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Old 08-20-2013, 05:39 PM   #1
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Using Water Hose to Flush Sewer?

Planning a fairly lengthy trip; I do not want to carry any more hoses than I need to.

Is there any real danger in using the water hose to flush the sewer?
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:47 PM   #2
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I use a cheap garden hose I cut to about 8' to use with the Flush King attachment. I also use vacuum breaks on both hoses at the water spigot. Avoidance of cross contamination is why we have two sewer tanks since 1972, and good practice, IMO, follows that all the out from the TT with fresh and "rinse" hoses.

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Old 08-20-2013, 05:52 PM   #3
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Good question, I would assume not because the sewer flush outlet is just a spray nozzle, and there is an anti-backflow valve right behind the external hose connection.

On the other hand there is some foul air in the back flush lines which could also carry bacteria; seems like that too would be protected by the anti-backflow valve.

We use a Sewer Solution to drain the tanks, so an extra gray hose is available anyway that we use for both. Have you considered this system to eliminate the slinky?

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Old 08-20-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
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Use two hoses. You can buy a different color hose, gray, green, what ever but don't use your water hose (that you are going to use with you drinking system) with the black water system would be my advice. There are smaller 10 foot or six foot lengths available if space is an issue. One of the biggest things that can alter your plans when traveling is dealing with your black water systems. Recommend disposable gloves and separate water hoses as bacteria travels and you never know where it ends up and how long it will stick around for.

Keep it safe and healthy so you can stay on the road.

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Old 08-20-2013, 06:11 PM   #5
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I wouldn't take the chance of contaminating my water hose. You could buy an Xhose that expand under water pressure to use for your sewer. I bought one at my local Ace hardware and they take up very little space. I use them for my boat where space is way more limited than my Airstream and they work fine. In fact i was going to replace my green sewer hose in my Airstream with one of these. Another option is to carry a spray bottle of bleach solution and spray your fittings before use.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:26 PM   #6
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In many situations, I let my gray tank fill up and then allow that soapy water to flush-out the sewer hose. Never noticed or smelled a problem.
If needed, I have a short gray hose to rinse-out the big sewer hose. White hoses is never used or stored near the sewer hoses. Obviously, the black water is always dumped first.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
I use a cheap garden hose I cut to about 8' to use with the Flush King attachment. I also use vacuum breaks on both hoses at the water spigot. Avoidance of cross contamination is why we have two sewer tanks since 1972, and good practice, IMO, follows that all the out from the TT with fresh and "rinse" hoses.

WATTS Vacuum breaker

.
Will look that up, thanks.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
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Good question, I would assume not because the sewer flush outlet is just a spray nozzle, and there is an anti-backflow valve right behind the external hose connection.

On the other hand there is some foul air in the back flush lines which could also carry bacteria; seems like that too would be protected by the anti-backflow valve.

We use a Sewer Solution to drain the tanks, so an extra gray hose is available anyway that we use for both. Have you considered this system to eliminate the slinky?

doug
Not sure what a Sewer Solution is. Will also look up. Thanks.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SL4BLLT View Post
Use two hoses. You can buy a different color hose, gray, green, what ever but don't use your water hose (that you are going to use with you drinking system) with the black water system would be my advice. There are smaller 10 foot or six foot lengths available if space is an issue. One of the biggest things that can alter your plans when traveling is dealing with your black water systems. Recommend disposable gloves and separate water hoses as bacteria travels and you never know where it ends up and how long it will stick around for.

Keep it safe and healthy so you can stay on the road.

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Old 08-20-2013, 07:15 PM   #10
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I wouldn't take the chance of contaminating my water hose. You could buy an Xhose that expand under water pressure to use for your sewer. I bought one at my local Ace hardware and they take up very little space. I use them for my boat where space is way more limited than my Airstream and they work fine. In fact i was going to replace my green sewer hose in my Airstream with one of these. Another option is to carry a spray bottle of bleach solution and spray your fittings before use.
Really like the Xhose idea! Thanks so much.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:21 PM   #11
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In many situations, I let my gray tank fill up and then allow that soapy water to flush-out the sewer hose. Never noticed or smelled a problem.
If needed, I have a short gray hose to rinse-out the big sewer hose. White hoses is never used or stored near the sewer hoses. Obviously, the black water is always dumped first.
JStanley, I thought same, until I recently flushed sewer with house garden hose. I was appalled at how much brown water and a bit of sludge came out! I thought the grey tank flush would keep the black water tank, outlet pipe, and hose clean, but it didn't. I have that right, don't I? The grey tank will drain into the black tank when flushed? The black tank has only been used lightly too.

All this stuff went spewing onto a gravel driveway! I really did think nothing of import would come from using the sewer flush. (Driveway was thoroughly hosed and bleached after). I thought I had been doing everything right - making sure there was always lots of water in the black tank before use etc. Maybe it was so bad because this was the first time I used the sewer flush.

Anyway, I now realize how important it is to use the sewer flush, even when you cannot smell anything.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:54 PM   #12
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If you are referring to using your fresh water hose to run the sewer flush built into the Airstream, we use our fresh water hose to perform this duty and always have. We have done this for years now with no ill effect.

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Old 08-20-2013, 08:05 PM   #13
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If you are referring to using your fresh water hose to run the sewer flush built into the Airstream, we use our fresh water hose to perform this duty and always have. We have done this for years now with no ill effect.

