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Old 05-16-2016, 12:06 PM   #57
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Just an update...

We plan on hitting the road fulltime in a couple weeks, and so I did a really deep clean of the black and gray tanks. Including filling half full of fresh water, and adding a little bleach to the mixture.

Gray tanks, no problem.

Black tank, i have never been able to get it to drain to EMPTY, and it always registers 1/3 inside at the control panel. Even when it stopped draining, 1/3. I often run the fresh water into the tank while rocking the trailer, and usually, a clump of paper comes out, then a little more water, but today nothing but water. We have not put anything into the tank except flushed urine, since Christmas.

Well, after adding half a tank of fresh water and a couple cups of bleach, I started to drain it and a couple of wet wipes came out, and then of course, more water. We have not put a wet wipe in, except for maybe one or three times "accidentally", otherwise we wrap them up in clean paper and put in the garbage. So these 2 wipes have to be since November or December, and still not dissolved. So now I know how bad anything in the tank is if it isn't completely dissolvable.

Gauge now reads EMPTY.

New rules are only #2 paper goes down. #1 paper goes into trash, as well as wet wipes if used.

Been doing this at home, on septic as well. Seems to be good practice.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:57 PM   #58
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Sounds to me like those wet wipes were hung up on the sensors giving you a false reading.

I like to use Happy Camper Extreme to thoroughly clean black and grey tanks with of course LOTS of water. Bleach is great to use in fresh water tanks for sanitizing BUT all it accomplished in your grey and black tanks was to destroy all of the "good" bacteria that is used to breakdown the waste.

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Old 05-16-2016, 02:38 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by scottandanna View Post
Just an update...

New rules are only #2 paper goes down. #1 paper goes into trash, as well as wet wipes if used.

Been doing this at home, on septic as well. Seems to be good practice.
This is how we have done it for many years and never have had any problems. You can save a lot of space in the tank just by not throwing #1 TP down the trap. Glad your wipes decided to break loose and come out.
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Old 05-16-2016, 04:32 PM   #60
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We will have had this trailer (our first) for one year on 5/22, and we have learned SO much in this time.

Mostly by error. And not necessarily "trial" and error. Just error...

But, we took a year to figure out what we could make go wrong, and how to fix it, so in a couple weeks when we hit the road for a 3 month pacific northwest-glacier-yellowstone tour, we should be able to fix just about anything that is thrown our way, while sitting on the side of the road.

It is amazing how my original tool box has changed, what tools have been weeded out, and what special tools and materials have been added over the year.
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Old 05-16-2016, 04:42 PM   #61
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Even "safe for septic tank" wipes really aren't. Don't use them in your black tank. The only time I had a black tank clog was when my DW and kids thought they were okay; NOT!
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Old 05-17-2016, 12:58 PM   #62
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The FEDs (FTC) has given wipe manufacturers a grace period for items already manufactured and are requiring them to test the breakdown of the wipes per a test protocol. If they don't pass they will not be allowed to label them as flushable. Sewer districts all the country have been having problems with them.
See HERE
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:53 PM   #63
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I have a friend who has a septic pumping business and showed me pics of systems that the homeowners flushed wet wipes down the drain.....bad idea! I would never put them in my tank or toilet at home again. I believe the wet wipe companies are now required by law to state that on their packaging going forward.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:32 PM   #64
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We will have had this trailer (our first) for one year on 5/22, and we have learned SO much in this time.

Mostly by error. And not necessarily "trial" and error. Just error...

But, we took a year to figure out what we could make go wrong, and how to fix it, so in a couple weeks when we hit the road for a 3 month pacific northwest-glacier-yellowstone tour, we should be able to fix just about anything that is thrown our way, while sitting on the side of the road.

It is amazing how my original tool box has changed, what tools have been weeded out, and what special tools and materials have been added over the year.
Sounds like you are going to have a fun journey, 3 months, wish we could do that. Will that cute Boxer be riding along with you? Love those dogs.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:39 PM   #65
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Sounds like you are going to have a fun journey, 3 months, wish we could do that. Will that cute Boxer be riding along with you? Love those dogs.
Yes, that boxer and our cat. We sold our home, and have been planning on moving to Oregon for a couple years. We are finally biting the bullet first week of June, and heading out full time, touring the pacific North West until we find the next place we want to live and work.

Both of us are now licensed to work in OR, and we are throwing out resumes and applications along the way. Already had a couple of decent phone interviews, so we are feeling pretty confident that we can relocate within those three months.

But the first 6 weeks will be mostly touring and checking out all the different metropolitan areas, up and down the coast, along the Columbia River, and some of the larger interior towns, such as Bend, Salem, and Eugene.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:48 PM   #66
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Are you kidding?
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:59 PM   #67
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Bleach is great to use in fresh water tanks for sanitizing BUT all it accomplished in your grey and black tanks was to destroy all of the "good" bacteria that is used to breakdown the waste.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
Grey and Black tanks are NOT septic tanks, they are merely hold tanks to transport waste until it can be dumped. Very little digestion of waste materials happen in your holding tanks, therefore, bleach is a great sanitizer to kill bacteria until the waste can be dumped in an approved sewer system.
If dumping in your home SEPTIC tank, I would be hesitant to use large quantities of bleach for the reason stated above, but if going into municipal sewer system, or campground sewer system, bleach is just fine IMHO
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:02 PM   #68
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Are you kidding?
No I'm NOT kidding . . . what are we talking about?!? Context would be helpful!
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:27 AM   #69
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Quote:
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Grey and Black tanks are NOT septic tanks, they are merely hold tanks to transport waste until it can be dumped. Very little digestion of waste materials happen in your holding tanks, therefore, bleach is a great sanitizer to kill bacteria until the waste can be dumped in an approved sewer system.
If dumping in your home SEPTIC tank, I would be hesitant to use large quantities of bleach for the reason stated above, but if going into municipal sewer system, or campground sewer system, bleach is just fine IMHO
I've heard this line of reasoning before, but I don't agree with it. Septic systems don't hold waste water for long periods of time. The rule of thumb is to size the septic tank large enough for the average daily use to fill 60% of the tank capacity. The tank is constantly draining as waste water enters.

My black tank holds waste for 7 to 10 days on a regular basis. Plenty of time for bacterial action to breakdown solids. I can see this when I drain it - paper is broken down.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:10 PM   #70
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Are you kidding?
Great post, very informative and helpful.
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