Waste tank blockage

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by jimothy, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. jimothy

    jimothy Read Only Funster

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    I have a a bit of a stinky problem! :Blush:

    There's been an eggy stench in the van since last weekend, which I have been blaming on the loo (or more precisely, those who used it despite to large [HI]RED[/HI] indicator to the left of the bowl!!!)

    The thetford is now empty and fresh as a daisy. So this morning I have discovered the true culprit when the shower tray began filling with stinky water from the plughole.

    It would appear the waste tank to the tap is blocked somewhere.

    Can I run something like sink unblocker through it to clear?
     
  2. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    If its the waste tap that's blocked I find a wire coat-hanger straightened out and carefully roded normally clears it. Then pour plenty of boiling water down all plugholes to clear it.
     
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  3. jimothy

    jimothy Read Only Funster

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    I've unscrewed the tap - that's all clear. The blockage must be further upstream.

    Throwing boiling water down it's neck is a good idea though. I just filled the sink with cold water and pulled the plug hoping it clear the pipe.


    Worst bit was, I had to unscrew the big drain plug form the waste tank and retreat fast! Bad smells!
     
  4. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    the smell sulfur dioxide is from the decomposing detritus in the waste (Grey) water tank and is usually noticeable straight after draining the tank. Err you have drained the tank haven't you. The way to avoid blockages, smell etc is to wipe dirty plates etc with kitchen towel before washing and using strainer in the sink.
    Water coming back up the shower tray is not unusual when your Grey tank is darn near full, after all the difference in level between the bottom of the shower tray and top of the waste tank is only a few MM usually. Orange juice, or cheap coke poured down the sink will help break down the detritus. then frequent use will help keep it clear, a sink plunger will help clear blockages IF you remember to put the shower drain plug in and hold it down whilst you plunge the sink.follow this with plenty of hot water to break down any soap deposits. Washing hair in the sink or shower is the main cause of a blockage as the stray hair give soap something to settle on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
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  5. jimothy

    jimothy Read Only Funster

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    Haha! Hair is not something I have to worry about! :BigGrin:


    I normally run home with the waste tap open, so had assumed the tank to be empty - which is why I was surprised this morning when the shower tray filled up, and the waste overflow was piddling under in the van!

    Tank is now empty. And my hand still stinks from being caught in the deluge :helptitanic:

    The coke idea sounds good I shall give that a try.
     
  6. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    ok then tis a simple job, says he with fingers crossed. The outlet to the grey tank is blocked, either the tap is not really open or sludge has built up. wire will clear it a bit, or of you have a hose you could reverse flush it.
     
  7. Spacerunner

    Spacerunner Read Only Funster

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    Might not solve your immediate problem but......

    Unscrew that big drain cap that you unscrewed before. Fit a garden spray/jet nozzle to a garden hose and poke it up through the big drain hole. The drain hole will have a substantial lip so you'll be ok.
    Turn the nozzle to jet and give the interior of the tank a rollicking good jet wash on all surfaces. As soon as the water starts to overflow from the drain hole lip open the normal drain valve and empty. You'll have to repeat this several times to clear all the accumulated gunk. This will eliminate most of the smell problem and keep the level indicator working too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  8. jimothy

    jimothy Read Only Funster

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    All done now hopefully.

    I have rodded. I have reverse jetted. I have boiling watered.

    All the gunk seems to be out now and the tap is flowing again. And no more eggies.

    Thanks for all the tips :BigGrin:
     
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  9. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    I find the best way to keep the grey waste tank clean is to part fill the empty tank with 5 - 10 litres of clean water before a reasonable journey.
    While travelling the slime & sludge gets well mixed up and then drain the tank as soon as you stop.
    ......result nice clean tank .... although you will still have to clean the waste pipes occasionally.:thumb:
    Brian
     
  10. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    And perhaps give a thought to our two wheeled friends, when you next think about dripping greasy waste all over the road:RollEyes:
     
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  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    before leaving home on a trip, and with an empty tank, stick in a couple of gallons of water and a couple of cups of Thetford blue...or similar....down the plughole with a funnel, don't get it on the sink surface...it WILL stain it.

    might not clear a pipe blockage, but if it can dissolve shit and toilet paper it can dissolve the crud in the tank while being sloshed around driving.
     
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  12. Spacerunner

    Spacerunner Read Only Funster

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    I firmly beleive that urine not 'loo blue' is the great dissolver in the cassette.

    Now, I'm not advocating peeing down the sink but..........:Rofl1:
     
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  13. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    When you get your tank empty before you travel put bio wash liquid down the sink and a gallon of hot water it will slosh about and clean your tank as you travel
     
  14. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    I certainly do not and would not drain the tank on to any roadway Geo.....I park over a drain when we arrive home.
     
  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I beleive Geo's comment was aimed at Jimothy..the original poster above :Doh:
     
  16. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    You are most probably correct John but Geo's post happened to follow mine
     
  17. isitfriday

    isitfriday Funster

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    i had the same smell coming up from the shower tray although not the water - i now use a small drop of blue loo regularly in the waste tank this has stopped the problem completely.
    initially i put it down every drain that leads to the tank to disolve everything.
    and like someone else said i blasted the hose pipe up the waste outlet.
    all sorted now in my duetto.

    i think i will try the cheap washing machine gel as mentioned some where else on this site if that works for the toilet then should be good for the tank.
     
  18. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    bio wash liquid works well in the grey water tank and pipes. Pour a cupful down the kitchen sink followed by hot water. Be extremely careful pouring boiling water into plastic sinks or shower trays as they are easily cracked. Not only that, I have seen water spurt back out the plug hole when a drain is blocked and you release a pocket of gas in the pipe.

    the perfect tool for "rodding" motorhome waste pipes is an old fashioned net curtain wire. Its stiff enough to push through the crud and grease but flexi enough for going round all but the tightest bends in pipes. Wire coathangers are good but too stiff and can puncture the flexi pipes
     
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  19. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I use Buster kitchen sink treatment (the one in the green bottle) down each of the three plug holes after each trip.
     
  20. jb0371

    jb0371 Read Only Funster

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    Water taps open on a moving vehicle not going t be able to condone that behaviour, but at least you got the blockage sorted.
     
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