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How To Unclog An RV Black Water Tank


No one wants a clog, but a clog in your black water tank can
be just about the worst thing an RV owner has to deal with. Not only do you
want your black water system moving effectively, but you’ll need to know a safe
and clean way to deal with it. Here’s how to unclog an RV black water tank.

The Black Water Tank

“Black water” refers to the most unusable waste water in
your entire RV system. As opposed to gray and fresh water, “black water” means
the water that’s meant for flushing out human waste and is thus susceptible to
all sorts of problems like bacteria and odors.

That means you’re going to want to take a clog seriously.
Make sure you do the following before getting started:

  • Use the
    right equipment.
    Use disposable gloves and prepare for all sorts of mess,
    even if you don’t anticipate getting a lot of mess in your RV. You still want
    to be prepared for anything you’ll be touching.
  • Avoid
    safety hazards
    like using pressurized air or repeated plunging to get the
    clog out. These are tempting for people who understand what a clog is, but you
    want to be careful about your black water tank. Avoiding these safety hazards
    means you’ll have to find alternative methods that will be far safer for your

How to Unclog an RV
Black Water Tank

With the above in mind, let’s get to the physics of what
makes a clog come out. For example, one common problem is “pyramid plugs,” or
hardened forms of waste that appear in the line that connects to your toilet.
In this case, the clog may not be in the tank, but in the connection between
toilet and tank.

The key here is cleaning out the clog without anything too
caustic or damaging to your RV. Some solutions that experienced RV owners
recommend include half-filling with soapy water and then driving around, using
the natural action of the RV to drive the friction that will do the cleaning
from the inside. Some people also suggest pipe cleaners for getting in and
clearing out the clog manually, although you’ll want to be careful about the
type you use and make sure that you consult with an expert first.

If your problem is especially deep within the system, you
might also try specifically-formulated chemical treatments to dissolve the
problem. Make sure that you read the labels carefully and that you apply the
appropriate dose for the size of your tank.

Finally, make sure that your regular maintenance includes
the RV black water tank. By using the right RV cleaners here at RV
by LIFE, you’ll have a much healthier system that will make it far easier to
flush your toilet on a regular basis.


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