Jump to content

Messed up draining tanks


Recommended Posts

I added a valve in the bumper so I could keep my drain hoses connected and not have anything leak into the bumper area when done emptying. Well, I forgot I did that. And did not open the valve in the bumper. And when I went to empty my black tank first it went from 50% to 10% full. Then I went to empty my gray tank and noticed it wasn’t emptying. That’s when I realized my mistake in not opening the valve in the bumper.  So I shut both valves, opened the valve in the bumper, then opened the black drain valve. The black tank went down to 5%. Then I shut the black tank valve and opened the gray tank valve and it worked as it should and went down to about 40%. What I am afraid of now is that my black water backed up into my gray water tank when I had the valve in the bumper closed. Hopefully I explained this well enough. Does anybody have any thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

travel trailer units for sale
Find Oliver Inventory Travel Trailers for Sale
View Inventory
  • Moderators

Either way - not the end of the world as we know it.

I'd flush the heck out of both tanks and call it a day.

Bill

  • Like 4

2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

    I agree with Bill... it's not a real big deal.  They are both going to the drain system and can't impact your fresh water in any way.  That said we are kind of fussy about keeping both the gray and black as clean as possible.   I would recommend that whenever you find your self in a campground with full service at the site- as a regular part of preventative maintenance, to occasionally give your black tank a good hard flushing (with the black tank flush port and a dedicated hose) and fill your gray tank up a time or two and flush it also.    Then once clean and before departing to the next destination... put about 5 gallons of water back in the black tank... and maybe 10 gallons of water in your gray and add a generous dose of Dawn dishwater soap in both.   The sloshing and sudsing inside of both tanks, as you drive; stopping, starting and turning, should give the inside of both tanks a good cleaning.   Then drain and maybe give both of them another good rinsing to get out any "scaling" that came off.   This of course, is only possible when going from one campsite with dumpstations... to another.   

    I like to do this every couple of weeks when using.  

Edited by Dave and Kimberly
  • Like 1

2022 Elite II, Hull #1097  Elli Rose 🌹 and she has the solar panels with the 390Ah lithium batteries.  Our tow vehicle is a 2019 Ford Lariat F-150 4wd, 3.5L Eco-boost, 3.55 rear end, with the Max tow package.  Elli Rose also has the street side awning and several walnut and cherry mods on the inside.

        TravelMap.png.b89ef2d7bc27b1ea3b58f831ca5bd799.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Lori L said:

Does anybody have any thoughts?

From the order of your steps, it appears you got more gray water in the black, than vice versa. As others have said, not a big deal.

Never tried Dawn in the tanks, though Dawn is great for so many cleaning purposes it does get very sudsy (laundry detergent is less sudsy). This company has cleaning videos, and we use the solution they suggest. The Pine-Sol is a disinfectant and the Calgon Pearls are a lubricant for the valve seals.
Get Kleen Tank's exclusive RV tank solution recipe

I like rinsing the tanks with just volumes of water. Use the black tank fill port and connect to City Water and run the sinks. Afterwards when rinsed and empty, we put a 1/2 cup of this solution in the black and a gallon water (fill the bowl 3 times). For the gray, add a cup of solution with 2 gallons water. Not too much water in each since we will travel this way and not drain these small amounts and just use the tanks as-is. If you smell Pine-Sol in your coach, you either left some in a sink trap or you have a gray plumbing vent that is not sealing. 

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, jd1923, I appreciate the additional input and will definitely be following through. I’m just relieved I didn’t mess something up.😀

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/12/2024 at 3:16 AM, Dave and Kimberly said:

Dawn dishwater soap in both

On 5/12/2024 at 6:39 AM, jd1923 said:

(laundry detergent is less sudsy

Both Dishwater Soap and Laundry Soap can get sudsy.  However, Dishwasher Soap does not.  If it does not suds, you can use more of it.  

Just suggesting less suds, the less potential for a Bubble Bath In Ollie!  

  • Like 4

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We put Calgon and Pine-Sol in our black tank.

 

Mix 40 ounces of Pine-Sol with enough water to just about fill a gallon jug. Top off with a half cup of Calgon Bath Beads. Use eight ounces in each tank (or more in especially hot weather or if your tanks will be filling up slowly over time).

