If you have recently purchased a motor home and intend to take long family vacations across the country, then you probably understand that your new camper requires special maintenance. This is especially true when it comes to the care of the black water or sewage tank that holds solid toilet wastes. Without proper care, a leak can form in the tank or an opening can form around one of the wastewater valves. Seals in the system can wear away, as well, and cause sewage to spill out. Keep reading to learn about some RV sewage tank cleaning tips to prevent these sorts of problems.
Learn When to Empty the Tank
Motor home black water storage tanks absolutely must be emptied before they fill up completely. If you allow the tank to overfill, several things can happen. Wastes can flow back up through the toilet and spill onto the bathroom floor. This will happen if the toilet valve and seal that connect to the storage tank are weak and allow sewage to backflow through the system. If the valve is tight, then waste will force its way up through the vent pipe. This pipe allows natural sewage gasses like methane and hydrogen sulfide to release from the sewage tank, and it is located on the roof of the RV. This means that sewage can empty onto the roof and spill over the sides of the motorhome.
To prevent an overflow issue, it is best to pump the waste from the black water tank when it is around two-thirds full. The tank will have a sensor located inside of it, and data from the tank will be displayed on a monitor in the cabin or near the bathroom. Keep an eye on this monitor as you use the bathroom. The tank will hold between about 30 and 45 gallons of waste. While this may seem like a large capacity, the tank must hold toilet paper, wastes, and the water used to flush the toilet. If there are four people in your family using the RV toilet, then this may mean that the tank will need to be emptied once a week or even more often.
Wastes must be removed from the black water tank at a designated RV dump station. RV parks, fairgrounds, travel centers, campgrounds, and state parks will often have these dumping stations. It is wise to map out locations along your trip so you can easily empty the waste tank when you need to.
Use the Right Additives
Not only will you need to empty the black water tank on time, but you will need to add some chemicals to the tank. These chemicals help to reduce odors, and they often assist with the breakdown of solids within the tank. However, some chemical additives can actually hinder the function of sewage decomposition. This typically happens when strong chemicals kill off the bacteria in the sewage tank that naturally break down wastes. This can result in a clog issue when you go to empty the container.
Some chemical additives can also place stress on the valves and seals of the system. This can cause eventual leaks. Certain materials can also lead to environmental concerns. A few of these chemicals include bronopol, dowicil, formaldehyde, and para-dichlorobenzene. Make sure to avoid black water treatment solutions with these compounds.
To keep your waste tank and the environment safe from caustic chemicals, look for environmentally friendly or green treatment additive options. These products typically contain enzymes that increase the number of natural bacteria that thrive in the holding tank. The added bacteria help to break down the wastes quickly. To help keep odors at bay, the additives will contain a detergent as well. This also helps to pull wastes away from the walls of the tank so solids do not build and release foul odors after the emptying process is completed.
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23 May 2016
After I got a job at my uncle's car dealership, I realized that the majority of my job was going to be detailing car interiors. I was a little concerned about what would be entailed during the process, but I knew that I could learn. I started focusing on making things impeccably clean, and it was incredible to see how much cleaner the cars were that I worked on as opposed to some of my friends and family members who also worked there. This blog is a vast collection of tips and tricks that relate to cars, and some of my favorites focus on car cleanliness.