cubes or hot water, for example; go here for more information on how to unclog an RV potty completely.

3. How Often Should You Dump and Empty Your Black Water Tank?

When you have to go, you have to go – and the same may be true about your recreational vehicle! It goes without saying that the exact frequency with which you need to dump and empty your tanks will vary depending on your needs, just as the frequency with which you need to go will change. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to go up to a week or more without dumping the tanks if you’re traveling alone and regularly spending days outside the RV adventuring. You may find yourself emptying the tank every other day or so if you’re camping with a large group of people (or traveling in an RV with a tiny tank capacity).

  1. This comprises the black water tank, as well as the gray water and potable water holding tanks, among other components.
  2. Instead, when the water level rises, you simply sort of.figure out that it’s time to do something.
  3. After all, you don’t want to park your RV with wastewater in the tanks!
  4. Let’s start with a step-by-step walkthrough of how to empty the black tank in your RV’s toilet.
  5. Take a look at this page!

4. How do I Dump my Waste from my Black Water Tank?

To empty the black water holding tank in your RV, follow these steps:

  1. First, put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Connect one end of your sewage drain line to the black tank valve on the back of your recreational vehicle. the hose’s other end is connected to the valve at the sewage line or disposal facility Pulling the valve to empty the black tank and letting it to drain entirely is recommended. To clean the black tank, fill it with water and flush it. According to your arrangement, you may be able to accomplish this with water from your gray water tank. Completely drain off the tank’s water supply
  2. Steps 2-4 should be repeated with the gray water tank. Close the valve on your RV’s water tank and remove the hose from the tank
  3. Before detaching the hose from the sewage connection or dumping station, thoroughly rinse the interior of the hose. Remove the sewage hose and put it in a safe place

5. What is RV Black Tank Flushing?

Some RVs are equipped with a built-in RV black tank flush system, which allows you to attach a hose directly to an intake valve and use it to effectively power wash the tank. This makes it extremely simple to keep your tanks clean and free of contaminants. The flush valve should only be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that it is used appropriately. Most guidelines advise leaving the black tank valve open in order to prevent water from backing up and flooding your RV through the toilet!

After-market options for this sort of vehicle exist in a variety of forms and sizes.

Finally, if you don’t have a manufacturer’s tank flush valve and don’t want to put one in your tank yourself, you’ll have to resort to a more manual approach of cleaning your RV’s blackwater tank.

In order to clear dirt and tissue from the walls of your RV’s black water tank, this rinser is intended to spray water in different directions.

Add a few drops of mild detergent, such as Dawn or Joy, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic DIY black water flushing method! Amazon is the source of this image.

6. Portable RV Waste Tanks

If you plan to stay in the same location for an extended period of time without access to sewage services, you may find it necessary to use a portable RV waste tank. It is possible to transfer the contents of your black and grey water tanks into an external tank, which can then be transported to a dump station, using these waste tanks. RV portable waste tanks are often equipped with wheels and a handle, allowing them to be conveniently moved about the campsite for disposal. If you utilize a portable RV waste tank, it is vital to remember that cleaning and flushing the tank should be performed with the same care as cleaning and flushing the onboard RV black water tank.

Frequently Asked Questions about RV Black Water Tanks!

To bring this essay to a conclusion, here are a few often asked questions – along with their solutions!

What’s the difference between gray water and black water?

The wastewater that comes from your sink taps and shower — as previously discussed — is considered gray water, whereas black water is considered garbage that comes from your toilet. For further information, see our guides on RV water tanks and RV holding tanks.

How accurate are the black tank monitors?

The frequency with which you clean your tank monitors will determine how accurate they are! Here’s how to clean the black water tank sensors in your recreational vehicle.

Best practices for black tank dumping?

As previously stated, always be certain that you are dumping your holding tanks into a public sewage connection that has been specially designed for that purpose – never out into the ground or into a street sewer, as was the case over Christmas Vacation! It’s also a good idea to keep your valves closed and wait until your tanks are completely filled, or almost full, before dumping, as this will allow you to use gravity and a large amount of water to flush the disgusting things down the toilet.

You see, if there isn’t enough water consistently resting at the bottom of the tank, the odor of your waste will get more severe.

