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Old 07-26-2021, 01:12 PM   #1
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Black Tank Best Way to Clean?

Hi,
If you put boiling water into the black tank to clean it can it damage the pipes? I just think boiling water with dawn will clean it, let it sit empty,
and then put in the chemical cleaner
Thank you
Gill
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:21 PM   #2
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I use Happy Camper and I'm very happy with the results. What makes you feel the need for something more before the treatment?
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:54 PM   #3
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Hi

I would not put boiling water into a black water tank. I doubt if they all are rated for that sort of thing.

If you are looking for a more aggressive clean than "normal", simply filling and soaking with fresh water for a couple of hours is one way to go. Toss in a bit of your favorite dish soap and let it sit. Repeat a couple of times and then move on.

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Old 07-26-2021, 02:21 PM   #4
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A couple of fill and dump cycles will get it as clean as it needs to be. It is a septic system after all, you won’t be storing beer or perfume in there.

212f water isn’t going to hurt anything but it isn’t going to do anything, either…
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Old 07-26-2021, 04:23 PM   #5
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It is strongly discouraged to pour boiling water down residential drain piping; I would follow that advice on my trailer as well. The concern is softening piping and joints as well as damaging seals.
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Old 07-26-2021, 04:34 PM   #6
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All the black tank really needs is a good flushing and tank treatment. Not sure why you would want more than that. The only tank you really need to sanitize is the fresh water tank. You simply don’t want build up in the black tank. I do highly recommend that before using you put 4 or 5 gallons in the tank. That will keep sludge from building up. And while driving it will slosh things up. Then use the flush system. I have a clear connector on my drain hose. And when I use the flush I flush until basically clear water is coming out. It takes some time, but that’s it’s purpose.
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Old 07-27-2021, 09:16 AM   #7
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After a number of years I decided to give the BT a goo clean (tank is 19 gal) half filled added a bottle of Pine-Sol - let sit for 24 hours then drove 200 miles and dumped the tank and flushed. Do the same for Gray Tank as well... Make them clean as frogs hair. I do this every 4-5 years. other than that use the regular bio stuff like Happy Camper..
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:12 AM   #8
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I would not use boiling water as I have no idea whether the system can tolerate boiling water well. There is no need to clean it that way, but just to flush the solids and paper out. My wife uses a concoction of liquid Calgon and I'm not sure what else. The idea is that concentrated soap coats the walls and dissolves things, thus the stuff slides out easier. It works. I back flush with a Flush King because reversing flow always loosens more things than using the factory flush system and since we started putting a few gallons of very soapy water in the black tank I have to clean it out far less. A bout 3 or 4 times vs. 7 or 8 times before. The Flush King has clear plastic so you can see what is coming out and I flush until it is all fluid—pretty clear water.

The grey tank needs one back flush per week camping. The fresh water tank gets sanitized twice a season.
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:41 AM   #9
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tank techs Rx

since new, for 3 years, we have used tanktechsRx with excellent results. no black tank smells or gray tank smells. go and read their website. amazing product.

https://tanktechsrx.com/

decide for yourself, I just use it.. I don't sell it.
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:04 PM   #10
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5 gallons of water and a couple bags of ice along with a short drive will break up any sludge. Rinse and dump after the drive.

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Old 07-27-2021, 01:21 PM   #11
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A few years ago my wife found a video on Youtube that provided the ingredients below to clean the black tank. The video explained how the chemical composition of each of the ingredients help break down each component of human waste. I admit my reaction was less than optimistic but I have to say that we never have odor. Nothing at all. We do this after each trip.

1 cup borax (powder)
1 cup arm and hammer super washing soda (powder)
1 cup fragrant laundry detergent (powder)
1/2 liquid dish soap
1/4 liquid cup bleach

Dissolve the powder ingredients in a huge bowl or bucket of hot water, add the liquid ingredients

1) Empty the black tank and spray/flush as needed.
2) Add the above dissolved ingredients in the toilet and flush. Fill the black tank to 100%
3) Let sit for 2-3 hours. Then dump and refill and dump again.


I don't have issues with my sensors but I used this last week as a preventative measure.
Walex CMDOBG Commando Black Holding Tank Cleaner
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:41 PM   #12
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I've used 1 cup of 20 Mule team Borax and 1/2 cup Dawn to 1/2 tank of water for both black and grey. Do this the morning of a trip to a campsite that has FU or dump. Dump and flush once...done
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:01 PM   #13
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If you don't know the history, fill the tank. Add a bottle of that Unique stuff and a couple bags of ice. Let sit as long as possible (overnight at least), then drive several miles on curvy, twisty mountain roads.
That did it for me - tank had not been serviced since who knows when and all kinds of dried up poop came out (using a clear elbow to monitor the flow).
but, as mentioned before, you really want to sanitize your fresh tank.
grey tanks are easy- just add a bottle of Dawn Ultra to full tank. That'll knock the soap scum off.
Remember, the tank only gets clean to the level of liquid, so filler up!
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zita View Post
Hi,
If you put boiling water into the black tank to clean it can it damage the pipes? I just think boiling water with dawn will clean it, let it sit empty,
and then put in the chemical cleaner
Thank you
Gill
Over time I have found that the chemical treatments are expensive and always leave a residual smell that immediately says "Black water tank".

