black water tank wont drain

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by saratoga24, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. saratoga24

    saratoga24 New Member

    I recently bought my 31ft itasca class A, 1989. and lone behold the holding tank is pretty much full of UGHHH... I open the drain, beat it and tried to vibrate it and all I get is a little liquid. I drove it some 400 miles last week and hoped it would shake loose but no luck. I stuck a water wand with a jetted hole in the bottom of the wand to help clean it, but its so full Im making a mess. is there a product out there that would best break down the sludge? Ive heard that when it gets down to throw a cpl bags of ice in there and drive it but its so full now that wouldnt work.. any suggestions? thanks
  2. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: black water tank wont drain

    UGHHH is a great description of what you have. I don't know of a product that you can just add to it and make it break down.

    There are chemicals that you use to break it down and control odors under normal usage, but not sure if you can use it with what you have. If you think you can get 5 or so gallons of water into your tank, they might help, but will need a day or so to do its job. Add toilet chemicals to a 5 gallon bucket, let it mix and pour down the toilet.

    Your right about ice. You will need an empty tank, then put a bag of ice in with another 5 gallons of water and drive around.

    Good luck....
  3. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: black water tank wont drain

    You might gives these guys a call. I am retired from the Pulp and Paper Industries and we would use Buckman for these kind of problems. Wouldn't hurt to try. Good luck.
  4. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

    RE: black water tank wont drain

    Maybe some Rid-X in as much water as you can get into tank. Sorry for your stinky problems. :(
  5. msjackie

    msjackie New Member

    Re: black water tank wont drain

    David suggest either replacing or dynamite. Just Kidding about the Dynamite,

    Also you should have check the RV over before buying, I am not saying I ................

    good luck and hope eveything comes out ok
  6. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: black water tank wont drain

    I know this sounds ugly and it is but. Put on the hip boot or waders(preference here) rain ,long rubber gloves,eye protection and face protection. Hook up the drain hose then take a plumbers snake and have someone open the valve. Push and pull abit and things may start draining. This won't get it all but it will be a start. With less liquid in the tank you can do the ice trick, maybe more than once. At least with some draing things should start loosening up and get a bit more each time. It will also give room for the wand or other tools. Also have on hand a fire hose to have someone wash you down. How much worse can it be than a really bad diaper the kid got off and is playing in during nap time. Too bad they just don't make a laxative for black tanks!!!!

  7. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: black water tank wont drain

    Might try sticking a high pressure washer down the commode and see if you can blast it out. Be sure and leave the drain open.
  8. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

  9. pezar

    pezar New Member

    Re: black water tank wont drain

    I was living in a 1982 Automate TT for a while, and managed to fill the BW tank full of paper. :8ball: What I did was to take a hose, shove it up the outlet, and turn it on full blast. Eventually, all the paper loosened and came out. I never did THAT again! I switched to using Wet Ones wipes instead of paper, and eventually to the Wal Mart generics to save money. The wipes go in the trash. BW tanks do tend to fill with paper.
  10. Stock Man

    Stock Man New Member

    RE: black water tank wont drain

    Had the same problem a few years ago. The best solution I found was a back-flush kit called Hydro_Flush. It took me a few tries to clean the tank out completely. The best way I found is to attach your dump hose to it and hold it up in the air so that when you start to flush the water level will be higher than your tank. The higher you hold your dump hose in the air, the more water pressure is applied to the tank. Turn on the valve on the flush kit and force the water into your tank, then once the dump hose has filled up drop your dump hose down and let the material flow out. When it stops repeat the procedure. It may take a few times before you break it loose enough to get it all out.

    You can find more info on it at the CampingWorld link below. Once you have it all cleaned out the trick is to only use proper toilet paper, and never leave the black tank valve open so the water can constantly drain. Wait till it is full and then dump, that way there is enough water to completely flush it out. To find out if the toilet paper will dissolve properly it to take one sheet of it and place it in a plastic container with water and put a lid on it. Shake the container 5 times. If the paper is totally shredded it will work fine. If it doesn't totally come apart, don't use it. The Safeway Select two ply has worked fine for us for years. Costs a lot less than the "Special RV" paper.

    Good luck,

  11. Camping Kelly

    Camping Kelly New Member

    RE: black water tank wont drain

    Costco paper is the best. Breaks down better than any RV-toilet paper that i have used before.
  12. WandaLust

    WandaLust Member

    Re: black water tank wont drain

    I thought we were the only ones doing this. I think they do a better job than dry TP anyway. I even started using them in the house.

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