RV Black Tank Cleaning Tip / Trick

Tony FlammiaRV Tech Tips, Tech Tip Tuesdays

The Festive Challenge: Dealing with a Clogged RV Toilet

As we embrace the holiday season, it’s not just about festive cheer and Christmas lights. For many RV owners, it’s also a time to tackle some practical challenges, especially when your beloved vehicle has been sitting idle for a while. Today, I’m addressing a question that, while not so merry, is crucial for comfortable RV living – dealing with a clogged toilet.

The Problem: A Clogged Toilet in a Newly Acquired RV

One of our readers reached out with a rather pressing issue. He recently bought a used RV from a (now former) friend. The vehicle had been parked in storage for two years, and when he moved it to his property and started living in it, he discovered that the toilet was clogged with dried waste. As winter approaches and the temperature drops, using an outdoor compost toilet becomes less feasible, especially for those who are older or unwell.

The DIY Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide

If standard toilet chemicals fail to resolve the issue, here’s a DIY method you might consider:

  1. Materials Needed:
    • A 5-foot piece of half-inch PEX piping.
    • A 3/4 inch garden hose thread (GHT) female to a half-inch barb fitting.
    • A ball valve (3/4 inch GHT male to female).
    These items are readily available online, for instance, on Amazon.
  2. Preparation:
    • Heat the PEX slightly and insert the barb fitting. Allow it to cool and secure it with a bracket.
  3. Procedure:
    • Attach the ball valve between your water hose and the modified PEX.
    • Turn off the water supply to the toilet and open the blade seal.
    • Insert the PEX into the toilet, pushing it as far as possible into the tank.
    • Once the PEX is in place and bent at the bottom of the tank, turn on the water.
  4. Important Note:
    • Keep the gate valve open to allow water and waste to exit.
    • Use the ball valve to control the water flow and prevent overflow.

Professional Help: When DIY Isn’t Enough

If the clog is too stubborn, it’s time to call in a professional. A black tank cleaning service can use high-pressure, low-volume water jets to break up the clog. This might cost around $150, but it’s a worthwhile investment for a clean and functional toilet.

Wrapping Up

RV maintenance can sometimes present less-than-glamorous challenges, but they are part and parcel of the nomadic lifestyle many of us love. Whether you tackle it yourself or get professional help, resolving these issues ensures your RV remains a cozy home this Christmas season.

Here’s to a problem-free holiday and a Merry Christmas, even with the less pleasant aspects of RV life!