We have two travel trailer and here is the procedure we use.
1. Since my 1976 vintage airstream does have a fresh water cleaner for the black water tank as does our Jayco, I fill up a five gallon plastic bucket with fresh water and pour it down the toilet while still connected to the dump station. Pour the water down the toilet as fast as it will take it, as this tends to dislodge matter and push it clear. This is repeated three times.

2. Close the black water gate. I then add a cup of inexpensive laundry detergent to the bucket along with a large cap-full of Cal-Gon and three gallons of water. Mix thoroughly and pour down the toilet. THe laundry detergent is lightly perfumed (vs the chemical aroma of chemicals) and the Cal-Gon keeps the stainless steel tank sensor calcium-free.

3. I leave the detergent solution in the tank during towing and storage. Towing with the solution in the tank has an agitation action and does an excellent job of scrubbing the tank clean. Leaving the solution in the tank during storage contributes to the trailer having a pleasant smell to it when it is opened up for the next trip.

4. Total cost of treatment is approximately fifty cents per treatment, much less than the chemical treatment.

5. Said procedure takes a bit more time than the typical chemical dump cycle, therefore I typically leave a campsite on an off-peak day, typically on Tuesday morning when dump station traffic is it's lowest allowing plenty of time to do a good job without feeling pressure to hurry up and let the next trailer in.

Tom
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:16 PM   #15
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HYDRO CLEAN
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I do not know if you can find a service like this in your area. About 10 years ago in Florida I found I guy that came to our permanent campsite and cleaned the tanks. The trailer has sat in one spot for a lot of years with a different owner and I had the tank cleaned before I worked on the waste valves. It was fairly expensive. About $200 if I remember correctly. Now I cannot find that service again. Before that when I took our other trailer to Airstream for service including the waste valves there was a substantial charge for "jetting" the tanks.
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:23 PM   #16
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Exclamation What Airstream Recommends

Hi Everyone,
I just attended the International Rally in Lebanon, TN. Airstream officials had a seminar (very well attended) and they have their recommendation for keeping the tanks clean: Note the use of Fabric Softener! Here is a photo of one of the slides they displayed:
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Old 07-27-2021, 03:14 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by RPSweeney View Post
Hi Everyone,
I just attended the International Rally in Lebanon, TN. Airstream officials had a seminar (very well attended) and they have their recommendation for keeping the tanks clean: Note the use of Fabric Softener! Here is a photo of one of the slides they displayed:
That was a good seminar on a variety of subjects.

Another thing they added was to make sure you use the internal flush system on the black tank. If you don't use it regularly it could become clogged with solids to the point of making it unusable.
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Old 07-27-2021, 05:59 PM   #18
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Interesting. Our old Airstream (1975) had no provision for flushing. We simply emptied as needed. We never used any treatment either, and almost never smelled anything.

I had the black tank out once when replacing the pans and frames, and washed it out on the lawn. No issue, really not much residue, and still in good shape after 36 years.

I think the best you can do is tow the trailer to break everything up before dumping, and use the flushing port if you have one.

Treatment seems like a bad idea; it may kill the bugs in sewage treatment systems and create more trouble than it’s worth.
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Old 07-27-2021, 07:08 PM   #19
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Someone told me they use a hose directly into toilet from inside their AS to clean their black tank. I worry if that practice, or throwing in ice or hot water could dislodge or break the sensors.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatLee View Post
Someone told me they use a hose directly into toilet from inside their AS to clean their black tank. I worry if that practice, or throwing in ice or hot water could dislodge or break the sensors.
Hi

The typical sensors used these days are on the outside of the tank. There is noting "inside" to get bashed into.

Ice works as an abrasive. If you let it melt, it gets smooth and it's effectiveness is reduced. Same with putting much water in with it.

One thing that can build up are the equivalent of hard water deposits. Normal soap isn't going to do much for them. You would need a chemical soup that is targeted at minerals to get rid of them. This would be a "once in a long time" sort of thing.

When we do our clean out stuff, we head over to a local state park that has full hookups and lots of water pressure. We sit there for a day filling this and flushing that. After a day of cycling, all the tanks and lines are about as clean as we'll ever get them. Much less hassle than trying to do it at a dump station.

Fun !!

Bob
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