oxygen based holding tank chemicals

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schidey

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Why do some people prefer oxygen-based holding tank chemicals?  anyone know? I would love to hear both sides of the issue if there are any.  Thanks.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Oxygen-based, as opposed to...what?  Most of us would rather not see formaldehyde-based holding tank products in use - formadehyde is nasty stuff, even though the small amounts in tank deoderizers is supposedly not harmful to the environment (say the manufacturers, anyway). But there are many non-formaldehyde products on the market now, so there really is no need to debate that point any longer.

For black & gray tanks in regular use, there really is no need for any chemical at all.  Most people use it becasue they think they are supposed to, but it just ain't so.  We don't use any unless we know the rig is going to sit idle for several weeks in hot weather with a partial tank full.  And our gray tank is more likely to smell than the black, perhaps because we are partial to meals with onions, peppers, garlic and such.  A few drops of bleach will quickly cure that, if we don't have an opportunity to dump it right away.
 

John From Detroit

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There is a new line of Holding tank chemicals based on the popular OXY-Clean name.  Oxy-this, Oxy-that and they all claim an "Oxygen" based formula... Usually this means bleach if I'm not mistaken.  And I very well may be mistaken
 

OldSoldier

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Actually the Oxy-based products are just that.  They are a dry chemical that produces hydrogen peroxide which is an oxygen based bleaching product.  Standard bleach is chlorine based and produces a chlorine-based bleaching agent.  Both are in fact oxidizers, chlorine being the more potent than the oxygen based products.

Given this, either oxidizer is likely to kill bacteria and other nasty things, but I have no expertise or opinion if either is appropriate for RV holding tanks.  I will let those much more experienced than I to guide you.
 

John From Detroit

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Well Thanks, OldSoldier.  Learned something from your post (How the OXI line of products works)  Knew the basics but not the chemical

As for are they appropriate for holding tanks, we are in complete agreement, (Let others decide)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Killing bacteria in a black water system is useful only if it really stinks and that is generally not a problem in a system under regular use.  Otherwise, the bacteria are doing good things, i.e. dissolving the wastes and actually consuming portions of it.
 

olley

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Hi the one I use is supposed to encourage bacteria growth; as the bacteria consume the waste they give off carbon dioxide which is odourless. Its an American Product, can't remember the name.

Seems to work, but we do as RV Roamer and very rarely use it.

Olley
 

Ron

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Best thing one can do for the holding tanks is DON"T ADD ANYTHING and let nature do its job.  Of course if you have been preserving the contents of your black water tank by adding products containing  formaldehyde it may take awhile for recovery from the damage already done.  Would I add a oxygen based chemical?  NO NO NO.
 

Karl

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In the relatively few cases where it may be advisable to add something to the tanks (hot weather with longer hold times), an 'Oxy-Clean"  type product is perhaps better than bleach. Instead of being chlorine based (toxic, reactive) they use sodium perborate and sodium percarbonate (active ingredients in those name-brand products) as the oxidizing agents; the borates function at relatively high temperatures, while the percarbonates do they're stuff at somewhat lower temps. Unlike chlorine bleach and formaldehyde products, they are non-toxic (in small quantities) and have little detrimantal effect of the naturally occuring bacteria and enzymes in holding tanks. Personally, I don't use anything in my tanks.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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We still have the same problems, ie. smell and sensors not functioning properly.

None of the tank chemicals are going to keep the sensors clean, no matter what they may imply. Sensors internal to the tank are going to get gummed up. Period. Only the external type have a prayer of remaining functional.

Smell usually means a good flushing is needed, perhaps several good flushings if the problem has been around awhile. You can temporarily kill odor with a strong chemical, but it will come right back within a day or two anyway.
 

BruceinFL

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I have been using Pure Power (http://www.opproducts.com/) for years and am very satisfied. Only takes 2 oz per 40 gal and adds good bacteria. Not harmful to septic tanks, in fact good for them. Starts beaking down the waste quickly. Sometimes hard to find dealers but they will ship direct to you. They also have sveral good cleaners that we use.
 

John From Detroit

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THe seminar I recently attended they suggested that to clean sensors use a multiple step procedure

First, drain and flush the tank (In short, dump)
Then add about 1/3 tank clear water (Flush, and keep flusing, for, in my case 10-12 gallons)

Add 1/2 cup Blue (Original) DAWN dishwashing liquid.

