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Old 06-04-2016, 04:20 PM   #1
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Leaving the gray water discharge open

So what is the consensus on this practice? As a boater, I didn't have a gray water tank. We discharged gray water overboard as we went. In the AS, that tank lasts four showers, so we are discharging it every other day. Someone suggested to just leave the gray water tank valve open.

What do the forum sages recommend?
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:31 PM   #2
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You should make sure that your gray water tank is partially full before you empty your black tank so that you can use the gray water to rinse the hose out after emptying the black tank. At least with older trailers - perhaps newer ones have some kind of followup rinsing capability.
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:34 PM   #3
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There is no harm in leaving the dray water tank valve open.

Now that said let me say. On short weekend trips, even if a dump connection is available, I do not leave the valve open but rather hold the gray water till I dump the black tank. As the black tank is about empty I lift the hose, to from a trap, just about the valve and open the gray valve for about 10 seconds then close the gray valve and drop the hose. This give a good flush to the black tank. Once the black has drained I close that valve and open the gray.
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:46 PM   #4
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Leaving the gray water discharge open

100% agree with Howie here.

And under NO circumstance should you ever leave the black tank open.

For us (2 adults) if we're in a site for 3-4 days, the grey tank just about fills completely and the black gets to about half. We keep trying to find new ways to use gray water to fill the black tank (like collecting dish water in a tub and dumping it down the toilet or keeping a bucket in the shower and dumping that down the toilet). And if worse comes to worse, we just hold the pedal down and fill the black tank 100% before dumping. You really want a strong WHOOSH when emptying the black tank.

It's good to have a full grey tank for the purpose Howie mentioned.
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:53 PM   #5
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The assumption is that you have full hookups, and that the gray water is draining into the sewer. In that case what we do is leave the gray valve open until 24 hours or so before we plan to leave. Then as mentioned above, we use the water in the gray tank to help rinse out the stinky slinky after dumping the black tank.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:10 PM   #6
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The gray water usually contains small bits of food from washing dishes. If you leave the gray valve open, these bits of food will lodge in the track that the valve takes to close, making it difficult to close. The rule of thumb is to only dump when the tank is at least 3/4full, usually following the waste tank dump so as to wash out the waste hose. This way there is a good flow of water to clear the tanks.

BTW, I start the gray water discharge when the waste discharge starts to slow down - that allows the gray water to "rinse out" the waste tank as well.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:24 PM   #7
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Leaving the gray water discharge open

I leave the gray open if I am in a full hookup site. Prior to dumping the black, I will fill the grey so I get a good flush of the hose after the black is dumped. Any debris in the grey will get flushed if you dump it full.

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Old 06-04-2016, 08:02 PM   #8
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I keep grey closed. It forces me to know where my tanks are at all times and I like that feeling.

However, I previously left grey open all the time when on full hookups only closing it to flush black same as discussed above.

Then one day I visited a campground that had a major backup and flood. Heard horror stories. Now I only allow open connections to a sewer when supervised.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:35 PM   #9
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Grey open on full hookups until day before departure and use it to flush the sewer hose after dumping the black.
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:37 AM   #10
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While im really new to this Airstream thing mine has a water hookup to flush the black and gray tanks which I use. Assuming there is a good hose conection available. Now I wouldn't recommend leaving the gray water open unless your careful about making sure everything that comes out is enviromently friendly.
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Old 06-05-2016, 03:51 AM   #11
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The original poster's question can be best answered according to at least 4 different factual settings:

1. Parked for a while at a campsite with sewer hookups (the original poster's situation I believe);
2. Parked for a night or two at same site as 1., before hitting the road again (grey tank capacity OK);
3. Campsite without sewer hookup;
4. Boondocking with option to let grey water run out on the ground legally.

IMO the original poster was asking about the first situation [per his other posts about picking up the trailer in NJ and making it to the site they bought in FL].

IMO it would be safe and proper to leave the grey dump valve open, with the caveat as already mentioned that food scraps may end up settling in the bottom of the grey tank, and/or jamming the grey dump valve when it is later closed. These possible downside risks can be dealt with by proactive waste management, depending on what actually happens. Careful screening of waste water in the galley sink(s) is priority number one here.

The other three factual settings raise many diverse issues which are difficult to discuss in a general discussion like this one, so I won't try to cover all the possibilities.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FCStreamer View Post
So what is the consensus on this practice? As a boater, I didn't have a gray water tank. We discharged gray water overboard as we went. In the AS, that tank lasts four showers, so we are discharging it every other day. Someone suggested to just leave the gray water tank valve open.

What do the forum sages recommend?
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:54 AM   #12
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If it was #3, the D.A.D. method is usually done.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:23 AM   #13
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Gray water draws flies, smells and leaves debris on the ground. Please don't dump it where it us prohibited or undesirable.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:25 AM   #14
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I didnt know boaters can dump gray overboard. Learn something everyday.
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