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Rid-X Septic Tank Additive


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#1 DonAgar

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:01 PM

Anyone out there ever used Rid-X for your Black or Grey tanks? It is sold for septic tanks.

My concern is would it work fast enough for R.V.'s .It is Green friendly. Any thoughts ?
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#2 wolfe10

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:07 PM

Don,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

If you are going to store waste for a long period of time (like dry camping w/o dumping for over a week), it might help.

But, let's address WHY you would use any product in your holding tanks.

Is it odor in the coach? If so, you need to address how tank odors are getting from the tanks into the coach. Nothing will make the gray or black tank "smell like spring time"!

Is it fear of forming solids in the waste tanks? If so how long between your being able to access a dump station? How full do you allow your tanks to get before dumping? What procedure do you use to dump the tanks?

Brett
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#3 DonAgar

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:43 PM

Thanks, Brett for getting back.

The concern I have is keeping my tanks spotless. I do try to empty them only when they are full and I flush with clean water for at least 5 minutes. I have recently noticed an odor from the gray tank through the bathroom sink. I had been keeping the gray valve open due to the fact that we use a washing machine and dishwasher.

Would leaving the gray water valve open cause this odor? I had heard that this rid-x was a good product, but I questioned it when I found out it was for septics. I am currently using tst in black tank only. Should one use it in gray as well? thanks much.

Don
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#4 garykd

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:45 PM

Hi DonAgar,
Welcome to the FMCA forum. This is an additional question, to add to Brett's post. How much water do you use when flushing the toilet?

I use chemicals made for the RV black tank. For me, I have many people of a wide variety or ages in the coach. It is not possible for me to monitor their flushing and paper use habits. The chemicals seem to help my macerator stay clog free.

The grey tank can smell as bad as the black tank. There are chemicals you can add (down the drain) to help with this. Running water through the tank with the valve open doesn't do much for keeping the tank clean or preventing odors. Allowing the tank to fill and then dumping is what I have found works best. Do this once a week or so may eliminate the odor. Otherwise, I leave the grey valve open when parked for an extended length of time. When the black tank gets to 3/4, I close the grey valve. I've found they will get full pretty much at the same time. Then dump black then grey.
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Posted 26 November 2010 - 08:16 PM

First, anything that stores the type of debris that your black tank holds (pause here to allow you to consider what's going in) will never again be spotless! :rolleyes:
The Rid-X will not work in a short period of time (weeks or less) and likely would only give moderate results over a longer period of time. The only possible way that this might do something would be if you were going to park your RV for the summer (too cold in the Winter to be of any value) and you filled your holding tanks with clean water and added some Rid-X. Maybe, just maybe, the bacteria would be able to eat up the residue on the walls before they starved to death. Your holding tanks are NOT septic tanks and should never be treated as such. The best maintenance for your tanks does not include any chemicals. How do you use your RV? Full-time, 3-6 months at a time, weekends only, etc.? If you use the holding tank they way it was designed you will never have any unnecessary odors, any blockages or any hassles without using any chemicals.

#6 DonAgar

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 08:38 PM

Thankyou Gentlemen, you've answered my questions. and confirmed them.
Don Agar
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#7 LivingLikeEachDayIsMyLast

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:27 PM

Hello Don, You didn't say whether you leave your gray water valve open while you're hooked up to to a sewer line or when you have the camper in storage or parked at home when you aren't camping. I never leave my dump valves open, especially when I'm hooked up to a sewer line. The fumes from the sewer hookup will fill the tanks with less than desirable odors. Your sinks have traps to hopefully stop any odors from coming inside if the traps have water in them. The tub,shower & commode have no traps.

When camping full hookup, it's best to let the tanks fill close to full & then dump them. Keeping the valves closed will insure sewer line fumes do not have any oppurtunity to enter the tanks.

If the camper is parked or in storage, I would guess it wouldn't hurt to leave the dump valves open to air out the tanks as long as rodents don't climb inside, die & leave an even worst or equal disgusting odor inside the tanks. I'm certainly not an expert on this subject, but I do try to use common sense.

Have a great camping experience! W.Ott
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#8 sdianel

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 07:31 PM

We use Lysol or similar orange or lemon scented cleaner in our gray tank. Found it works better than anything we have found to disolve grease, etc. We use about 1/2 cup after we dump the gray tank and add a little water.

Also important if you have a washer/dryer that you don't use often to run thru a cycle of water. :rolleyes:
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#9 2toolmen

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 12:48 PM

I've tried about all the tank products out there and have come across the best product I've ever used, called "Happy Camper" found at some R.V. supply stores, but mostly in swap meets.

