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Old 01-23-2016, 03:39 PM   #1
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Black Tank Rinse Backflow Preventer Issue

It's been driving me nuts. Black tank stink in the basement comes and goes. Sometimes slight. Sometimes overwhelming. Finally figured it out, I think. Tank rinse uses a Watts backflow preventer. It is vacuum/gravity only. However, due to design, line leaving the bfp to the black tank is actually open to the atmosphere at the bfp (when nit flush ing the tank/line nit under pressure). Duh! I'm thinking a simple in-line check valve (of the submersible pump variety ) is the solution to my woes. That is, unless anyone has a better solution. Here's the offending backflow preventer :

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Old 01-23-2016, 09:39 PM   #2
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You can replace what you have with one of these Camco 1/2 in. Brass Back Flow Preventer-23303 - The Home Depot
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:03 PM   #3
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Thanks Don. I have that exact same check valve ordered from Amazon. Should do the trick, I would think.
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:08 PM   #4
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You dont have a Sani-com macerator by chance do you?
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:11 PM   #5
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It would be very helpful if you posted what RV you have
and what system you are talking about
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:26 PM   #6
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No macerator. Just plain old plain old. Think I'll have it covered with the check valve.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyd View Post
It would be very helpful if you posted what RV you have
and what system you are talking about
There are some key words that lead you to what the OP is talking about such as "black tank", "stink","tank rinse".

The brand of motorhime makes no difference as 99% are built the same way when it comes to a black tank rinse system. All have a back flow preventer so that possibly contaminated water cannot flow back into a good water system.
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by deminimis View Post
It's been driving me nuts. Black tank stink in the basement comes and goes. Sometimes slight. Sometimes overwhelming. Finally figured it out, I think. Tank rinse uses a Watts backflow preventer. It is vacuum/gravity only. However, due to design, line leaving the bfp to the black tank is actually open to the atmosphere at the bfp (when nit flush ing the tank/line nit under pressure). Duh! I'm thinking a simple in-line check valve (of the submersible pump variety ) is the solution to my woes. That is, unless anyone has a better solution. Here's the offending backflow preventer :

That is a vacuum breaker, they will spill water and leak gases. I tossed mine and just used the check valve. It sounds like that is what you are doing. Note that the instructions mentions the water spillage. RV manufactures ignore the spillage, and install anyway they please.
http://media.wattswater.com/1910218.pdf
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:36 AM   #9
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Which makes little sense as the vacuum breaker costs more than a check valve. Good to know others have had the same issue and swapped it out for a check valve. Thanks
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:17 PM   #10
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Which makes little sense as the vacuum breaker costs more than a check valve. Good to know others have had the same issue and swapped it out for a check valve. Thanks
It is a plumbing code thing so I guess we can't fault them for using it. With a check valve, you need not worry about back flow. At least you had a brass defective part rather than the cheap plastic defective one.

My issue with the RV builders is that they will never follow the instructions that say to place the vacuum breakers where the water drips will do no harm. Mine was right above the electrical inlet and next to my silverware.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:42 PM   #11
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Yea. it's been a good 15yrs since I poured over plumbing codes, but they could have placed a check valve after the bfp to prevent noxious gasses from entering the camper. doesn't address drips though. At least mine was above vinyl flooring, so no issue with drips. This AM I just connected the lines with a street and nipple until my check valve arrives. Funny thing, smell is finally gone. Unrelated, but another thing that chaps me is the use of cheap cheater vents at sink (after p traps). Our former six-figure RV used them as does our Okanagan. Changed those out with quality units (once, foolishly, I allowed the grey tank to fill with sewer gas, which in turn filled the whole RV with sewer gas as the cheap cheater vents don't seal well). But, I digress.
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