What are some black tank maintenance tips?

Always use specifically designed RV holding tank chemicals to guarantee that your tanks remain odor-free and that waste is decomposed rapidly and efficiently in your RV holding tanks. While you may clean your tanks more thoroughly with mild dish detergent or ice, you should avoid using harsher things like as antifreeze, which might dry up the seals and cause your sewer system to fail completely.

Does my toilet use affect anything?

The toilet in your RV is not the same as the toilet in your house. Flushing garbage, feminine products, and regular toilet paper down the toilet will quickly block it, and cleaning it up will be a pain in the neck. Take good care of your toilet and only flush what is absolutely necessary. This manner, it will be there for you for many camping excursions to come in the future.

Do I have to dump my own black tank?

Perhaps, after reading this, you will have no desire to fiddle with your RV’s waste tank at any point in time. If the prospect of purchasing and traveling in an RV is becoming increasingly unappealing, don’t give up on your road-tripping aspirations just yet. A growing number of campsites are now providing “honey wagon service,” in which someone comes around to empty your holding tanks for you, usually for a charge. Although this is still considered a relatively new service, it is becoming increasingly popular.

One of the most unpleasant aspects of RVing is dealing with your RV’s black water tank, which is one of the most common problems.

It will provide you years of comfort and odorless delight if you understand how your RV’s black water tank works, and how to clean it.

This post includes affiliate links for your convenience. It is possible that RVshare will get compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on one of our product or service links.

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Your RV Black Water Tank

As an RVer, you’ll have to master a slew of new skills and techniques. It’s just a part of the way we live our lives. One of these new items is the way the RV’s black water tank is being handled. It’s a grueling, but necessary, profession. And, as you might understand, it’s not something you want to get wrong. To understand all you need to know about your black tank, continue reading this article. (And perhaps much more than you had hoped to discover!)

What Is an RV Black Water Tank?

In order to be a full-time RVer, you’ll need to master a variety of new skills. The fact is, it’s just a part of life. Dealing with the RV’s black water tank is one of these novelties. Despite the fact that it is unpleasant, it is an absolutely necessary task. Moreover, as you might guess, it’s not something you want to get wrong! To discover everything there is to know about your black tank, continue reading this article. This is likely to be more than you had anticipated.

How Does a Black Water Tank Work?

Solid and liquid waste, as well as toilet paper, are stored in your black tank. Your black water tank operates in a somewhat different manner than your grey water tank. It is possible to leave the grey tank open on occasion when using it. This is not something you want to do with a black water tank, though. As an alternative, you will keep the valve closed until the tank is at least two-thirds filled. After that, you’ll empty the tank.

How Often Do You Need to Dump Black Water?

Solid and liquid waste, as well as toilet paper, are held in your black tank. The operation of your black water tank differs from that of your grey water tank. It is possible to leave the grey tank door open on occasion when using it. Using a black water tank, on the other hand, is not a good idea! As an alternative, you will keep the valve closed until the tank is at least two-thirds full. Afterwards, you’ll empty the tank of water.

Using Your Black Water Tank – Avoid The Poo Pyramid

The way you utilize your black water tank might have an influence on how well it performs. You may not believe it is possible for an RV toilet to become blocked, but regrettably, this is not the case. Working with the “poo pyramid,” which can accumulate over time, is not a pleasant experience. Here’s how to make sure your tank is operating at peak performance. First and foremost, always keep the tank closed until you’re ready to empty it out. Even if you’re staying at a campsite with full hookups, keep the tanks closed.

You also run the danger of all of the liquids draining but none of the solids emptying.


Regular toilet paper can cause blockages, however RV toilet paper is specifically intended to break down quickly and efficiently.

Instead, take a look at this article: RV Toilet Blocked? Here’s How to Unclog It! Finally, before flushing, make sure you use enough of water. Having insufficient liquid in your tank might cause your feces to become stuck when you empty the tank.

Tank Capacity

The capacity of your RV’s black water tank is determined by the model of your vehicle. There is a tremendous variety of sizes available. You may anticipate an RV to contain somewhere between 15 and 100 gallons of liquid capacity. As previously said, there is a tremendous selection! If you’re not sure how much capacity your black tank has, you may find out by visiting the manufacturer’s website and asking. Having a larger tank is beneficial while boondocking. The less times you have to empty your tanks, the longer you can stay in one location without having to link up to utilities.

