RVs have revolutionized the way we enjoy holidays with the whole family. Unfortunately, a clogged RV toilet holding tank can ruin the adventure. A clogged RV toilet can lead to a nasty smell that can permeate the interior of the vehicle and make your trip unbearable. If you find yourself in such a predicament, then there are different ways you can unclog your RV’s toilet holding tank.
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Flush the RV Toilet Holding Tank with Water
The easiest way to unclog your RV’s toilet holding tank is by flushing it with water at moderate to high pressure. The water pressure should be high enough to dislodge any debris or material that is stuck on the surface of the holding tank. Here are the steps.
- Locate the Correct Valve: Most RVs come with two separate tanks with their respective colored valves. The black water tank holds human wastes that include feces, urine, and other bodily fluids. The other compartment – the gray water tank – accommodates all other types of liquid wastes. These can come from the RV’s kitchen sink and the shower. Try to identify the location of these valves so that you will know which one to open in unclogging the RV toilet holding tank.
- Attach a Sewer Connector and Hose: The front of the tank has a large valve that you can use to connect a sewer connector and hose. This will allow you to move the sewage from the tank to a sewage receptacle for collection. Some people drain the contents into the main sewer line of their homes. It is ideal to use a sewage connector with a transparent hose. This gives you the chance to check the drainage contents.
- Flush and Fill the RV Toilet with Water: Connect a long water hose to a faucet in your backyard. Do not use the same water hose that you use for other purposes, such as refilling the RV’s water tank and watering the garden. Most people connect the water hose to a compressor to increase the pressure.
Run the hose through a window in the RV and into the toilet. Open the trap door of the toilet and flush it with high-pressure water. Continue doing this until you see the water level indicator of the RV toilet light up.
- Open the Valve: Once you have filled the RV toilet with water, you can then open the black valve in the RV toilet holding tank. This will facilitate the drainage of the toilet. Watch the sewage pass through the sewage connector and hose.
- Close the Valve and Repeat the Process Until the Water Returns Clear: Close the black water valve. Flush and fill the toilet with high-pressure water again. Open the black water valve and drain the contents. Keep on doing this measure until you notice that the water draining from the RV toilet has already turned clear. You can also skip closing the black water valve and just let someone flush the RV toilet for you with high-pressure water.
The Dish Soap Method
There are times when all you ever need to unclog your RV toilet is by using a liquid dishwashing soap. This works if the material clogging your RV toilet is toilet paper. This product contains chemicals that can reduce the force of attraction between the paper and the surface of the toilet.
- Pour the Dishwashing Liquid into the Toilet: Get a bottle of ordinary dishwashing liquid. Pour a generous amount of the soap in the toilet
- Leave it for about 30 Minutes to 1 Hour: It takes some time for the active ingredients of the dish soap to start breaking down the toilet paper. In most cases, 30 minutes is sufficient. You can extend the waiting time to 1 hour if you wish.
- Pour Hot Water into the Toilet: Get a pitcher and fill it with hot water. Pour the hot water in the toilet. You should be able to see a chemical reaction taking place.
- Flush the Toilet: Flush the RV toilet and check if the clog has been removed. If not, you can repeat the procedure once before you try another method.
An alternative to the dish soap method is the use of a chemical declogger. It is imperative that the chemical you are going to purchase is safe to use on RV septic systems. These products contain chemicals that can break down waste materials, toilet paper, and other debris.
The steps are like the liquid dishwashing soap approach. Fill the RV toilet about halfway with water. Pour the declogging agent and give it time to break down the different materials in the toilet and toilet holding tank. It would also help to drive your RV for about 30 to 60 minutes. This will help agitate the sewage in the RV toilet holding tank and facilitate the degradation process.
Follow the same steps we have outlined in the flushing method to check if the clog has already been addressed.
Use a Drain Snake
There are instances when the object clogging the RV toilet is so stubborn that it cannot be removed with ordinary flushing or the use of dish soap. In such instances, you can try using a drain snake. Here are the steps.
- Insert a Snake Drain in the Toilet: Get an auger or snake drain and insert the tip into the toilet. Make sure to open the trap door of the toilet so as not to break it.
- Twist the Drain Snake: Twist the auger and keep on pushing it to help break up the materials that are clogging the tank. Breaking the materials into smaller bits allows them to pass through the holding tank’s outlet valve.
Some people prefer inserting the drain snake through a hole in the sewer connector line. This location is a lot closer to the holding tank and allows for easier access to whatever is clogging the system.
Unclogging an RV toilet holding tank is as easy as flushing it with high-pressure water. If this does not work, you can always use liquid dish soap, a chemical declogger, or a drain snake. A professional plumber can serve as your last resort.