Black water tank - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-17-2012, 09:25 PM   #1
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Black water tank

I never really expected to have a grey water tank. All of a sudden I've even got a black tank. I'm not worried about the mechanics of the matter. But I would like to hear what folks think are the most appropriate tank additives and why.

Your thoughts?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:33 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
I never really expected to have a grey water tank. All of a sudden I've even got a black tank. I'm not worried about the mechanics of the matter. But I would like to hear what folks think are the most appropriate tank additives and why.

Your thoughts?
Thanks in advance.
We use Odorlos brand tank treatment and it has worked well for us for many years. We have other stuff on the shelf which will never get used.

ODORLOS Headchem at West Marine
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:30 AM   #3
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Hi: DaveK... We use "The Geo Method". It's a combination of Calgon water softener, Laundry detergent and bleach. These are all things that we take with us for long trips, and they stay in the trailer all season. Using these products seems easier on dump station septic systems and a more environmental sensitive thing to do.
Google search The Geo Method for RV waste water treatment systems for the rest of the story
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:45 AM   #4
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Hi: DaveK... We use "The Geo Method". It's a combination of Calgon water softener, Laundry detergent and bleach. These are all things that we take with us for long trips, and they stay in the trailer all season. Using these products seems easier on dump station septic systems and a more environmental sensitive thing to do.
Google search The Geo Method for RV waste water treatment systems for the rest of the story
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
The geo method may be better on septic and treatment systems than formaldehyde based products, but Odorlos (no formaldehyde) actually aids in the treatment process without environmental impact.
Detergent and bleach can harm the "digestion" process in septic systems.
I've never tried any homemade treatments, but there are plenty of them out there, so the geo method could well be the best of the Home remedies for all I know.
One drawback I have heard with Odorlos, but not experienced, is that the tank must be free of other treatments and clean before starting it's use or they will detract from it's effectiveness.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:02 AM   #5
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We use no additives to our black or grey tanks. We dump and before we hit the road we add a couple of gallons of water to each tank and let the slosh factor clean them as we drive.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:42 AM   #6
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I would think bleach would eat the seals in your toilet and your valves. Is the mixture slight?
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:16 AM   #7
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I rarely use chemicals in my black tank.

When I stay at a campsite with full hookups, I fill and empty the black tank several times to rinse it out as best as I can. I also try to empty both holding tanks before storing the trailer. I believe these two things help to keep odors to a minimum.

However, there are times the tanks need something to deal with the odor they produce; this is usually during a long warm spell. I'm not real fussy about what I use to control odor. Right now I have a couple small containers of Thetford Aqua-Kem in the camper for the few times odor control is needed.

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Old 03-18-2012, 11:54 AM   #8
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I rarely use chemicals in my black tank.

When I stay at a campsite with full hookups, I fill and empty the black tank several times to rinse it out as best as I can. I also try to empty both holding tanks before storing the trailer. I believe these two things help to keep odors to a minimum.

However, there are times the tanks need something to deal with the odor they produce; this is usually during a long warm spell. I'm not real fussy about what I use to control odor. Right now I have a couple small containers of Thetford Aqua-Kem in the camper for the few times odor control is needed.

-- Dan Meyer
Dan...
I'm bragging up our experience with Odorlos, but maybe our satisfaction is mostly based on the the fact that everything is washed, rinsed, flushed and emptied before storage, and rinsed every time it is emptied?
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:27 PM   #9
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I started out using a liquid that was pre-measured. Turn the bottle upside down and a measured amount went into the smaller side, unscrew the lid and pour down the hopper. WOW, too much digester for a small tank, too perfumy and made my eyes water. Next I tried, tablet thingys .. just drop into the hopper. Worked fine and not too perfumy, but expensive. Lastly, I'm buying Therford Aqua-Kem from Wally World. I use half a packet. Cheap, not perfumy and works just as it's supposed to. YMMV
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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Cool I use Rid-X

I use Rid-X Septic System Treatment 1-Dose Powder, 9.8 oz. But "one dose" means for a large permanent septic tank. I usually clean the tank as well as I can at the dump station after dumping, then scoop 1/4 cup of Rid-x powder into the toilet followed by half a small bag of ice chunks. The idea is to break up the solids between dumps. I found this odd tidbit during a Google search:
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Originally Posted by http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1897128/posts
However, a few years ago, I wanted to get rid of the flesh from a deer's head so that I would have a nice pretty skull for display. I put the head in a garbage can full of water and Rid-x. The flesh was completely gone (skin, hair, muscle, cartilage, everything) in just a couple of weeks. Rid-x did a much better job than maggots.