How to Dump Your Black Water Tank

Connect the RV sewage line to the wastewater outlet before you discharge the waste from your RV’s black tank. We recommend that you use a sewage hose with a transparent elbow so that you can see when the job is completed successfully. At the dump station, you’ll need to connect your RV sewage hose. Once you’ve connected everything, you may turn on the black tank valve. Allowing the valve to remain open until the water is no longer flowing After you’ve emptied your black tank, it’s time to empty your grey tank.

Check out this video from the RVgeeks for a visual demonstration of how to empty a common RV black water tank: RV Holding Tank Dumping is as easy as 1-2-3.

Cleaning Your Black Water Tank

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your RV’s black water tank has to be cleaned on a regular basis when you consider what goes into it. Keeping things clean will help to keep your RV from smelling bad. It also has the added benefit of preventing difficulties in the long run. To clean your tanks, we recommend utilizing a black tank deodorizer/cleaner, which will aid in the breakdown of waste, allowing your tanks to remain cleaner and less odorous. Cleaning your drains on a regular basis can also assist avoid obstructions.

  1. After that, you’ll fill the tank with water and a cleaning chemical to finish it out.
  2. Commercial RV black tank cleaners are available for purchase both online and at most RV retailers.
  3. You may use a high-pressure water stream to clean up your tanks with a range of different instruments available.
  4. To clean your tank to its utmost capacity, you may even engage a professional tank cleaner who will pressure wash the interior of your tank, as seen in the video below: Failure of the RV Holding Tank Sensor!
  5. Struvite Removal is a procedure that is performed by a professional.
See also:  How To Restart Bacteria Growth In My Septic Tank?

Preventative Maintenance

It is possible to avoid future problems by taking a few basic measures now. First and foremost, following each dump, thoroughly clean the tank. Keeping on top of things, even when it isn’t pleasurable, makes things more manageable overall. Another approach to avoid problems is to keep the lid on your black tank closed. Even if you’re staying at a campsite, you should follow these steps. As previously noted, use an RV toilet paper that dissolves more quickly in water to complete the process. As an added precaution, we recommend that you drain your holding tank via a clear elbow in order to be sure that the tank and line are free of debris.

Even though you despise dealing with your RV’s black water tank, it is an unavoidable part of RVing life.

This is true unless you choose an alternative toilet, such as a composting or incineration toilet. Maintaining a regular schedule for cleaning and dumping your tanks is essential to living a happy RV lifestyle. If you haven’t already, it’s time to start implementing these suggestions.

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Guide for RV septic tank

A recreational vehicle (RV) is often equipped with two types of RV septic tanks: a black water tank and a grey water tank, respectively. The gray water tank is responsible for collecting wastewater from your RV sinks and shower. The tank is referred to as a gray water tank because the soap residue from the sink and shower causes the water to appear grey in appearance. The black water tank in your RV is the tank that collects wastewater from the toilet in your vehicle. Consequently, both liquid and solid waste are collected in the black water tank.

A scenario such as this should be regarded as one in which all waste water is deemed black wastewater.

Greywater RV septic tanks

There are two types of RV septic tanks included with most recreational vehicles (RVs): a black water tank and a gray water tank. It is the gray water tank’s job to collect the wastewater generated by your RV sink and shower. It is referred to as a gray water tank because the soap from the sink and shower causes the water to appear grey in color. The black water tank in your RV is the tank that collects wastewater from the toilet in the vehicle. That is, both liquid and solid waste is collected in the black water tank.

As a result, all wastewater should be regarded as black wastewater in this situation.

Emptying greywater RV septic tanks

Despite the fact that greywater is not as poisonous as black water, extreme caution should be exercised when draining it. Despite the fact that some RV owners dump gray water into the lawn, the ideal practice is to empty it into a waste disposal facility. It is recommended that the grey water tank be emptied after the black water tank is emptied. This aids in the removal of any debris that may have remained after the black water dump was completed. The following are the procedures to be followed while emptying your tank:

  • Wearing a pair of disposable gloves is recommended. A sewage dump pipe must be connected between your trailer and the dump station. Open the gray tank valve and let it to empty completely before closing it. Fresh water should be forced into the sewage pipe. Place the sewer disposal hose in a safe place. Dispose of your gloves in an appropriate manner.

