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RVing message boards => Newcomers' Corner => Topic started by: Thersmith on December 17, 2019, 10:35:59 AM

Title: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Thersmith on December 17, 2019, 10:35:59 AM
So purchased a 2yr old RV, knew from the first week Black water tank was sluggish to drain. Been using all the treatments...so last sunday I decided to use the the wand thru the toliet as I was draining it. It was working well.... Well guess what my sluggish tank now is stopped up. Cant put more water down the hole as it is nearly full. I have added everything I can think of to it. It does seem to be draining ever so slowly but I think that's just the liquid. Any ideas??? It is now Tuesday and still no progress.... :'(

I have done hot water when it wasn't totally full
rid x
the orange stuff
dish liquid
liquid plumr....i know...
plunger ....that doesn't work smdh
filled the gray tank full capped the outside, opened to maybe push the blockage out of the way
10ft snake down the toilet..not sure that went all the way to the problem
valve is open i checked that.
ran the back flush clear view adapter for hours, however I don't know if that would work since it is not a straight shot from the tank to the drain.


Help!


Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Rene T on December 17, 2019, 11:25:10 AM
Welcome to the forum.
If you still have a little bit of space in the tank, I'd put a cap on the end of your sewer discharge then pressurize the line and hopefully clear the blockage.This is the cap:
https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Durable-Connection-Connection-39463/dp/B000BQKBP2/ref=sr_1_7?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwsaC05i95gIVysDACh3ppw94EAAYASAAEgIigfD_BwE&hvadid=177604961419&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9012168&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=14116258714296062403&hvtargid=aud-837686656069%3Akwd-4359823007&hydadcr=7465_9586256&keywords=rv+sewer+cap&qid=1576603219&sr=8-7

The only other option you have is to run a snake up into the tank from the discharge side to clear the blockage. I'm glad I don'y have to do that.

When camping, have you been leaving the drain valve open all the time?  If you have been, that's wrong because the liquids will drain out leaving just solids.

 
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Gizmo100 on December 17, 2019, 11:29:57 AM
Welcome to the RV Forum Thersmith

You will likely have to go up though the drain with a snake. The clog may turn out to be the blanks from when the access holes were cut during assembly of the RV. It happens more than you think.

Looks like Rene beat me with the answer....But we agree with the solution and the outcome...It's not going to be fun.



Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: msw3113 on December 17, 2019, 11:34:49 AM
Can you move the RV?  Driving over a bumpy road could jostle things and help break up solids.
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: RVMommaTo6 on December 17, 2019, 12:03:50 PM
Welcome to the forum, I don't envy your situation. My advice is to wear gloves!
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Thersmith on December 17, 2019, 01:48:52 PM
Thanks All for the welcome! Yes gloves protective eye gear hazmat suit.....

No I do not leave it open, I wait till it is full however I thing the prior owner did and the lot that it sat on before I purchased Im sure left it to dry and harden I knew it wasn't right within a few weeks so I have been letting is soak with enzymes up till now when I had the grand idea to help speed things up a bit.
I did do the cap think kinda.... I caped it left the black tank open, filled my gray tank completely then opened the gray tank in hopes that when the water couldn't escape thru the exit it would have to run up the exit pipe of  the black water side.....hoping that the air and water would push it out of the way. I may not have waited long enough but was concerned that the water would be all over the floor inside. I only tried it once though. Is that what you were talking about????
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Thersmith on December 17, 2019, 01:49:24 PM
oh no cant move it with out hiring someone, I live in it 24/7
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Rene T on December 17, 2019, 01:56:41 PM
You could not overfill the tank by transfering water from the gray to the black. I assume both tanks are the same size. The water level would just equalize but there wouldn't have been much pressure. I think if you used a garden hose and that special cap, you'd see more pressure trying to break up the clog.

I have another idea. Install one of these on the end of your pipe. Then put a twist on valve on the end of this elbow. Then, you can shut that twist on valve, then go up through the hose flushing fitting with a snake  and hopefully you can break up the clog. Put a 5 gallon bucket under the fitting because you will get crap out of the fitting. Once the snake it out, plug the hose fitting with your thumb with gloves on. .
https://parts.unitedrv.com/products/rv-sewer-tank-hydroflush-90-degree?variant=33657602305&currency=USD&_vsrefdom=adwords&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjc_Rmry95gIVCNbACh0pagWpEAQYBiABEgKyHvD_BwE

