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Old 02-20-2021, 02:08 PM   #15
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If the kitchen sink is a distance away from the gray tank, it isn't unreasonable for that line to have frozen under the trailer somewhere between the sink and tank. Warming under the trailer to more than 32 and wait or try to drain the line and flow hot water directly to the plug with a tube or hose are options to thaw it. Also, there is a possibility that the kitchen drains to the black tank and could be part of that whole issue.

Since the toilet worked during colder temperatures but is now plugged when relatively warm, that just points even more toward a poop plug in the tank.

After reading about others struggling plugged tanks, I came up this crazy plan just in case it was needed one day.

1. Close the black tank drain and disconnect the drain hose. Make sure the hose is empty first. If not, the plug is down stream from TT and would have its own remedy plan.

2. I'd connect one of these with the gate valve closed.

Ready to Use Gate Valve with Built-In Clear Adapter

3. Then attach one of these.

RV Sewer Cap with hose connection

4. Then use a section of garden hose screwed onto the cap that is long enough to reach the septic inlet with the open end higher than the toilet. But, it has to be shorter than the drain snake in the next step.

5. Then run one of these down the garden hose to start poking holes in the poop pyramid.

6. Open the gate valves and go to work. Once there are fluid returns in the clear section, pull back the snake and close the drain gate valves. Use the garden hose to drain the liquids down stream of the clear section. Put the drain line back on and see if it dumps.

7. Repeat until it dumps or a good enough hole is drilled in the plug that water can be added to the toilet to begin eroding the poop lasagne. Adding warm water with dawn dish soap and letting it soak has been reported to help rehydrate and dissolve mount pooparoonie.

To minimize collateral damage, I'd spring for a tyvek painters/hazmat suit and good waterproof gloves as this has the potential to get shi**y in a hurry. If you try it, I'd love to hear the war stories.
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:55 PM   #16
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Join Date: Feb 2021
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Living and learning

Thanks again for all the replies and advice. The sink did drain overnight, so that's one issue down. I went ahead and pulled the carpet in the living area as it was still wet and I didn't want it to start causing the floor boards to warp. Carpet is pretty gross when you have pets, anyway, so I'm okay with removing it and will replace with vinyl or something. That was today's project, I'll tackle the toilet tomorrow.

Where is it that I look to visually inspect the black tank?

There's no outside shower, fyi.
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Old 02-21-2021, 04:19 AM   #17
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Congratulations on getting started with the "list" of things to do. You will soon be on top of it all.

With the fresh water off, you should be able to open the toilet flush and look directly into the black tank. You need a flashlight of course. Many toilets just sit on top of the tank this way, but maybe not all.
2002 Damon Escaper (Sassafras). 3126E Caterpillar, Allison 6 speed.
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Old 02-21-2021, 04:47 AM   #18
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You have already started on your "to do list"! Tackle only one problem at a time, or you will feel overwhelmed. If you are in Texas like me, there most likely will be ice in all your tanks as they have not had time to thaw yet. Small lines will thaw fairly quickly, frozen large tanks create large blocks of ice which take a long time to thaw. Step by step procedures will help you solve your problems.
Good luck and keep us posted.
May your smiles be many and the miles be plenty.

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Old 02-21-2021, 10:50 PM   #19
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Hi, again.

I'm in Kansas, where we had two weeks of stupid-cold temps (single digits), with even worse "feels like" temps (-20 or worse) for a few days. However, we've had double digits for a few days now, and today it made it above freezing.

As of now, all taps and sink drains are working. Also, I dumped close-to-boiling water down the toilet a few times (according to things I found online that's an ok thing to do...) and after that, it flushed and drained. I went ahead and put some enzyme stuff down there (I have the Green Goblin packet things). That flush was slow to drain, but it did drain and there was no leakage.

BTW, I believe my descriptions included references to the toilet tank filling and such, but I don't think I explicitly stated that my trailer does have a standard, residential-style flush toilet. I'm guessing being able to see into the black tank from the toilet would be possible with the pedal-flush type RV toilet but probably doesn't apply to my toilet...? Also, FYI, I don't flush a ton of TP; I use a bidet attachment and put the majority of the TP I do use in a waste can, and the black tank valve is now closed. I'm hoping the toilet will continue to flush and when I open that it will drain. <fingers crossed>
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:17 AM   #20
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Indeed, a residential toilet changes everything! You would have to remove the toilet to see inside the black tank. Also with each flush you send over a gallon into what is probably less than 50 gallon black tank.

I would be tempted to try a reverse flush but you have to be very careful that you don't overfill the black tank. Shoot some water into it, check inside, watch the clear plastic for progress and so on. It is risky but it should work.

Also make sure it has a backflow preventer so black water can't get to your fresh spigot. I had a FEMA trailer once with a home toilet but that trailer didin't have a black tank, just a sewer pipe.
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