Black Tank options

Discussion in 'American RV's' started by bashers, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. bashers

    bashers Read Only Funster

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    So i've been thinking about the costs of cleaning the black tank as have been using the blue chemicals for the last month.
    The thing is the blue liquids are extortionate considering the quantity needed to keep up proper concentration in a black tank as they are priced at portaloo/cassette users not RF tanks.

    1. Try the geo method

    2. The supermarket shelves in France are crammed with chemicals for septic tanks as not many have sewers.
    As my tanks are constructed from the same materials as septic tanks, PVC, what is stopping me using these more reasonably priced "digesters"?
     
  2. Tony Lee

    Tony Lee Read Only Funster

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    I have a 180 Litre black tank and use no chemicals at all. I did install an exhaust fan in the vent line that is operated by a mercury switch when the lid is up so there is never a smell inside - or outside either since the vent pipe extends above the roof.

    When emptying at a dump point, just stand on the up-wind side.

    Many here in Oz advocate using a store-brand nappy-sanitiser. Provided you don't overdose the tank, the makers claim the product is septic-tank friendly. In the case of a cassette, the dose seems to be around 2 tablespoons a day so I guess the same would apply to large black tanks. A small dose daily would be better than a large dose infrequently.

    The normal products to "fix" septic system problems often rely on re-colonising the system with appropriate bacteria and while they can be effective over time, I would think the mode of action would be far too slow to work in black tanks that are emptied frequently.
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    I've never used chemicals either in either black or grey tank and no smells in the RV, if you have a smell problem find the cause and fix that first.

    Read this article, it has some good information and advice .. Macerators and Other Sewage Stuff by phred

    hth

    Jim
     
  4. des

    des Read Only Funster

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    same answer - we haven't used any chemicals in the black tank for 3 years. still have some stuff we bought with the RV before we realised that nowt needed.

    des
     
  5. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Best article on subject I ever read,Chears.:thumb:
     
  6. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    Nope, nor us either! We have lived in our RV for nearly five years now and have never ever put any 'Loo' chemicals in the Black Tank - and never found the need to either.

    On the other hand, we have never ever flushed the black tank out with a power hose either - we think that leaving a layer of sludge on the floor of the tank allows the bacteria to get going again pretty quickly.

    We use a washing-up bowl in the kitchen sink and every second day we empty the hot soapy water down the loo to 'level' the soil mountain and to keep the sludge under water and that also helps to keep the contents sensors clean when we empty the tank.

    We generally operate on a pitch where there is at least a grey water drain and so the grey valve is open all the time. Except that we shut it at least once a month and run a solution of 'Calgon' through the washing machine and a couple of pints of it down each 'U' bend. Let the grey tank fill up over a couple of days and then flush out with another 'non-additive' washing machine cycle.

    Why Calgon? Simple, we have found that the super-softened water helps to clean the sludge and body-fat off of tell-tale contents guages.

    Every time we go on the road, we empty the black tank out as per normal and add a bag of ice-cubes down the loo - then as we roll down the motorway, the ice bangs up against the side of the tank and cleans excess dried-on sludge off of the sides of the tank. On arrival at the destination, another quick dump before we site ourselves - and we are set fair for another ten days - of contemplation! :thumb:
     
  7. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    We have a cassette, we used to use the blue stuff but then fitted a SOG fan vent. now we never add anything to the cassette and we don't get any smells.

    We sometimes get a gray water smell when we are on the move if we forget to put the plug's in place.

    Doug.
     
  8. bashers

    bashers Read Only Funster

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    This got me thinking. I could use the "aerobic" method of letting the bacteria work, rather than the anaerobic method of "killing germs DEAD" with chemicals.
    So I've purchased one of those venturi roof vents which should create a vacuum and prevent odours from escaping up into the bathroom.

    Now, do most black tanks have two vents or one?
    On boats, in order to get a decent aerobic action you need two vents to get a decent ventilation through the tank as simply creating a vacuum does not create the airflow required for good aerobic activity.

    Go one, do your worst with the aerobics jokes
     
  9. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    I'm with 'them'.

    When we started with RVs I did the blue goo down the loo, as I new no better, but after posts from some of the above a few years ago I didtched the goo, basically realising that the RV system really is designed(capable) to work that way. From the get go, no smells, even with or without 'contents' when parked up for a few weeks. The only smells I notice are, err, external to the tanks, ie very occationally after a flush and after use:Blush: These are enevatable but generally short lived. However, in the first RV no roof vent, just a little window, and not overly effective. Now Winne, the loo door has about a 1" gap at the bottom and the compartment has a roof vent so....
    I fitted a camco vent cover, simple logic, leave open when on site and with the 1" gap constant gently air flow which variously rain or shine, deals with any smells or steam from the occational shower and creates a constant vent for the whole 'van. I wasn't a big fan of the look of the camco's but we've got 'em on both vents now as they function to well to worry about 'vanity':thumb:

    Just a few peneth from me....
     
  10. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    I have habitually used chemicals in my black tank , generally the imported US ones. Perhaps I should not bother and smell the difference :Sad:
     
  11. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    having worked in the sewage industry as a tanker driver, i do know abit about s..t. i dont use any chemicals none of them are really green (only in colour) let nature take its course. never wash your tanks or cassettes if not using it after a trip dont empty it. i just emptied mine after a fewweeks and its working lovely .am now off on trip so best start empty .didnt wash it . its like a cess pit dont wash the bacteria out. save your money. have fun spend a penny . alan.
     
  12. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Good question, to the best of my knowledge only one, though the roof.. can't really see mine to say definitely one way or the other, but I've never heard it being referred to.
    If there were one it would need an inlet check valve such as fitted to the grey tank,
    which has a short stand pipe under the kitchen sink with a rubber diaphragm valve.. allowing air in when it's being emptied.

    hth

    jim
     
  13. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Is there a risk of build up of toilet paper if tank is not emptied or flush cleaned occasionally
     
  14. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    :Blush: Black tank and vent, mmmm....

    First RV, Dodge, we didn't get a very good dump from the tank initially. I sumised, vacumn and was about to get the wife to hold open the loo flush when, the penny dropped:Doh:

    Hey, we all have these little moments, don't we.....

    Serious side, I bought one of those clear back flushing widgets, couldn't resist, and discovered the problem immediatly. We were using a certain toilet paper made from puppies. Watching the dump, whole sheets were floating passed, or not, ie ganging together to block the tank outlet! Needless to say we changed.
     
  15. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    If emptied as per distructions, suitable loo paper used should be little or nothing left in tank. Now and again you'll get the odd stuborn, err, bit of content but it'll go likely with the next flush

    Our technic now is, a slight adjustment to distructions, make sure both black and grey are pretty full and...I fit an external valve on the outlet, the sort sold as a 'fix' for leaking valves without dismantling/expense, which to my mind is daft. If the tank valves have an issue , replace! Anyway, with external on and open (pipe connected) open black. When flow seems to stop close the external, not the black, and open grey for 20 secs ish. Close grey and open external and again wait for flow to stop. I then repeat for about 5 secs just in case, then close Black and dump rest of grey, to flush pipe. Works a treat on Winne and is so simple compared to connecting flushing widgets or refilling the black, which is what Winnebago advise and lets face it, apart from ease, the grey water is never going to do harm, or smell as bad as black, and environmentaly friendly, uses less fresh water:RollEyes:
     

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