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Old 08-24-2008, 03:52 PM   #1
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Has anyone had any problems with the holding tanks (specifically black water) since the new design in 2006 or 2007? We have had problems requiring extreme amounts of water to completely flush out our 2005 FDDS. Sometimes we have to use a snake to keep the potty from spitting up. We know the tanks were redesigned in 2006 or 2007 and are looking at redoing our tanks accordingly. Before we do that, we would like to know how the new design is working.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:52 PM   #2
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Has anyone had any problems with the holding tanks (specifically black water) since the new design in 2006 or 2007? We have had problems requiring extreme amounts of water to completely flush out our 2005 FDDS. Sometimes we have to use a snake to keep the potty from spitting up. We know the tanks were redesigned in 2006 or 2007 and are looking at redoing our tanks accordingly. Before we do that, we would like to know how the new design is working.
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:12 PM   #3
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We haven't had any issues, but the new tank design isn't likely to work for the older coaches, as it takes a total redesign of the basement.
We had trouble w/the 06 coach's black tank burping back if we sat in one place for a long time and didn't do meticulous flushing every other time or so. I think TP piles up under the down pipe, blocking free airflow into the tank & up the vent pipe to the roof. You can avoid the hassle of the snake, I think, by opening the toilet valve & dropping a bucket full of water down from time to time. Otherwise, long flushes into the wee hours of the morning.
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:05 PM   #4
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Just a comment. Today we dumped our black tank, and then used the flush system to flush it. Then we turned off the water, stepped on the flush control, and took a look down that pipe. There is a partial elbow (for lack of a better description which looks like \_ at the bottom of the pipe) at the end of the pipe leading down into the tank. It diverts the waste material toward the driver's side. I assume that when /if the black tank is up over that point in the plumbing/connection, it could burp up into the toilet. However, we have used the coach for about a week or over and still have had 15 gallons of capacity and never had the problem you describe. You might just turn off the water and investigate the down pipe and see what you "See"!
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:12 PM   #5
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Dont think I can trust the guage readout on the tank levels, because tonight while I was replacing the stove burner gaskets (whole nother issue) I checked the guages since we dumped when we left the campground, and then came home. I show about 20 gallons in the black tank, 10 or so in the gray tank and 0 gallons in the fresh water tank (drained this one because of a leak). I let the black/gray tanks drain a long time prior to shutting the valves and finishing up with that job. They should be empty. It's an APEX with Silverleaf, so I am not to concerned because it's always showed something in the two waste tanks after dumping, figured it's just a off level guage readout. Guess I will shine a flashlight down the toilet to see if it's really empty.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:47 AM   #6
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Monty, have you replaced your tank sensors with the brass industrial model? I replaced mine and have had zero problems for some 8 months now. The Silverleaf box in the tank bay must be reprogramed for the new sensors. Call Silverleaf.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:00 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info on the new design holding tanks. We don't want to completely redesign the basement unless absolutely necessary. We are now wondering about installing a macerater toilet or a marine vacuum toilet. Anyone have any thoughts on those options?
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:57 PM   #8
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Mike & Kitty, we have a 34' 05 Alpine and the holding tanks have been just fine. When you get right down to it, the design is about as simple as it can get. I do know a great many people whether it be motor homes or boats do not flush long enough. As far as using a toilet with a macerator or a vacu flush they are both great systems, but motor homes just drop into a tank. I think additional water might be worth a try. Vacu flush toilets are anything but cheap and I am certain installation will be a real trip. It is a shame to have such a problem. Use the flush hose more and see if that might help.
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:59 PM   #9
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If you are considering changing to a different toilet, and I am definitely not recommending that, pay attention to the bolt pattern. I switched from a Sealand to a Thetford, and it was a royal pain. The Sealand has four bolts and the Thetford has two, just like a home toilet. The hole pattern was off by 45 degrees. I wound up replacing the toilet flange and drain pipes going into the holding tank in order to accomplish it.

My Sealand had a leak and after replacing the seals it started leaking again, so that is why I replaced it. We like the Thetford better. And it was worth the work.

The drain pipes consist of the flange, a 45 degree bend one way, and a 45 degree bend back, and a straight drop to the tank. Nothing that would cause a backup.

The first month we had the coach we had the problem of the toilet spitting up a little. The tank was not even 25% full. I think Ted is right, we were trying to conserve water too much, and were not using enough. It has never done it since, no matter the level of the tank.

Since the flange and pipes are black, you will not see much if you look down with a flashlight. And you won't see past the first 45 degree bend.

FWIW, both of my holding tanks drain quickly, in less than 5 minutes. The bulk of it drains in less than a minute.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:54 PM   #10
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Many thanks to all for your responses. One thing I didn't make clear was that we like to do a lot of dry camping and try to make the tanks last as long as possible. That negates the option of using lots of water with each flush. We do use that option when we are at a resort or park with full hookups. Even then, we have had a few problems though. We will use the bucket or two of water suggested by Engineer Mike and see how that works. Guess we will just have to be happy with 8 day tanks instead of 12 day tanks.
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:49 AM   #11
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Mike and Kitty,

What do you mean by "the potty spitting up"? I have used both old and new style tanks and have never had problems dumping with either. I do find that the new tanks require a very long time using the flush system to totally clean the black tank. I did almost have a stoppage once when using TP from Costco instead of the Scott 1000 single ply we normally use.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:11 PM   #12
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All,
Checked our Black tank tonight, it still has a little liquid in it. But after we dump, we always recharge it with chemical so it won't stink. So that is mostly what is in there.

Dale, we use the TP from Costco, and have not had a problem as long as we use lots of water when we flush. Before we dump, we put in another 5 gallons to make sure all that will drain.

However, the next time, I am going to have the little lady operate the flush pedel so I know I have a good supply of air to replace all that fluid and see it it dumps better. I will let you know, and it will be a while before we go out again.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:33 PM   #13
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In the four years we've had our coach (2005 40' MDTS)we've had lots of problems with "spitting" (a bubble coming up into the toilet bowl when you open the flush ball valve). Went round and round with WRV over that pair of 45 degree elbows (this is our 5th motor home, and we've never seen anything but a straight shot down into the tank) I thought it might have something to do with lack of a vent...but that theory was dashed when at the NoWACA rally in Dayton, OR someone turned on my flush system when the black drain valve wasn't open....I heard the waterfall from the roof before I smelled the disaster. It took a lot of cleaning, but the good news is no black water got loose in the holding tank bay, nor did the Sealand toilet leak a drop. We've learned to live with the "spitting" problem by keeping a small "plumbers friend" in the basement for the times when it starts. My process starts with filling the bowl with fresh water, inserting the plunger to inhibit the "spit" to a small leak...then when the bowl and drain pipe are both full of water, I exercise the plunger. Strangely enough we haven't had it happen in the past 9 months.
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:11 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">someone turned on my flush system when the black drain valve wasn't open....I heard the waterfall from the roof before I smelled the disaster </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I thought I was the only one that had actually done that.It looked like a scene out of the movie RV.
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