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Old 08-11-2005, 10:50 AM   #1
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HI, we just got our 1st MH ever, 98 PaceArrow Vision,, and we're having
a problem with the black tank reading 3/4 full after empting it,, we
did'nt empty it till 3/4 full like the book said.. Called the dealer
and he said flush the tank,,What exactly does this mean..?I did a search on this topic, now really confused,,Ice cubes, calgon, Etc...
TIA, Ted O.
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Old 08-11-2005, 11:43 AM   #2
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There are a couple of ways to flush out your waste tanks. The easiest is that some RVs have a flush system that is installed into the tanks. They are very easy to install if you have access to one side of the tank and they cost less than $20 at the RV stores. They consist of a nozzel that is put into the tank through a hole that is made with a common hole saw. Some of them also have fittngs to run a hose to an easier access point to connect them. With these you just connect a garden hose to the fitting after you dump the tank and turn on the water. The nozzle then sprays the inside of the tank.

Another way is to get a wand that is made of the black tank and that fits on the end of a garden hose. You then drag the hose into the bathroom and hold the flush valve of the toilet open and put the nozzel end of the wand into the tank and turn on the water.

There is one more way, and that is to fill the tank with fresh water and then dump it again.

There are also many different ways to clean the inside of the tanks, and they vary in how well they work. Probably the very best way is to fill each tank about 1/3 full of water and add a good dose of trisodium phosphate (TSP) which can be found in the wallpaper section of your local home supply store. You then drive around for an hour or to your next camp site and dump when you arrive. The travel will slop the water and agitate it to clean the sides of the tanks.

You need to know that inaccurate guages in the waste tanks are just a part of RV life. There is really nothing that will work long term so you will need to do something on a frequent basis, or just get used to knowing when to dump. RV tank level indicators use the least expensive type of indicator that puts an electric contact inside of the tanks at different levels and when current flows between them that level is indicated. If they get dirty, the current can flow with the tank empty. There are sensors that apply to the outside of the tank and that are accurate even with used tanks, but they are quite expensive and only them highest priced RVs have them. As an ultimate test, you can always look into the black tank with a flashlight and the gray water will get slow to drain from the shower. Most of us just learn to get along without accurate tank indication. I do clean mine from time to time, but I never trust them.
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Old 08-11-2005, 11:44 AM   #3
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Fill fill your stool 3/4 full or beter put Ice cubes down the hatch drive around some. then dump. Paper products tend to cling to the gages and then they give false readings
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Old 08-11-2005, 01:31 PM   #4
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Thanks Guys, will do , leaving in the Morn. for a 200 mile trip...
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Old 08-13-2005, 08:16 AM   #5
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Kirk
Your statement about only the highest priced motorhomes/models used to be true, but in 2005 Winnebago went standard across the board with a non-contact system using active sensors (circuitry in the black square that sticks on the tank side).
Of course that was right after I bought my 2004.

Upgrade cost is about $180 and it uses the same wiring and connectors. It does require a new pc board that is a drop-in replacement for the existing board. I plan to get one when I visit the Winne factory at the end of the month.
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Old 08-13-2005, 05:08 PM   #6
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There are also products out there now to help get your sensors clean. There is a "level gauge cleaner" and a "Probe Cleaner" that can be poured into your tanks along with whatever other black tank product you are using that are designed to clean "gunk" off your gauges. I didn't know about these until we opened our store. We stock both of them (along with tank wands) and folks purchasing them have been quite satisfied with their results.

Julie
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Old 08-13-2005, 11:14 PM   #7
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Well I am glad that this subject came up but in my opinion there's really only "one" proven method of really cleaning holding tanks and that's through the use of a 3,000 psi Hydro-Jet.

First of all you actually have to look inside the tank to see what the issues are. By use of a closed circuit TV camera lens attached to the end of a snake the inside of my tanks were made visible on portable TV monitor. This technology was employed on both the gray and black water tanks.

What was seen would make the heartiest soul cringe but not to worry a solution was at hand.

I met Mr. Don Zimmermann at a Rally in Casa Grande, AZ and he was a vendor at this event. The company that he works for is called All-Pro Water Flow of Central Arizona. Both Don and his son came over to my rig and gave me a technology demonstration. Initially using a camera they were able to identify the problems and came up with a game plan to eliminate the odors in our tanks.

By means of a long clear sleeve that is attached in between the discharge outlet and the sewer pipe they were able to insert a 1/8" diameter high pressure hose. The hose was fitted with a proprietary head that had 7 discharge holes angled back from the tip of the head. Once inserted and the line charged the hose powers itself into the tank. By manually directing the hose the jets were forced to impinge on all the interior surfaces of my tank and were subjected to 3,000 psi of water pressure. The size of the jets we're only a few thousands of an inch across perhaps as big as a small sewing needle.

This pressure is more than enough to scour the inside of the tank, the face of the sensors, the flushing nozzle and the discharge pipes. The process took about 35 to 40 minutes of moving the line in and out and twisting the hose around. After the process was completed, and the tank completely drained we checked the monitor gauges and they were all remarkably on zero.

This process was also applied to the gray water tank and it was cleaned out as well. What was remarkable about the stuff that came out of the gray tank was that we were seeing black mold clumps that were being dislodged from inside the gray tank. Mold is one of the leading causes for airborne infections in humans.

Once the tanks were physically clean, a commercial grade disinfectant was measured and dumped into each tank and the flushing process occurred again for about 15 minutes per tank.

Concluding the disinfection of the tanks, All-Pro Water Flow states that it kills 99.9% of all bacteria, fungus, mildew, viruses and germs in the tanks.

