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Old 01-20-2020, 02:55 PM   #21
art
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have you tried a good plunger It worked for me
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:56 PM   #22
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I looked at the parts manual and given I assume yours is a front bed (do they make any others?) you have the same tank configuration as my 25' FB International. I get 3 feet of a flexible electrical fish before I hit the Black water valve. There is another 8-12 inches of pipe to get to the tank. So if you're at 4 feet then you are likely at the tank entrance. Shut the valve and test the distance again to confirm.

If you're able to rule out the valve, and it is an Ice clog, the hot water trick suggested should do it. If it is sludge and TP we will have to come up with a different plan.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:12 PM   #23
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I have been fulltiming for 3 years in a Land Yacht motorhome vs trailer. Currently in WV for the winter and my problem is with the water tank freezing. Never had problems with either the black or grey tanks.

First, my tank valves are inside a compartment that's heated. I also leave the light on inside that space. Both tank valves stay closed until a dump is needed which is usually every weekend depending on how many showers were taken. Always dump black tank first then gray which cleans out any debris left in the hose. Two things I an not doing yet are install a heated water hose and put insulation around the bottom of the RV. Because my fresh water tank is exposed, that's when it freezes inside the tank, not in the hose line itself.

Good luck getting your black tank unclogged; does not sound like a gate problem to me, more like frozen tundra inside your tank.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:28 AM   #24
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Fullerton , California
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Take a space heater (a cheap $20 model from Walmart) and lay it directly under your black pipe at the valve. Prop it up so it’s almost touching the pipe. Turn it on high and wait several hours, then open the black valve and all should be ok. This worked for me at Grand Canyon last month when temps were -11 overnight. Buy some RV antifreeze and, after clearing the current contents, pour some down the toilet to keep things from freezing the next time.

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Old 01-21-2020, 12:54 PM   #25
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2019 27' Globetrotter
Nine Mile Falls , Washington
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Arrow Frozen Poo - Not Likely, Clogged Goo - Most Certainly

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Given your other recent replies, one wonders whether you skipped over the advice in Post #8? [camera access from above etc.]



All the "freeze-up' etc. issues may not be the root cause IMO. Rather, that mound could be, and you will have to "un-do" it. [pun intended!]

Peter

Not sure if camera access from above is even possible given the full status of the tank. I tried going into the pipe from the outside up to the gates and had a difficult time keeping the lens clean. Basically couldn't see sh*t!


But I digress, I spoke with the dealer and he said to tow the trailer at the earliest opportunity. I don't think anything is frozen as we have had temps in the upper 30s and low 40s and still no dice. So it is probably clogged. Somebody mentioned trying a plunger (actually that thought never crossed my mind) so may consider trying with the black valve open and see what happens. Nothing to lose at this point. If that doesn't work, it's just a waiting game until we can pull the trailer away from home base and drive around for a bit.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:58 PM   #26
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Arrow Simple yet Elusive

Quote:
Originally Posted by art View Post
have you tried a good plunger It worked for me

I AM going to try this and who knows, maybe after all this dialog, something that simple (yet something that escaped consideration) may do the trick. Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:42 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_d View Post
Not sure if camera access from above is even possible given the full status of the tank.
. . .
It is very much worth a look IMO. There is probably some air space just under the toilet's flapper valve.

Chances are good that you will see the aforementioned mound. If so, you will have an important clue for what lies beneath the surface of the liquid in the full tank.

Unlikely that a plunger will help, because there is an open vent pipe to the roof, so you can't pressurize the black tank, as you can a simple toilet.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:49 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_d View Post
. . .
. . . the dealer . . . said to tow the trailer at the earliest opportunity.
. . .
Bingo!



Post #8:
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Your toilet and black water tank were designed to work correctly only when you tow the trailer every few days . . .
. . .
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:23 PM   #29
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I read through the thread and may have missed it but what have the temps been since you last emptied the black tank? Have they been well below freezing for several days?

