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Old 10-02-2022, 04:54 PM   #1
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Stranded in the black tank !

I did search on this topic so have some ideas already but many solutions involve driving the trailer around and using slosh effect to knock things loose. Our trailer is new to us and already parked on a seasonal lot so no sloshing available. Weíve had this rig about two weeks and it appears the previous owners left us some stubborn gifts in the tank. Quite a bit of liquid will drain out but no where near the full 40 gals. Looking down the pipe I can see a variety of solids once the liquids are drained. Other than filling and draining, any other ideas ? Iím going to put a hose down the pipe next and try to break up things that way.
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Old 10-02-2022, 05:47 PM   #2
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You have a POOP Pyramid right below toilet
*Lack of sufficient water when flushing and/or leaving black tank drain valve open

Stir Stick, pressure nozzle on end of hose......got to break it up, dilute it and flush it away from down pipe

UNIQUE Digester ----- good product for turning it into a slurry that can be flush out ONCE you break up the Pyramid
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Old 10-02-2022, 06:21 PM   #3
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No need to panic as hopefully this is something that you can quickly clear out by keeping water and treatment in the black tank. You might try some of these:
https://www.amazon.com/Unique-Digest.../dp/B07BRH4VB9
...after each time you dump pour in a 5 gallon bucket of fresh water and one of those pods. That way, it can start working immediately and up to the next time you are full and need to dump again. Hopefully after 1-3 cycles/dumpings it will all be cleared out.


Recently, I added a black tank flush system (Tornado) to one of my RVs. It only cost ~$50 and wasn't too hard to install. If you currently don't have any sort of tank flush system, they are very helpful. Here's a link to the project:
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/torn...nk-570507.html
Here's what I find when dumping my black tank....When I open up my black tank valve (with the flush off), I can see (clear 6" adapter on the hose) all the nasty contents exiting through the hose. Eventually the flow basically stops. If I then turn on my black tank flush, I see a LOT of brown waste and LOT of toilet paper getting flushed out of the tank during the extra flush. Honestly, it's MUCH more than I thought there would be. Which means, it is VERY useful to have a black tank flush system to help clear out the majority of your black tank. My original purpose for adding the Tornado flush was to keep my tank sensors clean and reading correctly (which is does a great job on). I had no idea it would also help to push a lot of extra contents out the hose. Note: I installed the Tornado head such that it would flush towards the drain.



I have another RV that has a standard black tank flush (not a Tornado). I was just using it this last weekend. It too did a fantastic job pushing a LOT of extra waste contents out the drain pipe after it looked like gravity was done doing its job. I highly highly recommend a black tank flush for anyone with an RV or trailer.


Note: When using a tank flush, be sure you do not get distracted while filling your black tank (if you have the black tank blade valve closed). Otherwise, you could fill the tank and overflow into your rig.



Good luck!
Chris
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Old 10-02-2022, 06:50 PM   #4
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One "trick" to avoiding the pyramid is to keep a separate waste container for used TP instead of flushing it into your black tank. Yes it sounds gross, but by using a closed-top container there is no foul odors.
This is standard practice in most of Mexico as only the big cities have wastewater treatment plants, the rest of the country has septic tanks. Do as Old Biscuit said and your pyramid will disappear.


Our rule is; if it didn't come out of your body it doesn't go into the black tank.
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:02 PM   #5
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
One "trick" to avoiding the pyramid is to keep a separate waste container for used TP instead of flushing it into your black tank. Yes it sounds gross, but by using a closed-top container there is no foul odors.
This is standard practice in most of Mexico as only the big cities have wastewater treatment plants, the rest of the country has septic tanks. Do as Old Biscuit said and your pyramid will disappear.


Our rule is; if it didn't come out of your body it doesn't go into the black tank.

If your system/process works for you, all good. To each their own.


I believe the #1 thing you can do to help avoid the pyramid is to NOT leave your black waste valve open when you are at a full hookup RV site (and only dump when your black tank is at least 1/2 full). If you leave the black blade valve open, all the liquid will quickly exit the black waste tank, but the solids will just start to pile up.



It is my understanding that the pyramid is more associated with poop that gets piled up and hardened in the absence of liquid. Doesn't the toilet paper do a pretty good job of breaking down when it gets wet? I have never had a black tank get clogged due to toilet paper (or anything actually). And I don't hear much about toilet paper causing an issue inside black tanks. Most of the time, the toilet paper will have been floating around in liquid for a couple days and can easily exit via the drain pipe during dumping.


Have others many others had issues with toilet paper clogs once it gets into the black tank? I haven't heard much of this so I hadn't really even thought about it. Just curious.


