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Old 02-13-2022, 08:32 PM   #1
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Tornado flush added to black waste tank...

While working on a different black tank issue, I decided to finally add a black tank flush system. My hope is that it will keep my sensors clean and accurate. It seems like most times when I dump my black waste tank the 1/3rd and 2/3rd sensors have been staying "on" and that forces me to get out the hose and wand, run it all through the window, down the toilet, etc to get it clean (what a pain). Hopefully this works...

I picked the Tornado tank flush system. You can find it here or on amazon...

https://www.campingworld.com/tornado...ion-28091.html

In order to drill the hole in the rear of the tank (so it is blasting water towards the drain), I needed to remove the rear outer tire and the forward flap.



There is a template that comes with the system so it makes it easy to know exactly where to put all the holes.

Apply lots of silicon and fasten the unit to the tank...



I added an elbow to reduce hose strain.



I ran the hose to the drain valve area (seemed like a good place), ziptied it up and out of the way, and cut the hose to length.



Here's a modification I made to the Tornado system that should help me and hopefully others can take advantage. I noticed that the spray pattern was not ideal for my tank and sensor setup. The head of the device that is inserted into the black waste tank spins so it sprays water pretty good. Here is what it looked like out of the box...



I felt like it might not hit my sensors as much as I want to get them clean. So I took the smallest drill bit I have and added two more holes in just the right spot so that the water will hit the area it was missing. I tested it all (uninstalled) on my driveway and it created the pattern I was looking for. Here is what it looks like:



Total time to install was probably about an hour with much of that involving jacking up the RV, placing jacks (for safety) and removing the outer dually tire.

I'll let the silicon dry and then test it out.

If this works as I hope it does, it will be so nice keeping my tank clean after dumping and more importantly my sensors clean without ever having to bring a hose through the window and wand down the toilet again.

Happy Camping!
Chris
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Old 02-14-2022, 11:11 AM   #2
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Chris - bu no means do I want to rain on your parade, and your post is much appreciated and well done for those who want to go that route, but -

Since I first got on the board, over a year ago - I have found many people, having issues with their tank sensors.

Coming from a world in industrial environmental cleanup (as I point out in the following response to someone having trouble with a gray tank clog) I posted the following response to that person.
And I have responded simmarilly to many over the time I’ve been on the boards - hoping to create understanding as well as saving people money and minimizing their waste tank/ waste tank sensor issues.

Take it as it was written, not as a negative comment to the “job well done” activity you have undertaken -

“ A gray tank gets a lot of grease and oil. Grease and oil float on the water and over time a dry cake begins to form. That cake tends to be a crusty gray color that can look like precipitated water solids.
If that cake is allowed to dry out much, then it can get pretty solid and will not rehydrate without some help, usually mechanical but with enough time, grease cutter, water, and agitation (as previously noted) it will begin to break down.

I’m not a big fan of the ice cube solution (and I say this after having tried it several times before recalling my past life designing self cleaning electrostatic precipitators, as well as peering down the clean-out hole of our septic tanks when the honey truck came to pump).
Yes, it helps to agitate the fluid in the tank with ice as long as your able to drive the coach making several turns before it melts.
But keep in mind, the ice will float so as to only clean at that level of the tank, and will reduce the cleaning power of the grease cutter.
And that cake will likely float on the ice for most of the life of the ice minimizing the amount of impact agitation that is being sought.

Key point #1 - don’t ever let your gray or black tanks get dry - it is very hard to rehydrate whatever waste is in either one, and the “cake” that remains, when/if it does begin to break up, can do so in large chunks that could eventually clog the tanks discharge port.

Point #2 - your waste tanks are not bio-digesters such as a septic system is - they are holding tanks. Adding enzymes and yeasts and all those other “off-the-shelf” products is a waste of money.
All that is needed is as described previously - a grease cutter (Dawn detergent is most/highly recommended), temperature (hot water is better to help the grease cutter work), a water softener (Borax), the proper concentrations of the above (1/2-1 cup of Dawn and Borax to 5 gallons of water is a start), time - preferably with agitation (driving around).

When we break camp with our coach, I drain all our tanks, then refill with the items amounts as described above using the hot water from the water heater. The drive home insures agitation. The coach sitting in our driveway for a month to 6 weeks or more before our next trip pretty much insures the tanks don’t dry out.

The tank level sensors work so much better now than they did when we acquired this 19 year old coach in Jan ‘21. The same held true for the 27 year old coach we started out with in 2018.”
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Old 02-14-2022, 12:41 PM   #3
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+1 for Tornado. <My previous rv was a Coachmen Pursuit with s rather severe design flaw on the black tank installation. I was able install the Tornado on the curb side of the tank blasting towards the driver side where majority of the tanks actual holding volume was. It helped a lot in not only keeping sensors working, but in moving solids out of the shallow end of the tank down to the deep end where they could actually drain. No argument with MrMark analysis on sensors though, exterior sensors are far better but still have issues. Just had to replace some on my new to me Newmar coach I currently have.
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Old 02-14-2022, 01:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MrMark52 View Post
Chris - bu no means do I want to rain on your parade, and your post is much appreciated and well done for those who want to go that route, but -

Since I first got on the board, over a year ago - I have found many people, having issues with their tank sensors.

