View Poll Results: Chemicals in grey tank?
I never use chemicals in my grey tank. 26 48.15%
I seldom use chemicals in my grey tank. 20 37.04%
I always use chemicals in my grey tank. 7 12.96%
I had a problem with my grey tank. [smells Etc.] 2 3.70%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 54. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-07-2009, 11:28 PM   #1
Rivet Master

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No chemicals in grey tank.

Hi, I'm curious as to whether you use chemicals in your grey tank or feel that it is not necessary. My trailer is almost five years old and I sanitize my fresh water tank and I use drop-ins for my black tank, but I have never used anything in my grey tank. I think the fact that my grey tank basically only gets soapy water in it, that that is all it needs. I would like to read about your experiences and opinions on the grey tank issue.

Note: If you do use chemicals in your grey tank, what do you use [brand and type] and how and where do you install it. [ kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or shower drain]


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Old 06-07-2009, 11:42 PM   #2
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We have never used any chemicals in Lucy's gray tank. That's after 400+ nights of camping and almost 50,000 of travel. We have yet to experience any problems.


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Old 06-08-2009, 04:30 AM   #3
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I occasionally do, especially if it is going to be several days between dumps. I use a liquid and only put in about 1/2 the recommended amount, I also pour mine down the shower drain (rear bath) because it is the shortest distance to the tank. I don't recall the brand, but it is green and smells like sassafras it is supposedly environmentally and septic friendly. FWIW when camping where it is allowed we prefer to let grey water run out on the ground, it doesn't really hurt anything in moderate amounts (in fact it is great for the gardens) and I only have a 10 gallon grey tank to begin with!

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Old 06-08-2009, 05:21 AM   #4
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Like the previous poster, I'll do it on occasion and it's usually to wash out a measuring device used to pour into the black water tank. It's kind of silly I suppose but surely cannot hurt.
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:50 AM   #5
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Never have, never had a problem. Grey water tank regularly gets a little pine-sol water from cleaning the kitchen, also diluted bleach water on occasion---I would think something really foul would have to go in the grey tank, and sit awhile, for odors to develop.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:55 AM   #6
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We haven't used any chemicals to deodorize the gray tanks.

The "P" traps and vents should prevent any kind of malodorous scents from entering the trailer from the gray tanks.

If anybody has odors that can be attributed to gray tank odor I think there might be larger problems afoot.

We use a Flush King on both our coaches and I always find the discharge flowing through the clear plastic quite interesting.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:02 AM   #7
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I never do and here is why.

The black tank has direct untrapped access to the tank via the head. Simply flushing the head gives this access and can allow smells, tank gasses, etc into the living space. Even worse if you have the bathroom vent or roof vents on it will draw smell from the tank into the living space much more rapidly, and we all know sometimes it can take a few seconds to get the contents of the head down and out, allowing time for said smells to enter the living space.

All fixtures attached to the grey tank have a "P" trap that prevent any gasses or smells from the tank to reach the interior of the RV. In addition, there are very few solids of any consequence that get into the grey tank that would need assistance breaking down, which most chemicals do in the black tank in addition to smell control. In addition, places where it is acceptable to responsibly discharge grey tank contents, having chemicals in the grey tank would make that somewhat prohibitive unless it was a good bio-degradalbe mixture, but even then I would most likey would balk at participating in a campsite discharge of grey with any type of tank chemicals in the tank.

It is true that the water in the "P" traps could in fact evaporate, but if that amount of time goes by to allow that to happen, you are most likely not using the RV and should have already dumped and flushed the tank already. I have yet to have my "P" traps run dry while the RV was static or in transit.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:03 AM   #8
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It's like a trick question

First of all I wouldn't want to use chemicals for any of my tanks. I use
enzyme treatments. Ridex might be the greenest,
Secondly, greay water can smell just as bad as your black water.
It is really more of an issue when boondocking. At a campground you are a round a lot of people at a place that is heavily used, But you usually you can dump. Out in the sticks , I let my grey water go as I use it, when it doesn't smell at all.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
First of all I wouldn't want to use chemicals for any of my tanks. I use
enzyme treatments. Ridex might be the greenest,
I would agree that this is the most eco-friendly method in terms of breaking down black or grey tank contents, but RidEx or enzyme treatments typically don't deal with odor control, which the black tanks can produce in abundance.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:51 AM   #10
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If is stinks, treat it!

I will use chemicals in my grey tank when it is warm outside. Almost never in the winter. If it stinks it gets treated. Chemicals usually go down the shower drain.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:08 AM   #11
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Occasionally I put Thetford drain valve lubricant in both the gray and black tanks. It makes the Thetford valves slide much more smoothly.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:18 AM   #12
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Unique Digest It in both grey and black tank. No foul smells, environmentally friendly, and the stuff is economical to use. Combination of non pathogenic bacteria and enzyme. The enzyme breaks down the bad stuff and the bacteria eats it making more bacteria and enzyme.

RV Digest-It

BTW, I have no connection with the company, just a very happy user.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:02 AM   #13
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I'll occasionally use a non-formaldehyde product in the gray tank. Did this maybe a couple times last season but I'm not sure this accomplishes much. I try to do it once toward the end of the season.

Twink - we use our shower as a nice big closet most of the time. We'll shower there occasionally if there's plenty of capacity the last night before we reach a dump station Road motion and drying action has emptied the shower P trap a couple times. Phew! A cup of water makes it right again.

I never pull a totally full gray tank to the dump station. Sloshing causes it to push through the shower P trap. Now that is something nasty to clean up!

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Old 06-08-2009, 09:46 AM   #14
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For the gray tank, when we do dishes, I'll pour the dishwater with detergent down the kitchen sink, maybe add a little more, and hope that that breaks up some of the crud. We take extra measure to NEVER pour anything greasy down the drain. We have a small strainer thing that catches even the smallest pieces of debris and throw that in the trash.

I stopped using chemicals in the black tank completely when I found that NOT using them made absolutely no difference, except for the fact that you are dumping chemicals along with everything else which I assume is just as bad for the environment. Even when it is really hot out side, we've had no problems. We are real careful to flush out the BT each trip too.

Sure, we occasionally get the "what the hells' that?" But it generally goes away in a while. Keep a can of Lysol handy, burn a stick of incense, or just open the windows.

Keep the toilet bowl rinsed, because as that dries it could create a problem. Keep wet towels, anything moist outside to dry if possible.


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