My 30' Salem 5th wheel is in Tahoe. The temps 2 weeks ago were down to -17! I don't keep water in the pipes, since I don't keep the heat on when I'm not there (I'm there on weekends). I bring a few gallons of water each weekend for drinking, washing and flushing.
When using the toilet, I pour in a cup or two of water to flush.
After the big freeze, my toilet flapper wouldn't open. I removed the toilet (Thetford Aqua Magic IV) and found the toilet mechanism was jammed with frozen pee and poop. Also, the 3" pipe that leads down to the black tank was full to the top - again it was frozen. I ran a heater in the bathroom and a heater in the basement area where the 3" septic pipe leads from the toilet to the black tank. The stuff in the pipe that you could see with the toilet removed melted to liquid, but wouldn't drain. I ran a 3' "toilet snake" down the pipe but I couldn't tell if it made it into the tank, but still it wouldn't drain. It's possible, but VERY unlikely that the tank is full, since it's only my wife and I and we only spent 5 or 6 nights in the trailer since the last time it was drained. And I can't drain it anyway, if it's frozen.
The pipe leading from the toilet to the black tank is 3" diameter, has 2 45 degree bends, and is about 2 1/2 feet from the toilet to the black tank.
So now to my question - is there a flapper of some sort where the 3" pipe from the toilet goes into the tank? It's possible that the flapper is frozen shut. I guess it's also possible that the tank is frozen and blocking the intake. When I left on Monday, I left a 75 watt drop light in the basement cabinet to warm up the 3" pipe going into the tank. My buddy checked today and it still hasn't drained. The temps are down to freezing at night, but up to 40F during the day (pretty warm for Tahoe winter).
Any ideas that might help? Is there a flapper of some sort where the intake pipe meets the black tank?
The only two ideas I can come up with are: 1. getting an engine block heater (one of those heated dipstick things), but I'm not sure if that will provide warmth at the very end of the dipstick, where I really need it. 2. wrapping some pipe heat tape on the lowest part of the intake pipe and hope that will heat things up enough to break up any ice.
Thanks for any ideas!