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Old 01-21-2014, 07:43 PM   #1
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Stopped up black tank washer

My trailer came equipped with a black tank washer and I have used it numerous times. Last week when I tried to use it, it was stopped up and would not let any water flow into the tank. When I turned on the water spigot supplying the tank washer, there was no sound of water running. When I turned off the spigot, and disconnected the hose, the water in the hose was still under pressure. So I do not believe there is a leak.

I got a diagram of the washer from Jayco and other than simple piping going to the black tank washer, there is only an item identified as a vacuum breaker. It seems to me that the only places the water to the washer could be blocked is at the vacuum breaker or at the nozzle in the tank. Since the washer at the supply hose connection has a screen, I'm thinking that it is unlikely that the nozzle is stopped up. That just leaves the vacuum breaker as the source of the problem (if my analysis is right).

The most common vacuum breaker on a tank washer I see mentioned is made by B&B, a model 571. Here's a picture.

Questions:

Is the problem likely the vacuum breaker or a stopped up nozzle?

Is there an easy way to unstop such a nozzle (which is covered up by the Coroplast bottom)?

Is the B&B model 571 the vacuum breaker Jayco uses?

And any other thoughts...
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:36 AM   #2
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... never had that problem, RVhiker, but it sounds like it has to be one or the other. Can you remove the vacuum breaker from the system to see if you can get flow through it when it's not connected. My guess is the breaker has a valve that seats when there is no flow. When you start flow into the tank, it probably pushes that valve open.

If it is a nozzle, you might be able to reach it through the toilet. When I got mine I ran the black tank flush with no fresh water available to the toilet valve. I just wanted to see it working, but I remember the nozzle as being close to the opening. Also, enzyme type tank treatments are supposed to be better at breaking up waste.
If you can't get to the nozzle, I would try soaking it in one of the enzyme treatments. If your currently using chemicals, you have to flush the tank first with an enzyme because the chemicals kill the working bacteria.

I would suspect the breaker first. Good luck, and let us know how you resolved it.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:55 AM   #3
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The vacuum breaker on this system is crap. We had to replace 20 last camping season. You can bypass it, or order a new one.

http://www.rvpartsnation.com/product...er-check-valve

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p.s. this is the one Jayco recommends you go to.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:09 AM   #4
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Thanks for the comments and information. I'll post a picture or two after I fix the washer, but I'll have to wait for a warmer stretch of weather before I do it.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:33 AM   #5
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I had the same problem, only on the fresh water fill system. Found out it was the check valve that was stuck and wouldn't open to allow water in. Replaced the valve and no more problems.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:24 PM   #6
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Might be worth a try with a wet dry vacuum to suck out the water and other residue that might be clogging the valve, via the intake side connection.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMRGMC View Post
Might be worth a try with a wet dry vacuum to suck out the water and other residue that might be clogging the valve, via the intake side connection.
That's a very interesting although potentially messy idea! Three cheers for creative thinking. Thanks.

Note: I noticed that this is my 500th post, so I believe I move into a higher order of being. How appropriate for an RV'er that the subject of that vaunted 500th post was sucking on a black tank, and more appropriate that I am thinking about doing it.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John LLRV View Post
The vacuum breaker on this system is crap. We had to replace 20 last camping season. You can bypass it, or order a new one.

http://www.rvpartsnation.com/product...er-check-valve

John

p.s. this is the one Jayco recommends you go to.

You should NOT bypass the vac breaker. It is there to prevent back flow from the tank into your potable water supply and the resulting contamination. If bad, it should be replaced, not eliminated.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:03 AM   #9
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RVHiker, congratulations on your becoming a Senior Member! I enjoy your posts.

In the above thread, you say: "That's a very interesting although potentially messy idea!" There are those of us (and you're one of them) who become plumbers when we need to be. It's simple, you wash your hands when your done. And you saved a few bucks along the way.

Edit: I mostly agree with tinlizzie about not bypassing. But, I would bypass mine temporarily (if I had to wait for a part or something) and only connect it when I was using it. I wouldn't use it with multiple connections, or sell it bypassed.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:57 AM   #10
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Sorry.. I should have said temporarily. I did not mean for a bypass to be a permanent solution.
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