Proper Holding Tank Use

I was going through some of my camping information that I collect from time to time and I found some info on proper holding tank use. I though that this might be useful to share.

Most RVs have at least two holding tanks. One is for “black water” which is the commode. The other is for the “gray water” which comes from the sink and shower. Some units will have a third holding tank that will be for the galley or kitchen sink.

So what do you do with your dump valves? Never leave the black tank dump valve open all the time. If you do, you will surely have a problem at a later date! There is a good article on “How to Maintain and Operate Your Black Water System” written by Warren Petkovsek on the website. A lot of folks will leave the gray water dump valves open while they are camping.  The positive to doing that is that they don’t forget to dump the gray water before it backs up into the shower.   The gray water tank can fill up almost every day if you have several people taking showers every day and doing a lot of dish washing.   The negative to leaving the valve open is that everything in the sever system; sewer gas, mosquitoes, gnats, flies , maggots and cockroaches can get into the holding tanks.  That is not a good thing!  Another negative is that the water will drain out leaving all the hair, soap scum, toothposte, food, grease, oils, and whatever else in the tank.  This is a good way to eventually clog the dump valve.  By allowing the tank to fill up and then dumping, all of the above mentioned crud gets washed out of the tank.

I personally choose to keep all of my dump valves closed until the tanks are full and then dump.  Besides keeping the crud from the sewer from backing up into the holding tank, it helps clean out your dump hose after you dump the black water tank.  The dump sequence should be the black water first and then the gray water.  Again read the article by Warren to get the proper technique.

I use Bio Green powder chemical for my black water holding tank.  It can also be used for the gray water holding tank to help break up any deposits that form in that tank.  The directions come with the product.



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