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Old 08-26-2012, 07:17 AM   #1
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Black water tank cleaning

As crappy of a job as it is, it must be done!! The easy way I have found to clean the black water tank is to dump about 30lbs of ice down the toilet add about 3-4 gal water and drive around town for about 30 min. The action of the ice in the tank will scrub the interior nice and clean. Then just drain the tank.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:31 AM   #2
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Yes, that works. When we are at a CG I dump & flush the tank EVERY day. Never a problem or smell with this routine.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:54 AM   #3
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Wrenchblender......Your method of cleaning the tank works, but is really for a tank that was not cared for, such as one you might find in a used RV purchase. If you're doing this frequently, you are spending a lot of money on ice and driving around, even though I'm guessing that you mean driving around as in driving home.

We've been RVing for 38 years. The night before we depart I close the grey water valve. The day of departure, I dump the black tank, turn on the internal sprayer (easy/cheap attachment) and let it run for a few minutes with the valve closed. This floats out the last of the solids. I close the valve and let it run for a few more minutes to add about a gallon of water. I dump the the grey and I'm done.

The drive home with the gallon or so of water keeps everything moist and moving around. I usually add a small amount of chemical and leave it for the next trip. If the coach is going to be parked for a couple of months, I drain out the gallon or so I left in there.
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:20 PM   #4
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Use lots of water to flush, flush tank by filling then draining often (do not just pull the valve open on a quarter or half filled tank you need the rush of water to flush) and every once in a while use a cleaner of some sort.

There are many home remedies for "cleaners" and by searching these threads you will get plenty of menus. I just use what I get at CW (yes I know it cost more etc.
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
it must be done
Why must it? As others have said, use lots of water, dump when full, flush regularly. I guess I must not do it right. How clean the black tank is not something I think about much.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wrenchbender View Post
As crappy of a job as it is, it must be done!! The easy way I have found to clean the black water tank is to dump about 30lbs of ice down the toilet add about 3-4 gal water and drive around town for about 30 min. The action of the ice in the tank will scrub the interior nice and clean. Then just drain the tank.
We do it both faster and cheaper. We open the toiler flap and stick the hose down on full power. In less than 90 seconds the tank is totally clean.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:10 PM   #7
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I just tried something new that I read about on this forum.Itoo close the gray water the night before, dump the black water tank first, run the tank sprayer a few times flushing out the tank, then drain the gray water and finall add a couple of gallons of water to nthe black tank.

On our last trip I added a half bottle of Calgon water softner and one cup laundry detergent to the black tank after flushing. I then waited until tank was full and dumped as usual, tank cleaned better then ever, first time all lights were out after flushing the tank, usually it would still show 1/3 full after dumping. The writter of the article I read explained that the water softner makes the water "slick" and makes it so that things will not stick to sides and bottom. It seemed to work well for me.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by J Stemler View Post
I just tried something new that I read about on this forum.Itoo close the gray water the night before, dump the black water tank first, run the tank sprayer a few times flushing out the tank, then drain the gray water and finall add a couple of gallons of water to nthe black tank.

On our last trip I added a half bottle of Calgon water softner and one cup laundry detergent to the black tank after flushing. I then waited until tank was full and dumped as usual, tank cleaned better then ever, first time all lights were out after flushing the tank, usually it would still show 1/3 full after dumping. The writter of the article I read explained that the water softner makes the water "slick" and makes it so that things will not stick to sides and bottom. It seemed to work well for me.
Our sensor also wasn't reading properly. We did the Calgon water softener treatment also, and it now works great. I think we read the same article. We also put it in the gray tank. I responded to this question on another forum and was more or less poo pooed (no pun intended) and told it really doesn't work . Well, it has worked for us, so we're continuing
to do it.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RanCarr View Post
We do it both faster and cheaper. We open the toiler flap and stick the hose down on full power. In less than 90 seconds the tank is totally clean.

I did not mention earlier but I clean my sensors with one of those wands that has several jets by putting it down the toilet using the hose. It cleans them easily and completely so my ten year old sensors preform as new. I also run it back and forth in the tank. My tank is very clean as a result.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jzick View Post
Why must it? As others have said, use lots of water, dump when full, flush regularly. I guess I must not do it right. How clean the black tank is not something I think about much.
Our DSDP's have both had built in flush units, in the 10 years we've had this one I've used in maybe twice! I don't drain it unless it's at least half full, adding water if needed and our sensors never need cleaning since they're the external pad ones.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:11 AM   #11
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After we drain the black tank we dump two 5-gallon buckets of water down the toilet. Even though we have a black water flush running the whole time we're draining, it is amazing how many solids get stuck directly below the toilet. Dumping those pails of water dislodges the solids and gets ride of it all. By the end of the 2nd bucket the water draining out of the black tank is running clear. Our sensors always read correctly if we do this.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:21 AM   #12
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So now you know. There are a multitude of ways to cleaning the black water tank. Whatever works for you is the best.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Wrenchbender View Post
As crappy of a job as it is, it must be done!! The easy way I have found to clean the black water tank is to dump about 30lbs of ice down the toilet add about 3-4 gal water and drive around town for about 30 min. The action of the ice in the tank will scrub the interior nice and clean. Then just drain the tank.
Well, 30#'s is over kill, but the idea is right. Do a major fill up/flush before you leave the CG, add 5 and ice and hit a dumping spot when you fill up ... Pain in the 'you know where' but beats the what will happen next.

Actually on shorties (save for dry camping, and even then if there are pit potties) 'Pee only.' Brief explanation and "Got-Chaa!"
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:24 PM   #14
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Why must it? As others have said, use lots of water, dump when full, flush regularly. I guess I must not do it right. How clean the black tank is not something I think about much.
I don't do it right either.

I don't flush the tank unless it is close to full so the rush of draining gets most everything out and just run the the built in tank flusher for 5 or 10 minutes afterwards. Occasionally put a cup or two of the closest at hand emulsifier type cleaner before I go to bed and in the morning drive to a dump station and let it rip.

The rig is almost 12 years old now and the black tank is just fine for its intended purpose.

We don't have to get too bent out of shape over getting the tank as clean as a whistle. Trust me not many mothers-in-law are going to check the innards of your black tank.
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