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Old 11-13-2013, 01:02 AM   #1
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I'm a sissy when it comes to sewage!

I just bought a 76 argosy, which I adore, and it came complete with a nearly full black water tank! (Oh, joy! Someone else's leftovers!) I got everything ready for the dump, and nothing's coming out! My black water valve pulls all the way in and out, but nothing happens. To complicate the matter, my grey water valve seems to be seized open, and will not shut. Feels jammed or seized. What's my next smart move? If it was MY black water, I'd be much more willing to get down and dirty, but... Yuck!

How do I know if my grey water tank is full or empty?
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:49 AM   #2
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sounds like you hesitated too long and let the solids turn more solid. Get out a stick. Now you are really going to put your sissyness to a TEST.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:59 AM   #3
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Get one of these, connect your hose, open a little, and see if the valve is actually open. If open blast it a few times.

...snip edit...just remembered the blue end and white 'claw' connector are two separate pieces. Camping World...after loosing the cap.

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Old 11-13-2013, 06:43 AM   #4
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Put a batch of ice cubes down the toilet and drive her around the block then fill with water and try to flush - see if it helps. I always put a bunch of ice cubes down the toilet when we're hooking up and when we get to a dump site, dump and makes for smooth sailing. Good luck!
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:51 AM   #5
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What a mess!!

You could get the black tank sucked out by a "honey wagon". They are the folks who clean out "portable-potties". You could even bring the "load" to them at their yard.

They might even rinse it out with fresh water and decontaminate it a bit.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesl View Post
I just bought a 76 argosy, which I adore, and it came complete with a nearly full black water tank! (Oh, joy! Someone else's leftovers!) I got everything ready for the dump, and nothing's coming out! My black water valve pulls all the way in and out, but nothing happens. To complicate the matter, my grey water valve seems to be seized open, and will not shut. Feels jammed or seized. What's my next smart move? If it was MY black water, I'd be much more willing to get down and dirty, but... Yuck!

How do I know if my grey water tank is full or empty?
The valve handle pulls in and out, but have you checked to make sure the valve itself is moving? That could actually be the problem for both black and gray tanks. If either push-pull cable is broken, no matter what you do to the valve handle, the valve won't move.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:09 AM   #7
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Mentioned earlier but not on detail, try to make certain that the valve is actually opening when you pull the handle. If the rod had come loose from the valve but still had enough friction to fool you, this may indicate a different problem than a blockage of the drain.

I know this seems like a small comfort but in this instance it's good that the Argosy has a very small black tank. Work up your "ick resistance" and shine a light down the toilet to see if you can tell if there is a lump of solids in the tank. You will want to turn off the water for this if the tank is already full so you don't over fill. With the small tank, something stiff but flexible may let you loosen the clog fairly easily.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:12 AM   #8
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if the contents have dried into a lump you'll need to re-hydrate the contents. fill the tank with warm water and let it sit for a few hours. adding an enzyme treatment may help over time.

doing this with cold temps outside makes this a difficult task bevause you don't want the contents to freeze.
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:57 AM   #9
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doing this with cold temps outside makes this a difficult task bevause you don't want the contents to freeze.
I see the OP from Squamish , British Columbia so this quote is important.

Has it been freezing there?

Frozen waste (and frozen valves for that matter) don't move easily and can take days to thaw.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:07 AM   #10
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I see the OP from Squamish, British Columbia
Squeamish from Squamish? Sounds like a letter to Dear Abby, doesn't it? Best to fix this problem fast before poor Liesl dies from the indignity of it!
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:19 PM   #11
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When I purchased my 78 Avion I thought the PO left me a full tank too, so I bought from Amazon some Happy Camper Extreme holding tank cleaner, I left it in the tank for about a week, then went and dumped. It turned out though what I thought was a full tank was actually the bottom of the tank, it looked like stucco, or a tan sponge bob (!), I even took a stick and hit it to make sure! While dumping we used a clear elbow and sure enough all that came out was clear water with a bit of what looked like hard water deposits, probably from the sides of the tank.
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:48 AM   #12
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Great ideas all around! Here's a little further information...

When I removed the old toilet to replace it, there was liquid waste about 4 inches below the flange on the floor. And it didn't seem like it would have trouble draining (no mountains). Also, when I took it for its first drive around the storage yard, the black water valve was slightly open and dripping till I shut it off, so I don't suspect the valve is necessarily broken. How deep are these tanks? Is 4 inches as close to full as I think it is?

I'm leaning toward troubleshooting the valves first before I go broomstick deep into my shiny new aqua magic toilet.

On the grey water side, can someone explain where it's located, and the capacity? I'm perplexed.

The weather in Squamish is still above freezing, we tend to only get small stints of freezing temps, and then rain. Lots and lots of rain.
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:19 AM   #13
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I have my old toilet out, and a clean tank, so I measured from top of black tank opening to tank bottom, 6 inches. Keep in mind the tank has a step, and is deeper toward the rear, where the valve is located. I think the black tank is about 15 gallons. If your tank is 4 inches from full, you are about 10 gallons, or 2/3 full.
The grey tank is located in front of the toilet under the floor. I am able to see it looking over the rear bumper into the area between floor and trailer bottom cover. I dont know its size, but 15 gallons is my guess. Hope this helps.
Roger
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