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Author Topic: Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear  (Read 472 times)

vrollins

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Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear
« on: July 02, 2017, 02:43:26 PM »
I am a full time RV'er.  I live in a Keystone 5th wheel which is permanently hooked up to a gray tank drainage system.  I have long hair...and it's not uncommon to find potential clogs of hair in the shower drain.  Since I can't reach down into the drain from the shower (it curves at the point where it's connected to the shower drain) I was wondering if anyone has used, and had any luck, keeping your drains clear using the non-toxic recipe of baking power, white vinegar and hot water?  My grey tanks drain into a leach field and I don't want to use any chemicals in my tanks...just wondering if anyone has had success with this solution clearing hair from the drains.  If not, would you recommend me using a snake in the shower drain?  I don't want to just push the clog further into the drainage system.
Thanks for your help,
Vickie
Vickie Rollins
Full Time RV Living
2013 Keystone Alpine
The best way to have the grand-munchkins in my everyday life!

grashley

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Re: Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2017, 04:39:18 PM »
First, I trust you handle black water differently to prevent the dreaded poo pyramid!

I assume the gray tank is going to a septic system to a leach field?

I have had a septic system in my last 2 stix & brix.  Using standard drain cleaners will not destroy a septic system if not overused.  Overuse of antibacterial soap WILL ABSOLUTELY kill a septic system.  The septic will also catch and retain any hair balls before they reach the leach field.

One other trick I have used is a straightened coat hanger with a hook bent on the end, about 1 inch of wire bent back up.  You can safely push this down the drain, turn it a half turn or so, and pull back out.  It should snag a chunk of the blockage and bring it out.  Repeat several times.  You will be happier wearing rubber gloves when removing the "clot".

Hope this helps!
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Howard R

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Re: Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 04:54:37 PM »
This will work well ... x2 on the rubber gloves.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/hi/3226846011/ref=sr_bs_0_3226846011_1

Howard
2001 Fleetwood Southwind 35R
V10   F53
2003 Jeep Liberty Toad
Minnesota

ArdraF

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Re: Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 05:11:23 PM »
I also have long hair and about twice a year I clean out the shower drain with my ten-inch long tweezers which I bought in Quartzsite AZ at one of the tool vendors.  I can't believe how much hair accumulates, including Jerry's very short hair.  A few months back we decided to also do the bathroom sink drain which is not as easily accessed.  We dismantled the trap and worked upward.  We were amazed at the gunk in it.  It's draining much better now.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Bill and Debbie

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Re: Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2017, 08:28:24 PM »
I think it's called a Zip It...a long plastic thingeabob with barbs which works exceptionally well for extracting hair and gunk from sink and shower drains. Very flexible, thin and cheap. Can be found at most hardware stores or maybe even Walmart.
William Bonsell
Poulsbo, WA

2010 CT Coachworks Siena 35V
1999 Cherokee Sport with Roadmaster Falcon 5250

Rene T

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Re: Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 08:32:31 PM »
I think it's called a Zip It...a long plastic thingeabob with barbs which works exceptionally well for extracting hair and gunk from sink and shower drains. Very flexible, thin and cheap. Can be found at most hardware stores or maybe even Walmart.

Is this it?

https://www.amazon.com/Cobra-Products-Drain-Cleaning-1-Pack/dp/B00OM31OOM/ref=sr_1_5/133-1667243-0432648?ie=UTF8&qid=1499045480&sr=8-5&keywords=zip+it+drain+cleaner
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

scottydl

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Re: Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2017, 09:57:24 PM »
You could look into a different style of drain cover/trap to replace your current one... search Amazon or similar for "hair catcher" or "hair trap", etc. and check out some reviews.

My wife has had shoulder-length and long-ish hair over the years, and I've rarely used any chemical drain cleaner when drains slowed down.  A big pot (or three) of boiling water, poured straight and fast down the drain, has always done the trick.  If you do this, BE CAREFUL... the hot water WILL send up heavy steam and splash back your way, so wear layers or stand behind the shower curtain as you pour.  Sometimes I'd add a little ammonia down the drain in between pots, which was a drain-cleaning tip I found in a "home remedies" type of book many years ago.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 09:00:32 AM »
You've had some good advice on mechanical cleaners.

You can also use drain products that are bacterial in nature and septic safe. Roebic offers a line of septic products that can help both your plumbing and the septic tank and/or leach field. Their K67 and K87 products would probably work well on your shower drain. Available online and in many hardware stores and plumbing depts.

http://www.roebic.com/drain-maintenance.shtml

I would suggest these as occasional use products in-between manual clean-outs. They should extend the time between manual cleans.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

vrollins

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Re: Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 09:14:09 AM »
Thanks everyone...all great recommendations.  I like the "Zip It" idea...using flexible plastic in the drain rather than a wire coat hanger.  I'll look for one at Walmart today.  I'll also try to find something that will fit in the shower drain to catch the hair better so to avoid this issue in the future.  Lesson learned!  Thanks again RV Forum for coming to my aide!!!  Much appreciated.
Vickie
Vickie Rollins
Full Time RV Living
2013 Keystone Alpine
The best way to have the grand-munchkins in my everyday life!

blw2

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Re: Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2017, 10:32:55 AM »
careful,
I understand that some RV showers don't have a traditional P-Trap, but instead some sort of rubber / elastomer bladder valve thing.  Zip tools, hanger hooks, etc....may cause some damage.  I really don't know, so research it for yourself.....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Bill and Debbie

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William Bonsell
Poulsbo, WA

2010 CT Coachworks Siena 35V
1999 Cherokee Sport with Roadmaster Falcon 5250

Rene T

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  • Great being on the right side of the grass
Re: Keeping Gray Tank Drains Clean/Clear
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 05:46:45 PM »
careful,
I understand that some RV showers don't have a traditional P-Trap, but instead some sort of rubber / elastomer bladder valve thing.  Zip tools, hanger hooks, etc....may cause some damage.  I really don't know, so research it for yourself.....

This is what Brad's talking about:

http://hepvo.com/

Their Web Site says:  If a pipe blockage occurs downstream of HepvO we recommend temporarily removing the HepvO valve before rodding the pipeline. If the HepvO is rodded there is the possibility that damage to the internal components will occur.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 05:48:55 PM by Rene T »
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

 

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