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Old 02-19-2021, 03:00 PM   #1
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Black water holding fluid with valve open?

I have a 2018 Winnebago micro mini and I always keep the black water valve shut for a week then open it, backwash it with soap then rinse and repeat. Today, I opened the valve and some liquid did drain out but looking into my toilet the liquids are almost to the opening of my toilet. The water has been off a week and unplugged. Why would there be liquids stuck in there if the valve is open and I never put TP or anything else in the toilet? Am I missing a separate valve?
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Old 02-19-2021, 05:02 PM   #2
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I have a 2018 Winnebago micro mini and I always keep the black water valve shut for a week then open it, backwash it with soap then rinse and repeat. Today, I opened the valve and some liquid did drain out but looking into my toilet the liquids are almost to the opening of my toilet. The water has been off a week and unplugged. Why would there be liquids stuck in there if the valve is open and I never put TP or anything else in the toilet? Am I missing a separate valve?
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The water has been off a week and unplugged.
Were you using the toilet without water? Has it been really cold? If so the solids can get pretty firm in the cold (not freezing) and settle down at the valve.

Do you add a few gallons of water after you dump the black tank?
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Old 02-19-2021, 05:51 PM   #3
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Were you using the toilet without water? Has it been really cold? If so the solids can get pretty firm in the cold (not freezing) and settle down at the valve.

Do you add a few gallons of water after you dump the black tank?
I do add a couple gallons after I spray it out. I think it’s just been so cold that it’s been freezing in there for awhile. Now it’s a massive frozen pile. Are we supposed to be using antifreeze in the black water tank? I’m going to try and put a heater, under my camper tomorrow, close to the black tank area. Never had this happen
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:24 PM   #4
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I hear about lots of folks getting clogs in their black tanks and they do lots of things to try to keep it clear but this is not a problem we have had. Perhaps part of the secret is to always add lots of water when flushing solids and also to always use one of the holding tank chemicals to break down the solids.
We hate cold weather and rarely plan to Rv when cold but if we did, we would also always use some antifreeze in both tanks as a way to prevent the really expensive work it takes to replace a frozen tank.
When going into temps below 20 we just avoid using the fresh water tank and use bottles for the necessary things like cooking, etc.
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:15 PM   #5
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Why would you need to replace a frozen tank? It will eventually thaw. I live in my camper full time so I have to take the good with the bad
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:32 AM   #6
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I do add a couple gallons after I spray it out. I think itís just been so cold that itís been freezing in there for awhile. Now itís a massive frozen pile. Are we supposed to be using antifreeze in the black water tank? Iím going to try and put a heater, under my camper tomorrow, close to the black tank area. Never had this happen
If your black and/or gray tank have a good possibility of freezing you need to empty them first and then add antifreeze. Not so much for the tank, but to get the antifreeze down to the valves to keep that part from freezing up.

It doesn't do much good to add 1/2 gallon of antifreeze to 10-15 gallons of black or gray water.
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:37 AM   #7
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Adding chemicals to the black tank to "break down" the solids, would work fine if you didn't dump for maybe 3-4 weeks to let the stuff work. Dumping once a week or sooner doesn't give the chemicals a chance to work.

Enough water in the black tank to soak into and loosen up and keep loose the solids is all that is needed.

Household septic tanks work fine because they have weeks and months to continuously work on breaking down the solids.
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:32 AM   #8
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What chemicals work to break it down? It’s a frozen blob
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:41 AM   #9
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What chemicals work to break it down? Itís a frozen blob
Sorry, I was directing that to reply #4 suggesting chemicals be added to the black tank in normal weather.

The only thing I can think of is mixing salt with maybe a gallon of water and pouring it in the black tank and gray tank as well. Maybe 4-6 containers of table salt for each tank will help melt faster.
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:08 PM   #10
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I would try snaking it out from the drain side unless someone knows of pipe elbows that might get the snake caught. I don’t think so since that would cause clogs coming out.
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Old 02-24-2021, 06:25 PM   #11
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Adding chemicals to the black tank to "break down" the solids, would work fine if you didn't dump for maybe 3-4 weeks to let the stuff work. Dumping once a week or sooner doesn't give the chemicals a chance to work.

Enough water in the black tank to soak into and loosen up and keep loose the solids is all that is needed.

Household septic tanks work fine because they have weeks and months to continuously work on breaking down the solids.
This is not what we find when we go out for a few days and then dump. The chemicals work very well to break up the solids as well as the paper. You may be thinking of the enzyme treatments which do work slowly.

While we do not have a real "favorite" we like the dry packets as they tend to be less prone to spilling but this is one type we often wind up using:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Campa-Che...ll&athena=true

We do avoid the older type which used formaldehyde as it can kill a park's sewage system.