Coming from a world in industrial environmental cleanup (as I point out in the following response to someone having trouble with a gray tank clog) I posted the following response to that person.
And I have responded simmarilly to many over the time I’ve been on the boards - hoping to create understanding as well as saving people money and minimizing their waste tank/ waste tank sensor issues.

Take it as it was written, not as a negative comment to the “job well done” activity you have undertaken -

“ A gray tank gets a lot of grease and oil. Grease and oil float on the water and over time a dry cake begins to form. That cake tends to be a crusty gray color that can look like precipitated water solids.
If that cake is allowed to dry out much, then it can get pretty solid and will not rehydrate without some help, usually mechanical but with enough time, grease cutter, water, and agitation (as previously noted) it will begin to break down.

I’m not a big fan of the ice cube solution (and I say this after having tried it several times before recalling my past life designing self cleaning electrostatic precipitators, as well as peering down the clean-out hole of our septic tanks when the honey truck came to pump).
Yes, it helps to agitate the fluid in the tank with ice as long as your able to drive the coach making several turns before it melts.
But keep in mind, the ice will float so as to only clean at that level of the tank, and will reduce the cleaning power of the grease cutter.
And that cake will likely float on the ice for most of the life of the ice minimizing the amount of impact agitation that is being sought.

Key point #1 - don’t ever let your gray or black tanks get dry - it is very hard to rehydrate whatever waste is in either one, and the “cake” that remains, when/if it does begin to break up, can do so in large chunks that could eventually clog the tanks discharge port.

Point #2 - your waste tanks are not bio-digesters such as a septic system is - they are holding tanks. Adding enzymes and yeasts and all those other “off-the-shelf” products is a waste of money.
All that is needed is as described previously - a grease cutter (Dawn detergent is most/highly recommended), temperature (hot water is better to help the grease cutter work), a water softener (Borax), the proper concentrations of the above (1/2-1 cup of Dawn and Borax to 5 gallons of water is a start), time - preferably with agitation (driving around).

When we break camp with our coach, I drain all our tanks, then refill with the items amounts as described above using the hot water from the water heater. The drive home insures agitation. The coach sitting in our driveway for a month to 6 weeks or more before our next trip pretty much insures the tanks don’t dry out.

The tank level sensors work so much better now than they did when we acquired this 19 year old coach in Jan ‘21. The same held true for the 27 year old coach we started out with in 2018.”

Great info MrMark! I don't take offense, I'm easy going. Allow me to elaborate on my experience and motivations...


After dumping my black tank, almost every time the 1/3rd full sensor would remain on, and sometimes the 2/3rd sensor also would remain on. If I'm actively out camping/RVing, I don't really care because *I* know it's empty and I also know I'll have other opportunities to dump during my vacation. But when I'm done from a trip, or if someone (ie. friend or family member) returns it, I want to make sure the tanks are empty and the sensors are once again showing empty. In the past, I would use the hose and wand through the window and through the RV then down the toilet to spray the interior of the black tank. This always gets my sensors cleaned and the control panel reads "Empty", but what a pain. That's the way I want it to be when putting the RV away. Yes, I then do put some water in each tank so they are not sitting dry. So having the Tornado tank flush installed I'm hoping to no longer need to do the hose+wand routine to get the sensors clean and reading empty. Also, being able to spray/fill my black waste tank easily and from outside the RV will allow for a better flush and even a 2nd or 3rd flush if I feel it is needed. Prior to putting in a flush system, there was not an easy, quick, convenient way for me to refill the black tank for a 2nd flush. This should help.



Similar to your suggestions, I also do regularly (but not everytime) put in 1 cup of concentrated detergent degreaser into the black and gray tank to help with keeping things clean. I'm going to try to get into the habit of doing the following... If I know I'm taking my RV out camping and I'll have hookups, I will fill up my black AND gray tank 1/2 way and put in some degreaser prior to leaving my home. That way there will be 100s of miles of sloshing around to clean the tanks while driving. Hopefully that helps reduce long term buildup.



Happy Camping!
Chris
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Old 02-14-2022, 01:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotttkd View Post
+1 for Tornado. <My previous rv was a Coachmen Pursuit with s rather severe design flaw on the black tank installation. I was able install the Tornado on the curb side of the tank blasting towards the driver side where majority of the tanks actual holding volume was. It helped a lot in not only keeping sensors working, but in moving solids out of the shallow end of the tank down to the deep end where they could actually drain. No argument with MrMark analysis on sensors though, exterior sensors are far better but still have issues. Just had to replace some on my new to me Newmar coach I currently have.

