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Old 06-16-2012, 12:17 PM   #15
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Oh God!

When I was in military basic training 4 recruits were killed using chlorine and ammonia to clean the latrine. They wanted to make a good impression on their drill sergeant who was critical of how clean their toilet area was after their first effort.

I would suggest against ever using ammonia in holding tanks.

In a confined area like an Airstream, the combination is both deadly and deadly fast. It is likely that you would not have a chance to escape.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:35 PM   #16
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Secgura is correct; I think chlorine bleach and ammonia combine to make phosgene gas, which was used by the military in WW1. Back in the '60s, some one-stripers in our Air Force maintenance shop did the same thing; and we had to air out the whole building for a couple of hours before anyone could go back in there.
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:07 PM   #17
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There are lots of 'green' pre-packages options out there... I'm curious why the desire to make your own home-made mix? Unless you were using it in 45 gallon drums... do you really use that much? I bought a bottle of of new 'green nano-technology' stuff that everyone seems to think is the next greatest thing... $20 and it will last me a few years at the rate I go through it...
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:50 PM   #18
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Friday,

I suspect your usage is British Columbia is different from other parts of the Americas. Here in the desert, it takes a higher dose of chemicals to hold down black water tank odor; because when daytime temperatures get to 105-110+ degrees, odors grow faster and stronger. And, the 4-8 ounces of toilet chemicals that may control odor up north, just isn't enough down here.

As the black water tank fills, it may take several 8 ounce doses to keep the odors under control. Therefore, cost becomes a factor. In fact, many of the "green" chemicals are not effective at higher ambient temperatures; and in mid-summer, we often have to switch to the old blue chemicals that contain formaldehyde.

Since the blue chemicals stain really bad, the fumes irritate eyes and nose, they contain known carcinogens, and they are relatively expensive (especially, when it takes 2-4 doses to control odors in the summer), it makes sense to find an alternative that is cheaper, safer and more effective. So, I am trying the "geo method" this summer to see if it is effective at controlling odors. If it doesn't work well, all of the ingredients can be used for their original purpose (i.e., laundry and cleaning).
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:03 PM   #19
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Has anyone given thought to what these various "home brewed" concoction does to the seals in the plumbing/valves?
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:12 PM   #20
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Per the "geo method" author, all of the ingredients are used in a washing machine with your clothes, so they shouldn't harm your RV plumbing.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:26 PM   #21
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I geo'd four Seasons ago to see if it would clean the sensors, it did and now it's a 1/4 cup of dawn after a good flush using city pressure.....I think being able to dump at home whenever needed helps a lot though.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:04 PM   #22
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We've tried a couple of different "green" deodorizers and none of them work very well.

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Old 07-03-2012, 10:41 PM   #23
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Oh how I wish I would have seen this post before our last vacay.

Black water tank was awful, airing out the AS for a few days now, and using lots of Febreeze on upholstery to try to help. We were in south central KY and temps ranged from 98-111 degrees.
We didn't have anywhere to dump black, only grey and were there for 6 days. Needless to say we had a VERY full tank when we came home.

Off to the store soon for some Calgon (take me away) and laundry detergent (we need some of that anyway). REALLY hope this works!!!
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:40 AM   #24
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Just got back from a week-long camping trip to Flagstaff where temperatures were approximately 90/55 (day/night). Geo method worked OK up there, and black tank smelled like fresh laundry. However, after our return and several days of 110+ degrees in Phoenix, the stench from our 1/4 full black tank is unbelievable and has never been worse. Today, I added a double dose of the blue stuff, which contains formaldehyde, to keep our neighbors from calling the sewer police.

Looks like the "geo method" may be seasonal for us, with the blue stuff being used over the summer. Too bad, seemed very promising; and we would like to go green. However, the geo method just doesn't work for us in the extreme desert heat.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:06 AM   #25
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Don't forget about the grey water...

water standing in the traps for an extended time, in hot summer temps, can smell pretty bad. Lots of fairly nasty stuff builds up in there. Doesn't have that same black tank smell, but smells bad non the less. During the summer, in between trips, I pour a dollop of my favorite stuff in each trap. Sure does help with the smells.

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Old 07-04-2012, 12:21 PM   #26
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I gave the Geo article to my wife (she's the scientist here) and she made her own adaptation. I don't understand what she's doing since she's the expert, but I know she has tried the regular deodorizer after we dump and flush the black tank, and then add a Geo-like solution just before we leave on another trip. I think she uses water softener and a detergent. This allows it to slosh around and clean the tank. She avoids putting Clorox in right away because she says Chlorine makes plastic brittle.

We've only done this once so far, but when I flushed the black tank it took fewer flushes and I really love that.

I'm sorry this isn't very specific, but I advise marrying someone with degrees in microbiology and laboratory technology and ask them what to do.

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Old 07-04-2012, 04:32 PM   #27
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Gene,
For a simple minded person like myself, would you ask her to write down her method and you could PM to me?
I bought all the items from the Geo recipe and have been waiting to hear from your expert
Thanks
Jane
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:44 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I gave the Geo article to my wife (she's the scientist here) and she made her own adaptation. I don't understand what she's doing since she's the expert, but I know she has tried the regular deodorizer after we dump and flush the black tank, and then add a Geo-like solution just before we leave on another trip. I think she uses water softener and a detergent. This allows it to slosh around and clean the tank. She avoids putting Clorox in right away because she says Chlorine makes plastic brittle.

We've only done this once so far, but when I flushed the black tank it took fewer flushes and I really love that.

I'm sorry this isn't very specific, but I advise marrying someone with degrees in microbiology and laboratory technology and ask them what to do.

Gene
We also have changed the receipt a little, Dawn instead of laundry soap, and just add the Dawn and softener once or twice a Season.
"Green?" A/chem after every dump.

Gene,
Don't forget the patent application before publishing Barb's invention.

Are things getting back to normal? The wildfires have taken over the news lately.

Stay safe my friend..

Bob
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