I love when events in my life inspire my next DIY post. It seems almost every day I’m in this position! The latest? Our RV black tank is clogged. It’s been a mounting issue that has not been resolved properly from the start. The first time it happened is a really good story to tell NOW, but boy was that a tough day. Matt thought the best way to handle the problem was to find a stick and to try to “push” the offending clog down the chute. However, when you’ve got a curved line, you can imagine what will happen to that stick. It will break. And break it did.
That was the day we lost our kitchen tongs too. :-/ We eventually got the clog moving again, but never implemented the right routine to keep our tank flowing freely. One clue to whether or not your tank free of residue? If the final rinse of the tank runs clear. If it’s not running clear, then you’re not getting everything out! You’ve been warned! Naturally, Matt failed to share with me that the tank wasn’t running clear for two months….. It was only a matter of time before we would find ourselves back in the same scenario.
So here we are, five flushes later, and still a pile of tissue paper at the bottom of the toilet. Tapping into the wisdom of those more experienced is always a wise move. The overwhelming advice is not to plunge or snake or push or fish around down there (At least, not at first) but to dump some boiling water right down the drain and let it work its magic. We’re two kettles in now and the hubs is about to dump the tank now. I’ll let you know how it turns out! In the meantime, if you’re in a similar scenario, get the full process in the link below.
Better yet, here’s a HUGE tip to prevent your black tank from EVER getting clogged again. First, make sure you’re using the right TP (read our post here about that). Once you’ve got that sorted, after every black tank dump and rinse, add some water back into the tank. Then add some hot water to your toilet boil, and to that, add a scoop of powdered laundry detergent (OR a hefty squirt of liquid dawn) and a half a cup of a water softener like Borax or Calgon. Flush it down! This will keep your water soft and prevent any solids from sticking to the tank!
Update: We implemented the plan above as described and never had a clog again. In fact, we stopped buying those expensive little bottles of RV toilet treatment and just used Dawn and Borax after every black tank dump. What a treat to find, that not only was this method more efficient, but more economical too!