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Old 04-07-2010, 02:56 PM   #1
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Gray tank cleaning?

I see lots of information about cleaning out the black water tank, but, I've got to tell you - it's the gray water tank that really smells when we're dumping it.

I've wondered what happens over time to the little food particles that get down the sink, the oily build up from coffee poured down the sink, etc. How should I be treating the gray water tank?
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:12 PM   #2
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The next time you ate headed out, fill your gray tank 1/2 to 2/3 full, add a couple of cups of bleach, make your drive, and dump when you get there. That may do it.
That's what I would try.

Anyone else have an idea?
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfrere View Post
I see lots of information about cleaning out the black water tank, but, I've got to tell you - it's the gray water tank that really smells when we're dumping it.

I've wondered what happens over time to the little food particles that get down the sink, the oily build up from coffee poured down the sink, etc. How should I be treating the gray water tank?
You can bleach it. See the fresh tank clean thread.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ank-63204.html
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:15 PM   #4
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You will find all kinds of product to clean the tanks. For those that like to spend money they have some satisfaction in these products in much the same way a deodorant is a substitute for taking a bath.

Short of dropping the tank and dripping it in some decreasing solvent you are wasting your time and money. Grease forms on the side of the tank and just is not coming off with less than heroic efforts.

If you vents are clear the system will work the same as the sewer system in your house. You don't clean it do you?

In over 40 years I have never used anything in either tank and have not smelled or had a complaint yet other than while dumping, which all the perfume in the world won't overcome.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:24 PM   #5
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Some of the tank treatments can be used in either grey or black tanks. Check the packaging and instructions... There are also some made specifically for grey water use. We periodically add treatments to the grey water tank through the kitchen sink and the vanity. Yes, it's just "wash water," but bacteria (therefore odor) grows there, too, and it can become quite "odiferous" over time ... the longer your grey water sits the more the bacteria grows, especially in warmer climates. None of the treatments are every going to make your tanks "spring time fresh" but they will help keep the build-up to a minimum. It also helps to keep food particles and grease out of the grey tank as possible...we wipe out dishes with a paper towel before washing them and we use the drain strainer to catch food bits...nor do we put coffee grounds down the drain.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:27 PM   #6
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The funky smell is what's left on the tank from food, soap, etc. Once a quarter I always drop a good squirt of dawn dish liquid with at least 1/2 tank of water while driving, then dump when you hook up and close the valve and drop a cup of bleach with water down a couple drains and hopefully you are camping long enough to fill the tank. After 20 minutes being full the tank is now sanitized as well as the traps. Dump before you leave and you're good to go. The dawn cuts the greese and food particles. For 30 plus years I've never experienced an odor.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:17 PM   #7
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Dawn Dish Soap is the best grease eliminator you can find. Put some down the drain after you are done washing the evening dishes. Follow the procedure outlined by arcamedies and you will eventually clean the tank and eliminate most of the odor.

John
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBRich View Post
Some of the tank treatments can be used in either grey or black tanks. Check the packaging and instructions... There are also some made specifically for grey water use. We periodically add treatments to the grey water tank through the kitchen sink and the vanity. Yes, it's just "wash water," but bacteria (therefore odor) grows there, too, and it can become quite "odiferous" over time ... the longer your grey water sits the more the bacteria grows, especially in warmer climates. None of the treatments are every going to make your tanks "spring time fresh" but they will help keep the build-up to a minimum. It also helps to keep food particles and grease out of the grey tank as possible...we wipe out dishes with a paper towel before washing them and we use the drain strainer to catch food bits...nor do we put coffee grounds down the drain.

Hi, this pretty much explains it. I have never had any bad smell from our grey tank. All four traps have water in them, 99% of everything that goes down the drain is soapy water. After five years of use, only once, I poured some tank sanitizer down the into my grey tank just for the heck of it.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:36 AM   #9
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Yep, Dawn works and costs less then the specific odor control products.
Using it with very hot water makes it work better.

I use the Sewer Solution almost exclusively - which limits the speed of the outflow. I fulltime in HOT eastern Virginia, so odors can happen if you don't periodically clean the tanks well. I do keep a short slinky and about twice a summer I use it to do a FAST DUMP after agitating the contents of the tanks. Bleaching the gray/black tanks doesn't make sense if you're using them again within 24 hours - but if your storing the trailer for the winter it's probably a good idea.

I do this EARLY in the morning to avoid people being awake and thinking I'm totally nuts. I fill the black tank about 1/2 full, add Dawn. Hitch up - just the ball - rock the trailer back and foreward about a foot for a couple of minutes, jump out and pull the valve for black tank. Drain thoroughly, use internal sprayer, dump a five gallon bucket of water down the toilet to "Niagra Falls" anything that remains.

Repeat with gray tank - and while it's draining fill the well of the shower and every sink with water - then pull the drain plugs to swoosh out the bottom of the gray tank.

Ask myself why I got a clear piece that hooks the slinky to the drain - but I KNOW that a lot of nasty stuff comes out with this method.

Paula
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:58 AM   #10
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A Recipe for Keeping Tanks Cleaner

The following recipe was provided by a professional tank cleaner:

Pour a 48oz bottle of Pine-sol into one gallon plastic jug and add water to nearly full.

Shake jug to mix.

Add 1/2 cup of Calgon Bath Beads.

Shake jug to mix.

Use 8 oz. for black water tank and 4oz to grey water tank.

The Pine-sol is for cleaning and odor control and the Calgon Beads act to keep stuff from sticking to the sides of the tanks - including soap from sticking to the sides of the grey water tank.

The pro also recommended to always add three to five gallons of water to the black water tank and two gallons to the grey water tank after each emptying.

And ONLY open the dump valves to empty the tanks. Other then that keep the valves closed.
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