 

  • Like 2

2023 Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull #1423

TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax 4x4

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, HDRider said:

Mix 40 ounces of Pine-Sol with enough water to just about fill a gallon jug. Top off with a half cup of Calgon Bath Beads. Use eight ounces in each tank (or more in especially hot weather or if your tanks will be filling up slowly over time).

HDR:

Yep, was a great long standing approach for Black/Gray tank cleaning.  Used it in my previous camper.  

But,  "In 2011 it was discovered Pine Sol, Glade, Tide, Febreze, Clorox, and Simple Green, contain chemicals that are known to cause hormone disruption, pregnancy complications, birth defects, and cancer, and can aggravate allergies.".  So it was reformulated.  The new version does not have the punch of the ole one. 

Combined with the bath beads, it still is pretty good for our purposes.  But it is an expensive blend compared to the cost of two or three dishwasher machine pods.  Comparing the effectiveness of the two approaches, they seem be about the same. So either one will work.  But comparatively, why not save about 2 1/2 pounds and some $$ too?    Certainly worth giving the dishwasher pods a shot.  

GJ

  • Thanks 2
  • Like 2

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

If you're treating grey tank with pinesol, be prepared for a lot of heavy pine smelling  vapors coming from the sink drains, etc. 

I often use pinesol to clean my toilets at home. But, I run the exhaust fan, afterwards. Otherwise, I smell pinesol for days.

Pinesol was on the list of agents that killed covid back in 2020, so I started using it again, then, since disinfectants being very tough to find... but, I scored a gallon of pinesol. 🙂

  • Like 2

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, HDRider said:

We put Calgon and Pine-Sol in our black tank.

 

14 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

If you're treating grey tank with pinesol, be prepared for a lot of heavy pine smelling  vapors coming from the sink drains, etc. 

I often use pinesol to clean my toilets at home. But, I run the exhaust fan, afterwards. Otherwise, I smell pinesol for days.

Pinesol was on the list of agents that killed covid back in 2020, so I started using it again, then, since disinfectants being very tough to find... but, I scored a gallon of pinesol. 🙂

 

2023 Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull #1423

TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax 4x4

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/16/2024 at 1:59 PM, SeaDawg said:

If you're treating grey tank with pinesol, be prepared for a lot of heavy pine smelling vapors coming from the sink drains, etc...

We're used the Pine-Sol-Calgon solution 4-5 times over the last 6 months, and I did not smell a thing. My sense of smell is acute. Last time out, I smelled some in the toilet, since the toilet had been left without any water in the bowl. With a good seal and water in the bowl, and clean water meaning no Pine-Sol in the plumbing traps, you really should not smell it. Cause can be plumbing leaks or plumbing vents that do not seal. These vents are designed to allow air in and not out. But who knows, when the TT is bouncing down the road!

That being said... In the future, I'm going with @Geronimo John's suggestion to use dishwasher soap pods. Do you really need 2-3? I would think 1 should suffice. I like this option because the pods are light, small and travel nicely. With Pine-Sol you really have to be careful, not only in transport but in application. If you do not very carefully put a cup of the liquid down one sink, no spills, flush the trap, then yep as @SeaDawg wrote, you're going to smell it.

Edited by jd1923
  • Like 2
  • Love 1

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, jd1923 said:

Do you really need 2-3? I would think 1 should suffice.

My Ollie gets used 3 - 4 months, and then cold storage.  Somewhere along the tour, when I am leaving a FAMCamp and going to a place with an easy dump station, I'll do the tank clean with two pods.  At the end of the season, my last clean is with three pods.  

Why 2 or 3 dishwasher pods?  No justifiable reason what so ever.  Guess it just felt right.  Let's try it with one and then 2 for the end of season and save another 1/3 of the cost.  Easy to check the black tank with a strong light and a mirror on a stick.  Have not thought of a way to check the Gray tank other than to just see clean water during flush.  

Good question for sure.

