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Old 11-02-2015, 05:35 PM   #1
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Black tank question

Good morning all, I hope everyone had a great weekend. I have a black tank question. I purchased a 2013 36 RL and if I am not mistaken it has a 45 gallon black tank. I dumped the tanks on Friday afternoon and have just had normal use over the weekend and the gauge is reading the black tank is full. Can this be correct? Am I doing something wrong? Any help is greatly appreciated.

David
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:47 PM   #2
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Is there a way to check the black tank other than the sensors on the panel?
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:11 PM   #3
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Did you use the black tank flusher once the tank was empty? The Gauge is on a float in the tank and it will some times get stuck. If you flush out the tank when you empty it should go back to working properly. I have had this same issue in the past.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:14 PM   #4
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Yes I did, but maybe I did it wrong? Am I supposed to close the black tank, fill it up and then flush again? I left it open and let water run through it for about 20 minutes.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:21 PM   #5
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You are correct. Can close the valve and let the tank fill up with some water to help get the gauge unstick. But be careful many PPL have forgotten about the valve being closed and you either get a flood in the bathroom or it goes up the vent and comes out on the roof of the RV. If you close the valve don't let yourself get distracted it can cause you one heck of a mess. Also if you leave it alone when traveling the float may break free and drop.


You could also do the bag of ice trick. put in about 15 gals of water in black tank and 5lbs of ice as you travel it will clean the tank and when you get stopped again you can then drain.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:28 PM   #6
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Is there a way to monitor it until it needs to be dumped again? We are dry camping in a family members driveway for the time being and the dump station is a ways away. Should this be a top priority for now or will it last at least 1 week of normal use? This is my first rodeo so I apologize for the simple questions but I greatly appreciate the help.

David
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:52 PM   #7
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I put a 5" clear pipe on the line BEFORE hooking my sewer hose , this way I can see clean water. What I do is this :
#1 - I pull the black tank valve and let it drain
#2 - I turn on the flush and let it run
#3 - I close the valve and DO NOT leave the side , keep it closed for a few minutes
#4 - Open the valve and watch the color of the water
#5 - repeat as necessary - I have done this as many as 4-5 times
#6- ONCE the water is ALL CLEAR , turn off all water to the black tank and let it drain for till there in ZERO coming out ,
I then close off the black tank valve and open the grey tanks , this way , all that soapy shower water runs through the sewer hose and flushes it before storage . .

I thought the tanks had sensors on the side , not floats??
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:55 PM   #8
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I have found that using the sound the potty makes when flushing is evidence that the black tank is getting full. The sound the water makes changes as the tank gets full. We're parked in AZ for the winter and have yet to dump the black tank yet after a month. But the level LED's have indicated full for 3 weeks. Can't trust them at all.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:05 PM   #9
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I have found that using the sound the potty makes when flushing is evidence that the black tank is getting full. The sound the water makes changes as the tank gets full. We're parked in AZ for the winter and have yet to dump the black tank yet after a month. But the level LED's have indicated full for 3 weeks. Can't trust them at all.
I am with you on the sound. I thought it was odd when I first read about it on this forum but I can empty my black tank and flush it clean and it will read full again in a short period of time. But once you hear that tell tell sign you know it is getting full. It is almost like an air pocket in the top of the tank makes the sound.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:07 PM   #10
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Like the sound my belly makes after Thanksgiving Day Dinner and football games!! UNMISTAKABLE ! !
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:59 PM   #11
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All of this info is great, thanks everyone. My black tank fears are subsiding

David
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LovinRVlife View Post
Good morning all, I hope everyone had a great weekend. I have a black tank question. I purchased a 2013 36 RL and if I am not mistaken it has a 45 gallon black tank. I dumped the tanks on Friday afternoon and have just had normal use over the weekend and the gauge is reading the black tank is full. Can this be correct? Am I doing something wrong? Any help is greatly appreciated.

David

I typically turn on the black tank flush and then open the gate valve to dump the black tank. After the initial dump, I will allow the the tank to refill 2 to 3 times using the black tank flush until there is essentially clear water on the last dump. The tank level gages have continued to work well most of the time. The sensors for the gages are essentially sealed machine bolt heads on the side of the tank. Debris can build up on the sides of the tank and cause false readings. It is not a good system but, if the tank is kept clean, it does work, more or less.

We typically have to dump our tanks every 5 to 8 days max. I usually try for a 7 day routine dump process. I have used the "Geo Method" and also chemicals for cleaning the tanks. When traveling, I will try to add about 5 gallons of water with a cup of Dawn dish detergent which helps to clean out the tanks.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:40 PM   #13
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A correction about there being a float in your tank(s). There is not a mechanical float. There is a series of 4 probes mounted on the end of each tank. When water or liquid or even toilet paper gets wet it can make the readings off from where the fluid level really is. It is important to close black tank valve and use the black tank flush rinse for a few minutes to get everything loosened up so it will travel out of the tank. The wiring harness is 12v powered and sends the signal to the monitor panel. See attached photo for what it looks like. The black colored probes are used in the black and grey and galley tanks. The whitish colored ones are for the fresh water tank.

A ground sensor is located low in the tank with another probe at the same height about 6 to 8 inches away. The other 2 probes are spaced higher to indicate the 1/2 or 3/4 full levels or whatever they indicate, I forgot for now.

Chris
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:27 PM   #14
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Post #7 is the way to go. The little 90 or 45 clear pipe is the way to go to know if tank is clean. Cleaning the sensor mmmm I dump a bag of ice in it when travel + some water but when I use it full time always shows full. So I repeat step once a week while drinking a beer or two. (No way around it)😳
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:17 AM   #15
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Is there a way to monitor it until it needs to be dumped again? We are dry camping in a family members driveway for the time being and the dump station is a ways away. Should this be a top priority for now or will it last at least 1 week of normal use? This is my first rodeo so I apologize for the simple questions but I greatly appreciate the help.

David
Debbie and I full-time...we can go about 7 days before we have to dump the black tank. You will notice a change in the sound of the flush when the tank is getting full. If you are brave...you can also use a flashlight to see how full the tank is getting : )
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:23 AM   #16
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Ha! No flashlight from this hombre but thanks!
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Old 11-03-2015, 02:40 AM   #17
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You will know that it's time to dump when the tank "Burps" at you when you flush. When it starts burping you better plan on dumping soon.
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Old 11-03-2015, 03:17 AM   #18
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We full time with 2 of us and it is usually will last 9 days. I dump 1 a week. Works for us
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Old 11-03-2015, 03:40 AM   #19
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I don't pay any attention to any of the sensors, our black read 2/3 the day it was delivered & still does. We can go about 9 days, but typically drain in 7 just cause its easier to keep track.
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:15 PM   #20
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Thanks again everyone, I hope you are having a great day!
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