Drive a while, oh, say 10 miles on Michigan Roads, 100 on any other states (unless, of course, your local news paper runs contests to find the worst pot holes in town, then 10 miles, ok, that's a joke,,, Drive a couple of hours)

Flush tank

Add a Waste Digester (They, of course, sold one, but you don't have to use theres)

Note: If using a waste digester DO NOT, use yellow (Antibartical) Dawn or other anti-bacterial products (What do you think does the digesting) do not use any formalhyde products. 

Be aware that in some places, use of formalhyde products can earn you a date with one of the area's better known citizens. I can't tell you his full name but the traditional introduction goes something like this:

All Rise:
This session of the _____ district court of the state of _____ is now in session the Honorable Judge ____ presiding"

And he's not likely to be amused by your use of said products.

California is one such place

Turns out the sample bottle that came with the coach is such a product...I'm going to find a use for it some day, perhaps at the haz-mat dump
 

blueblood

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John In Detroit said:
Be aware that in some places, use of formaldehyde products can earn you a date with one of the area's better known citizens. I can't tell you his full name but the traditional introduction goes something like this:

All Rise:
This session of the _____ district court of the state of _____ is now in session the Honorable Judge ____ presiding"

And he's not likely to be amused by your use of said products.

California is one such place

Some one pointed out in one of the messages that since other options exist , it 's really not necessary to debate the formaldehyde issue. That said and agreed, I do find it somewhat interesting that the information on it is so PC. Studies have been done and published in papers at places like Cornell University where RV parks in VA were examined and showed no affect from formaldehyde except if used in large quantities which like many cancer rat studies were at unrealistic levels i.e. it was very unlikely such concentrations would ever exist. The study, even then says, septic systems recovered in 2 days. Beyond this one could look to funeral pallors located in small towns where 50 or so embalmings per year go into septic systems with formaldehyde and no negative impacts were found to the system by the EPA studies.  A lot of one sees is the same sources (for example the University of Arizona ) being sighted in one paper after another and no checking of original source. Of course, it don't help that the EPA itself publishes studies that contradicts its own studies in another report which happens frequently in the case of formaldehyde. 
 

Jim Godward

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We have not added anything but fresh water and waste to our tanks since before the first RV Forum rally we attended in January 1995.  We have never felt e had an odor problem and Pat is finicky!!  If you must use something, use only the ones with additional bacteria.

A word about this, the spring of 1995 I became ill while at a campout at Borrego Springs, we did dump before leaving but it was 2 days before we got home.  The tanks were not dumped untill the following February while Pat was taking the RV driving class in Lancaster.  There was no problem through the long hot summer in southern CA.  This was the final convincing I needed and we have continued since with no additives.

 

Shayne

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There is a dry powder by Roebic that is safe enough to wash your face and hands in it relatively safe *see editors note.  It's the K-67 Bacterial Drain & Trap Cleaner that is great if you do have a problem with drains and every really should use something in the drains to rid and keep out the germs.  It can be purchased at most Hardware Stores.  2 Tablespoons to a quart of tepid water and pour into drain, allowing to stand overnight. In the AM flush with hot water and forget.  Once  a month and you'll never have any problems with the drains.  Older units once a week for the 1st 8 weeks.`It's strictly bactera agent.  Have used it in RV's and houses for 25 years.  Wish I was being paid for this commercial.

*Editor's note: According to the manufacturer, this and others of their products contain bacteria and other components that can cause eye and G.I. tract infections, and they recommend thorough washing of hands after use, and eye protection. As with any product, always follow manufacturer's directions for their safe use. - Karl
 

Jeff

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The Dawn treatment helped resolve sensor issues with our last Pace Arrow but has not helped our current sensors in the Tradewinds.
 

Shayne

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Jeff Not sure anything really helps those sensors.  We've used ice cubes and basicly loaded the tank and drove couple hundred miles and released it in a dump station and it worked for couple  days and faultered again.  So now I just watch how much water we use and then go dump.  Even when hooked to the sewer we shut the valves and release every other day.  Nothing seems to work very long. So we just live with it.
 
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