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Old 01-05-2014, 08:39 PM   #21
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Reading what your wrote, I thought I read the tank is full of water up to the top as you can see it full when the toilet valve is pressed, did I get that right?

If so, and you have the dump valve pulled open, do you? the tank should drain. Unless there is a clog at the dump hole or a chuck is still froze inside. I do not know how the plumbing from the exit of the camper dump pipe ties into the sewer. If your piping allows, a long stiff piece of wire pushing up the dump pipe to go back through the dump valve might break the clog free. Heads up, if it does break free that is a 3" line with a full tank behind it. It will come out with authority. Be ready to close the tank dump valve quick, or better throttle it down a little before probing.

I canont image no liquid draining at all. That does not fit. Are you sure the dump valve is open?

Do you have any Happy camper extreme cleaner? Overnight that will eat through a bunch of paper. Pre mix it in some water before poring in.

Hope this helps and good luck

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Old 01-05-2014, 08:45 PM   #22
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hooray!!!!!!!

i turned off the main water and put boiled water down the toilet. after using the stick on the clog/frozen stuff, the boi8ling water finally gave way. i'm so relieved. it is going to be -15 with windchill for the next 2 days. really getting worried

i'm going to put as much boiled water as i can down there with happy camper and make sure going forward i use more water when flushing. with the space heater for extreme cold and an incandescent for mild cold i hope that will satisfy freezing needs for the season. fingers xx
thanks all for your help.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Reading what your wrote, I thought I read the tank is full of water up to the top as you can see it full when the toilet valve is pressed, did I get that right?


John

just saw your post john. it was full from where i could see. but i had no idea if it was frozen stuff, solid waste or a mix of both. no idea. but when i was finally able to open the valve after the freeze this afternoon, i did not hear a rush of 'dump' like usual. so there may have been a clog at the valve opening. i dunno.

the valve is now closed. i'm going to use it normally, though with mroe water from now on, and i'll dump regularly when it gets full again. fingers crossed this will do it
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:06 PM   #24
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well hello again...

it's a beautiful day here, and i notice that after draining my black tank, the toilet still looks full from the inside, so there is a blockage on the top above the tank, from the toilet bowl. the toilet valve has a curve in it, not the straight down type. and i'm wondering what could be causing this blockage? there was happy camper in the black tank. i've been better about flushing with more water, and only using 1 ply toilet paper.
i drained the tank and then closed the waste valve again.
any ideas?
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:58 AM   #25
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I had a similar problem and have a curved pipe from the toilet to the tank as well. I wound up using a wire coat hanger which eventually shredded up enough of the toilet paper clump to drain properly. Your curved stick may just be compacting whatever is clogging and making it worse.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:44 PM   #26
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I had a similar problem and have a curved pipe from the toilet to the tank as well. I wound up using a wire coat hanger which eventually shredded up enough of the toilet paper clump to drain properly. Your curved stick may just be compacting whatever is clogging and making it worse.
i used a stick and boiling water last time and it worked. but i'm wondering how to avoid this problem every week with the toilet? i'm living in my rv....and i don't want to have to deal with this over and over.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:29 PM   #27
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i used a stick and boiling water last time and it worked. but i'm wondering how to avoid this problem every week with the toilet? i'm living in my rv....and i don't want to have to deal with this over and over.
What brand of TP are you using?

We used to get the Sam's Club brand which was just rebranded Angel Soft and it was a pretty good compromise between comfort and clog factor. Recently, they switched to something else that is extra fluffy and clogged us up big time, necessitating the coat hanger process that I referenced.

The simple single ply Scott brand rolls that seem to last forever and resemble public restroom TP are very clog resistant.

More water per flush is always good as well.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:35 PM   #28
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well, i had to buy a plumbers snake and after a few hours spent with the toilet, i finally won. at the last second before i was going to give up it finally cleared.

going to try no toilet paper and see if there is still a clog, that would be distressing.
ii did try a new TP that was picked up for me and maybe it was the wrong kind and i didn't check it properly before using.
maybe just the wrong TP, or maybe i have to use more water. i was making a point to use more water since the last clog though. but maybe need even more.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:47 AM   #29
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Hi Noralee,

Reading your reply triggered a thought on your unique situation. A few questions to make sure we have your latest situation remembered right.

Please confirm we have this correct.

1. Your older style RV toilet does not dump straight down into the tank, there is a slight angle the waster passes through on the way to the tank.

2. You are using a tank treatment product that biodegrades waste. This may be Happy Camper brand.

3. You dump the black tank at intervals, you do not leave the black tank valve open all the time to drain the liquid all the time. Please confrim this.

4. The paper you use "seems" to be clogging the system.


I am making an assumption you do all 4 of these. Yes/no? Here are some added thoughts.

