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Old 05-24-2014, 11:51 AM   #1
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Black tank blockage!

Help! My husband and I are full timers, and recently we have found that when ever we go to dump our black tank, little comes out, and there is standing water in the toilet still. We then noticed we have a slow leak a few inches back from the sewage hose connector (eww). We use the blue RV deodorizer, but still we have odor issues. We're assuming that we have a blockage. But first we tried cleaning out the air vent to see if that helped, and when we did, sludge and water backed up in the toilet and up from the floor behind the toilet! Gross. We need help on what to do next! How should we go about this issue? Should and how do we address the leaks first? or the blockage? or could the leak just be not allowing the black tank to keep enough liquid to flush the solids?
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:57 AM   #2
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Help! My husband and I are full timers, and recently we have found that when ever we go to dump our black tank, little comes out, and there is standing water in the toilet still. We then noticed we have a slow leak a few inches back from the sewage hose connector (eww). We use the blue RV deodorizer, but still we have odor issues. We're assuming that we have a blockage. But first we tried cleaning out the air vent to see if that helped, and when we did, sludge and water backed up in the toilet and up from the floor behind the toilet! Gross. We need help on what to do next! How should we go about this issue? Should and how do we address the leaks first? or the blockage? or could the leak just be not allowing the black tank to keep enough liquid to flush the solids?
Mark the leaks now with a grease pencil or something, so you can find them later. But deal with the blockage first.

Except it may not be a blockage, exactly. Check the operation of the valve, and make sure it's actually opening all the way when you pull the handle. If the valve is working properly, THEN you have a blockage.
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:30 PM   #3
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How do I get to the valve opening?
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:59 PM   #4
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The valve which is a gate valve is probably covered by the belly pan not too far in. I would take a piece of stiff wire and probe through the discharge outlet.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:16 PM   #5
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Would a drain snake be any good?
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:51 PM   #6
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A common problem is the the release handle rod becomes unthreaded from the valve body
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:04 PM   #7
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So my husband got down and dirty today and removed the belly pan from the valve and found the valve is working properly and snaked the black tank from that end and could never get to the clog. So I guess our next guess is to go in at it from the toilet. We found the the leak resulted from a loose clamp. We're gonna try one of those pressurized tank sprayers and then let the Rid-x sit for a while and hope for the best. Good to know the valve works properly. Hooefully that works! Any other advice would be great. We're newbies to this!
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:25 PM   #8
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I don't even know what to say.....

Petrified human waste...

I think you are on the right track, I think the answer is in more water, no more chemicals, and a biological attack. (Rid X )
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:32 AM   #9
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We learned the same lesson the hard way, as full timers, we tend to use the toilet more like a "residential" toilet. Opposed to a recreational user, who uses it a bit more liberally. Remember, the more water, the better! When I'm done flushing out the black tank, I always add water to the black tank to give it a "head start" so to speak. That way it ensures nothing " sits" inside the tank and has an opportunity to solidify. I also try to make a point of rinsing & flushing the tank about every 3 days. My wife thinks that's overkill, but she's not the one who has to deal with black tank issues either! 😉

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Old 05-25-2014, 09:43 AM   #10
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I recently, last week, talked to a guy who full times it (not in an AS) at a trailer park near me. He was having a very similar problem. After finally getting it cleaned out enough over several days of ridex and lots of water, he stuck a telescopic mirror down inside the toilet and looked around. What he thought was the gate not opening all the way was actually the disk of plastic left over from the original hole saw cutting and installation. It was partly propped against the black tank exit hole half way. Since then he then has talked to the dealership and they said they have that coming from manufacturers allot!

Might be worth a look.....
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:58 AM   #11
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I recently, last week, talked to a guy who full times it (not in an AS) at a trailer park near me. He was having a very similar problem. After finally getting it cleaned out enough over several days of ridex and lots of water, he stuck a telescopic mirror down inside the toilet and looked around. What he thought was the gate not opening all the way was actually the disk of plastic left over from the original hole saw cutting and installation. It was partly propped against the black tank exit hole half way. Since then he then has talked to the dealership and they said they have that coming from manufacturers allot!

Might be worth a look.....
Ack! you took me down memory lane. We bought a new house and the "knockout" for the downstairs toilet was knocked DOWN the drain rather than taken out (knockouts are in place to pressure test the plumbing before the fixtures are installed). It acted like a valve open sometimes and dead closed others. The plumber finally pulled the toilet and saw the offending item but couldn't reach it. They decided to get sledgehammers and crack up the foundation to get to it. At that point I looked at these big armed men and said "give me some vaseline" I went after it and got it by my fingertips - and once the drain was clear was able to wash my arm with Lysol for about half an hour!

It doesn't get more real than poo! Rid-X is definitely our friend as is plenty of water. Rid-X left with lots of WARM water for 2-3 days will liquify almost all of the poop. A second application should finish it off. But I guess the mirror would be a good backup.

Paula
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:07 PM   #12
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As regular protocol, I dump several bags of ice down the head with plenty of water in the tank. Drive for a day without adding solids. At days end I yank the valve and let it drain, followed by a few full tank flushes. I follow this by a treatment of liquid ridex, until mu nest flush.
From there you should br good to go!
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:43 PM   #13
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Thanks!!

To all your advice on this "delicate" issue and all your stories! Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:58 PM   #14
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SO what is the proper procedure for opening the black water valve when at a campground?

Should you always leave the valve closed while parked at the hook up and only open and flush every couple of days? or Should you leave the valve constantly open while parked and just use lots of water when flushing?

It seems like the smell from the sewer hose connected to the dump station would vent through your toilet if you left the valve open continuously and that the black tank would dry out and possibly leave dry solids building up in the tank.

I would think that only dumping every couple of days along with flushing of tank would be the proper procedure.
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