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Old 07-14-2014, 01:54 PM   #1
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Black and Gray tank problems

First off we purchased this unit used in January this year. I noticed that the shower drain had been removed and no longer there. We have had the unit out once for three weeks, the second time a weekend. I noticed that when the gray water tank when dumped the shower would bubble, like the vent was clogged and not breathing. Then sometimes after doing dishes while draining the sink the shower would back up. I know that there is possibly a clogged vent. And a clogged drain line. my question for that is, is it alright to use Drain O for these systems for a clogged pipe? Or what is your take on this, am I in the right direction?
Also my Black water tank problem. While looking at the unit while at the dealership. noticed that there was RV antifreeze in the toilet. The salesman told me that the unit had been winterized. Not till I got home with it and put in my shop. That I noticed when I opened the toilet valve that there was a pile of, putting it nice and able to post, (POOP) no water just POO. Wasn't later on our first trip I started putting things together. The upper drain valve was disconnected from the handle below. The lower drain valve was working but water would leak on the drain pipe through a 18 inch or so crack. which was pointed out to me by a RV repair guy, was a freeze crack. Replacing the line and reconnecting the line.
Now for the POO! I have tried 75 psi pressure with a wand several times. Used the chemical to dissolve the harden crap. Flushed and fill, flushed and fill, got some of it dissolved, used several bags of Ice with little water. And still have problems with smell when flushing the toilet. Is there anything else I can do or try to solve this stinky issue?
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:15 PM   #2
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Howdy Dan and welcome. What year and model is your RV? Have you checked the vent pipes on the roof for any blockage?

As for the "pyramid of doom", there are lots of suggestions about cleaning the black tank. Most involve lots of water and a "break up" type tank cleaner such as Happy Camper. Some people fill their black tank with water/cleaner, then dump in a bunch of ice cubes and go driving on a curvy road. Apparently the ice cubes help "scrub" and break up the pyramid.

Is this your first RV? If you are not familiar with the tanks, once you get the black tank cleaned, make sure to always add a few gallons of water back to the tank after you dump. The black tank needs PLENTY of water to make sure that pyramid of solids doesn't happen again.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:03 PM   #3
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Black and Gray Issues

Its a 1996 Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vision. Purchased used from a dealership. I have one of those wands with the brass rotating ends that spray a good pressure pattern, I had to take the wand plunged the mountain of poo. It ate it up.a chemical to eat the waste and used a double dose of it. When I drained it came out well like thick pudding. I filled the tank and dosed it again. letting it sit for a few hours. I filled it up almost to full rinsed it out.
looking better. Then we added 4 bags of ice to the tank and drove around. I will be adding more additive to it. But I had a blow out on the way back home. Before I had a chance to rinse it out again. I will keep you posted. And thanks again for taking the time to read and reply.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:22 PM   #4
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Here's my suggestion based on long-ago experience.
In a 5 gal pail of water mix:
a quart of Calgon water softener for laundry us
a large box of baking soda
a couple of cups of powdered laundry detergent
When all is dissolved pour in via toilet into black tank. Make another batch for gray tank. Then drive around, making lots of turns for at least an hour. Then dump. That worked for me some years ago.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:13 PM   #5
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I have in the past have owned 2 campers, and one trailer. I have also grown up with my parents owning several campers and RV's. I have never seen or smelled anything like this in my life. Goes to show you how important it is to maintain the waste tanks. there are a lot of products out there to choose from. I guess its a matter of preference.
But I still have the problem of a clogged drain line just below the shower drain. it is close to the gray tank. How do I unplug this drain? Can I use Drain O, or is there some other product out there to do the job in a RV?
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:41 PM   #6
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I have seen where some people have put Rid-X in the black tank but it usually has to sit for a while to be effective. I have used Happy Camper for a while now and it works good.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCDan View Post
I have in the past have owned 2 campers, and one trailer. I have also grown up with my parents owning several campers and RV's. I have never seen or smelled anything like this in my life. Goes to show you how important it is to maintain the waste tanks. there are a lot of products out there to choose from. I guess its a matter of preference.
But I still have the problem of a clogged drain line just below the shower drain. it is close to the gray tank. How do I unplug this drain? Can I use Drain O, or is there some other product out there to do the job in a RV?
Have you tried snaking the drain, Dan? I'm not sure about the Draino. Here's some info on the Draino website... Drano® FAQs | Learn About Products, Drain Cleaning, and Plumbing Problems It says "safe for plastic or metal pipes."

I'm sure if the Draino works, you'll need to flush the tanks really well to remove the caustic. I would try carefully snaking first, though.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:52 PM   #8
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I have tried using a small wire but it didn't do the job. I have a snake somewhere around this place, I will try it before I use any chemicals. And thanks again for the tips. I love this website wish I knew about it before I purchased this RV.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:31 PM   #9
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Gray tank

well I have tried to snake the clog, but have failed. The bend in the trap is too great and the snake cannot make the bend. I need to purchase a smaller diameter snake. I have tried to plunge it out but it backs up into the sink instead. I have tried to use water pressure to flush it out, with no luck.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:57 PM   #10
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STILL WORKING ON THIS> I purchased a bore scope from Harbor freight. Tried to get a picture of what's going on down there. But it couldn't make the quick bend after the P trap. I found a smaller snake to run down the drain line. Didn't feel any resistance. Removed the p trap at the bathroom sink and tried it that way. ran it all the way into the holding tank. Next I plan on running it down through the kitchen sink. and used Rid ex to help dissolve the plug. Its a ongoing process.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:30 PM   #11
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have you tried air pressure? wrap a rag or towel around your air chuck. good luck. once you fix it you might try something to help empty it out. some use dish soap, i usually use Calgon water softner found at county type walmart stores..plus the chemicals.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:31 PM   #12
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Use 1/4 bottle of Dawn, 1/4 tank of water, drive to your next campsite and dump. Everytime you leave your camp to go home, put a couple gals of water and 4-5 oz Dawn and you'll never have any trouble again. Do not let your black tank sit empty.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:41 PM   #13
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DCDan,

What state are you located in? If you are in a service area of an All Pro Water Flow hydro cleaning tech, your tank can be cleaned out in one hour and your on your way. www.allprowaterflow.com Good Luck
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:55 AM   #14
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Sounds like a good idea. Would think about it if there was a place near me that offered this service. Thank you for the posting.
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