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Old 07-10-2014, 07:21 AM   #1
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the RIGHT way to treat your BLACK water tank??

Typical newB question, I guess. Our MH is parked at the house and connected to SP for the A/C to work. We occasionally go out and sit in it during cocktail hour, and the admiral treats it like her home when she has to go...so there's a little bit going into the black tank from time to time.

Yesterday a bloom of odor hit her when she flushed, so something's fermenting down there. What's the drill for killing the fermenting? Buckets of soap and water? Clorox? That RV treatment?

Is there a way to neutralize the odor that doesn't include emptying the tank?
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:25 AM   #2
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If you treat it like an outhouse it will smell like an outhouse. It is not a septic tank, just a holding tank so it should be emptied often at lots of water flow through it.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:30 AM   #3
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Add just alot of Water and two chemical treatment packages. When using. use more water than usual. What happened, is there at home, the water in the tank has evaporated from the heat. Next time out fill tank and empty. Always use the chemical treatment in the tank. When at home and using, add more water then usual in when you flush.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:48 AM   #4
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Some will say that you need no chemicals since the tank is a holding tank not a septic system. We find that using holding tank chemicals will help with odor if you can't dump quickly and when it is hot outside. It is supposed to help break down waste also. Look around and check prices for the stuff and remember the tank treatment for boats works. We usually buy gallon jugs of it from Boat US right down the street from our winter home.

Lots of water does help. Obviously it dilutes everything and that helps. It does fill the holding tank faster though.

If you can get to the sewer at your sticks and bricks house one of these may be helpful Amazon.com: Flojet 18555000A Waste Water Pump: Automotive We have one so we can wait till we are at the stick house to dump and not have to hunt for dump station. A garden hose run to the sewer vent is all it takes. Be careful if you go with the tank treatments if you have a septic system.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:02 AM   #5
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Fact is black tanks smell doesn't matter what you add to them to mask the odor. Don't flush with the exhaust fan running it will pull air thru the black tank and into the coach and don't hold the flush lever any longer than needed to empty the bowl. They are right it is not a septic tank but if its going to be a while until you will be able to dump you can add some enzymes to help break up solids to prevent buildup and don't dump unless the tank is full top it off with water before dumping and always rinse the tank out after dumping.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:03 AM   #6
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Makes sense 100%, that the holding tank was being used just as if it were a septic tank. My bad.

Looks like I'm going to add a dozen gallons of water to the tank and empty it into several 5-gallon buckets in order to un-do what we've done.

Following that, it's possible that the line to our home's septic tank might be close to the MH. A little digging might reveal the location, then what's the best plan? Drill a hole in top of sewer drain, glue section of 1" PVC to the hole so it vents out of the ground level, then cap it for use when using the FloJet?

I must be missing something with that plan, eh? How did you guys do it?
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:04 AM   #7
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We only use water and use it 5 months each year. If you use the exhaust fan, you need a near by window open or you are sucking air from the black tank when you flush. We flush the tank often.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elf111 View Post
Fact is black tanks smell doesn't matter what you add to them to mask the odor. Don't flush with the exhaust fan running it will pull air thru the black tank and into the coach and don't hold the flush lever any longer than needed to empty the bowl. They are right it is not a septic tank but if its going to be a while until you will be able to dump you can add some enzymes to help break up solids to prevent buildup and don't dump unless the tank is full top it off with water before dumping and always rinse the tank out after dumping.

I just learned another trick; don't add water by holding both water and flush pedal down. Fill bowl with water, then quickly flush and release

lol, that exhaust fan's been running all night...guess it's time to turn it off.

No solids, so guess it's mostly fermented liquids, so I'll go to the boat store and get what they suggest.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:24 AM   #9
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Happy Camper - Odorless Holding Tank Treatment Black and Grey Water
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:26 AM   #10
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Get yourself a bucket of Happy Campers Organic Black Tank Treatment. When flushing use plenty of water.

I typically use the RV Rid-X formula when temperatures are moderate. Once the temp gets to about 90F I switch over to the Happy Campers for treating the black tank.

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Old 07-10-2014, 08:38 AM   #11
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My $.02...

1. Chemicals. First coach we used them, our second coach none. If your vent systems are working fine then you should not have any odors to deal with. Grey tanks can be just as bad as the black so make sure you keep water in all Ptraps. The most likely problem there is if you have an unused washer hook up. If so, occasionally poor a couple cups of water into it.

2. Vents. We installed the 360 Siphon to replace the older versions that twirled around. Work great and look MUCHO better.

3. Use of vent fans point #1. As others mentioned, when flushing make sure there are a few windows opened when you flush or you will suck fumes from the black tank.

4. Use of vent fans point #2. We figured this out last year. Sometimes you may suck stinky air coming from the vents of either tank back into the coach if you are running fans. What can happen is that on days when the winds is very light that the fumes don't get blown away but drift over the roof and down the side of the RV and get sucked into the coach through an open window. The fix to that is to close the offending window on the side opposite the breeze. It is rare but happens.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:47 AM   #12
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:49 AM   #13
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We've been using the Happy Camper tank treatment for several years and NEVER have any odor! It's totally safe, you can eat it without harm! I buy it in the large containers and it's less expensive than anything else I found. They also give you a money-back satisfaction guarantee!

https://www.5starhappycamper.com/


It's also available from Amazon now!
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:39 AM   #14
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