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Old 09-23-2006, 01:20 PM   #1
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Talking It's a dirty job, but some one has to do it!

Well all I think I found the source of my black tank odors. An inadquate flush.
I went out lasst evening to drain the tank. I opened the valve and turned on the flush. After a few minutes it ran clean. Curious. I did not think I saw enough go through the see-thru coupling.

I closed the drain valve and left the flush running. I know normally not a good idea. I went inside an turned on the system monitor and waited for the tank to get half full. I went back out side and opened the dump valve. More sutff cam out them a huge wave of TP. It clogged the drain tube. I had to go down the tube lifting it and coaxing it toward the sewer. After ten to fifteen minutes of massaging the snake it cleared. and the tank continued to drain with much "stuff" coming out. I repeated the close, fill, drain cycle two more times. The last time everything ran clean. No more smell.

I suspect my flushing problem comes from the fact I have to use more TP than a normal person due to a (former) medical problem. Hence the higher solid to liquid ratio.

In the future I know I have to do at least one of fill and drain cycles when I dump my black tank.

Thanks to all of you for your help and suggestions.
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:26 PM   #2
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Good heavens! The black tank is always such a mystery - what's going on in there? Glad you got it figured out. Seems like closing the drain valve and giving it a good rinse is a pretty good idea. I wish we had a tank flush system in ours!
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Old 09-23-2006, 02:27 PM   #3
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We've run into similar issues while boondocking and trying to conserve water - the solid-to-fluid ratio becomes too solid....
You get the picture.
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Old 09-23-2006, 03:28 PM   #4
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Our Lucy is equiped from the factory with the optional Black Tank Flush. I have been running water through it to rinse the black tank with black tank gate valve closed and leaving it run when I open the gate valve. I have been getting really good tank flushing with no odor problems. After reading this thread, I went back and checked the instructions in the Airstream Manual. These say that the flusher should be run for several minutes with the gate valve closed, and then open it and let the water run out in a rush to better flush the tank.

My procedure has been to turn on the flusher water and open the gate valve. When the water gets to a trickle (as viewed through a clear elbow), I close the gate valve and allow the flusher water to continue running into the black tank until the light goes to red on the panel. I then open the gate valve again and and allow the tank to drain in a rush. I usually repeat this a second time, and then rinse the sewer hose with a tank full of grey water.
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Old 09-23-2006, 05:00 PM   #5
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Flush King is a HUGE help!

Michelle et al -

The black tank is one of those items that I REALLY didn't want to become too familiar with. So.... I asked several owners about thier flush/ cleaning proceedures.

One member in particular recommended the Flush King. I looked it up on the web and it made such sense to me that I bought it. The web site is great!

Essentially, it is a clear elbow with a hose fitting and a valve. I carry an extra water hose (green - NO mixing allowed here!) and hook it up at the same time as everything else. I use a spliter at the water hook up as well - the kind that allows for shut off at the bib.

Then, every 2 or 3 days I flush the tank. I always use the green hose to fill the BT at least 1/2, if not 2/3rds. The amount of ICK that comes out of there is astonishing!!! I might flush the tank 3, 4 or 5 times. All depends on the length of stay, amount of ICK and amount of time I have.

I know that it uses more water, but it is paid for with the spot anyway! AND NO BT ISSUES. Priceless.

Give the Flush King a looksee. It works for me.

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Old 09-23-2006, 08:27 PM   #6
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I also highly recommend the Flush King. I have the built-in black tank flush. I use the Flush King to flush the gray tank. It also allows me to quickly and easily fill the gray tank to accomplish a thorough sewer hose wash out.
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:14 PM   #7
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Vacuum Breaker required?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverToy
Michelle et al -.......
Essentially, it is a clear elbow with a hose fitting and a valve. I carry an extra water hose (green - NO mixing allowed here!) and hook it up at the same time as everything else. I use a spliter at the water hook up as well - the kind that allows for shut off at the bib......
Do you employ a backflow prevention device?
I am not sure if I understand how this is hooked up.
If there is a backsiphonage is it possible that something could back up?
R
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:31 PM   #8
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fastrob-
The Flush King consists of a clear sewer hook-up 45 degree elbow. At the end of the elbow furthest from the trailer is a shut-off gate. In the center of the elbow is a water hose connection with iys own shut-off valve. There are no other backflow prevention devices on the unit. This unit allows you to flush your tanks completeley and view the results. It is up to the user to monitor the operation and insure that the tank is not overfilled. I am really happy with this product and would not be without it. As I recall, I got mine at Camper World, and it cost about $45.00.
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Old 09-23-2006, 10:01 PM   #9
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Back-ups....?!

