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Old 08-07-2020, 03:55 PM   #1
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black water cable appears broken

Bathroom toilet was suddenly full. Attempted to dump when we were leaving campground and it won't drain. it appears the cable may have broken. Handle feels normal when I pull it. How do I go about finding out if the cable is broken?
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:53 PM   #2
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I would assume that the handle would not have the resistance you would normally feel, I know on mine it takes significant effort to open the drain valve. If the cable was broken, you would have little to no resistance. Could the drain be clogged? Might have to pull the underbelly cover and see if you can access the valve itself.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:49 PM   #3
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Bathroom toilet was suddenly full. Attempted to dump when we were leaving campground and it won't drain. it appears the cable may have broken. Handle feels normal when I pull it. How do I go about finding out if the cable is broken?
I assume you are talking about the front bath toilet. We also have a 15 MB and if that toilet is "suddenly" full, you probably have a pop pyramid. The water in the pipe should slowly drain away. If it does, then you need get a sprayer and send it down to force the waste to move. After turning off the water to the house/toilet.

The design for how the pipe enters the the black tank is very poor. The pipe is attached in the right front corner(door side). So the waste has only 180 degrees to exit. And it is at the front, narrow end of the tank.

We had problems for a couple years until I pulled the front wall in the basement out and cut the pipe off the tank. We had some plastic and other junk stuck in that corner.

There are 2 - 45 degree turns in that pipe. It is not a straight pipe to the tank. This causes the waste to separate from the water. When it hits the tank, it does not have enough water to move it to the deep end of the tank. It took quite awhile for me to get my wife to understand she needed to use about 3 times the water when she flushes.

You also need to make sure it is full when you dump so it pulls all the waste out. Same for when you flush that tank. It needs to be full to empty it completely. Since it is on the same level as the outlet, it needs the full force of the water to get all the waste out.

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Old 08-07-2020, 09:45 PM   #4
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Well Rick you saved me a whole bunch of crawling around under my trailer. I took a plunger out and one good plunge and whoosh it drained. We were camping at Gettysburg Battlefield Resort with our Daughter and Son-in-law and baby granddaughter for 8 days. We did not have full hook up so I asked everyone to be conservative with the flushing. I did think it was odd that the forward black tank filled so quickly, and all the bouncing on the drive home didn't dislodge it. We will not do that again, extra flushing from now on. Again thanks Rick for responding.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:18 PM   #5
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A good practice is to add extra water to the bowl before using then when flushing after the waste has dropped continue holding down the pedal adding water for another 3-5 seconds, this adds plenty of water to move the waste.
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Old 08-09-2020, 01:06 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by robkathybat View Post
Well Rick you saved me a whole bunch of crawling around under my trailer. I took a plunger out and one good plunge and whoosh it drained. We were camping at Gettysburg Battlefield Resort with our Daughter and Son-in-law and baby granddaughter for 8 days. We did not have full hook up so I asked everyone to be conservative with the flushing. I did think it was odd that the forward black tank filled so quickly, and all the bouncing on the drive home didn't dislodge it. We will not do that again, extra flushing from now on. Again thanks Rick for responding.
Welcome Rob, glad I could help

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Old 08-09-2020, 01:15 AM   #7
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I think sometimes even with lots of water, enough solids work their way to the outlet and don't want to flow when the gate valve is opened. I've had it happen several times when the tank isn't totally full, so just running the flusher for a minute or two puts enough pressure for it flow.
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Old 08-09-2020, 05:48 PM   #8
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Try connecting the outdoor shower outlet to the black tank flush connection and flush with hot water. I do this and it seems to do a great job of melting the solids and allowing a good drainage.
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:10 PM   #9
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After dumping/rinsing add 3-5 gallons of water to the tank with a good shot of dish or laundry soap to slosh around while traveling.
Also adding a 1/4-1/2 cup of vegetable oil for the grey tanks occasionally keeps the seals operating smoothly.
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Old 08-15-2020, 04:57 PM   #10
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Also a good idea to place 10 or 20 pound bag of ice into the tank right before travel, pulling the rig shakes the ice cubes in the tank and "scrubs" the tank.
Dump at rest area and tank is clean
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Old 08-15-2020, 07:07 PM   #11
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As others have said, I also think it is a poop pile. We have a 2019 3901 WB and I have learned to start with about 7-8 gals of water in the tank. By doing this we haven't had any further problems. I have been RVing since the 1990's and this is the only one that I have owned that necessitated this to work properly. Of course draining it properly is needed but that is another post. I hope this helps.
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:28 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. I have had 2 different travel trailers and then this 5th wheel since about 1995. I have always put a fresh dose of the RV toilet treatment and a few gallons of water in right after dumping letting the trip home mix things up. In all but the front toilet of this 5th wheel I could look down through the toilet with the water off and see the tank bottom, so I've always had a pretty good idea how clean the tanks are. Also this is the first time I have had remote dumping handles and was very quick to think the cable had broken, having had read all the cable breaking stories on this and other forums. I have never had to resort to the ice thing, but may consider since I can't see whats going on in the tank. I haven't used the dish soap either feeling the liquid RV toilet treatment should maintain the seals just as well. Currently I have filled the tank with the garden hose. I will dump the next time we go out. My wife and I have camped more then a week without having to dump either black water tank. There is plenty of capacity there, however, like I said we had our daughter and son-in-law so I asked for conservative flushing, that contributed to the blockage in the pipe. We learned our lesson and will flush with plenty of water from now on. Again thanks to everyone for the responses. My sister and brother-in-law are new to travel trailer camping (they have had a pop up tent camper forever) and are on a steep learning curve. I told them to look up a forum for their trailer because of all the info I get from this forum.
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