Gray/black tank sensor cleaning agents?

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D-n-R

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Has anyone had success with products to put in the tanks to clean the gray or black water tanks and also the sensors in the tanks that reveal the level transmitted to the fill indicators on the interior panels. Have a sani wash in the black tank only and that seems to be okay but wonder about the build up from the Kitchen sink/dishes and soap scum.  Any ideas would be welcomed. Thanks for the input!!!!!
 

Rene T

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D-n-R said:
Has anyone had success with products to put in the tanks to clean the gray or black water tanks and also the sensors in the tanks that reveal the level transmitted to the fill indicators on the interior panels. Have a sani wash in the black tank only and that seems to be okay but wonder about the build up from the Kitchen sink/dishes and soap scum.  Any ideas would be welcomed. Thanks for the input!!!!!

If your black tank sensors are working good, you're one of the few. That tank is the worst for me. Here's something I did last year and it worked real good but did not last. I'll probably do it again this year. 

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,113246.msg1023812.html#msg1023812
 

Back2PA

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Gizmo

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Put some liquid dishwasher detergent in the tank with 2/3rd's full of water and take a drive.  Ideally done before you leave a campground and headed out.  Then when you get to your destination drain the tanks.  It works because dishwasher detergent is formulated to remove grease etc.
 

Rene T

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Back2PA said:
Rene, were you able to get some improvement without moving or did you have to put the stuff in and drive?

I was on my way home so I drove 1300 miles with it sloshing around. Never tried it sitting still.
Like I said in the original post, it worked good but it didn't last. My sensors for the black tank have been all screwed up this winter. The grays seem to be working fairly good. 
 

Gizmo100

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Gizmo said:
Put some liquid dishwasher detergent in the tank with 2/3rd's full of water and take a drive.  Ideally done before you leave a campground and headed out.  Then when you get to your destination drain the tanks.  It works because dishwasher detergent is formulated to remove grease etc.

I was thinking the same thing...Only question is, How much is "Some"? I know it depends on the size of the tank. But I wouldn't want a tank full of suds to flush out.
 

John From Detroit

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Yes and no.. Most of the products that claim to clean the sensors are nothing more than a regular tank deodorant with salt added.  WHy salt? Well other than it's corrosive effects if you have pure (And I mean LAB GRADE PURE) water it does not conduct electricity.  Salt makes it conductive. as do most other disloved minerals (but in some areas there is not enough mineral to feed the sensors) they are just pins that connect electricaly via what's in the tank)

Now The GEO method (1/2 cup each Calgon water softener and Dawn Liquid. regular, and about 1/3 tank water. drive 50 miles or so and dump) I've had occasional success.. but frankly not worth the trouble.. I just dump on a schedule.. based on how long it took to fill the tankj.

By myself. using only the gravity toilet. every 2 weeks give or take a couple days
Wife used a macerator toilet so we dumped tx a week.
 

D-n-R

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Thanks to all of you for your recommendations and advice.  Really appreciate that you took the time to help us.  Have plenty to try just trying to avoid and did not want to do the drive around with that much water on board as we travel empty mostly.  Again---thanks to all!!!!!!!
 

Gizmo

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Gizmo100 said:
I was thinking the same thing...Only question is, How much is "Some"? I know it depends on the size of the tank. But I wouldn't want a tank full of suds to flush out.

Sorry about that brother Giz, I should have been more specific.  I have used 6-oz to 2/3 of a 40-gallon tank with good success.  I noticed Pancake Bill responded with 4-oz, I suspect that would be about the minimum for a 40-gallon tank at 2/3rds.
 

Gizmo

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D-n-R said:
Thanks to all of you for your recommendations and advice.  Really appreciate that you took the time to help us.  Have plenty to try just trying to avoid and did not want to do the drive around with that much water on board as we travel empty mostly.  Again---thanks to all!!!!!!!

While you may have some success with any given product sitting stationary, I believe you will have much more success bringing agitation within the tanks from driving, so well worth driving with at least partially filled tanks just for the cleaning process.
 

Gizmo100

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Gizmo said:
Sorry about that brother Giz, I should have been more specific.  I have used 6-oz to 2/3 of a 40-gallon tank with good success.  I noticed Pancake Bill responded with 4-oz, I suspect that would be about the minimum for a 40-gallon tank at 2/3rds.

NP ...I was just thinking/typing out loud. But it's good information to know ahead of time.

FYI ...Now that I'm back in town We can resume our regular meetings of the Gizmos.
 

Gizmo

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Gizmo100 said:
NP ...I was just thinking/typing out loud. But it's good information to know ahead of time.

FYI ...Now that I'm back in town We can resume our regular meetings of the Gizmos.

I can't wait.
 

Back2PA

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PancakeBill said:
the Unique Tank Clean is the bomb, specifically designed for this.


