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Old 06-11-2020, 08:39 AM   #1
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How to Dissolve Black Tank Residue?

For reasons unknown, it appears the prior owner let the black tank dry completely out. Without dumping it first, that is, or perhaps while it wasn't level.

However it happened, there is a layer of dried, hard, flaky residue on the bottom perhaps 3/16" thick. As we use the coach, full-thickness chunks of various sizes break off and come out when the black water tank is dumped. They fouled the blade valve, of course, making it seep. I just cleaned out the valve, which isn't much fun, and I strongly suspect I will need to do that several more times if things stay as-is. There is a similar state of affairs with the grey water side but it's far less serious and has not caused the valve to foul so far.

Does anyone have a good way to re-dissolve this stuff so it will just drain out? We will of course leave the tank bottom wet, but it seems as though that might take years.


Help!
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Old 06-11-2020, 08:53 AM   #2
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I'm sure others will have suggestions as well. I would start with a bottle of Dawn dishwashing soap and 1/3 tank of water then take it out for a drive. That should break down the solids without harming the tank or valve.
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Old 06-11-2020, 08:55 AM   #3
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^^^ that’s a good start
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Old 06-11-2020, 09:42 AM   #4
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Dawn. let sit and soak. Fill and dump a couple three times.

Failing that, Happy Camper EXTREME.
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:00 PM   #5
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:17 PM   #6
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:43 PM   #7
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Lucky I live on 20 acres. I pulled my toilet to replace the O-Ring. Went to HD bought a short wand with a adjustable head. Stretched out the dump hose and started blasting away . Also have a camera on a flexible shaft that helped. Took a while but got a lot of old dried residue out. Bet the dawn and driving around may help and add some really hot water into the formula. I mean hot to the boiling point just before the drive. May take a few times but it’s worth a try
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Old 06-11-2020, 01:01 PM   #8
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Old 06-11-2020, 01:54 PM   #9
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I would use the Happy Camper Extreme. Follow their instructions!
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Old 06-11-2020, 02:25 PM   #10
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Dawn dish soap with some water. Dump 4-5 bags of ice into the tank. Then drive. The ice will scrape the sludge while driving (bumpy road for 20 miles?). Then go to a dump station. I have a santiflush (sp?) so I just go to adump station and do use that.
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Old 06-11-2020, 04:18 PM   #11
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Thanks, all. I found another recommendation in a different forum for Roebic K-57 and decided to try that first. It's locally available (Home Depot) and a lot cheaper than Happy Camper (which will be next if the Roebick doesn't work). The rig will probably sit for the next week or so, so it'll have time to work.
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:24 PM   #12
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Sounds like this may be a good product for routine maintenance in both tanks ever now and then as long as it is not overdone
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Old 06-12-2020, 04:09 PM   #13
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Good news, I think. After just 24 hours, the added fresh water is black. There's an inch or so of water in the tank, and I can't see the bottom. So while it's too early to declare victory, it seems to be working. I added some to the grey water tank, too, just because. It'll all go into my septic system, where it won't hurt anything.
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Old 06-13-2020, 07:18 AM   #14
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There are places that can pressure wash your tank. We used the “RV Proctologist” (love the name) in Quartzsite last winter. Turns out our problem wasn’t any natural substance in the tank; it was my d*** cat dropping a sock down the toilet! We had caught her doing it before, but one must gotten into the tank. Anyway, our tanks were shiny clean after they finished. Oh, and they did offer me the sock, but we declined with lots of laughter all around.
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