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Old 12-01-2014, 04:53 PM   #1
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To keep holding tanks closed or open

I know this topic has been widely discussed, but had a situation develop today I never anticipated. We are parked at our favorite RV park in Boulder City, NV for the holidays. I had the black tank and grey tank valves closed as I usually do and is the standard practice.

The park had advised us that they had a bad valve in the water supply line and our water would be off for a few hours while they replaced the valve. We were preparing to go shopping and DW thought she needed to fill the dog's water dish, so she opened the kitchen faucet to get remaining water in the line into the dogs dish. Since water supply was off, she forgot to close the kitchen faucet. We went merrily off on our shopping trip.

When we returned, water was flowing out of the motorhome everywhere. I ran to the supply and shut off the water. There was about an inch of water on the floor. When water was turned back on in the park, the kitchen faucet poured water down the drain, filling the grey tank and grey water backed up into the shower and poured out onto the floor.

Luckily, the water drained out quickly. Our coach has been remodeled with marine grade subfloor and has hardwood floors. Damage was minimal. It will dry quickly in the desert.

So, I may consider keeping the grey tank valve open when connected to park facilities. But, I'm convinced keeping the black tank valued closed is a good practice.

Al & Sue w/T-Bone & Rosco
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:05 PM   #2
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I keep mine both closed unless the washing machine is running then I'll leave the grey open just in case.

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Old 12-01-2014, 05:06 PM   #3
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When connected to full hookups, grey is open and black is closed. When black gets to 3/4 full, I close the grey. Within a couple of days the grey is also at 3/4 or full. The tanks can then be dumped.

Repeat the cycle.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:07 PM   #4
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I know many people that when setup for extended periods leave their gray tank valve open and have no issues. As you said, never do that with the black tank. One thing I do if leaving for a long day exploring is turn off the water to my rig just in case I spring a leak while gone.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:08 PM   #5
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Another suggestion is to shut off the water at the hose bib when leaving the CG. We always did.

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Old 12-01-2014, 05:13 PM   #6
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We rarely have full hookups but when we have them I leave the grey closed and dump it every couple of days. I make sure to close it a day before leaving to assure enough to flush the drain hose.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
When connected to full hookups, grey is open and black is closed. When black gets to 3/4 full, I close the grey. Within a couple of days the grey is also at 3/4 or full. The tanks can then be dumped.

Repeat the cycle.
X2. Don't know why one would do any different. Thought this was SOP.
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:08 PM   #8
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X3 ... and I bet, after that story, that will be SOP for EVERYbody! \ken
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Climbon69 View Post
...I had the black tank and grey tank valves closed as I usually do and is the standard practice...
As noted earlier, I think you will find the standard practice is to close the black and leave the gray open. There is no advantage to closing the gray.
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:40 PM   #10
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One Downside


There is one small downside.

Sewer systems can sometimes get pressurized and vent gas back into the RV Gray Tank, which then exits the roof vent.

Very rare and quite smelly I was told.

But I still keep my gray tank open!

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Old 12-01-2014, 06:46 PM   #11
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I have always feared the grey rank filling up and back flowing into the coach. Although I prefer to keep the grey water closed to use to flush out after the black tank I do tend to keep the grey open when at full hookups.

I hope all turns out well for your coach.

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Old 12-01-2014, 07:05 PM   #12
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+1 Gary, and +1 Cliff... We never leave the units without shutting off the water at the bib. Have had freinds leave the water on leave, and come back to their unit with same bad results. Not a nice way to end the day. Never had a problem leaving the gray open. When it's time to move on just close gray day before and take a long hot showers... Nice!
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:13 PM   #13
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Keep both tanks closed unless doing laundry. With the electric toilets the black fills faster than the gray so I always will have gray water to flush the hose.

Seconds on the sewer gas backup. Some folks will leave a dip in the stinky slinky to form a trap but I do not want to do that. I prefer to have the hose empty.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:16 PM   #14
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As said above, I always close the main water supply off outside before leaving.

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