How To Clean Out Your RV’s Blackwater Tank

While it’s not anyone’s favorite job to do, emptying and cleaning out your RV’s blackwater tank is essential. An unclean blackwater tank is going to smell up your RV in no time because it’s basically a septic tank c7e2d6c1-c127-4dd7-a7c2-169c4939c30c attached to the vehicle. Bacteria will multiply and a backed-up tank can even cause serious plumbing problems that would be pretty disgusting to deal with out on a trip.

Day Bros. RV Sales, with locations in London, KY, and Lake Park, GA, is your local RV dealer. As such, we’ve prepared this quick guide to an unpleasant but necessary task to help you fully maintain your RV.

1. Get Ready

The contents of the blackwater tank are dangerous to your health and the fumes are pretty toxic so it’s good to wear a face mask, rubber gloves, goggles, shoe covers and protective clothing. Make sure there is some clean water and soap nearby to help you clean up afterwards.

2. Empty Your Tank

Empty tanks when they are about ⅔ of the way full because if they’re less full, they won’t empty well, and you’ll need to add some water to chase out solids. Hook up your sewer hose to the RV and the dump station’s inlet. The L-shaped end goes in the dump station port. Close your blackwater tank and greywater tank valves and fill up the greywater tank with water. Open up your blackwater tank valve to empty it, then open the greywater tank valve so that it flushes the hose out.

3. Remove Buildup

Yes, it’s gross, but there is going to be waste built up on the walls of the interior of your tank, which will block it up and cause horrible smells. So when you’re done emptying the tanks, lock the drain outlet and flush the RV toilet until ¾ of your blackwater tank is full.

Pour an RV blackwater tank treatment into the toilet and flush; allow this to sit for at least 10 minutes to sterilize and soften waste. You’ll need to empty the tank’s contents and then fill it up again to empty it so that it’s cleaned out. Do this weekly for best results.

4. Backwashing the Tank

If you don’t empty your RV’s blackwater tank often enough, you may need to be more thorough by using the built-in rinsing system or a handheld backwasher to really clean out the interior of the tank using pressurized water. Your RV owner’s manual probably has instructions on how to use the built-in rinsing system. The handheld backwasher can be used by attaching the wand to a water hose plugged to a tap, which you will close until the wand is down the toilet. Open the tap and move the wand around to pressure-wash every corner and check the water coming from the hose to see when it’s clean and debris-free.

If your RV’s water system could use professional attention, get in touch with the Day Bros. RV Sales service department. Our mechanics will be happy to help you determine what’s wrong and get you fixed up and ready to travel again. Looking to purchase a new RV? Visit one of our dealerships in Georgia or Kentucky to view our inventory of new and used RVs for sale. Day Bros. RV Sales proudly serves the cities of Louisville and Lexington, KY, and Valdosta, GA.

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