One scoop per 30 gallons will keep your tank and sensors clean with minimum if any smell. It works across the entire temp range also as most don't work when it gets hot. I also put some in my gray water tank every other time I dump. Soaps, food scraps etc. can smell almost as bad as black water. Also I put it in the trap of the sinks and shower dissolved in glass of water before I go to bed because it gives it a chance to clean out the traps as well. Try it, I think you'll like it. Dry product, environmentally safe and non caustic with no smell to it. It's not an odor eliminator, it's an odor remover.
Gene Nelson
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#10 MikeCanter

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 01:49 PM

Don, you asked if leaving the gray tank open will cause an odor. The answer is YES. I stopped doing that because everytime somebody dumps their tanks on that sewer system in a campground it pushes and gas bubble down the sewer pipes that burps up into your tank. I find it alot better to keep the tanks closed and dump them every day or every other day. It seems like I get less odor in and around my MH.
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#11 TBUTLER

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 03:36 AM

It is interesting the range of responses on this topic. For 10 years, most full time, we have always left the gray water valve open when connected to a sewer connection. We have a washer/dryer and it just uses too much water to be messing with dumping the gray water periodically. Plus doing this there is always the problem of running a load of clothes and suddenly hearing the drains burping as the gray water backs up into the shower basin. Odor has never been a problem. The gray water tank is vented (at least in our rig) just as the black water tank is and there should be zero pressure against the drain traps in the motor home. We only use a tank treatment in the gray water when we are on the road and boondocking at night. The treatment with the sloshing action when traveling helps to clean the gray water tank. When we get into our next campground, I'll dump the gray water as I'm hooking up to flush out as much of the loose material before it settles and solidifies again. After that the drain remains open until we depart.

Regarding the black water tank. We always treat that. Like 2toolmen, we have settled on Happy Camper as our best, most convenient and effective product. We have learned through experience that using our own facilities for about two weeks will fill the black water tank to full or near full. Then we dump. There are times when we dump in less than two weeks like when we are going into a rally with no hook ups. Happy Camper doesn't eliminate odors but helps to reduce them and it also helps liquify solids and paper in the tank. I won't claim that my tank sensors work, they don't. I keep a note on my calendar as a reminder of when my black water tank needs dumping. I haven't looked at or used the sensors in years.

I'm sure that you can go without additives in the tank and not have odors in the motor home but we have an annoying tendency to have a vent fan running in the motor home except in extreme cold or hot weather. If you forget to turn off the vent fan before you flush the toilet, you'll get a good whiff of what is and/or has been in the black water tank. That is true even if there are six windows open. The vent to the black water tank and thus to the open toilet valve has zero resistance to air movement. Window screens provide just a little resistance thus some air is going to be drawn up through the toilet. I'll keep treating my black water tank for that reason.

The only other odor problem we have had is when a drain goes dry. This is almost always the washer/dryer drain. If we are driving and boondocking we aren't using the washer/dryer and the sloshing in the trap seems to remove some water. I've installed a transmission filler funnel available at auto parts stores that allows me to dump a glass full of water into that drain without digging into the closet floor that is above the w/d. I just open the closet, dump a glass or two of water into the funnel and that fills the drain. If I forget, Louise will alert me to the problem as we're cruising down the road! Like treating the black water tank, treating the gray water won't eliminate odor but it does reduce the odor in our experience.
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#12 MikeCanter

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 06:33 AM

Tom, I guess I have a thing about all those other campers sewer gases coming back up into my gray tank and possible into my MH. Yes, the washing machine trap dries out because we don't use it as much and I can't get to the top to pour water into the trap like you can. I guess I can rig up some plastic hose to get back to it which is going to be hard to do. Again, I don't like to smell the campgrounds sewer gases to remind me that the trap has dried out again. If we are going to wash then I open they gray tank first. My tank sensors actually work (for now). The other problem is regardless of what you have on the top of the tank vent that when the wind does blow from a certain direction the vented gases can find their way through a ceiling vent if the fan is not running. My nose is super sensitive.
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#13 ClayL

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 09:53 AM

Thanks, Brett for getting back.
SNIP I have recently noticed an odor from the gray tank through the bathroom sink. I had been keeping the gray valve open due to the fact that we use a washing machine and dishwasher.

Would leaving the gray water valve open cause this odor? I had heard that this rid-x was a good product, but I questioned it when I found out it was for septics. I am currently using tst in black tank only. Should one use it in gray as well? thanks much.

Don

There is usually an air admittance valve (vacuum breaker) under the bathroom sink. It is a screw on device mounted on a stub off the line from the trap. It is supposed to open when you dump and allow some air into the line so the water from the trap is not sucked out by the vacuum formed by the dumping.

If the flapper in the valve does not seal properly you can get gray tank odors from it. They can be cleaned or replaced cheaply if cleaning doesn't work. They are available at hardware stores.

