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Old 04-28-2008, 10:32 PM   #1
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Unhappy Metal fork in black water tank

Hello Everyone,

A very silly person (me) made the mistake of not carefully checking the dish pan before dumping dish washing water into the toilet this weekend and a metal folk ended up going into the black water tank. When we got home from camping (at the NEU Chilly Man 2 Rally) Leon dumped and flushed out the tanks - he did a good job too, filling the black tank with water two times and using the in tank sprayer thingy along with the flushing wand that attaches to a garden hose. I had hoped the fork would be expelled, but it wasn't. Question is this: Will having a metal folk living in the black water tank cause us any problems? If so, any suggestions on how the heck to get it out of there?
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:35 PM   #2
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Use a magnet, either on a stick or fishing line. If you can see it, you can get it.
I would not leave it. It could get stuck in the valve sometime when you dump.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Use a magnet, either on a stick or fishing line. If you can see it, you can get it.
I would not leave it. It could get stuck in the valve sometime when you dump.
Thanks,

This is something we are considering. Bad news is we cannot see into the black water tank from the toilet as the pipe is curved. I wonder if we could get in through the black water dump value......
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:09 PM   #4
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Auto part stores sell a telescoping rod with a magnet on the end. This might be a two person job.
Step 1) Turn off your water pump and don't hook up to the city water supply.
2) have your wife (or you) step on the toilet flange while they hold a strong flashlight into the hole... while it is curved, it may help to see as it comes up.
3) Go fishing! It shouldn't take to long to find it. Those magnets are usually very strong.
4) As a last resort, go up "backwards" from the dump valve.... but this may be tricky, and the fork may not bend the right way.

5) Curious why the dishwater is in the black and not grey? If you want a good flush while dumping, you can just pump the toilet and fill with water that way. Small grey tank? Blue tanks work wonders for our Argosy.

Good luck!
Marc
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy
Auto part stores sell a telescoping rod with a magnet on the end. This might be a two person job.
Step 1) Turn off your water pump and don't hook up to the city water supply.
2) have your wife (or you) step on the toilet flange while they hold a strong flashlight into the hole... while it is curved, it may help to see as it comes up.
3) Go fishing! It shouldn't take to long to find it. Those magnets are usually very strong.
4) As a last resort, go up "backwards" from the dump valve.... but this may be tricky, and the fork may not bend the right way.

5) Curious why the dishwater is in the black and not grey? If you want a good flush while dumping, you can just pump the toilet and fill with water that way. Small grey tank? Blue tanks work wonders for our Argosy.

Good luck!
Marc
Thanks! This sounds like great advice.

We have a 35 gallon grey tank and a 35 gallon black tank. While boon-docking the grey tank fills up quickly due to using the shower, even though we follow the "get wet, soap up and rinse" routine. To extend the time before we need to break camp and dump the tanks we pour our dish washing water into the toilet as we never, ever come close to filling the black tank to capacity. We can get an additional 3 or 4 days of camping before we need to dump this way.

Oh! I'm talking about our Excella, not the Minuet. The Minuet is a full hook ups only camper due to it's tiny little tanks.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:26 PM   #6
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Got it! Again, I swear by my blue tank... as our Argy has about a 5 gallon grey!

I also once dropped a non - ferrous bolt down the black tank while rehabing the bathroom. In a dry environment, I used the metal rod with magnet with a BIG piece of duct tape to get the bolt.

Let us know how it goes!
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:14 AM   #7
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My toothbrush went down the toilet

This is the perfect opportunity to bring up one of my all time favorite threads......

See "My toothbrush"

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Old 04-29-2008, 12:44 AM   #8
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A magnet securely tied to a piece of twine may get you down to where the fork is.
Is the fork made of steel? Before you go to all this trouble, I would suggest getting a fork out of the drawer (asuming it's the same kind of fork) and make sure a magnet will stick to it.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:58 AM   #9
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That's good advice as most flatware is stainless steel, i.e. non ferrous and a magnet won't do diddly. I'd check a fork in hand first. A tube of toothpaste dropped in our tank. I used the Flush King to flush it out. Very high volume of water going in and then out may be enough to move it around.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:34 AM   #10
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Actually, stainless hardware, at least the chinese variety, are somewhat, shall we say, impure. Used stainless is too difficult to purify and so inexpensive flatware is one of the common useds for it. Depending on the batch, it can be quite magnetic. You didn't use your good flatware (or the silver) in the Airstream, did you?

If you can't retrieve it, it wont cause any damage unless it gets caught in the exit plumbing, but it will probably just find its way out. Alternatively, you drop a knife and spoon down to keep it company.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:38 AM   #11
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I'm sure the 'Troglodites" that live in there will appreciate the fork, won't have to eat with their hands anymore!
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:44 PM   #12
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If you do get it out, please let me know.
If we have the opportunity to share a meal, I'll know to bring my own fork.

And for you and your toothbrush Michael...no comment! Let's just say, I just hope you bought a new one ~

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Old 04-29-2008, 05:29 PM   #13
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In the event that you cannot see the fork, I'd do the magnet fishing thing - with one change. Tie a fishing float on the string with the magnet on it, and set it so that it is the same length from float to magnet as there is water in the tank. You will of course have to add your own water - preferably from a fresh source, of course. Then, hitch up and drive around a bit. The two will meet eventually!
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:49 PM   #14
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Michelle , good luck fishing for the fork . FWIW , have Leon do some experimenting , I recently found out that the kitchen drain actually goes into the black tank and not the gray , it might save you some trouble in the future.
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