The reason for dumping holding tanks as well as fresh water tanks is that it is still possible for them to freeze enough to break even when not totally full. If the tank is of the sort which has little pockets which may not drain well if the RV is on a slope are more prone to breaking. I've not figured how but I have seen the broken tanks and I do not want it to be on my RV, so I do all I can to prevent it.
Many of my neighbors here in the normally warm South have learned some hard lessons in the past week or so! They could not imagine their water softener would freeze and break. They were thinking the brine tank would be too salty but that doesn't cover the controls at the top which is the expensive part to replace!
They never did before is not a really good excuse to be using out after the fact!
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Old 02-24-2021, 06:44 PM   #12
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This is not what we find when we go out for a few days and then dump. The chemicals work very well to break up the solids as well as the paper. You may be thinking of the enzyme treatments which do work slowly.

While we do not have a real "favorite" we like the dry packets as they tend to be less prone to spilling but this is one type we often wind up using:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Campa-Che...ll&athena=true

We do avoid the older type which used formaldehyde as it can kill a park's sewage system.

The reason for dumping holding tanks as well as fresh water tanks is that it is still possible for them to freeze enough to break even when not totally full. If the tank is of the sort which has little pockets which may not drain well if the RV is on a slope are more prone to breaking. I've not figured how but I have seen the broken tanks and I do not want it to be on my RV, so I do all I can to prevent it.
Many of my neighbors here in the normally warm South have learned some hard lessons in the past week or so! They could not imagine their water softener would freeze and break. They were thinking the brine tank would be too salty but that doesn't cover the controls at the top which is the expensive part to replace!
They never did before is not a really good excuse to be using out after the fact!
We have NOT used chemicals in our holding tanks since 2005 and the solids and paper all break up just fine.

We usually spend 4 to 10 months of the year in the RV, including 4 1/2 years full timing.

I have seen surveys and reports stating that the majority of fulltimers and long timers do not use chemicals.
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:42 AM   #13
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I found this guy on you tube vidios (TR Bowlin) and he has a very interesting method on how to maintain your holding tanks without using harsh chemicals.
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:13 AM   #14
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We have NOT used chemicals in our holding tanks since 2005 and the solids and paper all break up just fine.

We usually spend 4 to 10 months of the year in the RV, including 4 1/2 years full timing.

I have seen surveys and reports stating that the majority of fulltimers and long timers do not use chemicals.
So you don't have a problem with the way you do your holding tanks and I don't have a problem with mine.

So WHAT is the problem?
Is it just that I have a different view than you and you feel I should change? I don't think I made any big challenge to to the way you think, so would it not be more civil to allow others to have their ideas as well?

I thought the point was to advise the OP who DOES have a problem!
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:57 PM   #15
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So you don't have a problem with the way you do your holding tanks and I don't have a problem with mine.

So WHAT is the problem?
Is it just that I have a different view than you and you feel I should change? I don't think I made any big challenge to to the way you think, so would it not be more civil to allow others to have their ideas as well?

I thought the point was to advise the OP who DOES have a problem!
As I understand this thread, the OP has a black tank that has pretty much iced up and won't dump so chemicals or not won't help.

I'm not trying to change the way you do things.

To those who use chemicals, it really doesn't affect or matter to me if you want to spend several dollars and carry around chemicals for your holding tanks.

I do want to give a perspective, to others reading the forum, that there are a huge number of RV'ers who do not use chemicals in their holding tanks and their holding tanks work just fine.

The message is: try it w/o chemicals and see if it works for you. If you do try it, buy a short clear dump pipe to put on the dump connector before you attach the dump hose. This way you can see the stuff coming out.

Here are 2 clear connectors:


https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Sewer-H...s%2C313&sr=8-1

I use the one in the first link that has a valve on it. Once I dump the black tank I close the valve on the adapter and then open gray tank valve to give a good hard flush of gray water into the black tank. I only leave the gray tank open for a count of about 10 seconds and then close it. I don't want to allow the black tank to seep back into the gray tank. The gray water really helps to clean out the black tank. I finish up with the black water tank flush connector.

When we first started owning RV's that had holding tanks (after 25 years in poptop campers and truck slide on campers) we put chemicals in our holding tanks. After a couple of months I forgot to put the chemicals in our tank a few times and realized I didn't see any difference in the stuff coming out. I finished up the chemicals we had on hand and have not used them since.

I have always used a clear short section on my dump pipe so I could see what the consistency of the stuff coming out is. If it was clumpy or the toilet paper was not breaking down, then I would know I needed to change the way I dealt with my holding tanks.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:49 PM   #16
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We only use the black tank for liquid and TP. Nevertheless, I use the little blue drop-in packets so that watching the black tank drain through the clear elbow isn’t as objectionable.
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