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Old 11-16-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
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stuck holding tank valve


Our black holding tank valve is stuck. Any suggestion on how to open it and how to prevent this will be appreciated .

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Old 11-16-2012, 12:55 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and sorry for your troubles.

Hopefully someone will chime in with ideas on how to get it unstuck. I assume there is black water already in the tank that needs to be dumped and that can be a real trick.

Once you do get it emptied, I would replace both valves (they're only about $15/ea) and when you put them back together lube them well with plumber's grease. Then, every year or two take them apart to clean and re-lube.

Good luck


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Old 11-16-2012, 01:02 PM   #3
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What Rick said. If you really can't unstick the valve you'll need to take everything apart. It won't be pretty, espeically if you've got a full black tank, but it may be the only way. Once you manage to get the tank empty, replace the valves and lube everything w/ plumbers grease.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:08 PM   #4
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thankfully, our tank is empty and clean-------we had it open recently and then closed it to travel for oil change and now it is stuck.. We are fairly new owners and this is a new problem--- now on to learn how to open it and install new valves.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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It's really easy to install a new valve once you get access to the old one. The valve is just bolted on w/ 4 bolts. Take out the bolts, take out the old valve & the 2 seals that are on either side of it. Then install the new seals & new valve in its place. Lube everything w/ plumbers grease and don't overtighten the bolts (hand tight should do just fine). The most difficult part of the job is just making sure all the seals are properly in their groves before you tighten everything back together...the seals have a habit of slip-sliding around a bit.

I just did the job 2 days ago on our motorhome so if you need pics I have them HERE. And trust me if I can do it, you can do it

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Old 11-16-2012, 03:00 PM   #6
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An old trick I've used a few times is to bump it open.

Unscrew the plastic handle from the stem, then get 2 nuts the right size to thread back on instead of the handle. Put on one nut, then slip a piece of small chain (in the middle of the length so there's 2 'tails' of chain coming out) over the bolt, then the second nut.

You can now use the chain like a slide hammer. Take a firm grab of the chain, leaving a little slack in it, quickly tug it taught, being careful to pull only directly in line with the stem, not off too much to one side. The sudden snap of pressure is the key to getting it moving.

When the system is very dry sometime the rubber seals dry against the slide plate, often pouring some clean water into the system and leaving it sit for a while helps too.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:13 PM   #7
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Thanks all.

We added some water with coconut oil to the tank, let it sit for about 48 hours and WE ARE NOW UNSTUCK!! Thanks so much for all the info. It really did help.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:02 AM   #8
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I see a project coming. After reading this thread, I think I will be pulling the valve and putting plumbers grease on things. My black water valve is a little stiff to open, so some grease may be a good thing.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:24 PM   #9
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Really good idea with the coconut oil, i'll have to remember that. Or just be sure to include coconuts on the menu?
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
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Glad you fixed your problem - might consider replacing the valve gate while your at it - inexpensive and not hard to do. Roll the driver side rear wheels onto a few boards will help elevate the tank so any residual moisture/crud in the tank won't drip on you while your putting in the new valve.

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