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Old 08-15-2019, 10:15 PM   #1
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Tanks not draining.

I have a travel trailer that is permanently hooked into a sewer system. Today when my guests left neither the grey or black water tanks will drain. There is not an obstruction that is visible. Seems odd that they both will not drain. I reached a 9ga wire into the gray water tank and didn't seem to hit any obstruction. A little water came out while I was working the wire around. I have two vent pipe that don't seem plugged. Any ideas?
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:59 PM   #2
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Are you sure that your vents are free from obstructions?
Have someone hold down the flush valve on your toilet, and see if that makes a difference on the blackwater tank.
Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the toilet idea Bob. I turned off the water opened the black water tank valve and step on the toilet lever. No luck. It is full too. Not into the toilet full but close. There are two separate vents for grey and black tanks. I looked into both with a flashlight then ran #9 wire down them. The wire stopped after a few feet but I don't think there is a blockage in both vents.
The 9 wire goes into the grey tank easily and there seems to be no blockage. I haven't tried reaming the black water side for obvious reasons. I may try that next but why would both tanks not drain. Sounds more like venting but there are two vent pipes that would have to get plugged at the same time. I don't know what my last guests may have done or put in the system. They were here for 3 nights.
Anymore ideas?
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:50 PM   #4
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Is it possible that you have some "hidden" valves like the Axis/Vegas do on the black tank? Look underneath the trailer just to be sure. That's all I got...sorry.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:56 PM   #5
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I just came in from looking for something the guests may have shut off. I also emptied the P-trap in the kitchen sink. Wouldn't this allow the grey tank to vent if the main vent was plugged? There is a foot of 3 inch ABS from the tank to the valve. It's not plugged and the valve is open, my wire goes into the tank at least. Sure has me baffled. Im going back out and look some more.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:07 AM   #6
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OK I don't know why the grey tank is not draining but the black tank valve is not opening when I pull the lever. Any ideas on how to get it open without making a big mess? I have guests arriving soon and dont want to stink the place up.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:34 AM   #7
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I was wrong the black tank valve is opening. I can run the wire into the tank but nothing comes out except a little stream for a few seconds. I am at a loss.
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:01 AM   #8
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Here is what I think happened to the black water tank. I think the seals on the valve allowed the liquid to pass but not the solids. I will stick a hose in it tomorrow and try flushing it out. I don't have much room in the tank. I put a small pump in the toilet and pumped all the liquid I could out and made a little room for tonights guests. Why in the heck is the grey water tank not draining? I can run a hose into the tank. I blew compressed air thru both vent pipes. I blew air into the gray tank and black tank. The monitor reads the grey tank as half full and it will not drain. It has a open valve and monitor reads empty usually.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cantwell Troy View Post
Here is what I think happened to the black water tank. I think the seals on the valve allowed the liquid to pass but not the solids. I will stick a hose in it tomorrow and try flushing it out. I don't have much room in the tank. I put a small pump in the toilet and pumped all the liquid I could out and made a little room for tonights guests. Why in the heck is the grey water tank not draining? I can run a hose into the tank. I blew compressed air thru both vent pipes. I blew air into the gray tank and black tank. The monitor reads the grey tank as half full and it will not drain. It has a open valve and monitor reads empty usually.
Two separate tanks... each with their own valve... so lets assume two separate but coincidental problems.

Grey Tank...... Is it possible your sensor in the gray tank is giving you a false reading? Either a faulty sensor or debris on the sensor may be saying it is half full when it is actually empty. If you close your Grey Tank valve and run the water a bit and then open the valve, can you hear or see water drain to confirm it is a sensor and the tank really is empty?

Blank Tank..... Your leaking valve seals could be the issue. Do you feel any resistance when you try to open and close the valve? The other possibility is that the stem pulled out of the gate valve or the top of the gate valve snapped off and the valve is not really opening at this point to allow the tank to drain. Valterra actually sells replacement rods for their gate valves.

I know you have a mess on your hands but maybe you can call a mobile port-a-jon pump out service and have them put the hose down the toilet to pump out the black tank. Then you can take apart the valve to see what you are dealing with at this point.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:42 AM   #10
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My 24FE has a valve on the Door side
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:01 PM   #11
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I guess it's time to post the video...

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Old 08-16-2019, 01:49 PM   #12
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What yr & model TT ?
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:49 PM   #13
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If you left the valves open while hooked up "permanently", then you may have a tank full of nothing but solids. You need to keep the valves closed, even though you are hooked up, allowing the tanks to fill before dumping...each time. If this is the case, close the black valve and run as much water in it as you can...fill it up then dump it, multiple times, trying to dilute what's in there and get it flowing out. The hose/pipe from your camper to the ground may be plugged up with solids also, causing the grey tank no to drain as well either.
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:02 PM   #14
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If you left the valves open while hooked up "permanently", then you may have a tank full of nothing but solids. You need to keep the valves closed, even though you are hooked up, allowing the tanks to fill before dumping...each time. If this is the case, close the black valve and run as much water in it as you can...fill it up then dump it, multiple times, trying to dilute what's in there and get it flowing out. The hose/pipe from your camper to the ground may be plugged up with solids also, causing the grey tank no to drain as well either.
I agree. I just spoke to someone that had that issue in his 5th wheel. Do as Gritz suggested, otherwise...see post 11.
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by pavemike View Post
...Do as Gritz suggested, otherwise...see post 11.
And remember: always keep an umbrella nearby!
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:12 PM   #16
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Tonight's guests, vs the prior nights guests...
Is this an airbnb type thing?
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
Tonight's guests, vs the prior nights guests...
Is this an airbnb type thing?

OR...are you AKA..."Dash Riprock"?
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:22 PM   #18
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This reminds me of why I said "No!": when asked if I'd ever consider renting out my RV...
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:48 PM   #19
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LOL Thanks for the suggestions and the laughs guys. I resolved the problem for now. I leave the black tank valve closed and only empty it after guest leave. Yes this is a Airbnb. I have two of them for rent and will be adding two more. I either didn't get the valve shut all the way or the valve leaked the liquid out. Regardless I had a tank full of solids. Plumb full. I stuck the hose down the toilet and started working her around. It is now empty and since I had the means I squirted some Dawn in the tank and filled it up out of the h2o heater in the house. Nice and clean now and I didn't even make too much of a mess.
The grey tank was empty this morning. Lucky for me my guests owned a RV so I had them watch the monitor for the grey tank. He said when his wife was showering the tank emptied.

Thanks for all the input. I am sure I will be back for more one day.
Troy
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:52 PM   #20
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Bob would you rent out your RV for $150 per night 7 nights a week? I have a 110 day season and over a 90% occupancy rate. That pays for a used RV pretty fast. But yep there are plenty of things to keep up with. The lack of common sense the average human has shocks me.
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