Chemicals in the black water tank

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Billy Bob

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I hear that a lot of fulltimers don;t use chemicals in their black water tanks, Why?? I allways though that chemicals were needed to cut down on the smell.
 

Ned

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The chemicals just mask any odor with a chemical smell.  A properly vented holding tank won't smell.  Use lots of water when you flush and you won't have any problems.
 

SeilerBird

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St Cloud Florida USA
Ned is correct, very few of us here use chemicals. I have been a full timer for 9 years and I have never used chemicals. After I dump my black tank I add about 5 gallons of water. Every time I flush I hold the lever down and count to five. Odor isn't a problem.
 

Jammer

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It's a controversial topic.

Ned is correct that most of the holding tank products being sold consist mainly of a masking fragrance.  I use Aqua-Kem, which contains formaldehyde and methanol, which have a bacteriostatic effect that reduces the stink at its source.  However, it is toxic.

I find that there are situations where I end up boodocking where I have a means of disposal of grey water (usually by pumping it and hauling it) but not sewage.  Odor control then becomes a more serious problem than it might otherwise be, particularly in hot weather.

When camping in full hookup sites where it is possible to use all kinds of water and dump tanks frequently, the chemicals aren't necessary.
 

Wandering

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Mostly Seneca, SC
While it is true that the amount of water used might be an issue, we have not had a problem in that regard.  Most of the time, the grey water tank will produce as much odor as the black water tank.  We use Calgon and Dawn in our black water tank.  We have not had an odor problem.  Therefore, we use no "chemicals".
 

mrschwarz

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We stopped using chemicals a few years ago before we started full timing. We use plenty of water and don't have any smell. If the tank is sealed, where is the smell coming from? If you have smells, check the toilet seal or your tank vent.
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Davison Michigan
Billy Bob said:
I hear that a lot of fulltimers don;t use chemicals in their black water tanks, Why?? I allways though that chemicals were needed to cut down on the smell.

And that is what the chemical industry WANTS you to believe.

I do not use chemicals 99% of the time (I may use a waste digeter (Biological, not chemical) when I'm doing my semi-annual hike of 800 miles but even there I"m dropping off.

I have had to do major work on the toilet, including re-building the riser it sits on,  That involved sitting on the floor with my nose a few inches from teh open pipe to the black tank for like an hour.. No offensive odor.

The only time I have had a serious odor issue is when I once forgot to close the dump valve.. Closed the valve, it went away.
 

Billy Bob

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Texas
Thanks for the info on your use of chemicals. I don't fulltime but do take a two to three months trip each year. If I am able to dump ever 4 to 5 days I do not use chemicals But if the trailer is going to set at my house for a few weeks or months I put about 5 gal of water in the black water tank and a few ounces of chemical before I leave the dump station and drain and flush the gray tank.
 

Conquest aka Robert

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Apr 24, 2011
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IL
we put ridex in the tank for summer sitting never had a smell even with the extra hot summer. Its even good for the CG we add extra good stuff to their system.
 

COMer

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Aug 25, 2009
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I quit using chemicals (other than water) about 15 years ago and it's worked well since.  I also quit putting bleach in it to clean it out.  That kills the bacteria and bacteria is our friend.  If it sits too long, I give it a shot of Rid-ex to restore the bacteria.  You need that for proper control.
 

BernieD

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Goodyear, AZ
Jammer said:
I use Aqua-Kem, which contains formaldehyde and methanol, which have a bacteriostatic effect that reduces the stink at its source.  However, it is toxic.

I find that there are situations where I end up boodocking where I have a means of disposal of grey water (usually by pumping it and hauling it) but not sewage.  Odor control then becomes a more serious problem than it might otherwise be, particularly in hot weather.

As Ron Ruward put it, formaldehyde is an embalming fluid and why would anyone want to embalm the contents of the black tank :eek: It is also against the rules in many campgrounds to dump tanks containing formaldehyde.

I rarely dump my black tank until it is full or close to it, regardless of whether we are boondocking or in a campground. Never have a problem with smell,even in hot weather.
 
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