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Old 06-20-2012, 12:32 PM   #1
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Black water question

Hi All
Next weekend we'll be camping at a friends place in Iron Bridge.When we head home we'll leave the trailer there and return in two weeks for a one week stay.
Should the black water tank be emptied after the weekend stay or can we leave it until after the week stay.
Thanks for your advice
Dave and Darlene
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:41 PM   #2
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If your black water monitor gives you the green light, then leave it there. The only other concern might be odor, and I'd put deodorizer in there.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:50 PM   #3
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let it digest

Why not put in an bacteria enzyme or yeast type digester and let them feast while you are away?

If it is a residence, look around for an outside sewer line clean-out. Around here all homes are required to have them - usually just a piece of white pvc pipe sticking above the ground with an screw in plug. I use the one in our yard to dump the tank when we get home.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:54 PM   #4
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Just make sure there's plenty of liquid in the tank and you should be OK leaving it till you return. An enzyme additive would be good.too.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayward View Post
Why not put in an bacteria enzyme or yeast type digester and let them feast while you are away?

If it is a residence, look around for an outside sewer line clean-out. Around here all homes are required to have them - usually just a piece of white pvc pipe sticking above the ground with an screw in plug. I use the one in our yard to dump the tank when we get home.
I`ve never seen a clean-out trap on the exterior of a home here, perhaps because the frost line is generally accepted to be 4`deep.

Typically, the clean-out is inside the home, at the low point just before the sewer pipe enters the concrete of the basement floor. Many homes have basements here, perhaps such is not the case where you live.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:55 AM   #6
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On occasion, we have come home with full tanks; and it was a month or two before we headed out again. No problem; just add an extra dose or two of toilet chemicals/deodorizer.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:40 AM   #7
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I`ve never seen a clean-out trap on the exterior of a home here, perhaps because the frost line is generally accepted to be 4`deep.

Typically, the clean-out is inside the home, at the low point just before the sewer pipe enters the concrete of the basement floor. Many homes have basements here, perhaps such is not the case where you live.
It depends on a lot of things. In our case we do not have one mostly because of when the house was built ('64). Friends of ours with newer homes do have them.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:08 AM   #8
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Warning, Will Robinson

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On occasion, we have come home with full tanks; and it was a month or two before we headed out again. No problem; just add an extra dose or two of toilet chemicals/deodorizer.
The danger here is that, if you allow the contents of the blank tank to dry out, you may be left with the infamous "Black Hills". In some cases these are not simple to remove.

Worse, if your climate is dry enough to make the small amount of water in the bowl evaporate, your blade seal on the toilet may not be enough to keep unpleasant odors from forming in your trailer.

IMHO, it's always a good idea to dump both tanks at your earliest opportunity.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:39 AM   #9
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I agree that it is best to dump the black and gray tanks when you return from a road trip, but this isn't always possible. So far, we have had no problems with solids accumulating in the black water tank. I think this has been because we start out a "new" tank with a couple of gallons of water in the bottom, and we use plenty of water with each flush.

When we first got our Bambi, we conserved on flushes fearing the black water tank would fill up and overflow. Then, after reading early on about filling the black water tank nearly full before dumping to get a more complete flush, I found out how much water the black tank will hold. You'd be amazed how long you can stand there with a flashlight, your foot on the flush pedal, waiting for a half-full black tank to fill up. All those fears of the tank filling up to top are gone. Our grey water tank will fill long before our blank tank does. Now, we use as much flush water as we want, except when conserving during week-long boondocking sessions.

I think the dreaded "Black Hills" occur mostly when newbies leave the black water dump valve open at KOAs, instead of allowing the tank to fill before dumping it when it is almost full. Also, driving a lot, as opposed to sitting in one location for extended periods, probably helps agitate and mix the contents.

In the summer months, our black water tank can start smelling pretty foul. That's mostly because heat accelerates the growth of the stinky bacteria. This happens whether the tank is full or empty; but obviously, it's worse when it is full. Regular addition of toilet chemicals holds the odors down. And, while we don't like to use the blue stuff that contains formaldehyde, that's what works best when the daytime temperatures get over 100 degrees (like right now; over 110 this past week). Up north, where it doesn't get this hot (our summers are over 100 at midnight, with overnight lows in the mid-90's), you may be able to use other "greener" chemicals, but multiple doses of the blue stuff works down here. Note: If the tank is full and it's hot out, it may take three or four times the recommended dosage to control odors.

This summer, I plan to switch to the Geo Method to see if it will work for us; but I've still got a bottle of blue stuff in the storage bin, just in case it doesn't.
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