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Author Topic: Another black tank question  (Read 611 times)

clockdrfla

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Another black tank question
« on: September 08, 2017, 09:35:10 AM »
Some black tanks have a clean and flush procedure by connecting a hose.  Does this procedure give decent cleaning results?  Would there be any reason to also use a flush wand?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2017, 09:38:11 AM »
Not really.  Either one is just a rinse and not very effective at "cleaning" anyway.  If you dumper from a tank was 3/4 or more full, the follow-up rinse probably adds little to the process.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gizmo

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2017, 09:47:47 AM »
What Gary said was my experience as well.   I used the black tank hose connection to fill the tank with little to no expectation of cleaning the tank by itself  What I found to be the most effective method, was to do the initial dump with no less than 2/3 full, followed by at least 3-cycles of fill the tank and dump.  To do this you will want a clear elbow attachment to determine when the solids have left the tank.  Usually on the third cycle the tank drained clear from start to finish, on occasion, I had to go to a 4th.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition

clockdrfla

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 09:58:56 AM »
Not really.  Either one is just a rinse and not very effective at "cleaning" anyway.  If you dumper from a tank was 3/4 or more full, the follow-up rinse probably adds little to the process.
I want to make sure that poop pyramids don't develop.  I'm currently dumping about every two weeks, rinsing with black tank hose connection, rinse about 5 minutes, put about 5 gallons water in black tank. Should I be doing any thing else?  Any additives needed in tank to break down waste or to deodorize?

Rene T

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2017, 11:17:51 AM »
I want to make sure that poop pyramids don't develop.  I'm currently dumping about every two weeks, rinsing with black tank hose connection, rinse about 5 minutes, put about 5 gallons water in black tank. Should I be doing any thing else?  Any additives needed in tank to break down waste or to deodorize?

Perfect. You're doing the right thing. Just don't dump with a tank less than 2/3 full. Add water if need be.
 No need of any chemicals. Like you say, just add about 5 gallons of water in the tank after dumping to continue breaking down anything that may have not dumped out.
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

BinaryBob

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 11:44:06 AM »
What Gary said was my experience as well.   I used the black tank hose connection to fill the tank with little to no expectation of cleaning the tank by itself  What I found to be the most effective method, was to do the initial dump with no less than 2/3 full, followed by at least 3-cycles of fill the tank and dump.  To do this you will want a clear elbow attachment to determine when the solids have left the tank.  Usually on the third cycle the tank drained clear from start to finish, on occasion, I had to go to a 4th.

Agreed. My black tank hose connection is labeled "rinse." - A misnomer.
A "rinse" is ineffective. Several fills then dumps is the only way I can see additional stuff / toilet paper going through the clear elbow.
Just need to remember to not engage in some other activity / project during this process and forget the tank is filling!
2004 Itasca Suncruiser 37B

"Every hobby perpetuates its arcane mysteries. How else would we impress the newbies with our superior knowledge?"
--Gary RV Roamer--

Gizmo

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2017, 11:53:11 AM »
I have found only adding a few gallons does not always loosen and flush any solids stuck to the upper portion of the tank.  Typically in my experience, the first dump at plus 2/3 full and then only dumping a few gallons only clears the bottom portion of the tank leaving debris stuck to the upper portions of the tank.  Also I have found that adding Happy Camper,  the solids tend to break down to smaller and more easily flushed than when I have not used it.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition

BIG JOE

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2017, 12:33:35 PM »
Redundant to what seems to be Our favorite recurring subject:

For a 2-3-4 day outing, or when going to travel to a new destination... leaving the Black tank (say) 1/2  full.. Not dumping.. 'til you get home, or to the next CG is an alternative also ?

Doing this gives the Black tank a Good Sloshing while on the road, breaking up the materials to a Slurry and most likely knocks things loose, from the sides of the tank.

Then.. doing a Dump, and Triple Rinse.. will get you to About As Good As It Gets.

This had been our (My) edict.. We (I) have Never had a Black Tank issue. (DW doesn't get involved in "Tank" stuff  :D ;))

Joe





   
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 11:22:17 PM by BIG JOE »
Joe

Tow an 016 29RS "Reflection" 5r w/Trailair pin box...with a 2012 Ford DRW, F-350, 4x4, Loaded de-Blinged Lariat CC, 6.7 Diesel.. Wife & I, Beck & Sheeka the Dogs.. And as of 5-17.. Lizzie, the Kitten in Training.

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2017, 02:47:30 PM »
I dump (3/4 tank min) and then flush.  Eight years full time in three different motor homes and no problem ever.

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler

RedandSilver

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2017, 09:06:40 PM »
Only thing about waiting til it's either 2/3 or 3/4 fill and then dumping is it's a guessing game as to when those amounts happen.

We all know that many RV's have poor level monitoring abilities and are inaccurate at best - as they come from the factory.

Maybe new RV's are more accurate for awhile or they have improved the level monitors - but most older units will play the guessing game.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp

kdbgoat

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2017, 06:07:50 AM »
Only thing about waiting til it's either 2/3 or 3/4 fill and then dumping is it's a guessing game as to when those amounts happen.

