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Old 08-28-2011, 08:25 AM   #1
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"The" Black Tank Question Again

We need some serious help here; about a month ago, we started getting a putrid odor from our black when we flush. I even went to Camperworld and bought one of those spin nozzle tools and cleaned the tank out. We live in our RV fulltime and normally drain and clean every 4 days. Now, I am having to do it every other day to keep the odor down. The vent seems to be clear, we have tried "everybody's" chemicals. The only thing I can think of now, is not using enough water when the toilet is flushed. Any suggestions??? For a year, we didn't have any issues, and now it is here.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:40 AM   #2
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Use lots of water and I recommend using two cap fulls of liquid Rid-X per tank flush.

It contains enzymes that will liquify the waste & control odors. Some remain each time you dump and the two cap fulls replenish the good bacteria.

I also recommend using a clear fitting prior to your hose connection to monitor the waste coming out. That will tell you whether or not you are using enough water. it should be milky brown and not dark brown or black. If it is dark, you need to use more water.

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Old 08-28-2011, 08:43 AM   #3
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If your motorhome is tilted slightly to the curbside, It will hold some sewage in the back of the tank. Try leveling the motorhome with the right side SLIGHTLY higher than tyhe left. This will let the black tank drain completely.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:47 AM   #4
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We have the clear drain elbow; and when draining it is brownish and sometimes a little greenish; pretty much degraded and liquified. After draining I always back flush for a few minutes to make sure there is nothing else to come out. For a day after cleaning every thing is fine and by the second day the odor is back. I am going to try the volumes of water and see if that will help.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:57 AM   #5
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I would say something made a nest in your vent or the vent pipe is clogged in the tank. Put a plumbers snake down the vent from the top to clear it out. You are smelling the gas from the tank....
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:02 AM   #6
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Thanks, I will check that out immediately..........
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:13 AM   #7
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I think it's a vent problem, too- if it's unobstructed, you might look it over for cracks/breaks that are allowing gases to enter the rig.
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:38 PM   #8
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I encountered a similar problem on our last trip. My Pilgrom TT bathroom ceiling vent is set up with a bedroom exhaust vent. The black tank vent is located between the bedroom exhaust fan vent and the bathroom roof vent. We found that when the bedroom roof vent fan was operating it was creating a drag on the interior air as designed, but in this case it was drawing air in the bathroom roof vent which because of the proximity to the black tank vent was drawing odor from the black tank vent. The odor ceased when the ehaust fan was turned off or the bath roof vent was closed. Just a suggestion.
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:56 PM   #9
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All good advice so far. Just some thoughts:

Use lots and lots and lots of water. If you full time and are usually hooked up add 10 gallons or more after you flush the tank. At least until you find the source of the problem.

The use of ceiling vents/fans will easily pull odors from the tank into the coach when the toilet is flushed.

Do a good check on your vent to ensure it's clear and still mounted securely.

Good luck and let us know how everything turns out.

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Old 08-28-2011, 09:24 PM   #10
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Sounds like this is a "new" problem.. but, just in case..

When you flush, are any of the fans running in the house? Are they pushing air IN or drawing it OUT? If sucking out.. that may be the problem.. especially if they are Fantastic type fans.. the toilet/black vent won't remove fumes which want to rise if there is a negative pressure in the house. Now, if the fans are pushing air in.. and you still get that odor.. something else is at fault.
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:21 AM   #11
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Isn't it correct that if your fan is in exhaust mode and you open the flapper in the toilet- you will smell fumes if your black tank vent is working and not plugged/clogged- right? scgator- if this is the case and I'm right, then you must have just a build-up of crud in your tank and the Rid-X or similar should fix it...along with lots of water.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:06 PM   #12
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I use a cup of oxy clean each time I dump the tank and this has worked for me. That is assuming the vent is clear and you don't run the fan when flushing.
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