We’ve camped in very cold conditions (well below freezing for extended periods) and only had trouble dumping the black tank one time. Ours was frozen right behind the dump valve in the short connecting pipe to the tank. I used a hair dryer for about an hour on the pipe before it broke free...then it came out in chunks of poo-cycle at first. Since that first freeze up, I always pour a gallon or more of rv antifreeze in both tanks right after they are emptied. It’s never frozen up again.

So have your temps been Well below freezing since the last time you emptied?
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:20 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_d View Post
. . .
. . . it's just a waiting game until we can pull the trailer away from home base and drive around for a bit.
Any luck with clearing things up?

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:49 AM   #31
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Smile Conclusion & Resolution - aka Operation PoopBeGone

So a final note to conclude this thread. First, thanks for all of the various advice; much of it has been useful and educational! That said, yesterday was the day the earth moved (or at least our black water tank). There were various reasons why we were finally able to reach a satisfactory conclusion: the temps have been over 45 degrees for the last few days but it turns out it was NOT a frozen tank that was the issue. I had previously bought a scope off of Amazon to run up the sewer pipe to take a look but was not having much luck as the camera lens would get obscured with "muck" while navigating the pipe. To fix this, I took a 1 inch think piece of Styrofoam and cut it down to slightly smaller than the diameter of the pipe. Cut a hole in the middle and then inserted the camera wire through which held it securely away from the edges of the pipe. I was able to slowly insert the camera (it has its own lights) up until I found the "Y" junction where the black pipe met with the grey pipe. Was able to navigate around this and up further to the left until I started seeing light reflected. Turns out the AS gate valves are actually shiny metal not black as I expected. Pulled the camera back and was able to get a good look at the closed gate valve. Then while pulling the handle, could see that the gate slid open completely and there was a formidable-looking TP clog as the real culprit. Time to regroup. Ran a drain snake up the pipe just in front of the camera so I can see what I was doing as was able to hit the blockage and loosen things up. Bear in mind I did NOT have my sewer pipe attached while doing this so I knew I was playing with fire (err poo). Needless to say, I did have a bucket underneath and decided once I got a little flow to try the Rhino blaster again. Shot some hot water back up there and was still not getting the total results so decided to pick up the end of the sewer house connected to the septic tank and then fill up the hose and pipe with as much hot water as I could from the blast hose. Once this was done, I raised the hose up and down as quickly as I could to force the water back up the pipe. After a few times doing this the dam broke and things started flowing. Reconnected to the septic tank, drained and flushed the tank and got it down to "zero" on the meter. A few other notes:



1) Tried a plunger and this did absolutely nothing for my situation. But had to try anyway.

2) Did not end up moving the trailer but I expect this would have helped as well. Unfortunately moving was too problematic with the amount of snow we still had around the trailer.

3) We have decided to (excepting emergencies) use the commode for #1 only with no TP whilst we wait out the remainder of the cold weather. Not everyone has this luxury but seems like a prudent strategy in our case to save ourselves some grief in the future.

4) Take aways are many but probably the turning point for us was being able to see what was going on and ruling out a broken gate valve.



Again, thanks for the myriad advice. Peeing in a bottle at night is over-rated!
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:49 AM   #32
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Thanks for the update . . . OK so not exactly a "mound" as surmised earlier in Post #8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_d View Post
. . .
. . . there was a formidable-looking TP clog as the real culprit.
. . .
You escaped with relatively minor damages . . . lucky!

Cheers,

Peter

PS -- Now for the long-awaited video humor in these situations IMO:

[click on URL at top to open a new window/frame and go to Full Screen]



"Oh, dude, that is nasty!" [time stamp 1:40]

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Old 02-04-2020, 10:48 AM   #33
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Are you sure it's the GREY tank you are leaving open??

We have a 2006 Safari, and since the valves are labeled "main" and "Auxilary" Hubby had been thinking the grey was the black and vice versa. Until once taking a shower the grey backed up on him. He Thought it was open, but it was the black that was open!
I since labeled them grey and black with markers.
Could this be your problem? You would have a mound of poo and tp, possible frozen, because the liquid is all draining out?
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Old 02-04-2020, 11:48 AM   #34
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Post #31 contains the final and full explanation. A thorough reading of the full thread might be enlightening.



Peter
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