We all know that many RV's have poor level monitoring abilities and are inaccurate at best - as they come from the factory.

Maybe new RV's are more accurate for awhile or they have improved the level monitors - but most older units will play the guessing game.


Mine is a 2016 and no more accurate than a 1996. Both my black and gray tanks show 1/3 when actually at about a 1/4. The gray shows 2/3 at 1/2, and the black shows 2/3 at about 60%. Both show full at about 90%.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 08:10:29 AM »
Quote
Only thing about waiting til it's either 2/3 or 3/4 fill and then dumping is it's a guessing game as to when those amounts happen.

True, but not all that difficult to estimate (guess). Nor is it necessary to be precise.

If you feel you must have an accurate tank gauge, consider installing the See-Level system from Garnet. It's an excellent and reliable system that uses external sensors that don't short or clog. Many high-end RVs have this system or an equivalent one.
https://www.garnetinstruments.com/rv-shop/
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

BigLarry

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2017, 08:08:07 PM »
I dump our tank when it gets within an inch or so of the top when I open the flush and look into the commode.  Usually about every 5 days.  I've never trusted the black tank level indicator.  I do use the tank flush, but mostly just to add a few gallons of water to the empty tank. By starting with several gallons of water in the tank, we've never had a poop pyramid problem and have never used any additive in the tank.  I also have used the flush to fill the tank if there isn't enough liquid in it to dump and we're heading home on our last night out.  If I'm filling the tank with the flush, I certainly don't check the level visually with the black tank flush turned on!
Larry and Betty
Bryan, Texas
2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4x4 Diesel
2016 Cougar 28RLS

AStravelers

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2017, 11:17:20 AM »
As others have said, always add 5 or so gallons of water back into the tank after you dump. 

About chemicals, there is lots of "hype" about adding chemicals.  Just keep in mind, there are many thousands, hundreds of thousands of RV'ers who live and travel full time in RV's that do NOT use chemicals in their black tank.  Also for chemicals to break down the waste, such as in a septic tank, it takes many days for the chemicals to work, not the 3-8 days most RV'ers go between dumping. 

I have see surveys showing around 60% of RV'ers replying to the survey DO use chemicals.  People use this to justify the use of chemicals.  However that totally ignores the remaining 40% who don't ever use chemicals and don't have any problems. 

It is easy to test what works for you.  Just don't add the chemicals, but DO ADD 5-8 gallons of water after you dump and see if it works for you. 

When we first started traveling, 13 years ago, in RV's with holding tanks we used chemicals.  The chemicals did add a bit of better smell when we dumped, but the stuff still smelled unpleasant.  It just had an additional odor of the chemical, not that it smelled nice.  It took us 6-9 months to realize the only thing the chemicals did is to lighten our wallets. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

Gizmo

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2017, 08:32:44 PM »
Unless you only have a 10-gallon black tank, only addig 5 or so gallons will not dis-loge or rinse out any solids adhering to the upper levels of the tank. 
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition

Rene T

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2017, 08:49:54 PM »
Unless you only have a 10-gallon black tank, only addig 5 or so gallons will not dis-loge or rinse out any solids adhering to the upper levels of the tank.

I can't imagine anything sticking to the top of the tank but I suppose it could.  If there's anything left in the tank, it should be sitting on the bottom. Gravity should prevail.. The 5 gallons of water is not used to dislodge anything. It's used to continue the breaking down action.  I know that driving around on the roads here in NH, 5 gallons of water will slosh around wetting all the inside surfaces of the tank.

IMHO, $45.00 for 64 treatments is a waste of money.

https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Campers-Organic-Holding-Treatment/dp/B007S0LDME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505094693&sr=8-1&keywords=happy+camper+rv+tank+treatment
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 08:54:42 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

TooTall

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2017, 11:55:26 PM »
When the tank flush/rinse nozzle is mounted in the side of the tank the nozzle and the connecting pipe fill up with black stuff. 

Running hot water through the nozzle may help or it may cause allot of the black stuff to break loose and completely plug things up. That is what happened to ours. 

Our new tanks will have removable tank flush nozzles mounted in the top of the tanks. The fitting can be accessed through the floor in the front pass through. 

Tank Edge Manufacturing makes a tank level system.  This system allows the user to label the tanks.

https://www.tankedge.com/


Gizmo

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2017, 09:41:12 AM »
I can't imagine anything sticking to the top of the tank but I suppose it could.  If there's anything left in the tank, it should be sitting on the bottom. Gravity should prevail.. The 5 gallons of water is not used to dislodge anything. It's used to continue the breaking down action.  I know that driving around on the roads here in NH, 5 gallons of water will slosh around wetting all the inside surfaces of the tank.