This is the twist on valve:

https://www.amazon.com/Valterra-T58-Twist-On-Waste-Valve/dp/B000BGHYJS/ref=asc_df_B000BGHYJS/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312128189269&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7984008810170478208&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012168&hvtargid=aud-829758849484:pla-448831038926&psc=1

Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Thersmith on December 17, 2019, 02:45:11 PM
I broke the one I had, I will pick up another..........dont ask lol
I'll let ya'll know what happens
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: IBTripping on December 17, 2019, 02:47:30 PM
Good luck! It's not a fun project. In fact, one might say it's a crappy job.  ;D ::) ;D
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Thersmith on December 17, 2019, 06:04:36 PM
Well the snake worked, however it wasn't the big gush I thought it would be.  :o but I did hear it glub glub a little bit ago so I think it may have pushed thru. I guess lots of water now is in order
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Thersmith on December 17, 2019, 06:05:25 PM
Thanks so much for everyones input and ideas I was starting to stress  :o
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Rene T on December 17, 2019, 07:14:30 PM
Well the snake worked, however it wasn't the big gush I thought it would be.  :o but I did hear it glub glub a little bit ago so I think it may have pushed thru. I guess lots of water now is in order

Did you run the snake down the toilet or in through the end of the discharge pipe?
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Arch Hoagland on December 17, 2019, 07:18:46 PM
You say you heard a glub glub.  I'm wondering if your black tank vent is clogged. 

You should hear just a long gush.
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: John From Detroit on December 18, 2019, 06:19:11 AM
Porta-potty copany can suck it up and out via the path it entered.

True story from long ago here in these forums as I recall
The RV owner had a problem like yours
he found that when they cut the hole in the floor for the toilet to tank pipe they just dropped the wood inside the tank instead of tossing it in the big round file.  He got it out (Do not ask how he did not say) Rinsed it off. double bagged it and sent it to the CEO of the company that made the beast.

IF you have a problem like this.. There is a product that you might find useful. It is used by the folks who do artificial insemination on Cows.

Basically it is surgurical or exam gloves.. But instead of being standard "length" (just over your wrist) they are long enough to go up the arm past the elbow... DO NOT ask why they use them.. That one I do know the answer to, .
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: rffowler on December 18, 2019, 08:31:29 AM
Being concerned about black tank issues have my wifely I motivation to research this issue and decide on a routine that would work for us.  Before every trip we add 3 to 5 gallons of water to the black tank along with a nominal amount of Dawn and Calgon. The water then sloshes around during the trip cleaning the tank. Our other practice is using the Rhino Blaster Pro Tank Rinser after dumping the black tank. We make sure the grey valve is closed and let it run a couple of minutes and I was shocked to see what came out of what I thought was an empty tank.
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Rene T on December 18, 2019, 10:53:29 AM
Being concerned about black tank issues have my wifely I motivation to research this issue and decide on a routine that would work for us.  Before every trip we add 3 to 5 gallons of water to the black tank along with a nominal amount of Dawn and Calgon. The water then sloshes around during the trip cleaning the tank. Our other practice is using the Rhino Blaster Pro Tank Rinser after dumping the black tank. We make sure the grey valve is closed and let it run a couple of minutes and I was shocked to see what came out of what I thought was an empty tank.
Welcome to the forum.  You've got a good system. Keep doing it that way. We do the same thing when going back to NH in the spring except we don't use any Calgon. It always cleans my sensors so the indicators read correct but it doesn't last.
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Thersmith on December 18, 2019, 04:11:01 PM
Yes, I know about the stories of the hole disk being dropped into the tank.... :o I also know about that "glove" ...grew up on a farm yikes!

I also agree there should have been more of a gush than there was and from what I can tell it does not look empty from looking down into the commode.
I snaked it from the exit side as when I tried from entrance I didn't get any results. I don't think my problem is fixed i just know it is not brimming full any more and it gives me a bit more time with the holidays and such.
I don't think my arm is long enough to reach to the bottom of the tank is it????

