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Old 04-20-2014, 04:49 PM   #1
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Sewer Solution "Dry Run"

I emptied both the black and grey holding tanks in our brand new 2014 27 foot Eddie Bauer today using the Sewer Solution system that I've seen discussed on this forum. I decided to perform this "dry run" using fresh water and virgin tanks rather than wait for the tanks to fill "naturally" and discover any issues in the field.

I filled both tanks with fresh water to perform this test, hooked up the SS along with the fresh water flush hose and opened up the black tank first. Using the water flush the entire time, the 39 gallon black tank took about 6 or 7 minute to empty completely. Obviously there were no solids of any kind in the tank so I suspect that a truly used tank would probably take a little bit longer to drain. The grey water tank (also 39 gallons) also took the same amount of time to empty. I played with the back-flush feature on the SS a little bit with the black tank and was able to flush out some leftover construction debris from the tank (at least that's what I told myself it was!)

From what I can see with this dry run, the Sewer Solution is going to be a clean and tidy way to dump the tanks in those situations where pressurized fresh water is available for the macerating/flush function to occur. In those cases where water is not available, we will use the conventional stinky slinky we will carry and, if possible, only dump the grey water tank and hold off doing the black tank until water is available to use the SS.

I want to thank those of you who made comments about their use of the Sewer Solution on previous posts. I found those posts most helpful in making up my mind to go in this direction.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:56 PM   #2
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I think you'll really like it. I'm a snowbird and had it hooked to my trailer all winter long. Unlike the stinky slinkies, it's very easy to keep clean with no sewage residue left in the hose. Of all the stuff I've bought it's one of the best.
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:33 PM   #3
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I've had mine since last year

At first I was a bit annoyed by it

Paula (aka "foiled again") made a suggestion and I am happy to report it made using the SS really great today

I just run a hose to the AS sewer flush inlet - no water running to the SS flush - let it empty by gravity only - then flush the black tank 2-3 times till satisfied (mine was near perfect clear after 3rd black tank fill of 2-3 min) - then attach flush line to sewer solution flush to clean and done

In sold
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:04 PM   #4
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PharmGeek,

Quote:
I just run a hose to the AS sewer flush inlet - no water running to the SS flush - let it empty by gravity only - then flush the black tank 2-3 times till satisfied (mine was near perfect clear after 3rd black tank fill of 2-3 min) - then attach flush line to sewer solution flush to clean and done
I'm not sure you're correctly using your SS based on what you said about letting the tank empty by gravity only. The SS acts as a macerator and uses water pressure to break up toilet tissue and other "stuff" so that it proceeds rapidly out the drain pipe. Sounds like you're only using it to clean the black water tank after emptying.

I like to close my gray water tank valve before using the SS both to accumulate water to flush the drain pipe after draining black water and to keep black water from backing up into the gray water tank.

The attached Youtube link demonstrates proper use of the SS and may help anyone unfamiliar with its use.
Valterra Sewer Solution Video - YouTube

Also, I highly recommend buying the 10' extension hose because I have found it necessary to reach the sewer at some campgrounds.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:58 PM   #5
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Seeeeuuhr Solution

I have a couple of "stick & brick" friends who are totally grossed out by the mere thought of having to dump tanks... eeeuh! Oddly, they've all either had children or are planning to. Diapers? eeeuh! And if I've visited their homes, they don't seem to have any exotic bathroom gadgets to wipe themselves. How DO they manage? eeeuh?

With the SS, the mascerator is a handy OPTION.

I'd never use my white hose on the mascerator - So if I don't have to mascerate, I don't need to use, drain and store the green "pocket hose." (PLUS, the occasional sanitation Nazi doesn't want you hooking anything but a white hose to Potable water - even though you DO use backflow protection at the SS.) So, I almost always flush without using the mascerator - and I do a thorough if not pristine flush every time. Full timers tanks don't stay pristine.

Starting your black tank with a gallon or two of water and some chemicals helps create a soluble solution. The un-mascerated flush works if A) you have a lot fiber in your diet, B) adequate water in your black tank to dissolve any solids C) use something like Rid-ex that digests solids D) use an easily broken up toilet paper and D) you use your tank flusher.

Alternatively, if your tanks aren't very full, travel even 50 miles, pull into your site and IMMEDIATELY hook up the SS and use it while everything is fully agitated.

Another way to easily get both tanks really clean? (Why DON'T they have flushers in your gray tank?) It can get pretty icky too - hair, coffee grounds, dead skin, small bits of food from plates, etc. So, retract your stabilizer jacks, and rock the trailer up and down with the electric tongue jack while dumping. Add extra water to the black tank if you wish, by simply flushing a bucket or two of water. After your black tank is empty, flush the gray tank and add water at the end via the kitchen sink and or shower pan.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:57 AM   #6
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I should add that my toilet has a macerater mechanism between the head and the black tank so it chews up everything - that plus the tank chemicals and all that comes out are very small bits and flow without a problem.

