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Old 01-24-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
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Holding Tank Chemicals

I hope you all don't get tired of basic questions from a newbie. But, can I get suggestions on the best way to treat my b&g holding tanks? I'm sure there is a favorite product that you all use. Guidance please, also a very GREEN individual here.
Thanks
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:04 AM   #2
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We never tire of questions as we all were newbies once.

I, and many others have never used any holding tank chemicals.

There is no need to use anything.

It's all advertising hype.

Can't get much greener than that!
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:25 AM   #3
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I agree that its all sales hype. We have been rying for over 40 years and learnd a long time ago that chemicals are just a waste of money. Nothing beats doing a proper flush when dumping and sanitizing at least once a year. The first place to check if you notice an odor is the vents. Bugs seem to love to build nests in them. Another place that odors can come into the living space is the p-traps in the sinks and shower. The water in them can evaporate allowing gasses from the grey tank to escape.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
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I have been RVing since 1972 and spent the last ten years fulltiming. In all that time I have never used chemicals or any additives in the holding tanks. And I've never had any odors or any problems.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:26 AM   #5
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WOW. That is certainly a GREEN approach So glad to hear this too. I did read somewhere that someone used a cap full of Green rated laundry detergent to help dissolve solid waste. All good news and thanks again. You guys are great
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:34 AM   #6
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Another fulltimer adding his voice to the, you shouldn't need to add anything list. We move around a lot and many times the tanks have stuff in them when we do. Always figure the normal sloshing around during the drive does more to clean them than any chemical ever could.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
I did read somewhere that someone used a cap full of Green rated laundry detergent to help dissolve solid waste.
Not necessary, nor is any home brew.

All of these home brews are anecdotal.

Be sure to use plenty of water on each flush and that is all that is necessary.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:53 AM   #8
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I use water.. On occasion I'll clean 'em geo-style (epically if going into storage) but basically I use water. nothing else.

The geo method: Dump tanks, Rinse well, close valves and add 1/2 cup each DAWN regular (NOT anti-bacterial) Dishwashing liquid, 1/2 cup CALGON water softener, powder or liquid and 5-6 Gallons of water (I have six gallon water bottles)

DRIVE, I drove 60 miles

Dump.

Now.. If I'm parking "Off line" for a while, where I need to maximize the tank capacity.. I may add a biological (Waste Digester) type product.. But I'm not sure how much they help.

As for adding chemicals... There is no chemical that will improve tank operation (Save the list above for cleaning prior to storage) There are some that will make it worse. and fast.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:59 AM   #9
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For those not using any chemicals in tanks...are your tank level gauges still reading correctly?
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadeye916 View Post
For those not using any chemicals in tanks...are your tank level gauges still reading correctly?
Yes.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:23 PM   #11
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And what about when parked... leaving the valves closed so the tank fills up rather than continuously flowing into the pump.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:27 PM   #12
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I also use nothing but lots of water.

I've even graduated to not even flushing the system as I believe that "flushes" out the the natural processing going on in the tank. Even septic tank pumpers put back some of the liquid to keep the process going, which keeps the bad smells from forming.

I learned my lesson a couple of years ago after I bought a small washing machine. I was using a lot of bleach to whiten up my dingy T shirts, and normally used that gray water to flush the empty black tank.

After a couple of tanks of smelly product I finally figured out that the bleach water was killing off the natural organic process going on in the black tank. I stopped flushing and the smell went away by itself.

This may not be appropriate for non full timers where a good rinse would be good before storage of the RV.

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Old 01-24-2010, 01:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
And what about when parked... leaving the valves closed so the tank fills up rather than continuously flowing into the pump.
The black tank should always be closed until it's 1/2 to 3/4 full so there is enough volume to cause a good flow when dumping.

The gray tank always stays open, except close the gray tank the day before dumping the black tank to have sufficient volume to flush the hose out after first dumping the black tank.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:57 PM   #14
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We don't use a thing. The only thing we did change was the vent cap on the roof. We popped in a new Cyclone swiveling vent cap. It draws the odors out...

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