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Old 06-06-2016, 06:29 PM   #1
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Black Tank won't Drain!!

I'm turning to my IRV2 bretheren to seek assistance for my black tank not draining. We purchased a 2007 travel trailer used last year as a part of a land purchase. We use it 3-10 days a month The previous owners had kept it in very good shape with 1 exception. Last year when dumping the blank tank , we had a good woosh of fluid then after 10 seconds it would slow to a trickle. This happened 4-5 times , each after filling the tank to full, (we can look down the toilet and see eeeww) . Eventually we called a septic company and they hooked up a hose to the dump valve and sucked while I fed a tank flush wand in the toilet and added water. It took out a lot of sludge , paper etc and we thought we had it.
This year I added extra powdered enzyme waste digester with water and after a few trips the tankl was 1/2 full so thought I would try my luck, well I have 0 flow now.
Im about to try Draino or Liquid Plumber to see if I can break it up before I call a plumber with a video scope.
Has any one ever used these retail drain decloggers in an RV ?
Im at the end of my rope. no amount of rv tank additives has helped !
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:41 PM   #2
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Sometimes when they cut the hole for the pipe they leave the resulting disk inside the tank. Get a drain cap with a garden hose fitting and see if you can blast it open with water.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:45 PM   #3
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Have you tried Happy Campers Extreem? I have used the Extreem when I first bought our coach and have used the regular stuff since with good success. Don't know how it would work with a tank that is what appears to be Really Plugged.
Not sure what else to say.

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Old 06-06-2016, 06:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnmor View Post
Sometimes when they cut the hole for the pipe they leave the resulting disk inside the tank. Get a drain cap with a garden hose fitting and see if you can blast it open with water.
Good suggestion, you should be able to find one of these at Wally World, Can Tire or most RV Parts stores.

https://www.amazon.ca/Camco-39533-X-...+hose+fittings
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:25 PM   #5
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Ridex makes a liquid RV product. Forget the instructions. Pour the entire bottle in. Fill water until you can see it thru the commode, about half way at least. Try to let it stand for a few few weeks. Just before you depart for the next trip put a 20 pound bag of ice in the tank through the commode. Dump after putting 100+ miles on the speedo. The ice will be melted. The ice sloshes around in the tank and breaks up the clog. Dump and fill until water runs clear from the tank. You should be clean as a whistle. Now get yourself some Happy Camper RV tank conditioner and use it routinely. Always dump your black tank when it's full. If it isn't full, add water until it is full. Happy Camper also sells tank cleaner that works great. Forget about the brand name tank products. They work Ok when everything is moving Ok. Read the reviews on the Happy Camper products.

Good luck

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Old 06-06-2016, 07:26 PM   #6
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I used Travel Jon waste Digester. Powder form and mixed as per instructions. I have tripled the dosage and its been sitting for 3 months now. (yes its taken that long to 1/2 fill the black tank as we are just occasional weekenders.) The trailer is on jacks and skirted so it cant be moved. (aka shake it up).
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:30 PM   #7
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I do have a 45 degree clear adapter with a garden hose fitting for reverse flush , maybe ill try that also. Still want to hear any
about Draino results though.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:37 PM   #8
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You say that you can look down your toilet and see eeeww.
This says your drain does STRAIGHT DOWN.
Some units have the drain on a 45 degree angle.
This can cause a build up at the end of the pipe,

Run a garden hose down the vent from up on the roof.
Make sure it is CLEAR. Sometimes the tank builds up and then
backs up the vent pipe. This reduces the pressure required
to drain a tank.

Houses and RVs require good downpressure to flush a toilet
and drain.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:50 PM   #9
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I would stay away from any kind of drain cleaner, most contain lye or acid either would be hard on rubber seals at the dump valve.

Try back flushing with your fitting or use your dump hose hold it higher than the tank and fill it with water lift and lower to force water in and out of the tank.

You may need to empty your tank more often and be sure to use more water per flush. Before dumping the tank add water to the tank with a pail a large volume of water will help stir things up before opening the valve.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:05 PM   #10
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You need to put water in that tank, and lots of it. When you flush, you need to use lots of water. You need to use lot's of water until the issue is resolved.

Drain clog buster chemicals are usually high concentrations of sodium hypochlorite. It's a strong bleaching agent.this may not be good for many parts along the way, and makes the liquid from the black tank a little more dangerous than it already is.

Camco has a wand with a blaster nozzle on the end of it. If you can look down your toilet into the black tank, this wand could help you clean it out since you can't take the trailer for a nice long drive.
http://amzn.com/B000BPB346
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:58 AM   #11
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I had a fried who thought his new toy hauler 5'er RV only had a 5 or 6 gallon black tank. I had him drain it completely then pour a 5 gallon bucket of water down the potty, then set that same bucket at the valve and see if he catches the same amount. Surprise. A gallon r two of ugly came out then it stopped. He looked up in the hole and saw something orange. Then his wife starts laughing and fesses up to dropping the cap to a laundry detergent bottle down the hatch. Not quite sure how she did that but it was there. He had to park it in a field and remove the valve and let err rip.

As said above. You've got some forien object in there that is moving as it drains and plugging it up or you have not been allowing enough liquid to build up before dumping. Never sit with the black valve open. Liquids go out and solids dry up. Always fill the black tank all the way up with water before you dump. Also make sure you have a few gallons of water in the gray tank to flush out the hose ofter dumping the black tank.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:04 PM   #12
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If you put caustic Chems in there it will dangerous to the folks working on it--think skin and eye burns.

There are three potential causes
1-broken valve/pull mechanism
2-inorganic blockage like the laundry cap or construction debris
3-organic blockage (someone left the black valve open while using the toilet over a period of time.

Items one and two require opening up the tank/valve. (Hence warning about caustic Chems)

Item three likely solved with long term water soak and normal Rv toilet Chems.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:18 PM   #13
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Sounds like the previous owner didn't know what they were doing, and have left you with the dreaded brown pyramid . Keep back flushing, and always leave lots of water in it. It may take some time to break down !!
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjlakatos View Post
If you put caustic Chems in there it will dangerous to the folks working on it--think skin and eye burns.

There are three potential causes
1-broken valve/pull mechanism
2-inorganic blockage like the laundry cap or construction debris
3-organic blockage (someone left the black valve open while using the toilet over a period of time.

Items one and two require opening up the tank/valve. (Hence warning about caustic Chems)

Item three likely solved with long term water soak and normal Rv toilet Chems.
I'm inclined to agree with you. I've just about ruled out #3 , had lots of water, time and digester.
I'm fearing #2 (no pun intended), but I've called a plumber with a video scope to check it out. I assume he'll go down the toilet as it sits right on top of the tank.
Its frustrating when you only get a weekend to check it out and it's a 4 hour drive away.
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