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Old 05-27-2015, 11:28 AM   #1
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Default Emptying black water tank

We own a Shadow Cruiser S195WBS and have a problem emptying our black water tank. It seems that when it is time to dump it will start and then about a 1/3 of the way clog. We have been trying to use more water when we flush but that does not seem to be the answer. We bought a clear plastic elbow for the drain tube and have tried shooting water back into the black tank. We had the dealer add a "Tornado" to the tank to help clean it out but that was not the answer. The only thing that we have found is to drive around and try again which is a pain. Any thoughts or suggestion would be appreciated.

Bob k
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:44 PM   #2
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What do you mean that it clogs?? It stops flowing out of the gate valve completely? Are you sure there is still stuff in the tank? Are you sure that your tank sensor is accurate?

Do you use one of those enzyme additives in the tank routinely? That can help break up large solids.

Do you use special toilet paper? Kirkland (Costco) makes a TP designed for septic tanks -- it dissolves easier.

You can also add a mild soapy solution into the tank before dumping -- not too much or you will get suds. But the soap helps dissolve the stuff in the tank.
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Old 05-27-2015, 03:05 PM   #3
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Are you waiting until the black tank is at least 2/3rds full before you empty? If not, just fill up the toilet tank with water right before you empty. We try to keep paper out of the tank whenever possible also.
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:01 AM   #4
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I will try to answer all of the question together.

Yes we are waiting till the tank is at least 2/3 full before we empty our tank. I will try the suggestion of adding a little soap...does it matter what type liquid or powder.

Yes the tank stops flowing completely. I can look into the tank from the toilet and I can see fluids.

I always add stuff to my tank after it is emptied along with about 3 gallons of water and again before I head out for a weekend.

Yes we always use RV Toilet paper, thanks for the hint on Costco I did not know that they carried any.

Example:
Last weekend we left our property in McCall, Idaho and went to the dump station. The fluids stopped running at about 1/2 full. We left the dumped station and drove the 100 miles toward home and stopped at our local dump here in Meridian, Idaho. We were able to dump completely there and actually was able to use our in tank sprayer to finish the job. At that point I was able to get clear fluids to exit the tank.

Again thanks for the suggestions.
Bob K
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Old 05-28-2015, 01:19 PM   #5
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I read somewhere about someone having a similar problem. Come to find out the plastic disk created when a hole saw was used to cut the holes for the fittings was left inside the tank. Almost every time he dumped, it would makes its way to the drain and plug the hole.

Drive around a little bit and it would break free and he could finish draining. I think he finally figured it out filling the tank with water and using a flashlight to look don through the toilet.
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:59 PM   #6
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Yes I bet the disc is floating around jamming up the pipe. I ended up taking off the toilet , fill the the black tank up with water and hopefully the disc will float around and pass by the toilet hole and u can grab it and pull it out and fix your problems.
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Old 05-28-2015, 03:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafn8td
I read somewhere about someone having a similar problem. Come to find out the plastic disk created when a hole saw was used to cut the holes for the fittings was left inside the tank. Almost every time he dumped, it would makes its way to the drain and plug the hole.

Drive around a little bit and it would break free and he could finish draining. I think he finally figured it out filling the tank with water and using a flashlight to look don through the toilet.
Yup -- my first thought too.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:12 PM   #8
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Yes -- I had forgotten that when my trailer was new, I spotted a black disk in both of my tanks -- it was not easy fishing them out. I can't imagine why the factory does not routinely remove them.
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:48 AM   #9
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Well, so there is a bonk-your-head, curse-the-manufacturer type of QC thing that is really annoying.

THAT one thing is SO simple to make sure of at the factory. Puts all the other "make's you go 'hmmmm...'" issues into perspective....
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:40 PM   #10
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I have run into a similar circumstance. I now try to clean (back flush) the black tanks to or three times to get the sensors to read that it is empty. I thought I found found that this cleaning was the answer to the problem until recently. After a good productive cleaning, we drove the trailer home still showing empty tanks. A few weeks later we took the trailer on another trip (100 miles). When we set up the trailer, the BW tank already read 2/3 full. The toilet had not been used in the interim.

I almost hope that my problem is a disk in the tank, but I think the problem is with the sensors. Anyone had success at testing the sensors?
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:57 PM   #11
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I don't know how one would test them but I do remember, after I got my new unit home, I spent some time underneath it and one of the things I did was to tighten the screws that secure the wires to the sensors...most were not very tight.

Maybe a loose wire situation if you've never checked?
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:12 PM   #12
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I think it is time to dive in and explore the underside of the trailer.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:15 PM   #13
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My 11 XT-276 is set up to drain the shower and bathroom sink in to the black tank. Yes it's stupid, not sure why they did it, BUT my sensors work perfectly. I honestly think it' because my black tank always has a high liquid to solids ratio.

My riding buddy has another brand toy hauler and his sensors never worked. I told him about how stupid my set up was, but the sensors worked and he has since been adding water to fill up his black tank on the way to empty it. He says it's the best they have ever worked since he started doing this.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:53 PM   #14
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We, too, have the same issue as the OP. I installed the Camco Tornado, hoping to solve both the sensor dirty & pipe plugging issues while also rinsing the walls. Nope. Have to also use a Valterra Twist-On valve & hydroflush clear elbow.

The Tornado is good for rinsing down the sides of the interior of the black tank walls but still lacks ability to unplug pipes when toilet paper, etc, blocks drainage piping. I overcame the plugging issue by also using the Valterra 45 RV Hydroflush with a Valterra Twist-on Waste Valve. When drainage stops (while Tornado is running), I turn the Tornado off, close the twist-on valve & push water in with the hydroflush. After a minute or so, I test flow by opening the twist-on valve (if fails, I re-close & wait longer). Once water breaks through the plug & the 'goods' start draining again, I leave the twist on gate valve open, turn off the hydroflush, & switch back to the Tornado rinse. We generally get two to flour 'plugs' (even with septic friendly TP) during each emptying.

Installation of the Tornado, for me, was a PITA as I had to drill through my trailer frame (not a product issue) but otherwise was fairly simple. Accuracy required for installation means it is time consuming to install but definitely worth it, as the rinse with add-on extra gate valve & hydroflush has solve all issues now.

ps, I will definitely have to look into & see if the factory also left me plastic gift that my be the cause of our headaches.

Thanks to all for the info that is ongoing!
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