Blackwater RV septic tanks

The black water tank is responsible for collecting human waste, toilet flushing water, and tissue paper. It goes without saying that you should not flush anything else since it might clog the plumbing and cause a nasty backup in your RV. Anything that is not suitable for flushing down the toilet should not be flushed down the toilet in your RV. Check to see that your black water tank has enough water in it before you begin using it. In addition to aiding in the absorption of foul odors, water also aids in the movement of solid waste so that it does not adhere to the walls.

Septi RV is a product that has been carefully developed to break down waste in the black water tank while also eliminating foul odors at the same time. This will allow you to camp for a couple of more days before returning to the specified dumping location to empty the tank.

Guidelines for emptying black water RV septic tanks

  • This tank holds human waste, toilet flush water, and tissue paper, all of which is collected in a single location. Since a general rule, you should avoid flushing anything else, as doing so might prevent your RV’s system from working properly and cause a nasty backup. You should avoid flushing anything down the toilet in your RV that is harmful to the septic system. As a precaution, make sure there is water in your black water tank before you use it. The water aids in the absorption of foul odors and the movement of solid waste so that it does not become stuck to the walls and other surfaces. Because RV black water tanks are tiny and may fill up rapidly, it is advised that you use Bio-Septi Sol’s RV solution to keep your RV’s black water tanks clean. Septi RV is a product that has been carefully developed to break down waste in the black water tank while also eliminating foul odors. When you return to the approved dumping location to empty the tank, you will have many additional days of camping time.

Important tips when using campground septic systems

Every camper has a duty to ensure that the septic system at the campground is in excellent working order. Here are some pointers on how to use the campground’s sewage system in the most efficient manner.

  • Everyone who uses the campground’s sewage system is responsible for keeping it in excellent working order. Some pointers for using the campground’s sewage system appropriately are provided below.

How often should your empty RV septic tanks?

The length of time you may utilize the grey water tank in your RV before having to discharge the wastewater is determined by the size of the tank and the number of people who will be using the RV. During the course of a typical day at home, the average household consumes 80-100 gallons of water. However, when traveling in an RV, water use is greatly reduced. It is estimated that you will use approximately 16 gallons of water if you take two showers in the RV, each lasting four minutes each. Consider that you wash dishes for three meals in your sink, which may consume an additional 6 gallons of water.

  • As a result, you may expect an average of 26 gallons of greywater every day.
  • If you are staying at a campsite, on the other hand, you will very certainly be linked to the campground’s septic system.
  • However, if you are only traveling by yourself or with one other person, your tank will need to be emptied less regularly – perhaps once a week at the very most.
  • The tank should be drained as soon as it is two-thirds full, according to the manufacturer.
  • The majority of modern recreational vehicles are equipped with devices that inform you exactly how full the tank is.

Taking care of your RV tanks

Depending on the size of your RV’s grey water tank and the number of people who will be using it, you will be able to utilize the wastewater for a longer period of time before having to dump it. The average household uses 80-100 gallons of water per day when at home. However, when traveling in an RV, water use is substantially lower. If you were to take two showers in the RV, each lasting four minutes, you might expect to use around 16 gallons of water total. Consider that you wash dishes for three meals in your sink, which might consume an additional 6 gallons of water each time.

  1. Consequently, you may anticipate to produce around 26 gallons of greywater each day under typical conditions.
  2. You will most certainly be linked to the campsite’s septic system if you are staying at a campground, though.
  3. On the other hand, if you are only traveling by yourself or perhaps with one other person, you will need to empty your tank less regularly, perhaps once or twice a week at the most.
  4. As soon as the tank is two-thirds full, it should be drained.

A mechanism in most new RVs will tell you exactly how much gas is left in the tank at any one time. The use of a water meter is safer, however, because these sensors can become defective over time due to wear and tear, resulting in erroneous measurements of how much water you consume.

