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Old 03-18-2013, 07:37 AM   #1
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Black water explosion.

Not a explosion but a lot of pressure. Last year I told a good frind that when we leave az. and head home I drain and flush black tank and put about 15or 20 gallon of water and add a cup of redex to tank. When we get home unit sits about 6 to 8 weeks before we hit road again. Drain tank before we go and nice and clean. Now to the explosion, My frend added a cup of redex before he dumped tank and boom. No damage but a lot of pressure. He had some kind of cem. for smell in tank and temp was 98 , what happened to build all that pressure? Mike
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:43 AM   #2
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Something is very wrong. The black tank is vented to the roof. If pressure built up, the vent is completely plugged. I'm not even sure pressure would be able to built without blowing through the toilet seal. Sounds fishy to me.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:39 AM   #3
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I would assume that as the bacteria breaks down the waste that gasses are emitted which would build up pressure in a closed or sealed environment. Your waste tank has a vent that comes out the roof so it should not be a sealed system. If you climb up on the roof you should actually find 2 vents, one for the black tank and one for the gray tank. There are little plastic covers over the actual vent pipe, check there for a bees nest or mud wasps that could be clogging the vent and allowing pressure to build. In only takes a few lbs of pressure to ruin your day, and your clothes, and your sense of smell for a week.

If thats not it, I also have a problem of pressure building between the waste valve and the end cap (that orange cap that goes on after removing the waste hose). So I leave the orange cap on a bit loose, it's there in my reasoning only to keep mice from making a home in that area, so no need for it to be tight.

After I'm done dumping the DW asks if there was an a$$plosion, or if all went as good as that job can go. Lately all has been well, and I'm knocking on wood as I type this.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:45 AM   #4
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What is redex?
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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I think he was referring to Rid-X.

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What is redex?
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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Red-Ex was (maybe still is) what was called an "upper cylinder lubricant". At our UK gas station in the 1950's, we had a pump container of it on the gas-pump island.

One shot in the tank (about a tablespoon full) with the gas was supposed to prevent cylinder wear.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:30 PM   #7
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Why would you put a shot of that in your black tank?

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Red-Ex was (maybe still is) what was called an "upper cylinder lubricant". At our UK gas station in the 1950's, we had a pump container of it on the gas-pump island. One shot in the tnak with the gas was supposed to prvent cylinder wear. It put in about a tablespoon full per shot.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:26 PM   #8
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Due to the design of my black tank the vent is over a shallow shelf. If the tank if rather full and the rv parked unlevel left to right it can block the vent and allow pressure to build up. It does not happen often but can surprise you when you pull the valve.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:19 PM   #9
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Due to the design of my black tank the vent is over a shallow shelf. If the tank if rather full and the rv parked unlevel left to right it can block the vent and allow pressure to build up. It does not happen often but can surprise you when you pull the valve.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:26 PM   #10
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214mrj44

I too didn't know what 'redex' was. Google tells me it's a debugging computer language, a network of RV dealers, or a European engineering firm. Nothing I'd put a cupful of in a black tank, except maybe the RV dealer.

The vent should bleed off any gases, if it doesn't, the next weakest link is the toilet valve and any sinks connected to it. While a blocked vent would create pressure, the small volume of water in a sink trap would allow gases to escape -- to your immediate notice!

No tank additive I know of would create an immediate gas producing reaction, unless something else that doesn't belong was there first. Sounds like a campfire story like bigfoot, flying saucers, 15 mpg in a Class A, kind of story!
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:48 PM   #11
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I too have never heard of anything like this happening. I once left my San T Flush hose connected to the black tank and forgot about it. The pressure drove water up the vent and onto the roof. Fortunately, it was the third flush of my black tank I was working on so the water was relatively "clean".

I think the earlier reference was about Rid X which is a biological septic tank additive to encourage natural breakdown of the solids. There's certainly no benefit to adding it to a black tank just prior to dumping but your practice of adding a lot of clean water and Rid X and then leaving it sit for a couple of months is a great on IMHO.

Good luck.

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Old 03-18-2013, 08:15 PM   #12
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Sorry about the spelling . It is red-x for septic tanks. My friend sead when he pushed tolet valve water shot out about 2 ft. I told him to check roof vent with a hose and see if clear. Have,nt heard back from him, so guess every thing is ok. Mike
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:26 PM   #13
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I've seen the pics of Bigfoot as well as the Grey's (aliens) every time I go to the grocery store.....they've got to be out there, right ?
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:04 AM   #14
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Rid-X, not RedEx.

Anyone with a septic tank at home is familiar with it, and no, it's not an "upper cylinder lubricant".

RID-X Tank Septic System Treatment Products for Septic Maintenance - Official Site

And yes, it can cause pressure build up and smell. Again, anyone with a septic tank has probably experienced this if the roof vent has become plugged / blocked.

I can see it being good for folks that use their tanks long term, but for short term users, I don't know if the bacteria work fast enough. Can't say that for sure, but it is likely slower than chemical treatment. Also, it definitely doesn't do odor control.
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