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Old 01-28-2014, 08:54 AM   #1
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Black tank question

We leave the black tank valve closed till it shows 2/3 or more of being full before pulling the handle to dump the tank. Today, only after 1 day of being dumped, it is once again almost 2/3 full and there are only two of us. Question - When connecting from a water hose to the external black tank water connection, does it just add water like a spigot or are their nozzles that spray multiple areas within the tank?

I am trying to decide if I need to buy one of the spraying type rods that go into the toilet opening or if the water connection that fills the black tank should be sufficient.

We are still trying to find the right paper products to avoid the issue.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:06 AM   #2
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There is a couple of things you can do. 1) you can get it professionally cleaned/sprayed clean, then use the GEO method which keeps the stuff in the tank lubricated, and odor free. 2) just use the GEO method, and every other day, just dump your dishwashing tub into the toilet. After a month or two, the sensors will operate better.

In any event, just dump the black tank only when the grey tank shows full. Its highly unlikely that the black tank will ever fill up at a faster rate than the grey tank.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davdeb1 View Post
There is a couple of things you can do. 1) you can get it professionally cleaned/sprayed clean, then use the GEO method which keeps the stuff in the tank lubricated, and odor free. 2) just use the GEO method, and every other day, just dump your dishwashing tub into the toilet. After a month or two, the sensors will operate better.

In any event, just dump the black tank only when the grey tank shows full. Its highly unlikely that the black tank will ever fill up at a faster rate than the grey tank.
Thanks for the reply. Can you explain the GEO method?
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osgoor View Post
We leave the black tank valve closed till it shows 2/3 or more of being full before pulling the handle to dump the tank. Today, only after 1 day of being dumped, it is once again almost 2/3 full and there are only two of us. Question - When connecting from a water hose to the external black tank water connection, does it just add water like a spigot or are their nozzles that spray multiple areas within the tank?

I am trying to decide if I need to buy one of the spraying type rods that go into the toilet opening or if the water connection that fills the black tank should be sufficient.

We are still trying to find the right paper products to avoid the issue.
You shouldn't need to buy anything. The system in the black water tank is referred to in the brochure as a "Black Tank Flushing System". My understanding is that it is a section of tube secured around the perimeter of the tank about 2/3 of the way up the tank walls. the tube has a series of holes along it's length that spray water in and around the tank when a hose is hooked to the port in the water compartment.

We had this system in our 2001 Adventurer and our current 2013 Adventurer. It worked well for us in over 12 years and over 100,000 miles. The key is to allow the tank to fill as you are doing then dump it and flush it for several minutes.

If you leave the valve open while parked there's a good change you will experience the dreaded brown pyramid. That's when all the liquid drains off and the solids pile up and dry as hard as a rock.

The sensors are notoriously inaccurate. There are chemicals on the market to clean the black tank but they are temporary at best. Anything that gets stuck on a sensor will cause it to read inaccurately. Even the smallest bit of paper or slime build up will cause a bad reading. The sensors are situated along the exterior wall of the tank. They can be seen from the outdoor water compartment. It's all but impossible to stick a flushing wand down the toilet and get it to spray on the sensors.

The sensors in our 2001 were easy and cheap to replace. They're just a steel button in a rubber grommet. The screw that attaches the sensor wire on the back also squeezes the grommet to seal the sensor in place. To remove a sensor just unscrew the wire and push the sensor into the tank. Then put a new sensor in the hole and reattach the wire and screw. Be sure to tighten the screw enough to seal the sensor in the hole. Don't put so much pressure on it that you push it into the tank. However after replacing them a couple times we gave up on trying to make them accurate.

