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Old 12-20-2015, 11:46 AM   #1
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Should I use a toilet snake to clear the clog? Need advice ASAP.

I have tried a toilet wand that has four ports at the end of the wand that spins at a rapid rate. I shoved it down the toilet and turned it on full blast hoping to push the clog down into the tank. The water just backed up close to the flush valve so the pressure wasn't enough to push the clog down.

Not sure what else to do but to snake the toilet. Has anyone down this in an RV toilet? Is there anything else I should try before the snake? I can't reach the clog to pull it up and out. The blank tank sensor reads empty so the clog, I believe, is up high and not in the blank tank yet.

I have a 2011 28' FC. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:49 AM   #2
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I just did this yesterday to all my traps. Drains are much clearer now. So far no issues with the head drain.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:31 PM   #3
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Going to snake it now. Thanks for your response AWCHIEF.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:33 PM   #4
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How about a plunger?
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Old 12-20-2015, 01:49 PM   #5
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When I bought this trailer the black tank as a problem, I did as has been suggested, I use a snake like thing and also a bathroom plunger. It took several usages to get all flowing right. I also used the plunger in the tub drain and it helped a lot because the gray tank also drained slowly. Good luck, it may take a few tries especially with the plunger.
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Old 12-20-2015, 03:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantdrv55 View Post
I have tried a toilet wand that has four ports at the end of the wand that spins at a rapid rate. I shoved it down the toilet and turned it on full blast hoping to push the clog down into the tank. The water just backed up close to the flush valve so the pressure wasn't enough to push the clog down.

Not sure what else to do but to snake the toilet. Has anyone down this in an RV toilet? Is there anything else I should try before the snake? I can't reach the clog to pull it up and out. The blank tank sensor reads empty so the clog, I believe, is up high and not in the blank tank yet.

I have a 2011 28' FC. Thanks in advance.
So I'm confused.... I'm by no means an expert on RV plumbing, BUT....Question#1 is Do you actually have some form of plumbing pipes attached to your Toilet? Every RV toilet I've ever seen is mounted directly on top of the black tank.
So, if you've filled up the tank to the flush valve and still nothing coming out when you pull the black tank valve, then one of two things could be happening. Faulty black tank valve.... or a blockage in the passageway right before the valve. (I'm going to guess your not in freezing weather. Otherwise a third issue could be frozen "water" in the bottom of the black tank. )
Forget what the black tank sensor says, they are notoriously useless. Also, a plunger is likely to do nothing more than give you a good workout.
I dont know how/if a snake would work being that the toilet sits atop the black tank and there is no pipe for the snake to "follow" , unless you were actually lucky enough to get the end down to the outlet port. ( unless you're talking about feeding the snake "upriver" from the outlet.... in which case you're a brave man!
A bit more info may be required to complete this troubleshooting.....
Had the trailer been in regular service when this clog presented itself? Or is it freshly out of storage? have you had freezing temps that may have froze the contents of the tank? Give us some details & lets see if we can fix the problem.....
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Old 12-20-2015, 03:27 PM   #7
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I, too, am a little confused. I don't see how or where to use a plumbing snake in an RV toilet. I just don't see where it would do any good to put it down the bowl. Putting it in from the drain valve end would be playing with fire. If you did clear the clog, you would have a monumental mess in your lap.

What you are describing sounds like it could be "black hills syndrome". This occurs when the black tank valve is left open while camping. Solid waste dries up and becomes like concrete in the black tank.

If this is the case, there is only one possible solution. Put in some toilet chemicals, fill the black tank about one quarter full, add a couple of bags of ice, and go for a ride with the trailer. Made some sudden stops to get everything stirred up.

Try dumping again. If you still get nothing, try some more ice and take another ride. Hopefully, you can get it cleared this way.

In extreme cases, "black hills syndrome" can require replacement of the black tank.

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Old 12-20-2015, 04:24 PM   #8
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I agree with Moosetags, to drive around long enough to breakup the solids. If your tank is too full to add ice, you might have to get something rigid, like a small diameter pipe, down through the toilet and try to stir the pot a little bit before going for the ride.

I purchased a trailer with the "black mountain syndrome", the tank barely drained and the valve was difficult to close completely. I used the "Geo Method" (detergent, water softener, and bleach) to break up the solids that were creating the problems. I can actually see clean plastic at the bottom of the tank now and the valve works smoothly.
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Old 12-20-2015, 04:29 PM   #9
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We had our black water tank plug up with essentially nothing coming out of it even with the drain valve open. This happened about 8 or 9 years after buying the trailer new and we had always regularly drained the tank and back-flushed it. Not being brave, but desperate, I used a snake from the downstream end. That sort of worked and the tank drained slowly afterwards before stopping up again.

I won't go into how I got it out (ugh!), but the blockage was from the round disk of plastic tank material which had been cut out of the tank when the drain was installed. The managers of the RV park where we often stay said they had the same thing with their fifth wheel and a trailer and were happy to hear that it could also happen in an Airstream.

Tim
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Old 12-20-2015, 05:05 PM   #10
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We had this same thing happen to us and this is the tool of champions...

http://www.amazon.com/Valterra-F02-4.../dp/B008O9DV78

Let the tank trickle drain to give the tank some head room. If this won't happen then it will take one person monitoring the toilet bowl level (we had to do this). Make sure and use a large volume hose to get a good burp started with the Flush King valve closed. Run the water for a few seconds then shut if off. If the clear section of the tool fills you have dislodged the offending material. Once you have drained the tank use the tool to back fill the tank and then drain. Repeat this until the water comes out clear. If you use this at every dump and flush the tank you wont need the Chocolate Milkshake maker but one a year or so. Please don't pull a Chevy Chase, but if you do post a video!

GL
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:52 PM   #11
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The ice cubes in the tank idea was pretty well debunked in this You Tube video.

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Old 12-21-2015, 10:27 AM   #12
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RV plumbing is typically PVC pipe that looks an awful lot like the drain pipes in your, at least my, house. Using a snake should be okay. Just be careful about what happens when the snake gets to the destination in the black or grey water tanks because you sure don't want to punch a hole in either of those. Your toilet must be different from mine because mine has a straight pipe into the black tank, no curve or trap at all.
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Old 12-21-2015, 04:27 PM   #13
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My black water tank occasionally doesn't drain properly. The drain valve becomes clogged with toilet paper and other solids. I use a *macerating pump. The pump creates a vacuum and with a full tank of water I am always able to clear the clog. If you have time add some ridex to the tank and in the future be very stingy with the toilet paper (single ply only). Keep up with the chemicals; they help dissolve the t'paper and break up the solids. Only have the black water tank valve open when draining the tank never leave it open when camping. Good Luck..

Snaking up stream will work so be prepared to handle the 5-10gal of black water. Do the snaking at the dump station.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:22 PM   #14
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Shaking & Waves

If your RV is parked and you have an electric jack, you can create waves in both tanks simply by retracting the stabilizer jacks and rocking the RV back and forth by raising and lowering the jack. These waves might be gentle - but they are moving 30-50 gallons of fluid in the tanks. If you want to hook up you can simply shift from drive to reverse and back - moving the trailer a few feet each way then applying the brakes firmly to shake the tank "stuff" loose.

Got to admit that Tuco's "tool of champions" should be really effective too - and give you feedback about how much stuff is moving out.

Paula
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