IMHO, $45.00 for 64 treatments is a waste of money.

https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Campers-Organic-Holding-Treatment/dp/B007S0LDME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505094693&sr=8-1&keywords=happy+camper+rv+tank+treatment

My experience indicates otherwise.  When we first started RV'ing with a black tank. I did what is being suggested here dump when 2/3rd's+ full, then fill just a few gallons and dump again and no treatment chemicals. After the 2nd or 3rd dump of just a few gallons the tank water ran clear, no solids observed.  Great job done, or so I thought.  Then after a couple trips we began to get an odor in the TT emanating from the toilet, so I added one of the popular chemicals promising to eliminate odor, better but still present.  That is when I stated filling the tank till full for the 2nd & third dumps and was seeing solids in the waste water.  It was not until I reached my 5th dump that the waste water ran clear from start to finish and the odor was eliminated.  Continuing to fill the tank for successive dumps and watching for the point at which the waste water ran clear from start to finish, We never experienced black tank odor after that.  After some time and after hearing several positive reports on Happy Camper, we tried some and as we were no longer having an odor problem, I cannot speak to it's solving odor, but what I noticed, is when I did use it, the solids were considerably smaller and instead of 3-5 successive dumps, I was getting the job done in 2-3 dumps.  I suspect Happy Camper was indeed breaking down the solid waste, making the process more efficient.  Happy Camper was, if not the least expensive tank additive at the time, roughly .50-.70 per treatment, considering the real results we were seeing in the breakdown of the solids, it was worth it to us to use. 
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition

BIG JOE

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2017, 11:13:09 AM »
My experience indicates otherwise.  When we first started RV'ing with a black tank. I did what is being suggested here dump when 2/3rd's+ full, then fill just a few gallons and dump again and no treatment chemicals. After the 2nd or 3rd dump of just a few gallons the tank water ran clear, no solids observed.  Great job done, or so I thought.  Then after a couple trips we began to get an odor in the TT emanating from the toilet, so I added one of the popular chemicals promising to eliminate odor, better but still present.  That is when I stated filling the tank till full for the 2nd & third dumps and was seeing solids in the waste water.  It was not until I reached my 5th dump that the waste water ran clear from start to finish and the odor was eliminated.  Continuing to fill the tank for successive dumps and watching for the point at which the waste water ran clear from start to finish, We never experienced black tank odor after that.  After some time and after hearing several positive reports on Happy Camper, we tried some and as we were no longer having an odor problem, I cannot speak to it's solving odor, but what I noticed, is when I did use it, the solids were considerably smaller and instead of 3-5 successive dumps, I was getting the job done in 2-3 dumps.  I suspect Happy Camper was indeed breaking down the solid waste, making the process more efficient.  Happy Camper was, if not the least expensive tank additive at the time, roughly .50-.70 per treatment, considering the real results we were seeing in the breakdown of the solids, it was worth it to us to use.

Same experiences, Same results.

Dump, 2-3 rinses... add +/- 5 gallons of water.. and a chemical dose. The on the road Sloshing/Agitation I've mentioned.. also is a Good Thing ? 
Joe

Tow an 016 29RS "Reflection" 5r w/Trailair pin box...with a 2012 Ford DRW, F-350, 4x4, Loaded de-Blinged Lariat CC, 6.7 Diesel.. Wife & I, Beck & Sheeka the Dogs.. And as of 5-17.. Lizzie, the Kitten in Training.

Rene T

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2017, 12:58:27 PM »
My experience indicates otherwise.  When we first started RV'ing with a black tank. I did what is being suggested here dump when 2/3rd's+ full, then fill just a few gallons and dump again and no treatment chemicals.

Adding 5 gallons of water after dumping, you should have left it in the tank to let it slosh around. Sounds to me like you would dump it immediately. I usually add 10 to 15 gallons of water then dump. It may take a couple of times. Then I add 5 gallons and leave it there to break up anything left behind and to start the break down action when we start using it again.
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

AStravelers

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2017, 01:41:41 PM »
If folks have an odor coming from the toilet caused by the stuff in the black tank, then it is time to find out why the seals and roof vent are not doing their job.  The stuff in the black tank stinks, but should not enter the living area.  One exception is if your vent fans are running and you don't have a goodly amount of windows open, the vent fans will pull the smell in from the black tank when the toilet is flushed. 

As far a chemicals, when the majority of fulltime RV'ers report: that they don't use chemicals and don't have an odor problem, I am well convinced that they just what confirm what I experience, "You don't NEED to add chemicals". 

But hey, if someone believes they must use the chemicals, then that is their decision.  Go for it. 

However if someone has always used chemicals, then stop using the chemicals for a few weeks and see if it works.  It may save you a few dollars, as well as the need to go buy, or order online, the stuff.  Just one less thing you need to do. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

Lakebum

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Re: Another black tank question
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2017, 10:11:40 PM »
Our 03 rv did not come with a tank flush, so I installed an after market. Before I installed it I hooked it up to a garden hose to see how it sprayed, not impressed. The spray holes were only about an 1/8'. I took a drill and enlarged them to get a harder spray. It has worked great on my unit. The bigger holes means I can actually hear it spraying around inside the tank. As the others do I use a clear adapter and close the drain for a minute and then reopen about 3 times until it runs clear. I was amazed about what I cleaned out the first few times I used it.

 

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