I remembered that I had a container of this, purchased in case of a blockage. With high hopes I dumped my gray tanks yesterday and filled with clean water and the specified amount and let it sit overnight. No change  :-\

Plus, as I'd feared and have seen on previous rigs, when the bathroom gray tank was filled to 100% it leaks somewhere in the vicinity of the tank (I'm guessing where the drain line connects to the tank), got a drip out of the belly that went away as soon as I dumped a couple gallons out of the tank. Can't wait to see how involved that fix is
:mad:


I also flushed the black tank multiple times and added some to the black tank along with 2 gallons of water as directed. We'll see how that goes.
 

jackiemac

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I still recommend the power washer clean out, it really does a tremendous job, although using the Unique Tank might be worthwhile trying too if it does a good job.  As we are leaving the TT for 6 months we would still use the method below to give it a good clean before storage.


We considered getting someone to come out to clean our tanks when we had a problem last year in Vegas but for less money - just under $200 (after watching how a professional did it on the internet, link below), we decided to buy a power washer and a special jetter hose from Amazon plus a clear elbow which was fitted between the drain and the drain hose, Steve drilled a hole in the clear elbow to get the jetter hose in and up the pipe.  It totally cleared out the grey and black tanks.  There was a lot of scum in the grey tanks which was slowing down the drainage.  If we do this again I will make a video so that others can see it.  One thing to consider though is how many bends your pipes have, ours are relatively simple so it worked great for us.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LX8Z03K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01E0DPXFY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NCS7GE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Here is the YouTube video that Steve watched which made him go with the solution above.  You need to ensure the pipes don't have too many bends or the jetter can't get up to tank.  We couldn't do kitchen grey but did bathroom and black tank.....it was incredible how much stuff came out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1CKK2xIFr4
 

Back2PA

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Update to the "no change" with the Unique product - I had placed a clear twist-on shutoff valve on the dump connection so I could see what was going on when I did the flushing, and had forgotten that I had left the valve shut. So of course when I pulled the gray valves this morning after letting the Unique product soak all night, nothing happened. Duh  ::)

So the good news is it seemed to help a little, will have to see. The bad news is that, thinking the valves were open, I took a shower and unknowingly re-filled the bathroom gray to 100%+. As I was walking around the rig later I saw water dripping and discovered the closed valve. The belly now had several gallons of water in it (due to leak discovered above) causing the material to sag. Took a few screws out to let it drain and going to work on it some more this afternoon.
I am planning on drilling 3-4 perhaps 3/8" weep holes in the belly material just so any future leaks are not held in, thereby possibly damaging the material. Looks like a tank replacement is happening this summer.  :(

Fellow Montana 343RL owner Rene T tells me he also had a tank leak and found out the tanks are only tested to 1 PSI, which isn't even enough to account for water backed up into a sink  :mad: This is garbage vendor materials so while not directly Keystone's fault, they chose the vendor.
 

Rene T

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Back2PA said:
Took a few screws out to let it drain and going to work on it some more this afternoon.am planning on drilling 3-4 perhaps 3/8" weep holes in the belly material just so any future leaks are not held in

Just take a phillips scewdriver and poke a few holes. That's what i did.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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You can't expect to mistreat the tanks then dump some magic elixir in there to solve the problem.  Per above, the key is lots of water and repeated flushes when the situation permits.  Sometimes you have to dump and go but doing a rinse cycle or two when you can will get out a lot of extra crud. 

Also, I'm a believer in driving from place to place with the black and gray a quarter full, with a handful of borax and a squirt of Dawn in the black tank, and a glug of Zep citrus cleaner in the gray tank.  Dump when you get close to the stopping point and you have clean empty tanks ready to go.  It's not a magic bullet but as an ongoing process I think it's a valid method.  Just doesn't make sense to deal with chemicals and smells all the time when water can take care of it.

Found a youtube video that describes this very process, so no point in restating everything:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUWGlm2gQfE

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM


 

G.C.S.

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I agree with Mark. Before i leave i empty the Black Tank, Close the Valve, and put 3-4 Gallons of water in it and  put a cup of Liquid dishwasher detergent down the toilet
and roll down the road. It us formulated to cut grease and then some so it has never caused any issues. As for the Gray tank i close it prior to the last shower and since it is already Warm/Hot water i also add 1 Cup of DD as well and let it slosh around as well. Any food etc, in that tank will help it to discharge at your next stop. In addition i use Calgon Water softener sometimes as well. Don't be afraid to use Liquid Laundry Soap it also cleans. All of the above has also helped keep the valves to open easy . You can never add too much soap/detergent/water softener to help clean your tanks! What will also help keep your rig from smelling like black tank, when you are plugged in to sewer at your site, right before your sewer hose goes into their connection, put a slight bend in it so it keeps the "Back Flow Gasses" out and serves the same purpose as an "Elbow" in a sink which is a standard plumbing code. It Works!
 
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