Brian
Yes, that's exactly what I mean. Pardon the poor wording. I should have referenced the built-in "Sewer Flush" vs. "flushing the sewer."
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:17 AM   #14
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The grey tank will drain into the black tank when flushed?
No, it doesn't - at least not on any trailers I've seen. The pipes from the gray tank run to the same sewer connection, but it doesn't pass through the black tank on the way.

What the previous posters were describing is that the gray tank flush will 'clean' the sewer hose after dumping the black. The gray tank itself doesn't do anything for the black tank.

You do only dump one tank at a time, right? The normal procedure is to dump the black tank, let it finish, close the valve, then open the gray tank. Also, you shouldn't feel shy about putting more liquid in the black tank to help it dump and keep things from solidifying in there. Some people fill it up with water every time before they dump; I don't think that's quite necessary, but you should have a good amount of water in there. (Note, some newer trailers have the bathroom sink draining into the black tank, which is a GREAT idea for helping to (a) get more liquid in that tank, and (b) reduce the odds of filling the gray tank, which is a common problem.)

I use my fresh water hose for rinsing out the sewer hose, but I'm careful to keep it AWAY from the sewer hose opening. It's probably best to use a separate hose for hooking up to the tank flusher (and rinsing the sewer hose for that matter), but I have to admit I've used my fresh water hose for that once or twice.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:24 AM   #15
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I use the same hose for both.

I trust gravity and the back flow preventer.


Regards,

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Old 08-21-2013, 05:32 AM   #16
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I use the same hose for both.

I trust gravity and the back flow preventer.
To each his own, but I use a separate hose to flush my black tank. I won't hook EITHER end of my fresh hose to anything containing non-potable water. Excrement doesn't flow uphill, but bacteria CAN grow uphill!
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:49 AM   #17
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No, it doesn't - at least not on any trailers I've seen. The pipes from the gray tank run to the same sewer connection, but it doesn't pass through the black tank on the way.

What the previous posters were describing is that the gray tank flush will 'clean' the sewer hose after dumping the black. The gray tank itself doesn't do anything for the black tank.

You do only dump one tank at a time, right? The normal procedure is to dump the black tank, let it finish, close the valve, then open the gray tank. Also, you shouldn't feel shy about putting more liquid in the black tank to help it dump and keep things from solidifying in there. Some people fill it up with water every time before they dump; I don't think that's quite necessary, but you should have a good amount of water in there. (Note, some newer trailers have the bathroom sink draining into the black tank, which is a GREAT idea for helping to (a) get more liquid in that tank, and (b) reduce the odds of filling the gray tank, which is a common problem.)
If you empty the black water tank and then open the gray water tank valve with the black water tank valve still open, the gray water will fill the black water tank to the same level as in the gray water tank and although the gray water does not "pass through" the black water tank, it does help flush out the yucky stuff. Before I open the gray water valve, I dump 2 stools full of fresh water into the black tank.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:55 AM   #18
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Planning a fairly lengthy trip; I do not want to carry any more hoses than I need to.

Is there any real danger in using the water hose to flush the sewer?
You know, it is just not a good idea, IMO.

You could inadvertently touch the fresh water hose to something contaminated.....and you just don't want one of those intestinal distress issues which could result if your fresh water hose became a conduit.....

Most dump stations have a non-potable water hookup, for rinsing in addition to your grey water flushout.


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Old 08-21-2013, 06:13 AM   #19
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Most dump stations have a non-potable water hookup, for rinsing in addition to your grey water flushout.


Maggie

Most campground dump stations I've visited have a hose for rinsing down the slinky and outlet area but they've been specifically modified to prevent any connection to anything else. This is presumably because it's non-potable water and they don't want you connecting it, albeit accidentally, to your city water inlet. The down side is, of course, that you can't then connect it to your tank flusher system. I think I've only ever used the tank flusher once, for that reason.

I did purchase a Sewer Solution and that provides a reasonable flush system for the blank tank; the very obvious results are visible though the clear plastic connector. The Sewer Solution is best, though, when you have a full hookup as it can be a little slow, so I'm not sure I shall be using it at the dump station. When I have to employ the slinky I will rely on the additional water added to the tank in order to keep things fluid.

On the original question, I carry a different coloured garden hose for all non-potable water situations, just to be on the safe side.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:29 AM   #20
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Most campground dump stations I've visited have a hose for rinsing down the slinky and outlet area but they've been specifically modified to prevent any connection to anything else. This is presumably because it's non-potable water and they don't want you connecting it, albeit accidentally, to your city water inlet.
You know what makes that connection non-potable? Proximity. It's actually the same water you get at your campsite, except it's too close to the sewer pipe at the dump station. Underground potable water plumbing has to be a certain distance from any sewer or septic system plumbing; the exact distance varies by the state that has jurisdiction. One reason why so many campgrounds have water/electric only; it's a lot easier to figure out where to run the water lines throughout the campground if you don't have to worry about where the sewer lines are.

If public health regulations are concerned about contaminated water moving through soil from a sewer pipe to a fresh water pipe if there's a break in the lines, it only makes sense to be concerned about spreading contaminants through direct contact by using a fresh water hose to flush a black tank. Accidentally drop either end of your fresh water hose once anywhere near the dump station where slinkies have been rinsed out and it will never be a potable water hose again because you'll never be able to trust it.
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