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Anyone Tried Ice In The Black Water Tank?

black water cleaning tanks

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#1 spencers

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 02:46 PM

Seriously. A veteran camper type told me to try putting a bag of ice down the toilet and into the black water tank before heading out on a trip. He said the ice melts and as it sloshes around it cleans sludge out of the black water tank. Sounds reasonable, but was he pulling my leg?!

 

Also, the Casita owner manual advises leaving a bit of water in the bottom of the tank. Other than running some water in the toilet and flushing, is there any way to see a water level in the tanks -- grey or black? Not sure I want to know more about this, but I guess it might be a necessity some day.



#2 Moosegoo

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 03:11 PM

I’ve tried it but can’t say it did much but like you it sounded reasonable. Recently I watched this video and now I don’t bother using ice anymore. The video shows FAKE waste and ice inside of a clear “black” tank riding in the back of a pickup.


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#3 Carol Christensen

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 04:47 PM

You should leave water in the gray and black tanks.  We never let our tanks dry out.  I don't measure but try to add 1 or 2 gals of water after dumping each tank, gray & black.  They say it keeps the valves from drying out, and keeps any solids from drying out in the tanks.

 

After the last dump of a trip, If our trailer will be stored a while, I add that gal or two of water, then 1/2 pint of ammonia and 1/2 pint of PineSol.  It mixes well and sloshes around on the trip home.   I must warn you that I've been told PineSol can destroy rubber products.  But, I've done this with our first trailer for 5 years, and for 17+ years on our current trailer with no leakage from valves.  Plus visitors have said our trailer smellls nice and fresh.


Edited by Carol Christensen, 09 April 2018 - 04:48 PM.

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pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#4 wilyoung

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 12:25 PM

Well, maybe our "stuff" doesn't stink or our noses don't work that well, but I have never used any additives, or ice cubes, in either black or gray holding tank without any particular problems. I have been in other folks rigs that smell (stink, depending on your sensitivities) of the chemical "fragrances" that have been added. Sort of like the "deodorant" blocks used in urinals in men's rooms. I have, rarely, noticed a slight (emphasis on "slight") septic tank odor outside the rig in certain climatic conditions. Warm days with temperature inversions, for instance. Methinks the "stinky tank" problem may be a bit overblown. Maybe more psychological than real. Who likes to think about living with a tank of raw poo attached right under their living space?
 
Also, we do not dump as the last thing before heading home from the last campground, or between campgrounds. Leave it in there to slosh around and liquefy. And let the microbes do their thing. A septic tank is called septic (vs antiseptic) because it's loaded with bacteria that eat and beak down the solids. We have a state park with dump station a few miles from home which we visit as the last stop before home, or dump upon arrival at our next camp. It works for us. YMMV.

 

If you dump too often, or leave the black tank dump valve open when camped, you may develop the dreaded "brown mound." The liquid drains off and the solids get left behind to dry out. If you don't dump often enough your tank gets overfull and you may end up with a clogged drop pipe between toilet and tank. I have experienced both. Neither is happy. You will eventually learn the happy medium.

 

Bottom line is, if the contents of your tank is sufficiently liquefied when you dump you shouldn't have any sludge build-up problems.


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#5 brsedwebt

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 04:11 PM

Hmmm.... Ice in the black tank. Does that make Poopcicles? I certainly do not want any iced pee. =)-... Sorry - I could not resist. 


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#6 Steve LaBroad

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 10:18 AM

I ran across the video a couple years ago.  At the time, in whatever site I was visiting there was some consensus that liquid fabric softener would clean, lubricate and deodorize as well as facilitate dumping.  I didn’t get the sense that it did much to the dreaded brown pyramid from not enough water before first use. 

 

As I watched the video again I had a picture of flinging popcorn at the pyramid.  The ice just bouncing off like bullets off of Superman.  I then wondered if one were to freeze brick sized ice cubes (about as large as would fit down the opening) and about an inch of water..  Not so many ice bricks that they don’t have room to slide around.  Maybe the increased mass would help.  Might not faze SuperDude but other more mortal remains?  Maybe. 

 

As always, an ounce of prevention, yada yada…


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#7 cottons

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 05:59 AM

Best used in sweet tea.


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#8 Jerrybob

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 09:49 AM

I bet on a very hot camping day........the ice would be refreshing to sit on????? :unsure:


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#9 spencers

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:36 PM

Thanks, all. I guess there is nothing new under the sun...(or under the camper). I appreciate the tips.



#10 flcoxjr

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 04:35 PM

I bet on a very hot camping day........the ice would be refreshing to sit on????? :unsure:


When I was a kid, growing up in Miami, my siblings and I would see who could sit on a 50 lb block of ice the longest. (The ice was leftover from one of my Dads fishing trips).
When I visited one of my sisters brand new house I noticed the toilet in the guest room seemed warm. It turns out the plumbers had hooked it up to a hot water line.
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#11 Jerrybob

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 09:59 AM

Somebody recently broke into our small local police dept. and stole their toilet.........as of today......the cops have nothing to go on. :rofl:  


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#12 vermilye

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 06:13 AM

 

I bet on a very hot camping day........the ice would be refreshing to sit on????? :unsure:


When I was a kid, growing up in Miami, my siblings and I would see who could sit on a 50 lb block of ice the longest. (The ice was leftover from one of my Dads fishing trips).
When I visited one of my sisters brand new house I noticed the toilet in the guest room seemed warm. It turns out the plumbers had hooked it up to a hot water line.

 

In locations that have high humidity, and cool cold water, it is common to add a mixing valve to the toilet that adds hot water so the outside of the tank doesn't sweat.  Saw if for the first time in a high end home on Nantucket Island, MA.







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