Bless me, I left the black tank valve open twice... need help with the pyramid

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dwdanby

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How often are you dumping?
Since we still have a leak in the upper part of the tank (we are the ones who patched our black tank after many suggestions on here, we had no money to replace it), we are dumping every two days so the level doesn't go above halfway or so. Trying to use a lot of water still.
 

JudyJB

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Keeping the level only half full is making things harder for you, but can you drive around and make some hard stops to slosh things around without causing stuff to leak? This is should be done after leaving water in the tank for a day or so to soften stuff.

Also, assuming you can turn off the water, open the valve, and see the stuff down your toilet with a flashlight, you might be able to stick a metal rod down there and sort of stir it to break up the stuff. Then drive around to slosh things, and dump again. But you need to keep water in the tank after dumping or the stuff will just harden again. (Don't use a stick or anything else that might break off and cause more of a problem.)

I never had a pile of poo, but I have twice had a pile of toilet paper after grandchildren and other guests stayed with me and used too much of the stuff. It took several days of stirring and sloshing to clear the mess up.
 

dwdanby

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Unfortunately we are a fifth wheel and are parked long term, I don't have a truck to haul it.
 

whiteva

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After the last hurricane quite a few folks new to campers had similar problems. My solution was to take a clear 90 degree fitting for the sewer hose, drill a hole in the curve that will allow a cheap water hose to slide through and into the tank. Connect to your existing drain hose to the 90 right at the valve. Open the valve with the water hose in place, turn on the water and feed the hose into the black tank. Any crap will be seen flowing out into the drain as you slide the hose into the system. Keep feeding the water hose in and out to break up the chunks, you can see the results and water flow through the clear 90 going to the dump station.

The only problem I had was some camper plumbing had so many twists and turns, getting the water hose to the tank could take a lot of pushing and turning. The best part was very little leaked out from around the hole for the water hose.

I used a 1/2 inch flexible water hose with the end cutoff to fit through the hole drilled in the 90.
 

Kirk

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we are dumping every two days so the level doesn't go above halfway or so. Trying to use a lot of water still.
Do you have a clear fitting between your dump connections and the sewer hose and are watching it to see what comes out? If you are using enough water there wouldn't be a lot of brown lumps but the water should be discolored by any residue that is still in the tanks even with very little waste in them. It seems unlikely that the TP would empty out and leave the poo behind. Has what you see when you empty changed recently and so caused your concern?
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Hence my point is I don't think there's anything there. The OP said this was 2-3 days. Can't speak to the OP's output level but I can't picture much of a pyramid forming, much less have it dry out and harden in that span of time. 2-3 days' output mixed with 20-30 gallons of liquid isn't a whole lot of solids to disperse. A borescope would prove all, but my bet is there's no pyramid.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Octodad

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There's also the notion of a "tank wand" that you can go in through the toilet and give the tank a jet spray. Would require being located at a dump station and have a bit of time to spend, would depend on how big a hurry you are to resolve this. I find it surprising this would be an issue after just a few days, unless you had a soccer team using your bathroom. My bet is there's nothing there.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
I was thinking a fraternity party instead of soccer team. Same results, I imagine.
 

Octodad

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Yes, that is exactly what probably happened. the various posts above offering ideas of stuff to put into the tank and fill it halfway with water are all good suggestions.
When that happened to my Sister-in-Law, she dumped a gallon of bleach and a couple pints of Dawn dish soap down the thing, filled it about half-way with water, and after a week, took it for a drive. (To be clear, close the drain first.)
Be careful when you start mixing chemicals and products. Not sure about Dawn and bleach, but some dish soaps and bleach mixed can create toxic fumes.
 

cully

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I was thinking a fraternity party instead of soccer team. Same results, I imagine.
I cooked for a Frat for 21 years. If it was them that used your bathroom there is absolutely a concern of what may down there. I"d start with a call to the police stations
 

JayArr

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My solution was to take a clear 90 degree fitting for the sewer hose, drill a hole in the curve that will allow a cheap water hose to slide through and into the tank. Connect to your existing drain hose to the 90 right at the valve. Open the valve with the water hose in place, turn on the water and feed the hose into the black tank

You just described this:


Except this one latches on to the bayonet tabs and hooks to the rest of the drain hose easily and without leaking.

I bought one for about $30 and it's great, with a little extra work I can be sure I got everything out by blasting then letting it drain repeatedly until I blast and it drains clear.
 

JudyJB

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You really have three causes to this problem, as I see it: 1) you are stationary, so nothing to keep solids from settling and not dumping properly, 2) you cannot fill your tank full to help flush out solids because of your tank leak, and 3) you don't have a rinse system, and even if you did, using it might cause "stuff" to fly out of the leak or even make the leak bigger.

Do you have a clear fitting near where the hose dumps into the sewer so you can see what is coming out? This may sound gross, but it would at least let you know if your regular flushing or power flushing is getting rid of any solids.
 

Ray-IN

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Only allowing the tank contents to "soak" a few days is insufficient. At least a week is required to soften hardened "stuff". Then agitation approx. every 3 days to move softened stuff away from the pile so the liquid and soap can soak into the next layer. The pile did not happen overnight, nor can it be dissolved overnight.
 

Ray-IN

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Dawn and Bleach are a safe combination. But that is a good point.
The housewife killer is bleach and ammonia create toxic fumes. That mixture was so named back in the late 1940's because it was at that time the leading cause of accidental deaths of housewives.
As to Dawn and bleach; Snopes says it's safe. A caveat; 2-3oz bleach in a 5G pail is enough, more is not better. The bleach on the grocery shelf today is 7.5%, almost double the strength it was 2 years ago.
In addition to being great on my MH roof, the mixture easily removes all road grime and oils from the rest of the MH.
 
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whiteva

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After the last hurricane quite a few folks new to campers had similar problems. My solution was to take a clear 90 degree fitting for the sewer hose, drill a hole in the curve that will allow a cheap water hose to slide through and into the tank.
I did enjoy the stories of how the RV owner tried to clear the hard packed poop before calling me to come out and actually clean the tank. Even the blaster would not work on the bad ones once it became packed and dried.
 
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