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Old 11-21-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
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Black tank handle

I'm having a problem pushing the black tank handle in...I seem to have to get down on my hands and knees and push exactly straight in or it hangs up...is there any way to grease this?...or someway to make this job eaiser?.......this is a 1994 34 footer.....
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:57 PM   #2
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Dump the tank. Close the valve. Add 2-3 cups of vegetable oil to the toilet. Open and close the valve(dump hose attached, of course) several times. Repeat as necessary.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:07 PM   #3
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Dump the tank. Close the valve. Add 2-3 cups of vegetable oil to the toilet. Open and close the valve(dump hose attached, of course) several times. Repeat as necessary.
Campers world sells a tank valve lubricant also--if you want to spend a few $$.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
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Thank you gentlemen I dont know why I didnt think of that before now...after 4 years of dumping you'd think I would know what I was doing...we are in Kerrville Texas at Take it Easy RV park if you get in the area.......Perry Boyer
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:27 AM   #5
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Thank you gentlemen I dont know why I didnt think of that before now...after 4 years of dumping you'd think I would know what I was doing...we are in Kerrville Texas at Take it Easy RV park if you get in the area.......Perry Boyer
Looks like you've got a cold wet one on your hands the next couple of days. We're off to Port Aransas, Gulf Waters RV, in a couple of weeks. It's a crap shoot this time of the year weather wise at the beach. Have a good Thanksgiving.

Howard
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:08 AM   #6
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Easing a tight valve in hard water areas.

A few years ago the black tank dump valve on our trailer beacame almost impossible to open and close, so I carried out the procedure to overhaul the valve. When I had cut the access panel in the belly pan, and removed and dismantled the valve, I noticed that the entire plastic blade that closes off the pipe was coated in a hard layer of scale. This appeared similar to the scale that occurs in kettles and tanks in hard water areas, such as North Florida where we keep our trailer.
The scale on the valve blade was very hard, and required a sharp chisel to remove it by scraping.
This year, a few years later, the dump valve has again become almost impossible to open and shut. After flushing the tank several times I treated the black tank with one of the liquids that claims to digest paper and solids in septic tanks. This produced no improvement.
I therefore decided to assume that the blade was again coated in lime scale, calcium carbonate, which I knew would dissolve in hydrochloric acid, known also as muriatic acid. My Airstream manual lists the approved chemicals for cleaning the black tank system, and one of these is 10% hydrochloric acid. From my local Ace hardware store I purchased a quart of 30% muriatic acid. I diluted this by first placing a gallon of water in a plastic bucket, adding the quart of acid and then adding another gallon of water. (Do not place the concentrated acid in the bucket before adding water. Some strong acids can leap up towards water.)
I flushed the black tank, added the contents of the bucket, and added more water to the tank via the flushing pedal until I guessed the blade of the valve would be entirely submerged in the acidic solution. I left the tank for 12 hours, dumped the contents into a limestone soakaway (not the septic) where the acid would be rapidly neutralised, and flushed the tank.
The valve now operates smoothly.
Nick.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:33 AM   #7
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A couple of XLent ideas,,, Tnx for the good posts
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:01 AM   #8
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Nick..., since vinegar is used to clean coffee pots, etc. of lime, do you think a regular maint. schedule use of a couple gallons now and then would keep the lime away? Thus, never having to go with the stronger muriatic acid.
A procedure could be to pour a gallon in each empty tank before traveling--then dump when at the campground.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:25 AM   #9
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I've never noticed this mineral buildup to the extent that it causes a problem. Perhaps in other parts of the country the water is harder and the issue develops. I can't speak for the vinegar trick working but I think it couldn't hurt anything either. Maybe a chemist could tell us if there is any conflicts with the bio-actions that are going on down there or a problem with any of the commonly used chemical treatments. But from my non-chemist view it might work and if it didn't, no harm.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:37 AM   #10
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CLR or White Vinegar....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard L. View Post
Nick..., since vinegar is used to clean coffee pots, etc. of lime, do you think a regular maint. schedule use of a couple gallons now and then would keep the lime away? Thus, never having to go with the stronger muriatic acid.
A procedure could be to pour a gallon in each empty tank before traveling--then dump when at the campground.
I had the same problem until Saturday! My black tank dump valve wasn't closing due to a combination of things. I had done a tank flush with a wand, and concentrated on loosening some crud in the corner I could see. I think some of this wedged in the valve. In any case, I finally realized I could try some CLR. I opened the valve and flushed again with the wand, and let it drain away. After closing the valve (again, it didn't close), I added CLR to the bowl, letting it set for maybe an hour to clean the scale build-up around the valve, then filled the bowl up 1/2 way, and flushed the whole thing down.

This sat overnight, bathing the dump valve. Sunday morning as I was preparing to hit the road, I added 10 gallons of water to the black tank, and opened the valve. When I closed it, I had the satisfaction of knowing it seated finally. The park I'm at in Roswell is also famous for hard water, so I'm going to add this type of maintenance, along with the vegie oil treatment, every few months. Hopefully I can avoid having to change the dump valves for a while now.

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Old 01-02-2014, 10:30 AM   #11
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If you are using the oil for the valves..be sure you don't add a lot of water until you are ready to flush the tank....because oil and water don't mix, the water will settle to the bottom leaving the oil on top and will end up not doing any good....
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:42 AM   #12
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The safer method is to use Vinegar and use the type of strength you wish. It comes in 5%, 9% and 20%. Most grocery stores carry the 5% and the 9%, the 20% is available from AG stores and can be used like round up as it will kill weeds...let it sit in the tank or as you travel and then dump and flush the tank...
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:48 AM   #13
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As a preventive measure, we go to any box-mart store and buy a box of Calgon bath oil beads....mix a bucket up with water and pour a bucket in the black and gray water tanks....been working for us for 30 years...
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:33 PM   #14
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The Airstream factory manual at page F-47 states:

"The following cleaning agents can be used without causing harm to the system:
1. Naptha
2. Household soaps
3. Soapless detergents
4. Trisodium phosphate
5. Household ammonia
6. 10% hydrochloric acid (solution)
7. 5% sulphuric acid (solution)
8. Hypochlorite bleach (Chlorox)
9. 10% sodium hydroxide (solution)

Never use any other type cleaners unless marked approved for ABS drainage systems. "

As I have effectively used a product on this approved list I have no need to use any other product, such as vinegar or CLR.
As a matter of interest, CLR ingredients are:
water
lactic acid
gluconic acid
lauramine oxide
propylene glycol n-butyl ether

Nick.
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