I leave the gray tank valve open until a couple of days before I plan to dump the black. Any sewer gas burps go right out of the roof vent so that isn't an issue.
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#14 hermanmullins

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 10:30 AM

Don,
As said before, Welcome to the Forum.

I see lots of great responses to your question. What I did notice in your response to Brett, was that you had started to have a odor in your gray water through your drains. If this has just began to happen it appears that you have a venting problem. If you have a vent(s) that is clogged for some reason, every time you send much water through the drain it will create a suction and pull the water out of your "P" trap. This will allow sewer gases to come up through your drain. If your vent(s) are working properly leaving your gray water drain open should produce any odor one way or the other.

As several have said, I leave my drain closed so when I drain my holding tank I can then flush my hose with the gray water. :)
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#15 mscamping

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 10:07 AM

Anyone out there ever used Rid-X for your Black or Grey tanks? It is sold for septic tanks.

My concern is would it work fast enough for R.V.'s .It is Green friendly. Any thoughts ?

Don, we use Blue Dawn(1 cap) and liquid Calgon(2 caps), using the Calgon bottle cap.. We also have used most everything out there without success.. We have never had a problem with odors from the gray tank but have with the Black tank.. I would suggest, if you haven't already, you install one of the rotating vents for, at least, the Black tank.. We got the metal one,can't remember the name, but it took away almost all of the odor, except while flushing..
Mike M..
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#16 donandmax

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:30 AM

I've tried about all the tank products out there and have come across the best product I've ever used, called "Happy Camper" found at some R.V. supply stores, but mostly in swap meets.

One scoop per 30 gallons will keep your tank and sensors clean with minimum if any smell. It works across the entire temp range also as most don't work when it gets hot. I also put some in my gray water tank every other time I dump. Soaps, food scraps etc. can smell almost as bad as black water. Also I put it in the trap of the sinks and shower dissolved in glass of water before I go to bed because it gives it a chance to clean out the traps as well. Try it, I think you'll like it. Dry product, environmentally safe and non caustic with no smell to it. It's not an odor eliminator, it's an odor remover.
Gene Nelson

Right on Gene. When I emptied my black water tank after using Happy Camper there was no I mean no odor. I talked to the folks who sell this remarkable stuff and the lady told me they once left their black water tank full sitting in the sun for a 3 month period when they got back to AZ they discovered this mistake. Emptied the tanks and guess what NO odor, I wouldn't use any other product. Sorry to sound like a TV commercial but this stuff is really remarkable. And no I don't work for the company.

Don
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#17 chucknewman

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 03:21 PM

Don,

The previous statement "The tub,shower & commode have no traps." simply is incorrect if you have a coach built to RVIA standards and ANSI code. We've had six motorhomes since 1983 and not one of them did not have a trap in each drain. Even those with a vacuum breaker as mentioned above.

With the exception of some pneumatic marine type toilets used in upscale motorhomes, RV toilets cannot use a pipe trap because they do not have pressurized water flow flush action. They relay on gravity to drop the contents into the black tank. By the way, unless you have a 45 degree offset in your toilet pipe (allowed by code), you merely look into the tank to note how full it is and whether or not it has enough water.

When camping leave the gray tank valve open and the black tank valve closed. If you don't have a black tank flush, simply close the gray valve and save some water before the black tank needs to be drained as noted in the posts. All that does is flush your sewer hose. Nothing else.

Either moving or parked we never have had odors from sinks or shower except once when the shower trap water evaporated over time and some odor was noted. We had the same issue with the washing machine drain before we started using it regularly because it is not valved and is open to sewer gas when at a park.

I've read of a condition where a vacuum in the gray tank can pull water from a trap. Of the top of my head I can't remember the conditions that cause this and my RV plumbing book is in storage (many states away).

The secret to keeping your black tank operational and trouble free is water, water, and more water. Never let it dry out.

Chuck
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#18 helper2000

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 03:44 PM

Rid X works okay but I found out that septic helper 2000 works twice as good and is much more environmentally friendly.
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#19 Guest_BillAdams_*

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 07:59 PM

It's unlikely that any septic tank additive is going to be of any value to an RVer. We do not have septic tanks (crap held in place for months at a time), we have holding tanks (crap held in place for a few days until a dump location can be found).

#20 cnkinthebus

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 02:27 PM

I had to get my RidX out and reread the reasons why I use it at home. We sometimes use bleach in the wash and it will kill of the bacteria that the septic tank needs to work best. Could see no reason you would need to use this in the MH as I would think you would be emptying your black tank more than once every 3 months or more. I'm still somewhat new to this, but did live in a travel trailer for over a year while building our house and made the mistake of leaving the black valve open while it drained to our septic tank. WON"T DO THAT AGAIN. Still learning from many great ideas, thanks all.
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