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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > How often and how to clean black tank

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rvshrinker

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Posted: 08/27/20 02:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have sani flushed the tank only once in 3 years. Recently I read I should be doing this more often. On the other hand some places say not to empty black too often because then there is an inadequate amount to drive biodecomposition. It does smell now despite minimal use so I'm planning to flush.

Also I read to 1. Empty tanks. 2. Fill with some toilet flushes. 3. Add some bleach and dish soap. 4. Let sit. 5. Empty. 6. Leave black tank open. 7. Flush for a while (how long?). 8. Close up. 9. Flush some water into toilet.

We use the rv for 3-6 4-16 day trips per year. And occasionally at home as a spare bedroom or office. In The latter cases, if it makes sense to avoid using the toilet we could easily do this.

Lynnmor

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Posted: 08/27/20 02:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A clear elbow at the drain connection will tell you all that you need to know. Drain and flush often till the brown trout are no longer swimming downstream.





TenOC

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Posted: 08/27/20 03:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Leave a few gallon of water in the tank (plus a few drops of soap if you want) and drive down the highway a few mile and it self cleans.


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ksg5000

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Posted: 08/27/20 03:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have tried various methods over the yrs - and assuming you have tried the basics (water/soap etc) have found that using a bit of bleach on occasion works as good as anything. The smell comes from bacteria and bleach kills that. Many people recommend Happy Campers which I recently purchased but haven't used yet.

BTW - every few years I use a septic cleaner in my black water tank (let it set for a week) which is suppose to super clean the tank - that may insure you black water tank works fine but it's not a cure all for odors.


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Posted: 08/27/20 03:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When it gets full, or if I'm going to moochdoc, I empty it and put in some water. It's only a holding tank not a septic system.





time2roll

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Posted: 08/27/20 03:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I will give it a bit more rinse when there is no line at the dump and I am not at all rushed.
This is probably every 4th to 10th dump. My old sensors still work fine after 15 years.


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Posted: 08/27/20 03:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yep, nobody wants to be stuck behind a fellow rv'er that wants their black as clean as their fresh tank. I figure every few trips when I dump and the place is deserted I backflush for 3-4 mins and then im on my way. The idea of a few gallons of fresh water in an empty black tank is SMART. Use whatever chemicals floats your boat but as mentioned its a storage tank not a septic system. Ive had great luck with my sensors adding water softener to "grease" the sides of the holding tank.


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Posted: 08/27/20 04:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I all ways put 1/4 cup dawn in the poo tank keeps it clean and my tank gauges work.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 08/27/20 04:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“then there is an inadequate amount to drive biodecomposition.”

RVs have holding tanks. While breaking up “chunks” for easy dumping is a good thing RV tanks are not made for decomposing.


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Posted: 08/27/20 04:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've never cleaned it that way. We dump, flush with the installed flush system until effluent is reasonably clean, and that's all. We've got over 110,000 miles on the coach, and have never had a problem. When in Arizona, we move the coach about every weeks. When in Alaska, the coach sits from May thru August without moving. We see no difference between either approach, and as I said, we have NEVER done anything more and never had a problem. The only odor problem we ever had was caused by a sticking backflow preventer on the flush system. We've never put any chemicals or additives into the system.


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