I didn't create this problem it was already there. I know how to my tank happy its just not letting me. ;)
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Rene T on December 18, 2019, 04:54:23 PM
You should purchase a scope and find out what is down there blocking the flow. You may not be as lucky the next time.  Something like this or similar.

https://www.amazon.com/Seesi-Endoscope-Waterproof-Inspection-Semi-Rigid/dp/B07PBF6DX5/ref=sr_1_4?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9If82qjA5gIVQ_7jBx0uDQNdEAAYASAAEgIbDfD_BwE&hvadid=241630861890&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9012168&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=15840972346763280523&hvtargid=aud-837686656069%3Akwd-107236253&hydadcr=26614_9892224&keywords=endoscope&qid=1576710608&sr=8-4
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: ChasA on December 18, 2019, 05:55:00 PM
There are companies that will come to you and power wash your tanks. Search for  "RV holding tank cleaning service". They will clean the tanks for real.
A few years ago I saw an RV tech pull a 3" x 2' turd out of a 5th wheel that had been sitting on a permanent site for a number of years with the black tank dump valve open.
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: jackiemac on December 18, 2019, 06:13:41 PM
There are companies that will come to you and power wash your tanks. Search for  "RV holding tank cleaning service". They will clean the tanks for real.
A few years ago I saw an RV tech pull a 3" x 2' turd out of a 5th wheel that had been sitting on a permanent site for a number of years with the black tank dump valve open.
You can do it yourself...  we do this at the end of every 6 months

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,120185.msg1095965.html#msg1095965
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Thersmith on December 18, 2019, 06:56:05 PM
Don't forget what pushed this to the level it was lol me using the power washer attachment. I think yall may be right there is a block in the vent and it very well may be the slug from the hole that was cut to put the toilet in.... that scope is cool but will i be able to reach it with my shoulder high gloves hmmmm. Im sure I will have to address this sooner than later but for now givin the week and the holidays i just hope I cant hold off for a bit
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Rene T on December 18, 2019, 07:41:15 PM
Don't forget what pushed this to the level it was lol me using the power washer attachment. I think yall may be right there is a block in the vent and it very well may be the slug from the hole that was cut to put the toilet in.... that scope is cool but will i be able to reach it with my shoulder high gloves hmmmm. Im sure I will have to address this sooner than later but for now givin the week and the holidays i just hope I cant hold off for a bit

The one I mentioned and gave you a link, has a wire 16' long. There are many out there so you don't need to purchase this one.
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Thersmith on December 19, 2019, 07:19:34 AM
so if i find it ......how will i get it out? I think i agree that it is blocked by something because when i open the valve there is nothing there but a trickle sooo either the hole exiting is blocked or....the plumbing line out is blocked. Right?
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: scottydl on December 19, 2019, 08:07:56 AM
Now that you at least have a hole bored in the obstruction, I'd go back to the Rid-X (or similar enzyme product) with lots of water in the tank. Let the microbial action work for several days at least, maybe longer. With any luck that will be breaking down the solids into sludge that is flushable. Run that process a few times.
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Rene T on December 19, 2019, 08:35:15 AM
so if i find it ......how will i get it out? I think i agree that it is blocked by something because when i open the valve there is nothing there but a trickle sooo either the hole exiting is blocked or....the plumbing line out is blocked. Right?

One step at a time. Find it 1st if there is something there. If there is, then we can look at removal depending on what it is. Myself personally, I wouldn't do anything right now except using a camera.  I wouldn't use the toilet and take a chance of plugging it up again.
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: SpencerPJ on December 19, 2019, 09:52:34 AM
so if i find it ......how will i get it out?
I don't see any reference with what type of trailer you have.  For me and my travel trailer, the discharge is very close to the black tank.  I think if I took off my slide valves, I could reach and grab a chunk of plastic. 
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Thersmith on December 19, 2019, 02:14:34 PM
Yeah no there is no way I could reach tank.  ive 2016 coachman freedom exspress. I did just go out to take a couple of pics and couldnt resist the urge to open the valve. whole cow I think it more open than it was...whoot whoot!
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: Rene T on December 19, 2019, 04:11:02 PM
Yeah no there is no way I could reach tank.  ive 2016 coachman freedom exspress. I did just go out to take a couple of pics and couldnt resist the urge to open the valve. whole cow I think it more open than it was...whoot whoot!
Don't open that valve if the tank is almost empty. There's a good chance that only liquids will run out and the solids will just sit on the bottom of the tank.
Wait till the tank is around 2/3 full
Title: Re: Help! Black Water tank is cloged
Post by: jackiemac on December 20, 2019, 05:25:46 PM
Don't forget what pushed this to the level it was lol me using the power washer attachment. I think yall may be right there is a block in the vent and it very well may be the slug from the hole that was cut to put the toilet in.... that scope is cool but will i be able to reach it with my shoulder high gloves hmmmm. Im sure I will have to address this sooner than later but for now givin the week and the holidays i just hope I cant hold off for a bit
Apologies it was a response to previous post as cost is about the same to buy equipment and do it yourself instead of paying for one off flush.