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Tip For Keeping Your Black Water Tank Clean

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Here is what I do to help keep my black water tank clean after coach has been sitting for a while.

As you start your trip stop and buy a 10- 25# bag of Ice cubes Break it up and dump into the holding tank through the toilet. Add a couple gallons of water.

Now while your driving to your destination making all those turns, stops and starts, the ice is sloshing around breaking up any stuck material in the tank. eezy peezy.

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Or, you can do nothing! Don't dump until the tank is nearly full or with at least 1/2 tank and you can dump as soon as you arrive from a good days driving. Use plenty of water and ocassionally use the tank flusher to fill the empty tank half way or so before you drive and dump when you get there. Otherwise, you really should not have to do a thing and you should not need any chemicals.

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Add a cup or two of Calgon Water Softner along with the Pinesol and it helps even more. Especially if your in an area that has hard water

I use two capfuls of Calgon water Softner. What a difference when dumping.

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I use a water softener in my coach so all water entering the tanks is already soft. I have no idea if that makes the flush any more or less effective.

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read some time ago about using Ridex periodically to clean black tank but can't seem to find  thread on forum. even after using water flush system seem to have debris on sensor getting a false reading even when I am sure the tank is empty. Any thoughts or comments on benefit of filling a clean tank with water and dumping recommended amount of Ridex in tank and driving around for a while then letting is sit for few days before dumping and flushing tank. 

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Ridex supposedly introduces more bacteria in a residential septic system, yet many critics claim there is no benefit of using this product. What we RV'ers should accept is our holding tanks are just that - holding tanks.  They are not septic tanks where bacteria is allowed to break down the waste.  

The only thing I've done in all the years of RVing is use plenty of water. I've never used any chemicals to perfume the waste.  I do clean the tanks a couple of times a year using the Geo method. Please Google it if you're not familiar with it.

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One of those threads that makes me happy we don't have sensors on our tanks. In this case I think that simple is better.

Fresh water and waste water tanks are the same size. I know it's time to dump the holding tank when I run out of water, since we don't use the city water connection except to flush the system at the start of the season. Our tanks are translucent and easy to see in the bay, so every time I'm in the bay for supplies I take a look at the water & waste levels. Having a combined gray/black waste tank makes dumping super easy, and I do add the Calgon & Dawn as added insurance just in case. I've found that helps keeps the sides of the tank a bit cleaner after dumping, but it really doesn't affect much else. I'm not too terribly concerned about the cleanliness of the black tank, being that it is the black tank and will become filthy after the first use.

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On 4/23/2014 at 6:18 PM, BillAdams said:

Or, you can do nothing! Don't dump until the tank is nearly full or with at least 1/2 tank and you can dump as soon as you arrive from a good days driving. Use plenty of water and ocassionally use the tank flusher to fill the empty tank half way or so before you drive and dump when you get there. Otherwise, you really should not have to do a thing and you should not need any chemicals.

Exactly! Any other method is a waste of time and money IMO. I do have a home-made tank flush wand that I use with a water pump pressure increaser, set at 100psi that I use once a year while we are at the stix N brikx. Ice melts so quickly I really doubt it can do anything positive, and it would take about 60# to reduce melt time enough if it did. Next would be to drive the dragonstail road, if you had one nearby.

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1 hour ago, RAYIN said:

Ice melts so quickly I really doubt it can do anything positive, and it would take about 60# to reduce melt time enough if it did.

The solids which make black water tanks be dirtier is in most cases of human waste is close to 30% fat. These fats dissolve at upward of 100 degrees, adding ice is only someones  thought that the solidness of ice will help break loose is only a farce. This is why that I always recommend that in addition to using Calgon and dawn one should flush with as hot water is available. This is the only solution that I have found effective in cleaning the black tank. By the way, this is the reason that I always recommend using dawn as opposed to just dish washing liquid, it seems to help dissolve grease much more effectively than most others.

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Kaypsmith, we know water is the universal solvent, anything added to water only speeds up the process. Dawn is a proven additive to water that accelerates dissolving grease and other "stuff", that's why it is used so widely in cleaning wildlife after a crude oil spill. That's why the geo method is  widely considered another farce. I'm in the adequate water camp, everyone is free to spend their money as they wish.

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Yes I love the old wives tale that ice cubes will clean your black tank. Here are a couple of videos on dealing with your black tank.

I seriously doubt you will have as much agitation in your tanks as this guy gets and it doesn't look to good for the ice cube method.

Bill

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Every RV forum I have ever been on always has this topic come up.  It usually gets going pretty good and continues for 7 or more pages debating to all type of side issues.  Generally speaking you need to do, or have three basic things for a black tank to continue to work properly:

1) use lots of water.

2) keep your roof vent clear/working.

3)  rinse after dumping and travel with 2 to 5 gallons of liquid in black tank.

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On ‎10‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 8:55 PM, RAYIN said:

Kaypsmith, we know water is the universal solvent, anything added to water only speeds up the process. Dawn is a proven additive to water that accelerates dissolving grease and other "stuff", that's why it is used so widely in cleaning wildlife after a crude oil spill. That's why the geo method is  widely considered another farce. I'm in the adequate water camp, everyone is free to spend their money as they wish.

Not meaning to offend anyone, I was only pointing out the composition of certain things, and why ice is a poor choice for cleaning a black tank, it is cold, unlike hot, and it will not help to loosen any type of greasy substance. I only quoted from your thread to point out that ice is a poor choice. I promise not to offend you again.

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51 minutes ago, kaypsmith said:

Not meaning to offend anyone, I was only pointing out the composition of certain things, and why ice is a poor choice for cleaning a black tank, it is cold, unlike hot, and it will not help to loosen any type of greasy substance. I only quoted from your thread to point out that ice is a poor choice. I promise not to offend you again.

No, NO, That came out all wrong, I was agreeing with you. It is difficult to communicate via the written word, sometimes an amateur like me  fumbles  proper grammar.

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The simplest solution is to add several dish washing machine pods to your tanks after emptying. As the ad says, if it will dissolve baked on lasagna, it will clean a black water tank!! They work particularly well if you travel a lot. The motion of the water and soap in the tank will even clean up dried out solids within a trip or three.

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I have been using equal parts of Calgone & Pinesole...according to the photo probe, we are squeaky clean!  :D  That is the solution that Professional Tank Cleaners use!

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15 hours ago, manholt said:

I have been using equal parts of Calgone & Pinesole...according to the photo probe, we are squeaky clean!  :D  That is the solution that Professional Tank Cleaners use!

What Calgone product do you use?

Jim

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Calgone bath beads...if you can find liquid, get it...I can only find the powder.  They are equal.

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