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Old 03-11-2016, 10:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I use the Geo-Method and have for many years. Never have a problem with "stuck" sensors and the tank always checks out clean with my bore scope.

My MO is to dump about 3 gallons of hot water with the appropriate stuff mixed in just before leaving on a trip, that way it gets a chance to agitate and coat the tank. We only dump when the sensor shows 2/3 full or if we have to dump prior to that we fill the tank up. I typically dump at home so I have the luxury of being able to rinse well.

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's UP. The Calgon makes everything "slick" so nothing sticks. I think the biggest problem is that we try to conserve water too much in this area. Conserve it during your showers or washing dishes, but don't conserve it here. I learned my lesson the hard way.
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:28 AM   #16
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Laundry detergents have water softening chemicals in them, too. This is helpful to know if you have trouble finding Calgon water softener in stores (I did).
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I use the Geo-Method and have for many years. Never have a problem with "stuck" sensors and the tank always checks out clean with my bore scope.

My MO is to dump about 3 gallons of hot water with the appropriate stuff mixed in just before leaving on a trip, that way it gets a chance to agitate and coat the tank. We only dump when the sensor shows 2/3 full or if we have to dump prior to that we fill the tank up. I typically dump at home so I have the luxury of being able to rinse well.

Aaron
We use the Geo Method. However, 99% of the time just use 3 or 4 Costco detergent pillows in black and 2 in grey tanks. Never have a problem with odors and sensors read correctly. Normally don't dump until we get home before backing into driveway. Use plenty of water and built in tank sprayer for at least 5 minutes. We have always used Charmin tissue we get at Costco.
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:39 AM   #18
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For what it's worth, I use this toilet treatment:


Camco TST Orange Power Toilet Treatment, 1 gal - Walmart.com


I think it smells pretty decent, and I've never had a problem with odors since I've been using it. Also, I agree with others here who say the key is to use a lot of water before you drain the tank. I always add 4-5 gallons after I dump, and I usually will use the sprinkler flush almost every time I dump. I have a clear section on my sewer hose, so I keep flushing until the water comes out looking totally clear.


So far, no problems (keeping my fingers crossed!)...
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:45 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by RedRaider93 View Post
I have a clear section on my sewer hose, so I keep flushing until the water comes out looking totally clear.
I have a clear forty five degree elbow. Basically for the same reason above.
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:53 AM   #20
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Keeping The Black Tank Clean From The Start

What's been said: nuff water, and any TP is fine.
Happy Camper unstinks it nuff, and tank sensors are senseless. BTW, nothing disolves solids in a short time, if you use a clear adapter at the exit you will know.
I dump both when either one gurgles, and can't imagine ever gearing up for or giving the system a colonoscopy (EEK).


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Old 03-11-2016, 11:18 AM   #21
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This is my opinion on the matter.

I use Thetford CampaKem now. I use it according to the label instructions within sane limits. IOW, I don't bother measuring it out precisely, I just keep a bunch of 4 ounce bottles with the product in them, and dump one in if I decide it might be useful or I just want to. This product has formaldehyde and methanol and other nasty chemicals that freak some people out. What I want it to do is break up solids like TP (I use Angel Soft) and "other things" so that it dumps well. Not much more is needed for me, but there are other benefits I've found to using it, like zero sewage odor.

And my tank does not have any sewage odor. That isn't important to me, but it's a nice side effect of the product I have started using.
Formaldehyde is usually learned about in a high school biology class because the display specimens are commonly submerged in it. It is an effective solution to kill bacteria. This is why it's in the Thetford CampaKem, to kill the odor producing bacteria in the black tank.

A black tank is a holding tank, not meant to be a sewage digesting tank like a septic tank or sewage treatment plant. It can effectively reduce odor in your RV. However, when the tank it dumped, it can cause expensive problems downstream. If the campground has it's own small sewage treatment plant, the formaldehyde can kill or impair the digesting bacteria needed to make the sewage safe to introduce back into the environment.

I strongly recommend if you're using additives to your black or gray tank they NOT contain formaldehyde or other bacteria killing chemicals. Detergents or water softeners are designed to prevent solids from clinging to the tank surfaces and flushing out with the liquids. Perfumes or odor covering chemicals are O.K., but not really needed if the tank is adequately mixed with water to ensure it flushed the tank.
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:24 AM   #22
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I strongly recommend if you're using additives to your black or gray tank they NOT contain formaldehyde or other bacteria killing chemicals.
Strongly recommended by whom exactly?

Formaldehyde FACTS: ATSDR - ToxFAQs„: Formaldehyde
TLDR version:
Quote:
What happens to formaldehyde when it enters the environment?
- Once formaldehyde is in the air, it is quickly broken down, usually within hours.
- Formaldehyde dissolves easily but does not last a long time in water.
- Formaldehyde evaporates from shallow soils.
- Formaldehyde does not build up in plants and animals.
More CH2O information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formaldehyde
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:31 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by 1bigmess View Post
Strongly recommended by whom exactly?