R -

Good question about the back-ups....

Short answer is NO. As Eliz. mentioned there is a shut-off on the FK right by where the hose enters the FK. It is a ball valve type shut-off.

I also emply a splitter at the fresh water bib. It also has ball valve shut-offs to each side which I use to isolate the hoses as I use each side. Perhaps I am not being clear enough - anyone that can help me with photos??

Memo to self - take photos of EVERYTHING!!!! They will become useful sometime!

Sorry guys. Wish I had photos of everything but I don't... if my explanation isn't clear enough.... I'll try again. Remember there are NO silly questions!

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Old 09-23-2006, 10:02 PM   #10
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The Flush King sounds like a great item. I will probably install one or somthing like it.
My concern is that there is a direct line between a source of fecal bacteria (E. Coli), the black tank and potable, drinking water.
An event where the pressure in the water line is reversed, actually a common ocurrence, would mean back flow. And if the water line is connected for an extended period of time, bacteria migrate.
Do not trust me, check out back flow devices or vacuum breakers for a buck$.
R
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Old 09-24-2006, 01:47 AM   #11
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No cross contamination - ever!

R -

Just to be clear - as mud. There are seperate hoses - seperate ball valve shut-offs front and rear of each of the hoses - there is no inadvertant connection that takes place with the water anywhere near the possibile contamination point. A serious cascade of failure would have to occur for problems. Someone MUCH smarter than I designed the system and not even I, have yet screwed it up. To coin a phrase - it is idiot proof!

Take a look at the FK website and perhaps all will be revaled?

This is a set up that allows for absolute assurance that the BT is clean before you unhook and move on.... As I said, Priceless to me!

Check out the website - it might help.

Axel
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Old 09-24-2006, 05:25 AM   #12
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I have thought of getting a system like the Flush King but many of the parks we stay at have no hose connections on the water source by the dump station. I see from the picture this is the only way to get water into the Flush King. Has anyone installed a permanent flush system into an existing tank?

Flush King web site at Camping World:
http://reserveamerica.campingworld.c...g/skunum=20522
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Old 09-24-2006, 05:48 AM   #13
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Downstream of the freshwater ball valve on the FK there is a built in check valve.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:24 AM   #14
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i have the factory installed black tank flush. it is very effective and only takes about an extra moment to use at the dump station.

i still think the most effective way to clean the tank is to fill it half way and take it out for a drive!

a good dose of tank chemicals or a bit of detergent will do more to remove accumulated buildup.

john
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:32 AM   #15
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Water to TP ratio

This is just something I do: When flushing the toilet, I use an additional bowl or two of water. This does fill the black tank more quickly, but more water in the tank also clears quickly when I evacuate the holding tanks. I use more water ONLY when I have the sewer hookup at a campsite.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:34 PM   #16
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BT Problems

I have recently acquired my AS and have been attaching the smells . There has been moments when a For Sale sign has been contemplated. The PO let the BT dry out!! Saturday I flushed it 6 times after leaving it set with septic system bacteria for a week. The gag reflex still works . I am looking for any advice on how to dislodge and get it clean. The tank will be dropped in the future for frame work. But the smell

Thanks for the help.

Smell progress:
Wife will lean into trailer, before would only look from a distance
Kids will come in and lend a hand on short term bases (ages 7 and 5)
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:56 PM   #17
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Welcome bedfords ... Similar situation here a while back.

This may be informative ---->

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ing-23459.html

Good luck, and remember to keep adding water to sinks and bath drain water traps every few days! (it evaporates or wind pressure & trailer vibration from people inside siphons a bit more out till... phew)
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Old 09-26-2006, 02:07 PM   #18
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Shortly after I bought it I had to clean out my BT that had 'accumulated' over the years. I used Rid-X septic treatment (just a little) and filled it up with water and let it sit for a month. That did a great job of cleaning it out, and I got quite a bit of capacity back (important in such a small tank).
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Old 10-02-2006, 11:00 AM   #19
More than one rivet loose
 
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ten pounds of ice down the toilet and some water. Take her for a ride for a couple of hours. That will scrub the tank then melt....
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Old 10-02-2006, 11:46 AM   #20
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Question: I always try and leave a few gallons of water, probably 3-4, in the 18 gallon black tank and drop one of the orange chemical pouches in the toilet when we head home. Is that sufficient to keep this sort of thing from happening?
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