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RV Waste Water System Care & Maintenance

Waste Water System

The wastewater system inside the recreational vehicle is self-contained, while on the road or set up in a campsite. The main parts of the waste system are the toilet, holding tanks and tank dump valves. As in residential households, the drainage system also includes p-traps and roof vents to allow escape of odors and gases.

RV Waste Holding Tanks

Waste water is divided into two categories: Black water and gray water. The term black water refers to the waste flushed down the toilet and stored in a separate tank*, referred to as the black tank. Gray water is the wastewater from the sinks, tub and shower drains and is stored within one (or more) gray tank(s). Waste tanks empty through a single outlet, but a separate valve controls each tank.

The dump valves should remain closed even if connected to an exterior sewer hook up. For proper dumping, empty tanks only when they are nearly full. The idea is to send a large volume of water through the tanks and hose at the same time to assist the solid waste in flushing from the system.

RV Waste Holding Tank Dumping Instructions

  1. Place the end of the sewer hose into an approved dump station inlet.
  2. Twist off the termination outlet cap.
  3. Connect the sewer hose by turning counterclockwise, locking the end levers over the termination end.
  4. Open the black tank termination valve and drain.
  5. Open the gray tank termination valve and drain. (If RV has 2 gray tanks, drain one at a time.)
  6. 6. Close termination valves.
  7. Disconnect sewer hose and store.
  8. Replace termination cap on the outlet.
  9. Add chemical deodorant / breakdown agent approved for RV use.

After the sewage tank has been emptied, close the gate valves and put approximately five gallons of water in the sewage holding tanks. This will help prevent solids from building up. The addition of a deodorizing agent like Aqua-Kem� will help prevent odors.

RV Toilet

The toilet operates from water supplied either by the fresh water tank or from an exterior water supply connected to a campground water hook-up. (The water pump must be turned on when utilizing the water from the fresh water tank.)

The toilet flushes directly into the black water tank. You should find complete instructions and care for the model installed in your RV at the manufactures web site or by calling the company.

Solids Build-Up

The most common problem associated with the waste system is solids build up. Using plenty of water when flushing the toilet, and keeping the holding tank valves closed until ready to flush the system can reduce the risk of build up.

Should you ever have a build up of solids, close the valves, fill the tanks at least 3/4 full with fresh water, drive a drive a few miles to agitate the solids then drain the tanks.

Do not put these items in toilet

  1. Facial tissues, paper towels, sanitary products (including those labeled flushable).
  2. Detergents or bleach. Use a sewage tank deodorizer.
  3. Automotive antifreeze, ammonia, alcohols, or acetones.
  4. Grease from cooking, table scraps or other solids that may cause clogging.

You may also want to Read:
RV Gray Water & Black Water Holding Tank Basics
What You Should Know About RV Holding Tank Chemical Additives

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