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Old 11-27-2012, 10:35 PM   #1
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Cleaning black tank

What is the best way to fully clean the blackwater tank. I have an 325RLTS Jayco Eagle. While cleaning the b/t last Sunday I saw water leaking from the drain pipe under the camper. I close the bw/t when flushing, is this the proper way or should I open the tank while flushing.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:05 AM   #2
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It just depends on what your purpose is for cleaning the tank. If it just needs to be flushed, you can leave the valve open (you don't have to) and use one of the wand type devices for directing the flow of water. If you think you have build-up in the tank, you might want to fill the tank with a soap / cleaner solution and let it soak long enough to dissolve it. What type of cleaner or soap you use is open for debate. Try and use one that is not harmful to the seals on the valves.

Also if you switch from a chemical type tank treatment to an enzyme, you need a thorough flush (I would flush it twice if it were mine.) or the chemical residue will destroy the enzyme. You're on the right track - keeping up with the black (and gray) tank is much easier than dealing with clogging problems later. And, as usual, those kinds of problems do seem to occur at the worst times.

As info: I made my own cleaning wand by purchasing a garden hose thread to PVC connection (Under $5). Then cut some PVC so I can extend from about a foot above the toilet to the bottom of the tank. An elbow on the bottom (not glued) can be turned to direct the flow of water. To make it more user friendly, add a shut off valve right before the wand.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:27 AM   #3
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Your leak could be coming from your tank sprayer as this is a common issue popping up with them. Fittings becoming loose over time and when the water pools in the underbelly leaking out slowly through the cracks which may appear as a drain leak. To find out where your leak is you will need to start to fill the tank from the toilet then see if your leaking at all. Then pull the valve and see if there is any leaking. If not then turn on the sprayer and again look for any drips with the valve closed for about 3 mins or so. Turn off the sprayer and see what's happening.

If your valves are leaking then the first test would reveal this leak.

I close my valve for the first two washes of about a 3-5 minute fill each time. This helps get the solids out. The sprayer alone will not get this out without added water to pull them out upon the valve opening. After this I then pull the valve and let it run for another minute or two and it's usually running clear at this point. Then I shut the valve and go for about 30 seconds more and add treatment. By adding treatment and not leaving the tank dry it helps breakdown any remaining solids upon driving and keeps it from building odors.

If your tanks are really bad put several gallons of water and some dish soap or pinesol in there before driving out to your next site and dump it upon arrival. This usually gets you a good base and will get the soap film on the walls to help keep solids from attaching. DO NOT use any petroleum based cleaners ever as this will eat seals and cause lasting damage. Simple green works too. I've also used Calgon water softener in the past to help coat the tanks. Problem as mentioned above is that when mixed with some treatments it reacts to become a sludge offsetting the effects. One or the other alone works best.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:08 AM   #4
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one method to clean the black tanks ive been told about is using ice cube. dump some down the toilet before travel, abrasive enough to clean build up, melts, then flush. not sure if there is a down side to that method, possible damage to tank meter probe?
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:06 AM   #5
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After dumping and flushing (no pun intended), I add a solution of baking soda and water (1 box to 5 gal water) to each tank and let it slosh around while driving, and dump at the next campground before set up. The baking soda helps with odors, cleans the sensors, and is non toxic. I agree that whatever method you use the secret is to keep those tanks clean.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:22 AM   #6
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Thanks, I found the water leak, it wasn't from the black tank,. it came from the grey tank that in the kitchen area, bought to Jayco last week, waiting for answers.
thanks to all
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