View Full Version : Feminine Pad in Black Tank

06-01-2020, 03:15 AM
We hosted guests last weekend and I believe we now have a pad in our black tank. This past weekend, the toilet clogged several times and needed a plunger. Liquid is coming out of the tank when the valve is opened but I believe there may be something in there. Any thoughts or suggestions?


06-01-2020, 04:09 AM
I would use a clear connector at the outlet so you can see what comes out. Then fill the black tank full, and then open the valve.

06-01-2020, 04:12 AM
This reminds me of a joke where a trained monkey pulls a cork from an elephants butt after it ate a package of exlax. OK, not funny. You have to make sure the liquid is drained. You must have a toilet with a U-trap rather than one with the regular valve. You might have to take the toilet off the floor to work from above. Once the liquid is gone, I wonder if you could unclog and catch any “debris” by using a wetvac?

06-01-2020, 05:47 AM
First, I'm not sure what kind of toilet you have... RV toilets "dump" directly into the black tank, typically "down a 3" straight pipe", so I don't understand why a plunger would be needed.

Next, a single feminine napkin wouldn't clog that 3" pipe, so either someone used a "TREMENDOUS" amount of toilet paper in a single flush (think stuffing a roll down the toilet) or you've got a mechanical issue as well as a clog issue.

I'd suggest that first, you don't force the black tank valve closed. Doing that will force anything caught in the valve opening into the seals and make it more difficult to remove. Fill the black tank as full as you can, then open the black tank valve and allow the volume of water to push as much of the "solid contents" as possible out of the tank. Repeat as necessary until the sewer hose "runs clear".

If that works to remove the blockage, great.

Next, do you regularly leave your black tank valve open or closed? It sounds to me like you may be semi permanently or permanently connected to a sewer system and leaving your black tank valve open so the toilet just "flushes into the sewer with every use" ??? If so, you can't do that. The liquid flows out of the tank, the solids stay behind to clog the tank and fill it with "dried poop" that's nearly impossible to remove.

So, a few questions:

1. Have you dumped the tank, filled it with water and tried to dump again?
2. What happened when you did #1? (no pun intended)
3. Have you "forced the tank valve closed? If so, will the tank valve seal properly now? In other words, not leak?
4. Do you always keep the tank valve closed until the tank is full or do you leave the tank valve open allowing it to drain "all the time" ???

06-01-2020, 07:45 AM
Thanks for the replies. We are on a permanent site and do keep the black and grey tank valves closed until their full (or acting strange in this case). I'll get a clear extension and fill the tank and monitor what's coming out. The model is a Keystone Outback and it almost seems like the tank is very shallow where the toilet outlet enters the black tank. It's still draining but just not with the same "velocity" that we're accustomed to.

06-01-2020, 09:59 AM
It would also be my opinion that you have built up a 'poo-pyramid at the very bottom of the black tank inlet. If this is the case, you will be able to search on this site and find 15 different ways to alleviate the condition. Yup, they all work EVENTUALLY, and every one of them is unpleasant.
If you can, push down on the flush pedal, holding open the valve at the bottom of the commode, and using a yard stick or similar disposable tool, 'feel' around directly at the bottom and then tell us if you feel that there are some solids there.
Then get back to us.

07-19-2020, 03:41 AM
The issue has been resolved. While we didnt see a pad come through the clear drain pipe, there was a significant amount of solids that did clear after several tank fills and dumps. Things are flowing much better now.

One others thing we're noticing now that we're on a permanent site is a really bad sewer odor when toilet is used after we've been away from camp forseveral days/weeks. This usually only happens the first time or two of using the toilet but the stench clears the camperf or a half hour. Vent pipes are clear and valves are always closed when this happens.

Abby ideas or suggestions?


07-19-2020, 06:01 AM
Are you tempting the tank, putting in and few gallons of water and adding a deodorizer before you leave?

07-19-2020, 07:18 AM
The "stench when we first return" is an indication of an unclean, contaminated black tank. Think about a trash can with a lid on it that's stored outside in the sun. Put the remains of cleaning 3 fish (head, guts, scales and bones) in a plastic bag, wrapped in newspaper into that trash can and leave it sitting in the sun with the lid on the trash can. Come back in a couple of weeks and lift the lid..... Like your black tank, that trash can would be "impossible to enjoy the aroma"...

The reason the first few flushes are "intolerable" is because of the contents of the black tank, sitting there, rotting away, souring the little bit of air that's in the black tank. When you flush (2 weeks into the ordeal), you displace a little of that "condensed aroma" into the air, both up the sewer vent, to the roof and backflow as the toilet flushes and some of the air "burps up through the toilet hole"...

The way to stop it (or at least control it) is to dump the black tank and have it as "clean as possible" before you leave. After emptying, add 3 or 4 gallons of water (enough to cover the bottom of the tank) then add a deodorizer with "perfume that colors the tank air so it suits your nose). Most deodorizer has enzymes to inhibit the "souring" of tank contents and reduce the obnoxious smell upon your return.

It's never a "pleasant chore" but it sounds like you really need to spend a weekend "devoted to the black tank" rather than "devoted to relaxing on the front deck sitting in a comfortable lawn chair with a drink in your hand"....

Doing it now, before it gets worse, will help prevent a very costly and unpleasant chore when the toilet does stop flushing and someone has to drop the black tank to clean it or even replace it if it's not salvageable.....

travelin texans
07-19-2020, 09:35 AM
Being on a permanent site you DO NOT leave the black valve open constantly?
If so close it til it needs dumped. As John said add several gallons of water to the tank with a deodorizer &/or a sprinkle of RidX then fill, drain & rinse when you return before using.
Also insure there's plenty of water in the toilet bowl when you leave, if it evaporates leaving it dry that odor will come inside rather than out the vent & eventually dry out the seal. If necessary fill the bowl 3/4 full & cover with plastic wrap, this will keep it from evaporating til you return.