  • Don’t forget to wipe the “O” ring seals off the sewage caps before you leave the house. Once the seals have been cleaned, a light coat of oil should be applied to avoid gray and black water dribbles. After flushing the tank, always add a few gallons of water to it. In this way, any residual residue in the tank will be prevented from collecting and drying on the tank’s bottom
  • Make sure to keep your valves closed until you are ready to start pumping your tanks. Keeping the valves closed not only prevents the sediments in the tank from drying out, but it also helps to keep the foul odors at away. Do not pump your tanks before they are completely full. Wait until they are at least half-full before opening them. Add water to the tank until it is half-full if you are ready to leave a location and the tank is not completely full. The water in the tank is crucial because it aids in ensuring that the sediments are adequately flushed from the tank. Use your fresh water hose to empty your tanks rather than your waste water hose. When flushing the tanks, start with the black water tank first and work your way down to the gray water tank afterwards. This will guarantee that your hose is as clean as possible after use.


The RV septic tank will last for many years if it is cared for and maintained properly. However, just as with a home-based septic tank, if the RV holding tanks are not properly maintained, they can quickly fail. You must be deliberate in your approach to taking care of it, which includes pumping the tanks as soon as the need arises, employing biological additives to aid in the breakdown of waste, and avoiding the use of harmful items that may have a negative influence on the efficacy of helpful bacteria.

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.

  1. It is disposed of in the graywater collection tank.
  2. You can see how this tank may become the dirtiest in the shortest amount of time.
  3. In order to clean and unclog your blackwater holding tank, you must first identify its source.
  4. 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. You can’t tell how terrible the situation is unless you take a peek inside the tank, though.

How to Clear a Clogged Blackwater Tank: Step by Step

Asking yourself this question will help you figure out what causes your toilet to become blocked will help you figure out what causes your blackwater tank to clog. Once again, this isn’t really nice, but consider the implications. Most of the time, there are two main reasons responsible for clogging your blackwater tank. Two types of trash can be found on the floor: human waste (yes, excrement) and globs of toilet paper. The sensors in your blackwater holding tank may be more recent and high-end if your tank is a more recent and high-end product.

  • Their job is to determine whether or not the blackwater tank is fully stocked.
  • Cleaning the tank is then possible.
  • A buildup of human waste or toilet paper, on the other hand, might hinder the sensors’ ability to detect leaks.
  • In the absence of sensors in your blackwater holding tank, the accumulation of human waste and toilet paper is still a major source of concern.
  • 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.
See also:  For Double Tank Septic What Gets Pumpled? (Best solution)

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. You may also check out this post I made on how to clean and flush an RV black tank for more in-depth information and instructions.

Step 2: Wipe down the Line

Having a well-kept aquarium is a source of happiness. Consequently, cleaning your blackwater tank is the first step in unclogging it. Now, ideally, you’ve gone over the bullet points above and decided not to use any of the ways mentioned therein. What you can do is get a septic system powder treatment and pour it down the toilet. In the RV and camper community, Rid-X is a well-liked brand. The substance may be purchased on Amazon in bulk quantities that last for several months. 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 supply.

  • Rid-X or your favorite product should be used at least once a month to ensure the longevity of your blackwater tank.
  • This should certainly avoid future clogs (and don’t worry, I’ll have lots more advice on how to do so later on in this article.) Rid-X requires a minimum of 1,500 gallons of blackwater in order to provide a thorough, deep clean.
  • Rid-X is capable of removing anything from grease to oils, proteins, and, yes, toilet paper.
  • Check out this post I made on how to clean and flush an RV’s black tank for more information.

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.

Step 7: Bring in the Pros

There is one more option available if drilling appears to be too much effort (which is understandable). The ice cube approach is what this is known as. After all, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover until you’ve read it yourself. Several RV and camper owners have reported success with this strategy. What you’re really doing is pouring water into your blackwater tank to flush it away. It should only be about a third of the way full, not fully. Once you’ve done that, add ice to the remaining tank space.

Using your RV or camper to move around might help to release any waste or toilet paper that has been lodged in your blackwater tank.

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. However, the situation is what it is at the moment. 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!

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