Just curious...how long did your Tornado work/spin? Seems like there are some people with stories of them breaking. How long did your work for?


In fact, there must be lots and lots of people out there who installed the Tornado flush system. Would anyone else care to share their experience positive or negative?


In my mind, as long as I didn't create a leak in my black tank at the connection it seems like it should be a plus. Even if it didn't spin after a while but simply allowed me to refill my black tank without going into the RV with a hose it is useful for a 2nd/3rd flush.


-Chris
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Old 02-24-2022, 09:13 AM   #6
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Sorry for the late reply

I was still using the tornado every time I drained/flushed tanks up until trading the rv I for a diesel pusher. Worked flawlessly for 4 years with no issues. I too set up a permanent hose on the patio side and a manifold with back flow protection on the wet bay side so I could operate it as needed. I think for the money they are a worthy add on when you have tanks that wont operate as planned.
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Old 02-24-2022, 11:07 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SJ-Chris View Post
Just curious...how long did your Tornado work/spin? Seems like there are some people with stories of them breaking. How long did your work for?


In fact, there must be lots and lots of people out there who installed the Tornado flush system. Would anyone else care to share their experience positive or negative?


In my mind, as long as I didn't create a leak in my black tank at the connection it seems like it should be a plus. Even if it didn't spin after a while but simply allowed me to refill my black tank without going into the RV with a hose it is useful for a 2nd/3rd flush.


-Chris
I installed one in our Laredo 5th wheel, and it lasted until we traded it for our Road Warrior. It worked for 5 years, but really the difference wasn't all that great for the tanks sensors to work.
I went into it with the thought of using it to help clean out the tank, not to make the sensors work any better. Because I am in the school of the sensors will give false reading after a time, and I had to learn how to tell when the tanks needed dumped without the sensors. So, with this thought, I still don't check to see if the tanks need dump in our Road Warrior, I listen for the tanks to tell me when they are getting full.
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Old 02-24-2022, 01:48 PM   #8
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Waste tank sensors --- evil RV Designers idea of 'fun'

Toilet burps...time to dump black tank
Shower drains slower....time to dump grey tank
Kitchen sink drains slower...time to dump galley tank
Water pump goes 'burrrup'....should have already refilled fresh water tank

Tank level monitors are on par with battery 'level' light indicators---
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Old 02-26-2022, 06:13 AM   #9
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I too installed a tornado but I added it to our grey tank, the black tank has the original flusher. We full time and once a month I will flush both tanks for a few minutes to get clear "water" coming out. The tornado seems to have much better flow and power than the black tank original set up and if, when it fails, I will add another tornado.

I like knowing how full the tanks are and not having to count on sound, or any other method, although it's not a knock at people who do. For the cost of the tornado, I think it is a worth while addition.
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Old 02-26-2022, 02:23 PM   #10
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I too installed a tornado but I added it to our grey tank, the black tank has the original flusher. We full time and once a month I will flush both tanks for a few minutes to get clear "water" coming out. The tornado seems to have much better flow and power than the black tank original set up and if, when it fails, I will add another tornado.

I like knowing how full the tanks are and not having to count on sound, or any other method, although it's not a knock at people who do. For the cost of the tornado, I think it is a worth while addition.
Your comment about how the tornado increases your flow - it would, because you have what would normally gravity drain drains, plus whatever the flow rate of the water is as it’s washing out the tank.

Not to say it’s a bad thing, but understanding what the flow is made up from.
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Old 02-27-2022, 04:42 AM   #11
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I installed SeaLevel outside tank sensors. Problem fixed. I guess manufacturers won't use them because of cost, but sure would eliminate a lot of complaints.
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Old 07-25-2022, 07:00 AM   #12
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I installed SeaLevel outside tank sensors. Problem fixed. I guess manufacturers won't use them because of cost, but sure would eliminate a lot of complaints.
It would be nice if the manufacturers offered the Sea Level sensors as an upgrade option for anyone ordering a new RV.
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Old 07-25-2022, 11:09 AM   #13
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One of the 90 degree benders for pex tubing might help get the kink out.
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Old 07-25-2022, 11:40 AM   #14
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It would be nice if the manufacturers offered the Sea Level sensors as an upgrade option for anyone ordering a new RV.
While I don’t agree in the cost/benefit aspect of the SeeLevel system, I’d rather have it where I can purchase and add myself than for the product to be locked up so I could only buy from certain coach manufacturers or only thru retailers like Camping World.

And, I bet if one were negotiating a deal to buy a coach, and you wanted SeeLevel tank system on it, all you would have to do is - ASK.
And if they won’t do it, find someone who will.
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