Formaldehyde FACTS: ATSDR - ToxFAQs™: Formaldehyde
TLDR version:
How about these folks, among many others:

http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/drywall/docs...rmaldehyde.pdf

http://waterquality.cce.cornell.edu/...epticTanks.pdf

http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/...wastewater.pdf

https://rv-pro.com/features/picking-...tank-chemicals

https://www.dtsc.ca.gov/Publications...-Consumers.pdf
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:39 AM   #24
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In California there is a fine for using any chemicals in your holding tank that contain formaldehyde. I'm not sure how they would find it but BFlinn is correct.

The chemicals we buy at Camping World/Walmart contain no formaldehyde. All you do is throw in one pod, add water, no fuss no muss. They work great and help keep the valves and level gauges clean and working properly, and you get no bad odor. They come in a bag of 10 or 12 and cost about $8 on sale, they also have the same type thing for the grey water tanks.

What cracks me up is those of us who spend thousands of dollars on a MH, spend hundreds of dollars on gas, whatever on the campsites and then try to cut corners on something cheap that really does benefit the holding tank system, and then say it is a waste of money.
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:46 AM   #25
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In California there is a fine for using any chemicals in your holding tank that contain formaldehyde. I'm not sure how they would find it but BFlinn is correct.

The chemicals we buy at Camping World/Walmart contain no formaldehyde. All you do is throw in one pod, add water, no fuss no muss. They work great and help keep the valves and level gauges clean and working properly, and you get no bad odor. They come in a bag of 10 or 12 and cost about $8 on sale, they also have the same type thing for the grey water tanks.

What cracks me up is those of us who spend thousands of dollars on a MH, spend hundreds of dollars on gas, whatever on the campsites and then try to cut corners on something cheap that really does benefit the holding tank system, and then say it is a waste of money.
I couldn't agree more with your last comment.
I have used Happy Campers for a few years. It is by far the least expensive and best performing product of any I tried before.
I use regular TP, mostly the stuff from Costco.

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Old 03-11-2016, 11:48 AM   #26
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On my fourth used MH. Had to replace a black tank valve a couple times, no other issues. For 20 years always dumped black, added 3-5 gallons of water, chemical and hit the road.

From this website added a clear hose elbow a few months ago. WOW!!! Has that been a surprise. Let me tell you, dumping and adding a few gallons of water is NOT getting things clean. Useable, but not clean.

If you get setup for a few days in one spot with water and dump try this, you'll be shocked as well. When 3/4 full, dump, add 5 gallons of water. Dump again.....dark brown, lots of paper. Fill tank 1/2 full with fresh water....dump, still light brown, and paper flow out.( still not clean). Again fill 1/2 or 3/4 fresh water, dump, water is clear now, but still getting paper. It is amazing how long it takes for some paper to not be visible in that clear elbow.

New thought: Recently saw a you tube RV Geeks video about cleaning the sink. Fill with water, add Oxyclean and let set a few hours. Did a great job, Corian white sinks look like new..... What about grey, and black tanks????
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:48 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Quote:
Conclusions
• Only full tanks should be empties in septic tanks
• Read the label on the de-odorizing product carefully
for the presence of active species
• Follow the directions for applying the product to
your tank.
• When in doubt ask the campground/marina
owner what kind of de-odorizer you should use.
No mention of CH2O poisoning of septic tanks.

Quote:
RVers CAN HELP...
Here's How:
- Minimize your need of
holding tank deodorizers
by using rest stop
facilities when you can.
- If you must use a
holding tank deodorizer,
read the label carefully.
Biodegradable (enzyme
and citrus-based)
products are available.
Whichever product you
choose, follow label directions and add no more
than recommended amounts.
- Some products that claim to be flushable, such as
some types of cat litter, may clog hoses and septic
tanks; use toilets for waste and toilet paper only.
- Ask questions of your park manager about drinking
water and wastewater management.
On the front of the bottle of Thetford KampaChem, it states it is 100% biodegradable.

The above article seems to me to simply be an advertisement for the products being talked about by the folks that make them. There is also some advice in there that goes against common knowledge, such as "“Many times when people use the wrong product in their holding tank, it will clog up, especially if they’re using formaldehyde products because a holding tank is like a small septic tank but it’s only 40 gallons,” says Stewart, who created RV Digest-It, a holding tank cleaner." Reading the entire article, it's a marketing piece for "alternative" products. That doesn't necessarily mean they are better for anything, they may be less toxic, but they are just an "alternative".

Finally, there is something that says that the mentioned chemicals can kill the beneficial bacteria in a septic tank. It also says:
Quote:
These chemicals have not been evaluated by DTSC, but based on their potential impact to “dump stations” should
be avoided in holding tank deodorizers.
Make of that what you will.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-11-2016, 12:15 PM   #28
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As you can see black tank management elicits as many opinions as oil, tires, wax, etc. So, here's mine...


No chemicals needed, if you have smells, there is a problem to be solved.
Use plenty of water when flushing, and always add a few gallons after every dump.
Wait until the tank is full or near full before dumping.


The most important thing you can do however is simply live by the following rule:


If it's not TP, Pee, or Pooh it does not go down the toilet.
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