GJ

Edited by Geronimo John
  • Like 2

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

We use one pod and a capful of Calgon water softener.  When it’s going to sit a month or two we also add some Happy Camper in both black and gray tanks with a gallon or so of water.  No odors, no issues.  Mike

The Calgon water softener is basically a water softener in a box or bottle.  Way back I used the liquid and don't recommend that due to the propensity for spills and the weight.  But their powder is good stuff for carrying in our RV's

                                                      image.png.03c8aebeab6d52ae1e8ea2a8ee4146c3.png

Softer water in the tanks makes the detergent more effective.  Better Dishwasher pods have water softening chemicals therein.  So it becomes a trade off between using less dishwasher pods with Calgon or just using more dishwasher pods.  Either way, it gets the job done.  

if you have real hard water, then I would lean towards Mike and Carol's approach.  

GJ

 

 

Edited by Geronimo John
Distinguished dishwasher from dish washing soap
  • Like 3

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/17/2024 at 3:11 PM, Mike and Carol said:

We use one pod and a capful of Calgon water softener.  When it’s going to sit a month or two we also add some Happy Camper in both black and gray tanks with a gallon or so of water.  No odors, no issues.  Mike

On 5/17/2024 at 11:27 AM, jd1923 said:

Do you really need 2-3 pods?

 

22 hours ago, Geronimo John said:

Softer water in the tanks makes the detergent more effective. 

Mike and JD:

Combining your two responses with one of mine was a bit transformational.  They have caused me to rethink my previous thoughts on this subject over the past 30 years. . 

I have always suggested and used "CHEAP" dishwasher pods.  But to get the water softening needed for many of the sites we use, those water softening agents certainly would be good

So, I'm going to shift over to using a small container of the more premium dishwasher pods for tank cleaning such as this one.

 

image.png.be093b1c597df852a279c14576a67063.png

For this product, I like that it has both Dawn for grease cutting and anti-sudsing agents that keep the suds to a minimum.  Amazing technology for sure.  However, the shelf life of such dishwasher pods varies by brand, but generally, they last for about 12-15 months.  The cheap dishwasher pods typically las two years in my Ollie.  To mitigate the shelf life, each season I'll either bring back to the house the left over pods.  Or justbring  6 pods for the summer tour. 

Maybe I have come to a good solution considering shelf life, cost, weight, and performance. 

Surprisingly, this old dog can still learn new tricks. Thanks for the idea!

GJ

Edited by Geronimo John
typo
  • Like 3

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

The powder calgon has been discontinued in the US and Canada, for a number of years. (Hence, the Polish version in gj's photo.)

Liquid has limited availability.  

Washing soda (not baking soda) has the same major active ingredient.  Many dishwasher pods also use it. (Sodium carbonate.)

Or, borax (different chemical, same effect.). Or powdered laundry detergent. 

Lots of good choices.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator+

Or nothing at all. We don’t use any chemicals. No odors, we don’t put anything in the black tank other than poop and pee. You should never put tissue, wipes, feminine hygiene products or cigarette butts into the toilet system. When dumping, we flush the black tank 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Ten years in and never an issue. 

  • Like 5

Steve, Tali and our dog Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie, Lucy and Reacher (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/18/2024 at 11:05 AM, SeaDawg said:

The powder calgon has been discontinued in the US and Canada, for a number of years. (Hence, the Polish version in gj's photo.)

Really?  That's strange because Amazon sold 250 of these this past month.  Here is their hyper link:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=calgon+powder+for+laundry&crid=4JTDABLQYVB6&sprefix=Calgon+Powder%2Caps%2C213&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_13

 

image.png.732eb74dbadd2ccf8c9ee58097014adb.png

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/18/2024 at 11:43 PM, ScubaRx said:

Or nothing at all. We don’t use any chemicals. No odors, we don’t put anything in the black tank other than poop and pee. You should never put tissue, wipes, feminine hygiene products or cigarette butts into the toilet system. When dumping, we flush the black tank 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Ten years in and never an issue. 

Same here no issues. 

Edited by Patriot
  • Thanks 1

 

2020 OLEII - Hull #634 aka-  “XPLOR” 

2021 F350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate Tremor 

 

IMG_2879.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...