The most accurate level sensor is to shut off the water to the toilet and step on the flushing lever. Then look down into the tank. If you see the water level in the pipe up to within about 8 " of the floor it's time to empty the tank.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:19 AM   #5
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I dump the black tank based on the sound when I flush ...I can tell when it is getting full. I just use the monitor lights as a maybe opinion. We have a 50 gallon tank. With two people using a generous amount of water we normally dump every 4-6 days, and have stretched it out to 21 in extreme conservation mode.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:20 AM   #6
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thanks for the great replies. It's raining today so I will take another stab at it tomorrow.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:20 AM   #7
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The black tank rinse does a decent job of cleaning the probes. I do not know how many sprayers are in the tank but depending on water pressure you can hear the water spraying. I usually close the valve and let it fill for a few minuets after emptying the tank and then empty again. Some times it may take several flushes to get all the debris out of the tank. If we are traveling I will empty a pan of Ice cubes into the toilet just before we leave but usually the flushing does the job. We use paper from Sam's Club. And we use Happy Camper stuff in the tank. I also have a grey water rinse. That is the tougher tank to keep clean.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:20 AM   #8
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The geo method RV Tank Sensors &The GEO Method | Wheeling It
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:58 AM   #9
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An occasional rinse with Calgonite can help. Let the tank fill past half full, treat with the calgonite and then drive to your next destination and the sensors should be reading better now.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:58 PM   #10
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There is usually a "Nozzle" like the head on a sprinkler type watering can, Not really much different than sticking a hose in the toilet and holding the flush gate open.

Some after market devices are better.

BUT: the sensors showing 2/3 full after the first dump... 100% normal, they are worthless

You want sensors that work.. SEE LEVEL,, Just google it.

NOTE: Installing See Level sensors does NOT involve plumbing, You do NOT cut into the tank, they peal and stick as it were and are mounted on the OUTSIDE of the tank.
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:28 PM   #11
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Happy Camper coupled with lots of water should keep your black tank clean with NO odor. I have the spray washer for the black tank but do not use it but rarely to insure the orifices stay opened. Consider the Thetford Sani Con macerator system that most likely in your coach will allow you to equalize your grey soapy water into your black tank . This system works great. I also mix Happy Camper in a gallon jug with warm water then add once a month to the grey tank. This breaks Down the fats in the grey tank keeping it polished and no odors. Not affiliated with Happy Camper it's a very good product to use with or without the Sani Con system. JMO but well thought out.
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:43 PM   #12
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I have used a tank wand.....here is just one example Flexible Tank Wand - Valterra A01-0187VP - Sewer Flushing - Camping World

Mine is a 24" hard PVC pipe with jets on the end and holes coupler...I think I bought it at Walmart in the little RV section on the back wall of Sporting Goods Dept. When the tank sensors get funky and it really bothers me....I hit them with a good series of blasts with that tank cleaning wand and usually the sensors get de-funked. Hope this adds to your question.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:54 PM   #13
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We use a formula of PineSol, Calgon beads, and water. Every time after we dump, we add four ounces of solution to the black tank, two ounces to the gray tank.

Another key to success, IMO, is to keep the ratio of water to solids very high. Use lots of water when you flush the toilet. Also, the vanity sink in my coach drains to the black tank, which helps keep the ratio up. Yes, the tank will fill up faster but unless you are boondocking that's not a real problem.

My built-in flush system flows about 5 gpm. When the black tank reads 1/3, I start to think about dumping. Before I dump, I turn on the flush until the gauge reads 2/3 then I open the dump valve. I leave the flush running while the tank empties, then run it another two minutes after I close the valve, then dump again. I'll put another 1-2 minutes of flush into the tank with the valve closed so the tank bottom is never dry when it receives it's first new deposit.

I dump the gray tank every time I dump the black tank, or whenever it reads 2/3, whichever comes first. I camp with both valves closed.

I'm sure Happy Camper is a fine product, but I don't leave a load in the tank long enough for enzymes to do their thing. So far we haven't had a problem.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:41 PM   #14
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Have been using a couple table spoons of dawn dish washing soap along
with some powdered water softener. Along with plenty of water and using
the tank rinse befor, during and after has bee working well. The dawn liquid
seems to keep the seals on bothe the knife dump and the stool seal lubricated.
Tanks are kept closed except for dumping.IMHO.
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