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Old 07-24-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
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Grey water tank clog

At least I think it's a clog. When dumping before we left our seasonal site Sunday I noticed the grey water tank that serves the shower just trickled slightly when I opened the valve. The gauge showed it was full. I left it opened and the trickle continued, and eventually the gauge showed three lights instead of four, so that was progress at least. We had to go home so I just left it open, still trickling when I left.

I'm curious what could clog this up. The valve seemed to be working ok.

Charlie
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:32 PM   #2
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Have you knock on the bottom to see if it has any water in it, also try to fill it then open and flush it out
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightriderrv
Have you knock on the bottom to see if it has any water in it, also try to fill it then open and flush it out
I'm pretty sure it was full when I started since the gauge had begun to go down. Also, the trickle of water was maintained for quite a while before I left, maybe thirty minutes or more.
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:03 PM   #4
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Ideas.

If the slide valve is connected via cable it might not be opening all the way.

Fairly often when they cut holes in tanks they just knock the 'slug' into the tank. I've seen this happen on fresh water tanks many times.

Drain the tank as well as you can.

Get an old garden hose and cut the brass fitting off the end.

Guide it into the drain end of your grey tank with the valve open. If it hits an obstruction and you can tell it's NOT the gate valve then it's probably safe to clear the obstruction/slug agressivly with the hose.

I've had to do this on 2 brand new fifth wheel fresh water tank inlets recently. But short of disassembley there's no way to get the slugs out of the tanks.


A safer alternative might be one of these : RV Hydro Flush - Product - Camping World

Put your cap on the open end so the water is being forced back into the grey tank under pressure.

There will be some spillage............. Wear gloves and be ready to dodge.
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
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Hi Bloodyhell,
If Muddypaws suggestions does not correct the problem, then you have a real clog, just like at the stick house. I take care of clogs just like I do at the stick house. Drano. I know there are many that say Drano will ruin the tank parts, but after 34 years of owning a coach, nothing bad has happened yet and the clogs do go away.

Make sure the grey tank is 1/2 full. Add about 1/2 can of Drano. Let stand for a couple of hours. Drain the tank. Refill and drain again. Refill and drain again.

After years of use, used soap crud, scum, etc. does build up inside the grey tank. There are cleaners made to get ride of this buildup (CW sells them) but they require routine use and maintenance. If you have a real clog, you'll need something more powerful.
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddypaws
If the slide valve is connected via cable it might not be opening all the way.

Fairly often when they cut holes in tanks they just knock the 'slug' into the tank. I've seen this happen on fresh water tanks many times.

Drain the tank as well as you can.

Get an old garden hose and cut the brass fitting off the end.

Guide it into the drain end of your grey tank with the valve open. If it hits an obstruction and you can tell it's NOT the gate valve then it's probably safe to clear the obstruction/slug agressivly with the hose.

I've had to do this on 2 brand new fifth wheel fresh water tank inlets recently. But short of disassembley there's no way to get the slugs out of the tanks.

A safer alternative might be one of these : RV Hydro Flush - Product - Camping World

Put your cap on the open end so the water is being forced back into the grey tank under pressure.

There will be some spillage............. Wear gloves and be ready to dodge.
Ha! That's good advice. I actually have one of these, but I'm opting to wait until I get a blade valve to add to the end. That way I can leave the hose on and hopefully avoid a second bath with the same water.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:25 PM   #7
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Blade valve

I must have had a brain fart......

I carry one of the back flush adapters, with the blade valve. Haven't needed it since I got it but I sure don't intend to throw it in the garage.
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:05 AM   #8
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Good idea on the cut out I've seen it and had to dig some out before forgot about that one
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightriderrv
Good idea on the cut out I've seen it and had to dig some out before forgot about that one
My trailer is a 2005. Do you think there is a chance that the cutout might have found its way back into position after all these years?
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:51 AM   #10
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Make sure the vent for the tank is not obstructed. I had this a few years ago, and it made for very slow drainage of the tank.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:02 AM   #11
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It could be the only way to know is to get in there and see what the poblem is
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:03 AM   #12
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Yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodyhell View Post
My trailer is a 2005. Do you think there is a chance that the cutout might have found its way back into position after all these years?
Entirely possible.......... I've seen tanks where the hole was not completely cut and the material was left hanging. Thus creating a kind of flapper valve. But I've only seen this on fresh water tanks.

Regarding the clogged vent: Good call! But wouldn't the vacuum created by draining suck the water out of the P-traps? Seems that it would at least make a gurgle sound somewhere? I've never had a clogged vent so I don't know for sure.

When you find the cause please let us know! For future reference.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:12 AM   #13
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It possibly could be the cut-out that found it's way over to the drain. We had a slow drain event this past winter. My remedy was a medium size bottle of Dawn dish soap emptied between the sinks and the shower drain followed by as much hot water that we had available. Let it sit a few hours and when I pulled the drain valve I've never seen water drain that quick. Worked for us, that Dawn has some real cutting action in it's contents. A build up over the years can occur and I guess one of the biggest culprits is hair cleaning and softener products that are on the market. Anyway that's what we used and it worked for us. Good Luck.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:23 AM   #14
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Update- I returned to the trailer Friday to find the tank all drained out since it had been left open through the week. I closed the valve and spent the weekend filling it up normally. On Sunday the tank was full. I opened the valve to the same trickle as last week, so the condition hadn't resolved itself.

I added my newly acquired valve on the back end of my hose attachment and forced water up into the tank for a minute, then opened things up to a gusher! I have a transparent elbow to watch what comes out and I didn't notice anything, really. This might add credence to the knock out plug theory. Anyhow, it's fixed for the moment. thanks for your advice.

Charlie
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