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Old 07-22-2011, 07:50 AM   #1
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Black tank cleaning

Ok folks, I know this is a dead horse, so to speak, and maybe not even worthy of a new thread. Here goes anyhow.

Black tank lights are fully lit, even though the tank is completely empty. Not a major issue, just an annoyance. I know it's the sensors and I've read dozens of other folks ideas on cleaning it with various chemicals and methods. I've flushed with with the built in flusher and shoving the wand flusher down the toilet. It's as clean as I can get it without chemicals.

We've got a camping trip this weekend to Lake Tahoe in a park with full hook ups so I'm thinking this is a good time to get a cleaning in and be able to empty it just before we pack out.

Here's the method I'm going to use. I'm going to add 2 bottles of liquid dishwashing detergent (it doesn't foam) and 1 bottle or box of fabric softener with how ever much hot water the hot water heater in our garage will give me. I'll drive it around the neighborhood a bit to give the hot water/chemical mix a chance to slosh around. Tomorrow morning when we leave, the water will have cooled off to ambient temperature and I'll dump 20 or so pounds of ice into the toilet just before we hit the road for the 100 mile drive to Lake Tahoe. It's a combination of methods I've seen other folks post, with the exception of the hot water. I haven't seen mention of using hot water. I'm using this method because, we're not full timers, so it doesn't get driven a lot to create the agitation effect in the tank. I'm hoping the hot water tonight, followed by the ice in the morning will get it done in one go. We'll see!

Think it'll work?
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:00 AM   #2
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Sounds like a plan.. But not sure you need that much soap or softner.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:14 AM   #3
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Thetford makes a probe cleaner.
it has worked well for me. Any RV dealer can get it for you.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:34 AM   #4
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Let us know how that method works out for you.

Good Luck !!

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:20 AM   #5
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I am a beleiver in Pine-Sol. I put about 1/2 qt. in each tank with about 10gal. of water and drive to my next destination then drain and flush the tanks. I also put about 5gal. of water in the tanks before I use them. This not only cleans the tanks and sensors but it leaves a pleasant odor throughout the MH.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:23 AM   #6
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I like your plan... just make sure you put in enough water for it to slosh to the top of the tank. I too use primarily PineSol.

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Old 07-22-2011, 10:36 AM   #7
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My lights are all lit up even when the tank is empty. I haven't had this problem before, although I never really trust the sensors. I have filled it, used the wand inside, used my flusher, tried Dawn and Calgon, and added ice before the last trip home. It still shows full. I imagine paper has hung up somewhere but it is annoying to see it register FULL when I know it's not full! Guess I will try Pine Sol next.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:03 AM   #8
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Keep in mind the possibility that the sensor and electronics behind it could be defective. If the sensor has wires going to it that can be disconnected, disconnect the wire to the topmost sensor and see if the top light goes out.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:21 PM   #9
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I bet its a defective sensor, dirty job, but somebodies gotta do it
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:00 PM   #10
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That is a lot of stuff in the tank (2 bottles and one box) I usually use 1/2 cup each Dawn Dishwashing liquid (it does foam) and Calgone water softener and six gallons of water followed by 50-60 miles of driving. Well, That's when I use that method

I also use a home made version of the Valterra Master Blaster down the throat of my Sea-land type toilet.. That works.. At least it works 100% for the FULL and 2/3 sensors and about half the time (Depending on how big a hurry I'm in) for the third of a tank.

I'm trying the RV-Swivel Stick by Camco, it too does the top two. but no joy (yet) on the bottom one... But then as noted the home made blaster does not always get that one either.

Recommendation: Google: See Level Sensors RV
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:13 PM   #11
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Have you read your manuals to see if there is a procedure to recalibrate the sensors? On ours, you fill up the tank, take out the little black cap about the indicator button, us a tiny screwdriver, turn until the lights are fully lite, then turn until all go out, then turn back to fully light them again. Dump tank, and adjust button to indicate empty. That's the instructions for ours, but don't know about yours.

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Old 07-23-2011, 12:02 AM   #12
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UPDATE 1. Added the dish detergent today. About a bottle and a half. 3/4 of a bottle of fabric softener. Guestimate of about 25 gallons of hot water. All the lights are still lit after decided to get a head start and head to Carson City from Reno, about 50 miles. Tomorrow morning I'll add 20 pounds of ice before we take the drive to Lake Tahoe. Hopefully I'll get some positive results. If not back...................back to the drawing board
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speed racer View Post
I am a beleiver in Pine-Sol. I put about 1/2 qt. in each tank with about 10gal. of water and drive to my next destination then drain and flush the tanks. I also put about 5gal. of water in the tanks before I use them. This not only cleans the tanks and sensors but it leaves a pleasant odor throughout the MH.
Just curious, how can 10 gallons of water in your black tank clean all the probes. My probes extend to the top of the tank.

Jim E
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pairajays View Post
Just curious, how can 10 gallons of water in your black tank clean all the probes. My probes extend to the top of the tank.

Jim E
I think the idea is that you have to drive for some distance to have a partial tank of water slosh around in the tank to get a bit of a scrubbing action. I like to have my tank a bit over half full to accomplish this but the number of gallons will depend on the size of tank.

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