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Old 12-05-2016, 02:47 PM   #1
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2016 30' International
Woodstock ON , North Fort Myers FL
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Black Water Tank Flush Issues

We have been parked for 4 weeks now in SW Florida enjoying pleasant weather. We expect to remain in this location without moving for the next 4+ months.

With 22 years of RV ownership, often in static locations for extended periods of time, and having owned 2 other AS's in more recent years, we have never experienced any issues related to the efficient and trouble free disposal of waste from blackwater tanks. We do not deposit toilet paper into our toilet. We rarely use commercial digesters as the tank contents are dumped (never more than 3 days) before such additives have enough time to work their magic.

This particular AS model (Serenity) also dumps it's bathroom sink grey water into the black water tank, while kitchen and shower waste flow to the gray water tank. The purpose for this is said to be to add further water to the black water tank to enhance it's dumping. The effect of this however might force occupants to use the kitchen sink for personal needs to avoid filling the black water tank with bathroom sink water when capacity of the blackwater tank is needed for human waste.

We always use the factory recommended "freshwater flush" system to further enhance the blackwater dump procedure.

We find the tank flows out quickly when full, slows rapidly giving the impression that the output plumbing line is either small diameter or partially obstructed. Eventually, after extended freshwater flushing, effluent becomes clear and the tank is apparently clean and completely empty. Observing tank condition from above confirms that there is still significant waste materials that failed to exit during the dump.

Comments and suggestions welcomed.....
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Old 12-05-2016, 03:04 PM   #2
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Unclogging RV Holding Tank

Go to TankTechsRX website for some videos that you might find helpful.
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Old 12-05-2016, 03:07 PM   #3
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Try a commercial digester.

Mike
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Old 12-05-2016, 03:29 PM   #4
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Airstreams are not designed to remain stationary, and also have the black water waste dump easily. If your previous models did this without hassle, then you may lucked out IMO.

Are you able to move the trailer forward and backwards about 10' each way, once a week or so (or as often as you want to dump the black water)? If you do so, and hit the brakes firmly a few times, in the middle of each journey to and fro, you will at least have a chance that those solid deposits will break down somewhat. You might luck out with at least keeping them in a semi-suspension long enough to dump the black water ASAP. If you can make a few loops around the campground instead, all the better.

A regular garden hose stuck down the toilet, with someone else controlling the flow at the hose bib, would help. Previous links to videos etc. may show this, but I haven't watched them. There are spray wands which you can add to the hose to facilitate the action I believe.

Good luck!

PS -- If the solid deposits are stuck to the bottom of the holding tank, you did not have enough water/treatment chemical in the tank before the first deposit was made IMO. Solid material dropping into an empty tank should hit an inch or so of liquid IMO. Bigger tanks will require more liquid added after dumping to accomplish this.
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:39 PM   #5
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Three days seems like an inadequate time for adequate fill of waste and fluid unless you've got a washing machine running a bunch or take long showers. I think you need to do a visual via the toilet to check you're getting enough accumulation to need flushing out.
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:49 PM   #6
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We wrote a humorous blog post on how we dealt with a similar situation. https://livinginbeauty.net/2016/08/2...-and-it-is-us/
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Old 12-06-2016, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drairstream View Post
Three days seems like an inadequate time for adequate fill of waste and fluid unless you've got a washing machine running a bunch or take long showers. I think you need to do a visual via the toilet to check you're getting enough accumulation to need flushing out.
My 30' FC has the same plumbing as. His; the bathroom sink empties into the black tank.
After three days the black is definately ready for a flush.
Of course, this means very limited boomdocking.
We are two seniors only in it.

Trailer Trash awaiting Spring
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Old 12-06-2016, 03:48 PM   #8
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I would use a digester, I would make sure the tank vent is not plugged. I would wait until the tank was full to dump.
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:29 PM   #9
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Go get one of those black tank cleaning wands at Camping World or Amazon. Stick it down into the black water tank thru the toilet (with the dump valve open) and BLAST AWAY. You might even be able to stick it up thru the dump valve. If not, stick a hose with a sidewalk cleaning nozzle up thru the dump valve and BLAST AWAY. Anyway, have a blast doing it!
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:38 PM   #10
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We use septic safe toilet paper and a citrus based digester chemical. After dumping the tank we always add about one gallon of a base solution of water and digester. We dump our tank every 3 days. We have lived in our 1971 Sovereign for 93 consecutive days. No problem whatsoever with emptying the black tank completely. Using adequate water is essential.
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:40 PM   #11
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Especially, if he is not putting TP in the black tank, three days is not very long to dump the black water. Maybe they take long sponge baths in the bathroom sink, or they do a lot of tooth brushing with the water running! When boondocking, we catch most of our shower water and put it in the black tank, since gray water seems to be the limiting factor. My guess is that too frequent dumping is the main problem.
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Old 12-06-2016, 05:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mrdfred View Post
Go get one of those black tank cleaning wands at Camping World or Amazon. Stick it down into the black water tank thru the toilet (with the dump valve open) and BLAST AWAY. You might even be able to stick it up thru the dump valve. If not, stick a hose with a sidewalk cleaning nozzle up thru the dump valve and BLAST AWAY. Anyway, have a blast doing it!

The key word is BLAST.

As an alternative you could just go crazy at Taco Bell and wait for things to run their course!
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:48 PM   #13
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As a newbie I've been reading a ton lately, what I've read supports what others have said before me. I've seen these points repeatedly stressed:

1. Enough liquid is essential when you set up a "fresh" black water tank
2. A Digester/Deoderizer will work to ahem..soften up any ummm problem deposits that are not cooperating as it were- over time it must help, they seem cheap-ish and a little shopping will surely pay off
3. Enough liquid must continue to be added as you go to ensure a smooth dump process to keep ratios healthy solid to liquid

Good luck improving your situation!
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