Happy dumping!
Chris
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Old 10-02-2022, 11:21 PM   #7
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Aside from leaving the dump valve open one of the most common mistakes is draining the tank without the tank being filled. I drain my tanks when the level reads 1/2 full. Before I drain the tank, I fill the tank the rest of the way up then pull the handle. The additional pressure created with the extra water will tend to carry anything away which may be in the tank.
Before reusing the tank again I add about 5 gallons of water to the tank before using the toilet again. This will help prevent solids from drying and forming that dreaded pyramid in the tank.
Water is your friend. Use it.

Something like this might aid you in getting your tank cleaned:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=camco+toil...k5r6ohw67g.jpg

Here is some other information which may be of help to you also:
https://kleentank.com/the-geo-method/
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Old 10-03-2022, 06:23 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the practical advice. I’ll blast the pyramid with a hose sprayer / stir stick today. We do have a regular black tank sprayer which I tried the other day and promptly flooded the bathroom floor. Replaced the anti siphon valve under the sink yesterday so have that weapon at my disposal as well. I do follow the 1/2 tank or greater rule when dumping and have never had black tank issues in 20 yrs (hence being at a bit of a loss on how to proceed here). Another tip I heard recently is try to avoid putting any solids down the toilet at least 12 hrs before dumping - gives it time to slurry-up. In my prior search on this forum, I also read about putting a sheet of your favorite toilet paper in a mason jar of water and seeing how well it dissolves. Apparently a good septic compatible paper will turn to mush in a few minutes. Again, thanks a lot for the timely feedback.
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Old 10-03-2022, 06:55 AM   #9
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Don't be concerned about what toilet tissue you use. any tissue will flow out the drain freely if you have enough water to push the tissue out.
Something I didn't mention in my previous post is after draining the black tank, close the valve and fill the tank entirely full of water and let it sit for a short while before dumping the tank again.
I buy liquid laundry detergent at a local dollar store and add a 1/4 cup or so to the tank on occasion to help keep my level sensors clean as well as the walls and floor of the tank. I also add a scoop of "Happy Camper" tank treatment to the five gallons of water I use after draining and servicing my tank. This will help keep odors at bay, especially on hot summer days.
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Old 10-03-2022, 07:10 AM   #10
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Poo is difficult to re-hydrate after it’s been allowed to “set”.

While many of the suggestions above are worthwhile and good - taking 30 minutes to watch this guy’s video will give you a better understanding of what your up against and how to go about the remedy you use and subsequent prevention -
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Old 10-03-2022, 07:44 AM   #11
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Standard plumbing tools often work just fine. Get a plumbing snake at the hardware store. Run it in from the drain. Run it in through the toilet. Be careful of toilet seals.
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
One "trick" to avoiding the pyramid is to keep a separate waste container for used TP instead of flushing it into your black tank. Yes it sounds gross, but by using a closed-top container there is no foul odors.
This is standard practice in most of Mexico as only the big cities have wastewater treatment plants, the rest of the country has septic tanks. Do as Old Biscuit said and your pyramid will disappear.


Our rule is; if it didn't come out of your body it doesn't go into the black tank.

When we first started RV'ing with or Class C one of my wifes older friends who was still RV'ing solo in her 80's advised us on this so we just started doing it. Never had a problem. Yes it sounds gross but even houses with poor septic systems have to do this.


One of my friends had a huge problem with his used rig when he first bought it. There as a sold layer of dried "stuff", he ultimately had to remove the drain valve and go in with a long PVC pipe to break it up and flush it out.
Another time we were traveling with one of my wives friends, she had a big class A. We had been set up for about a week with not septic hookup and left the site together. We dumped first, no problem. She pulled up to dump, opened the black valve and nothing came out. There was a long line of RV's at the event wanting dump. A bunch of us got on the side of the RV and started to rock it back and forth and the black tank finally let loose but I couldn't believe the amount of toilet paper versus liquid, it was a thick slurry, no wonder it didn't dump.
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Old 10-03-2022, 10:51 AM   #13
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We had identical problem

We found an easy fix and it didnít require anything other than those enzyme solutions in your tank to create a slurry that turns everything into liquid. .

It doesnít even have to be this particular one. Just as long as itís an enzyme product .

Just use a bunch of water and problem solved.
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Old 10-03-2022, 11:14 AM   #14
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Bottom line - you need to make the water aggressive - to make it aggressive, make it soft - to make it soft, add Borax or similar.

Which is what most dishwashing detergents have the ability to do - but not at the concentrations of using Borax.

Enzymes will work, bacteria and yeasts such as found in a conventional septic system will work - given time. Soft water will work, and also takes time - just maybe not as much.

In the end, the OP will probably find some mechanical intervention is required (pvc pipe, magic wand spray bar etc.), particularly if their need is “now” versus having time.
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