Draining through grey water last before final SS tube flush seems a good idea

But im skeptical that even without the macerater I have - that use of the SS sprayer macerater thingie is a necessity as Paula describes.

I guess "your mileage may vary" could be added here - but worst case scenario and you get stopped up a bit then use the SS sprayer thing

Question - how would black water go back to grey tank?
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:25 AM   #7
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Sewer Solution "Dry Run"

To clarify - I am aware that this is use as not intended - I used the SS sprayer for first few uses and found that kinda annoying because you have to use two flush hoses - one for the sewer flush on the AS and one for the sprayer on the SS OR alternate screwing on hose from SS to AS and back to SS and so on

That or just forget using the AS sewer flush but I'm too anal - I like using the AS sewer flush and to do so till very very clean as my AS can sit for weeks unused
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acstokes View Post
I like to close my gray water tank valve before using the SS both to accumulate water to flush the drain pipe after draining black water and to keep black water from backing up into the gray water tank.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
Question - how would black water go back to grey tank?
It's all about geometry. I can't speak for your trailer, so I'll use my Interstate to illustrate:
The blackwater tank is above floor level. As the highest tank, it has the greatest hydraulic head.
The graywater tank is below floor level, so even though it's the larger tank, it has less hydraulic head.
The dump station is at ground level, and so has lower hydraulic head than either tank.
Both tanks drain to a Y fitting right before my macerator pump. In your trailer, to a Y fitting somewhere before the fitting where you attach your slinky or Sewer Solution.
The drain valves on the black and gray tanks operate independently. It is possible for both valves to be open at once.
Basic principle is that water flows from a position of higher hydraulic head to a position of lower hydraulic head. So, if the outlet is open to allow water to flow to the dump station, both tanks drain.
BUT, if the outlet is closed, and both valves are open, the black tank will drain into the gray tank throuh the Y fitting.
AND, if you're adding water at the outlet instead of allowing water to drain, you'll fill the gray tank to overflowing before you even begin to fill the black tank, because at least on mine, the top of the gray tank is lower than the bottom of the black tank, and the water will flow to the position of lower hydraulic head, i.e. the gray tank.

In the case of my Interstate, I can never get graywater into the black tank because of the elevation difference, but I could get blackwater into the gray tank if both valves are open at once.

That is to some extent an oversimilification; if you've got a strong jet of water coming in through the Sewer Solution, you will get some water in the black tank as well, but the gray tank will still capture the majority of the water. And as soon as you shut off the water but before you open the drain again, the water in the black tank will drain into the gray tank.

So, you can use the Sewer Solution to back-flush both tanks, but only one tank at a time, with the other valve closed.

Now if your black and gray tanks are both below floor level at the same elevation, things are a bit different, because whichever tank has the most water in it has the higher head; it's not always the black tank. I'll leave it as an exercise for the readers to determine which way the water would flow if you had both valves open at once in that case.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:58 AM   #9
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I'll just do one valve at a time for sure - I have so far but not because I had any idea of this happening

I have found the SS very insufficient at flushing the black tank while the AS flush agitates plenty of remnant stuff to come out

But I very much like the SS sprayer once all dumping done and then all valves closed - and flush the exit area and the hose and done
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:06 AM   #10
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Thanks all for this. I've read about the SS for some time now without fully understanding it's operation / function. I think I've got it now. Will think some more on it before deciding on a purchase but I feel much better now that I have a better grasp of what it has to offer.

Thanks all. See ya'll on the road sometime
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:47 AM   #11
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Black tank flush

Pharmgeek, I bought a garden hose "Y" valve (with shut off valves for each leg) and a short six foot hose section and can have both the SS flush and on-board AS black tank flush connected at the same time. There may not be enough pressure on the fresh water supply to run both at the same time, but the y valve makes it easy to switch between the two. I plan to dedicate these hoses and connections to this application and leave all this connected together when stored to facilitate set up at the dump stations.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:35 PM   #12
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AnnArbor - that is exactly what I did on my second attempts - this is better than switching the hose back and forth for sure

My first attempt I had switched back and forth

Then next two attempts I used your method but running the AS flush and the SS flush I wondered about loss of water pressure and it's just more stuff still to do (that is in most cases superfluous?) and for me it felt kinda cumbersome. I like feeling like the full water pressure is going to the SS flush - but it's probably a subjective notion I have?

My experience as suggested by Paula was appealing to me - and I'm pleased so far and I'll keep you all informed

But I do really like that once done the SS is all nice and clean inside when all is said and done and I don't have to fiddle with the holder things for the slinky and obsess about stuff stuck in it or odors (some if that may be my own paranoia? I've never used the rhino hose yet I keep as backup)
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:29 AM   #13
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Agreed, in my mind, the relatively clean condition of the SS setup after use is one of the more attractive features of this system.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:16 PM   #14
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When using the extension, do you all use hose clamps to secure the extension to the metal fitting? It seems pretty lose and the lubricant from the factory makes it seem like it could come disconnected easily.
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