At this point we considered our tanks to be in like new condition.


Note the special adapter pipe

Don provided me with a paper that I thought I would share with you called:

Tips For Healthy Holding Tanks.

Before Your Trip
Put 5-gallons of water in all tanks
Add a good enzyme to break down solids and deodorize tanks. (Wal*Mart has a powder product on their shelves)

During Your Trip
Keep both black and gray dump valves closed even if there is a dump available while camping.
Dump the tanks before you leave and refill with water then dump again when you arrive at the new park. The sloshing action during driving will help clean the tanks and break down solids. (No need to use ice cubes)
BEFORE dumping top off the tanks with water, it creates a better exit flow and cleans the tanks.
NEVER use a dry tank, always put in water and enzymes in first.

After Your Trip
When possible, return home with tanks half-full of fresh water to "stir" the tanks.
Top off the tanks and dump before storing.

General Maintenance
Use a quality enzyme to break down solids.
Never store an RV with dirty tanks.
Never use acids or bleach in your tanks, they can destroy the rubber in your blade valves.
In cold country, store completely clean and dry or use anti-freeze in the tanks and traps.
Because build-up is inevitable in all the tanks, consider having the tanks Hydro-Jet cleaned once a year to keep the tanks odor free and the sensors reading correctly.

There's more information at All Pro Water Flow.com.
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Old 08-15-2005, 12:18 AM   #8
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Just use The Geo Method.

The Geo Method Homepage

The Geo Method Blog
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Old 08-15-2005, 05:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Geometricenigma:
Just use The Geo Method.
Hmmm. Yes, the "Geo Method". I've seen your plugs on many other forums as well and I appreciate the energy and time you have put into the writeup. However, without any more evidence and scientific support for this method, (other than your "understanding of chemistry, physics, and biology with a smidgen of common sense thrown in for good measure"), I file this with other information I have received from experienced RVers. No better, no worse. I do wonder a bit at your motivation for having a website and Blog just for this subject but maybe it's just my skeptical nature.

For what it's worth, here's what I do, it comes from 11 years of RVing and nothing to buy.....
<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Install a spray head in black tank and use a clear fitting between the sewer pipe and sewer hose.<LI>Use lots of water.<LI>When black tank is at least 3/4 full, dump black tank.<LI>Turn on sprayer until liquid runs clear.<LI>Close black dump valve but let water keep running in.<LI>After 1.5 minutes - time it! You don't want to overflow! Open black dump valve.<LI>When time permits, keep doing the last 2 steps until it runs clear.<LI>Close the black dump valve for the last time and let the water continue to run from the sprayer for the next 1-1.5 minutes.<LI>Turn off the sprayer water. This charges the black tank with fresh water for the next use.<LI>Put in enzyme if you will be storing for more than 2 weeks.<LI>Open gray tank valve to allow gray water to flush out hose.[/list]
I never use chemicals and don't have smells or clogs and my sensors work, (although I just look down the toilet to see the level). Lots of water regularly is all you need.
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Old 08-16-2005, 07:01 AM   #10
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[/QUOTE]

Hmmm. Yes, the "Geo Method". I've seen your plugs on many other forums as well and I appreciate the energy and time you have put into the writeup. However, without any more evidence and scientific support for this method, (other than your "understanding of chemistry, physics, and biology with a smidgen of common sense thrown in for good measure"), I file this with other information I have received from experienced RVers. No better, no worse. I do wonder a bit at your motivation for having a website and Blog just for this subject but maybe it's just my skeptical nature.
[/QUOTE]

"However, without any more evidence and scientific support for this method.." So, you're saying that you need an MIT research project to convince you that laundry products are very effective at cleaning dirt? Wow. That's why I mention a smidgen of common sense in The Geo Method article. The idea is very amusing. An august assembly of Harvard scatologists gathered around a model of an RV waste water system in a state of the art laboratory, with their heads stuck down an RV commode, trying to figure out if laundry products will clean dirt out of a black tank. You must work for the government.

In your skeptical mind, what does my motivation have to do with whether or not what I have suggested in The Geo Method works? You make it sound as though I'm trying to corner the market on waste water. It's a statement without meaning intended to baselessly impugn (call into question) my integrity. People who've tried The Geo Method have found that it works really well. Many of us don't want either pickled poop adhering to the insides of our tanks, the blue stuff stink, or an active bacteria colony thriving in our tanks. We just want to be able to clean the tanks easily and cheaply.

Ok, so I set up a homepage and blog for The Geo Method. So, what? What does that tell your discerning mind? The nefarious Mr. Geo wants to know.

As Buggs Bunny would have quipped, "What a Maroon.."
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:27 PM   #11
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Chill. Your method might work wonders and I never said it didn't. My post was meant to do three things....
<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Provide another alternative which is the way I do it, (I'm not saying it's any better or worse than yours - it just works for me).<LI>To find out if you, or anyone else, know why those ingredients might work better than anything else out there (I'm just curious about this - really)<LI>To ask, why someone would bother to create a Blog, a web page and a copyright for this. Just seems like you went to an awful lot of trouble for this. If you're just being a nice guy that likes to help people then I'm sorry if I ruffled your feathers.[/list]On a re-read, my original comments came out more negatively than I meant but a healthy dose of skepticism on these boards is not misdirected, in my opinion. I ask the same questions of those spouting the benefits of deer whistles, gas line magnets, other huge gas saving mods, etc.

I'll give you the last word (if you want it).

Peace.
E. Fudd
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