So, I think maybe Rid-x does work.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina D. View Post
I would think bleach would eat the seals in your toilet and your valves. Is the mixture slight?
Hi: Gina D...Rather than using bleach on a periodic basis we now use dishwasher detergent. It's low sudsing and has a small amt. of bleach in it. We still mix this concoction in a 1/2 gal. plastic jug and pour into the toilet while the flush trap is held open. So far it works well with no damage to the seals. The most important is the Calgon Water softener. That keeps the tanks slippery and stops crud build up.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:09 PM   #12
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Calgon , and a couple of fill and slosh rides during the season works for us
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:13 PM   #13
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Good info, thanks. Clearly the most important thing is to keep the tank from getting too grungy & then think about additives.

Much appreciated.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:13 AM   #14
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After a trip of heavy use after you dump it out add a bag of ice cubes to it for the drive home - it will be very clean.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:00 PM   #15
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Dan...
I'm bragging up our experience with Odorlos, but maybe our satisfaction is mostly based on the the fact that everything is washed, rinsed, flushed and emptied before storage, and rinsed every time it is emptied?
We are sold using Odorlos as well, used it for many years and never had an unpleasant odor. Successfully used it on our boat and safely dumped the goodies off shore. Boat is more prone to odor because of longer plumbing lines within the living space.

After using black water tank before heading home we drain the tanks, flush the black tank with water, fill both tanks about ľ full with water and split a quart of detergent to both tanks. At home I pump out black and grey water tanks to our septic drain line and flush both tanks until clear. It takes about an hour to complete the total process.

If we are going for a couple of days camping we split the bathroom duty to light one in the trailer and heavy one using campground facilities if clean; this method simplifies cleaning the black tank a lot.

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Old 03-20-2012, 07:41 PM   #16
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A Flush King is a mighty fine thing to have. It does a great job helping to keep grey and black water tanks clean, just be careful you don't overfill.

I keep my waste tanks nice and clean, there is no room for stink in my little trailer.

Valterra - Flush King - FK-01 - Drain & Flush Systems - Camping World
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:54 AM   #17
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The "Flush King" is not going to work very well, (if at all,) with the bends and elbows in the drain piping configurations of most black water tank installations. If you don't have an absolutely straight shot into the tank, there's no way they will provide any type of flushing action where it's needed. They really don't flush anything, all they do is refill the tank with water, which could be done for free with your garden hose. None of those purported "flushing" devices or gimmicks located at the end of the discharge pipe will work when the plumbing drain lines form bends. You get a tidal action, not a flushing action. The only way to really flush out a holding tank is to actually put the pressure stream right where it's needed-in the tank, not two or three 90 degree bends away.
The "wand" inserted in the toilet type of flusher is ok if you like having to drag a garden hose into the trailer each time. Then, there is also the yukkiness of having to deal with that mess and smell each time you flush the tank. I installed a regular rotating pressure flushing sprayer in my black and grey tanks. The flushing is done with a garden hose from the outside of the trailer, so I can not only flush the tank, but watch the "results" as I flush so I know when it is running clear. One really nice aspect of this installation is that it only takes one person to flush, so it is very handy for solo travellers too.
I do use a separate hose I keep just for flushing, but it does have a built-in one way check valve to prevent any water in the line from backing up into the water supply hose as well.

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Old 03-21-2012, 11:07 AM   #18
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Hi Greg, When Dee and I had our HILO I put an adapter on the end of our wand which fit the shower hose. With that I didn't have to haul a garden hose into the trailer. It worked well. Keith
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:22 AM   #19
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Hi Keith,
Did you have to have an external water supply hose hooked up to your HILO shower when you tank flushed, or did you just use your on-board freshwater pump/tank for supply?
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:01 PM   #20
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Hi Greg, We have never used on board water in any of our trailers.
Also if my memory serves me Dee used hot water to flush it. Keith

I just went out to the garage to look at the wand and the adapter is still on it. LOL
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