I have a black water question

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

cuts_up

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Posts
549
Location
Texas
Ok, I keep seeing that you should keep the black water valve closed when you are connected to a campground sewer.  I understand that if it is left open that liquid will drain but solids won't.  So how do you get the solid to go to the sewer?  Do you just wait for the black tank to get to the emptying point, then open the valve and dump into the sewer?  Or do you just hang onto it until you get to a dump station?  TIA!
 

 

Steve CDN

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Posts
2,388
Location
Canada/U.S.A
You're absolutely right that the black tank valve must not be left open while parked for the reason you alluded to.

I generally fill the black tank to about 1/4 with fresh water while parked, to increase the percentage of overall water.  If you're dry camping and need to stretch the black tank capacity, I would not recommend starting off with 1/4 water.

However the black tank should not be dumped with less than 3/4 capacity, and unless you really need to stretch the tank, use generous amounts of water when flushing to keep the water percentage high.

The key to successful flushing is the whooosh effect when you pull the valve.  The whooosh effect is what drives the solids out of your tank.

To help in evaluating the quality of your flush, get a transparent elbow at an RV supply store which is installed at the tank outlet, before you connect your hose.  That way you can see what's coming out of the tank.

I believe in a transparent elbow so much, I carry a spare in case the one in use breaks.

If your tanks do not have a rinsing feature installed, get a transparent elbow with a hose adapter so you can backflush your tank.  Of course you would not use your drinking water hose for that purpose, but a cheap utility water hose instead.

Do you do more dry camping or are you parked in a campground?
 

cuts_up

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Posts
549
Location
Texas
Thanks for the reply.  We are new to rv camping.  We expect dry and campground camping to be about 50/50.  What I am understanding is that no matter where you are parked you will be using your black tank, even if you are connected to a campground sewer.  And so the advantage of having a campground sewer connection would be that your gray water goes straight to the sewer, and that you have a spot right at your camp site to dump the black when you need to empty it.  Is this correct? 


 

Steve CDN

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Posts
2,388
Location
Canada/U.S.A
You got it!  However it's a good idea to periodically empty the grey tank for the much sought after whooosh effect, because food debris and soap scum accumulates on the floor of the grey tank as well.  It's not as serious a problem as the collection of solids in the black tank, but it's good to be aware that the grey tank should be whoooshed  out from time to time.

Welcome to the RV lifestyle and to the RV Forum.  We always enjoy meeting new RV Friends, so feel free to jump into any ongoing Forum discussion or start as many as you wish.

Enjoy the Forum!  ;)
 

joelmyer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Posts
1,058
Location
Georgia
cuts_up said:
And so the advantage of having a campground sewer connection would be that your gray water goes straight to the sewer, and that you have a spot right at your camp site to dump the black when you need to empty it.  Is this correct? 

Not quite.  Be sure & manage the gray tank so that when it comes time to dump the black that you have some grey to dump after & get all that stuff out of the hose.
 

cuts_up

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Posts
549
Location
Texas
Thanks so much!  I'm not confused anymore.  I had been under the impression that connecting to a campground sewer would be the same as being in your home with city sewage.

 

colleenfl

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2006
Posts
127
Also keeping the valves closed is a good idea for fumes backing up. I am not sure if this has ever been a problem but if you have ever smelled the odor from the hole at the ground sewer pipe it makes you wonder if that can be harmful. I always rinse with grey water to help flush and clean the hose.

Happy Camping
Colleen

PS: Thanks for the tip on the clear elbow never thought of that.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Generally speaking, the P traps on your sinks and showers prevent that gas from backing up into the RV thru an open grey valve.  They have the same effect as those in your stick house.  In fact, if you detect sewer smells, the first thing to do is pour a couple cups of water in all RV sinks and showers in case one as dried out from disuse.
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
That and the fact that those that leave the valves open have a tendency to get sewer odors from the sewer itself, hence the keeping the valves closed
 

cuts_up

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Posts
549
Location
Texas
When the dd went off to college and her bathroom upstairs wasn't used much, we poured 1 tbl of veg oil into the sink and shower drains after her visits.  The oil sits on top of the water so it doesn't evaporate before her next visit.  I can probably do the same in the rv sinks and shower between uses.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,620
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Many folks go to great lengths to have a straight, downward run of their sewer hose. "Stuff" runs downhill and all that. However, if you want to leave the gray valve open, it is wise to have a raised "hump" in the sewer drain line, so that some water stays in it.  This forms a P trap that will prevent odors, sewer flies or whatever from coming up the drain hose and into your tanks.  Run the hose up over a piece of firewood, a brick or something similar.  If the campsite's sewer inlet is several inches above ground, that also forms a P trap near the inlet - as long as you don't prop up the hose all the way from the RV to the inlet.
 

joelmyer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Posts
1,058
Location
Georgia
RV Roamer said:
Many folks go to great lengths to have a straight, downward run of their sewer hose.

Gary,

I've noticed that.  Why?

If you dump & go you're going to disconnect from the rv and "walk" the hose to sewer so that it drains.

If you dump & stay & there's some gray water in hose, so what?

Joel
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,620
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I guess that many folks just abhor the idea of having any waste water in the hose?.  American's tend to have rather bizarre attitudes about their natural bodily functions and the results thereof. I expect to see automated drain systems installed on babies in the not too distant future. :eek:
 

cuts_up

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Posts
549
Location
Texas
I expect to see automated drain systems installed on babies in the not too distant future.



YEAH!!!!!!!
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,246
Location
Davison Michigan
BABIES  do come with automated drain systems... The problem is they do not come with a programmer for the auto-control so it drains them when they feel the need to be drained.


Adults have a semi-automated system,, Signals the need but you have to manually activate by thinking about it.


I like the veg oil trick.

We used to get terrible smell in restrooms where I used to work.

Supervisors would be all over calling building management to get it fixed.

I'd pour a gallon of water down the floor drains and guess what... Fixed
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
120,621
Posts
1,211,992
Members
125,715
Latest member
Skinr1
Top Bottom