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Old 05-16-2014, 12:43 PM   #1
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Black Tank Chemical Question

I have been full-timing for about 11 years. For about 10 of those years I have used 2% chlorine dioxide for my black tank (I won't mention the product name). This works unbelievably well at controlling tank odors. It only takes about 1/2 oz (a cap full) of chlorine dioxide to control odors in a 30 gallon black tank.

Then one day... I got to thinking (first big mistake), since chlorine dioxide controls odor by absolutely eliminating bacterial activity, (no bacteria, no odor), is this stuff safe for RV parks that use a septic tank?

Additionally, as I am fanatic about keeping things clean, it occurred to me that the chlorine dioxide might also inhibit the breakup of solids and thus contribute to tank buildup.

So I began looking around for a better solution that would control odors, be septic tank safe and also encourage the breakdown of solids.

I make sure that the tank is full before flushing and always flush a full grey tank in behind it.

Any thoughts on this???
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
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I like RidX because it is septic tank safe, and we have not had any odor issues while using it. Also keeps the inside of the tank nice and clean.
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:55 AM   #3
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Black tank

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I like RidX because it is septic tank safe, and we have not had any odor issues while using it. Also keeps the inside of the tank nice and clean.
I agree, after I empty the black tank I usually run in a few gallons of water and add a small amount of Rid-X. This maintains the bacteria level and helps to breakdown any remaining waste. As we dump our tanks into our home septic system on a regular basis, we strictly avoid use of chlorine or caustic. So far we have had good results, never any odor or build-up in the tank.
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:05 PM   #4
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Does that hold true during the hottest part of summer with the ridx? That is, does it continue to keep the odor down even during the heat?
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:16 PM   #5
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Thank you for the comments on Rid-X. I've read a bit on this and it seems that it is good at keeping the bacterial process going. Since the source of tank odor is bacterial, how does Rid-X keep odor down?

BTW, chlorine dioxide is not chlorine. Two completely different chemicals. Chlorine dioxide is not caustic, nor does it damage seals or plumbing.

It does absolutely eliminate odor because it eliminates all bacterial activity.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:43 AM   #6
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Reference

For an opinion on additives for black / gray tanks I saw an article by Ronald Jones that was in AboutRVing.com a couple of years back. It made as much sense to me as anything else, after reading it we have used Rid-X and are happy with the results. Again, since it may eventually end up in our home septic system, we are very careful about what goes into the tanks on out trailers.
www.aboutrving.com/pdfs/ToiletChemicals.pdf
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:33 PM   #7
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Black tank odor

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Does that hold true during the hottest part of summer with the ridx? That is, does it continue to keep the odor down even during the heat?
We have never had an odor problem in either of our trailers, sometimes we go several days without dumping the black tank, usually more often on the gray. I usually try to give the black tank a good cleaning when we arrive back at home, then add clean water and the Rid-X.
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:08 PM   #8
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I wonder if the new Rid-X RV product is any better than the home septic tank version. The knock on the home version is that it is too slow to be of any use to Rvers.

Roy
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:16 PM   #9
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RIDX is an enzyme treatment. It eats the bad bacteria. I don't understand how the blue stuff is still legal
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:50 PM   #10
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I wonder if the new Rid-X RV product is any better than the home septic tank version. The knock on the home version is that it is too slow to be of any use to Rvers.

Roy
Rid-X is just bacteria and enzymes that work to breakdown the solids in a septic system. It starts to work in a couple of hours and continues until you dump the tank, so it can be of some benefit. I think the new RV version is basically the same, just comes in liquid form and is scented.
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:53 PM   #11
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I "think" liquid is the key for RV use. As I recall, (many years ago when I had septic) the granular is gritty and may not dissolve completely, leaving grit in your seals. Has anyone tried dissolving in a glass of water to see if there is sediment?
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:11 PM   #12
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I use the Pure Power stuff available at most RV stores. It's enzyme-based and perfectly safe. It also has a pleasant tropical aroma so your turds smell Hawaii fresh. It's is the best stuff I've found at keeping odors down that's environmentally safe. It's a bit pricey but well worth it as far as I'm concerned. Just 2 ounces treat a 40 gallon tank.
Pure Power Blue Waste Digester and Odor Eliminator - 128 oz. - Valterra V23128 - Sewer Deodorizers & Treatment - Camping World
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:57 PM   #13
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For the past few years I have used a dry product called ZEP which is a competitor of RID-X but cheaper. There is a residue but it is more like cereal than gritty. Since I buy it for my home septic, I use the same product in my trailers, never any adverse effects. The liquid would be a better way to go, the bacteria would already be active. Again, the key words for me is non-caustic, non-chlorine and environmentally safe.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:26 AM   #14
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More on the Chlorine Dioxide formula

These are all great replies and I'm grateful for the input.

The products I am using are "OcorCON 3R" for black and grey tanks, and "Purogene" for the fresh water tank. Both use 2% ChlorineDioxide (please understand that is not the same as chlorine) and Purogene also adds 0.085% Sodium Carbonate for the fresh water tank.

Both absolutely eliminate bacterial growth and odor. These take just one capfull (1/2 oz) each to treat my 30 gallon grey/black tanks. In such low concentrations I have been told by my brother who introduced these to me that they are safe for septic systems, but I'd like to hear that from a chemist or biologist. (Any on here?) He was introduced to the products about 15 years ago at a full-timers event in Quarzite.

As we don't normally put solids down our black tank (we go to the RV Park's toilet for that), I never worried about the aspect of breaking down the solids. But we might be moving into a rather rural park that does not have a toilet for the residents. Everyone must use their own black tanks, and this park empties its tanks into a common septic tank. So I was just a little worried about solids buildup and their septic system.

Can anyone with knowledge of septic systems and chlorine dioxide chime in on this?
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