We do not know what your water approach is for the black tank. I will describe our method. We do not have clogs and we do not need to use RV only paper (have tested both). We also do not camp non stop all winter, wish we did,but do not. We do winter camp wet as our camper is setup for a heated tank compartment and I upgraded the insulation and a few other things to insure I'm OK in cold weather. We dump and follow the same practice winter or summer.

Here is what we do and why.

When setting up camp, I put 3 gallons of fresh water into the dry tank. This is a tank starter liquid and creates a wet bottom so solids and paper float and do not stick/accumulate. A must do step.

For my more flat bottom tanks (unique to my heated tank space) I use 1 scoop of Arm and Hammer washing soda to soften the water. This is so when dumping waste slides out from the tank better.

We add a scoop of pre-dissolved Happy Camper to the tank. Used to start the bio break down process. Some use other treatmetns, some use none.

With the Happy Camper treatment the paper actually allows the product to work on digesting something until enough sold waste accumulates.

Tank dump valve remains closed the entire time until ready to dump.

We use the system normally. The flush is quick, some times have to use a sprayer to wash paper down stuck up top to the side of the bowl. (DW complains all the time...) For 2 of us in our 32 gallon tank we can go 6 to 8 days without dumping. The paper we use is not extra fluffy, it is the bottom end store brand 2 ply. (not RV paper)

When it comes time to dump, we fill the tank full to the top with extra water. In my situation this is a must need before dumping these more flat tanks. Regardless of how long we used the system, we are always dumping a full tank and most all times, extra water is on top. Do not know if you are doing this.

Our RV toilet dumps straight down into the tank.

I have internal tank sprayers to totally clean the tank after each dump. In your case, you you dump in a 5 gallon bucket or 2 of water with the valve open to flush the system? If the dump never totally cleans out the tank, this may create a situation of areas that never leave.

We use too not use paper in the tank, however we stopped doing that after figuring out this total method.

Review what we do and let us know what you do not do or what other things you do.

There is 1 unique thing to your situation. You are "camping" all winter long in one spot. This is unique. Bio break down activity is greatly lessened in cold weather. In a normal septic system those tanks are 2 plus feet under ground. The earth creates natural warmth to keep the bio activity going. Bio activity may all but about stop when close to or below freezing temps are reached. Your tank is above ground and living in the above ground elements with no heat in the 50F and above range for sustain periods and the camper does not move.

While we winter camp and dump too when it is above freezing, we do drive to the dump station with a full tank of waste and water. That motion action stirs everything up on the way to the dump. I can tell the waste is not as broken down as much during a winter weekend campout as it is during the summer. I have to flush longer with the tank sprayers it seems in the winter.

Review this and let's see what is different and this may help you get to a level of a lot better.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:01 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noralee View Post
i'm going to put as much boiled water as i can down there with happy camper and make sure going forward i use more water when flushing. with the space heater for extreme cold and an incandescent for mild cold i hope that will satisfy freezing needs for the season. fingers xx
thanks all for your help.
Noralee, I'm sorry I got to this post so late. Haven't been on here too much. Glad you're making progress.

The science people say that hot water will freeze quicker than cold - because of the increased air space between the molecules, allowing the cold to circulate better through them. Those videos where people throw boiling water into the air and it immediately freezes comes to mind. Cold water won't freeze that quickly and it doesn't make for a very good video. <G> I don't know that using room temperature or cold water would benefit you, but just be aware of the quicker freezing nature of hotter water. It will work for "now" by melting what's there, but can start the re-freezing process where it stays behind. Does that make sense?

I've only got a couple of years' experience with TT, but we have the same camper you have - the T-1350 and I was born/raised in N/C Iowa so I've dealt with freeze prevention - a lot. We don't have the water freezing problems with our Sunny, because we've never used on board water and keep it all dry. (We may have problems with seals and such if we don't already, but that's another story.) We use a little ceramic bathroom heater for the living space, and I can see where even one of those positioned so it puts the heated air on your tanks can possibly give you what you need.

IMO, the best bet is to use some kind of heating device/source made for the purpose. I love the tank heating [strips?] someone suggested. Didn't know they existed. Skirting and opening cabinets (and your bathroom door) to let the heat circulate is an excellent idea. If your camper is in a "fixed" location and it's practical, bales of straw around your camper can do wonders blocking the wind and insulating under the TT - if straw is readily available and cheap where you are. If you use something flammable to skirt or insulate, always be aware of how much heat your heat sources put out and the surrounding "stuff" - skirting, dead grass, debris, anything. Always be aware of fire danger with any heat source.

Do you know if you have any split pipes from the freezing? We certainly hope not!
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