Grey Tank Wont Drain Troubleshooting Tips
Managing a properly functioning grey tank system is crucial for any RV owner. However, there may be instances when you encounter a grey tank won’t drain issue, which can cause significant inconvenience. By understanding these troubleshooting techniques, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free RV experience.
- Inspect the drain valve for proper function and obstruction.
- Use a tank rinser to dislodge potential clogs in the tank.
- Consider tank cleaning chemicals for more stubborn blockages.
- Check pipes leading to the tank for potential blockages.
- Perform regular maintenance to prevent future grey tank problems.
- Use RV-friendly toilet paper to prevent clogs over time.
Imagine this: You had a great time on your RV vacation with your family. With so many of you in the RV, you notice it is time to empty your tanks.
You finally go to the dump station only to discover that your grey tank empties just a few gallons or sometimes nothing. This is a common issue that RV owners face, especially those who are emptying a preowned RV for the first time.
Incorrect RV grey tank maintenance is perhaps one of the major causes of clogged grey tanks. This typically happens when the prior owner of a preowned RV did not correctly take care of the RV’s wastewater holding tanks.
There are numerous reasons why a grey tank won’t drain. However, the three primary reasons are:
- Inorganic Blockage by foreign objects
- Broken T Handle or Gate Valve
- Organic Blockage
This article aims to provide tips enabling you to find out why your grey tank is not draining and to help you unclog your grey tank.
This article is bound to be helpful if you happen to be at a dump station and cannot figure out why your tank is not draining. Let us begin!
Unclogging Your RV’s Grey Water Tank
For the most part, you can only tell there is something wrong when you head to the dump station to empty your grey tank, and nothing happens.
But there is still another sign to show that you have a problem. This happens when water backs up in the shower or the sink.
When this happens, you must first ensure your grey tank’s drain valve is functioning correctly. There are times when the handle might move, but this movement would not translate to the inside gate, causing the grey tank not to drain.
The main culprits are grease, food, and hair buildup, which gums up the great tank, stopping it from adequately draining. If water backs up in the shower or sink, it could also be caused by the full grey tank.
When the tank is filled up, water tends to flow in reverse to the lowest-lying drain, so numerous RV owners see their showers back up. This tends to happen when the tank capacity gauge is not working as it should.
It could show that it is not as complete as it is. If not, the tank has a clog created by food, grease, or hair buildup. While this can be annoying, you should not let it run your RV vacation.
Just take the time to unclog your drain using the following steps and return to enjoying your vacation.
1. Using Hot Water to Unclog a Drain
If your grey tank is not draining, the easiest way to clear your clog is to flush the pipes using hot water. This can help clear out any built-up gunk.
- You will have to boil 2 to 4 pots full of water.
- Any filters, drain gates, or caps should be removed.
- At this point, you should pour hot water down the sink or into the shower
- Pour enough water and let it sit for the night.
- You can add more hot water down the drain in the morning if needed.
2. Using DIY and Chemical Solutions to Unclog the Drain
If you have tried the above method of using hot water to no avail, you could also use chemicals specifically created to clear RV drains. If you don’t have any RV pipe-specific chemicals, you can also use the products you use at home.
If you do not like chemicals, you can use homemade solutions such as dishwashing liquid. A note of warning: you should avoid using caustic chemicals like bleach or Drano, which can damage your seals and tank.
When using store-purchased chemicals, the manufacturer’s instructions must be followed. If using dishwashing liquid, put 1 to 3 cups down every drain. You might need trial and error to find the correct amount for your clog.
You could also choose to add baking soda mixed with white vinegar. When you do this, ensure that you put water after it. At this time, you should take the RV for a drive so that the solution can move around inside the grey tank.
3. Using a Snake to Unclog Your Yank
Drain snakes, and sink plungers can offer a more direct approach to unclogging your back up the drain.
If you use a drill, ensure that it is manual, as a mechanical one could cause damage to your RV’s plumbing. Pliers and tweezers can also remove things such as hair from your drains.
- The first step would be to insert the auger or snake into the drain carefully.
- Turn the handle in a clockwise manner in an attempt to hook the clog.
- Once the clog has been hooked, remove and flush the drain using water.
- Carefully insert the snake or auger into the drain
If the obstruction is a bit more complex, you can try to loosen the clog using chemicals and then carefully clean the tank using a flush valve.
4. Unclogging the Grey Tank Using the Black Tank
If your grey tank is clogged and not draining, it can be tricky to get to it directly as it does not have a direct outlet like the black tank.
However, if you use your black tank and any water to flush a clog in your RV’s grey tank out, you might want to ensure the black tank has been completely drained and cleaned. Trust me, you do not wish to have raw sewage seeping into the grey tank.
To ensure your black tank is spotless, empty it using a black tank spray and dump at least 5 gallons of dish soap and water mix into the toilet several times to flush it and ensure it is spotless.
Once this is done, fill the tank with freshwater, which will flush the grey tank. As stated earlier, there isn’t a direct way to access the grey tank, so getting that much water into the tank at once won’t be easy.
Pour tank treatment into the sinks in the RV and the shower, then attempt to pour down as much water as possible into every drain simultaneously. Doing this ensures that you have as much water flowing into the tank.
Tips on Preventing Grey Tank Clog
Once you clear your clog, you must ensure it does not get clogged again. For one, the plumbing system in your RV is not as hardy as a household system. It might not seem like much, but even some food or hair can jam up your pipes and the tank.
Ensure you properly scrape the dishes before rinsing them in the sink. You could also use a filter in the sink, as it is an effortless yet economical way to ensure that your plumbing is not backed up by solids that find their way to your drain. You should also ensure that you regularly clean your grey tank.
How Often Should You Empty a Grey Water Tank?
The frequency of emptying a greywater tank is crucial to maintaining its functionality and cleanliness. The guideline addresses this concern every 3-5 days or when the tank is approximately two-thirds or three-quarters full.
This regular dumping practice prevents waste buildup, potentially leading to troublesome issues such as clogs, unpleasant odors, or sensors misreading the tank’s capacity.
Ensuring a disciplined schedule for emptying your grey water tank can significantly improve the longevity and performance of your system.
When confronting an issue such as a grey tank that won’t drain, it is crucial to employ a systematic approach to identify and resolve the problem effectively. Grey tank won’t drain troubleshooting tips offer a comprehensive guide to tackle this issue.
The first step would be inspecting the drain valve for proper functionality and potential obstructions, ensuring it operates as intended. If the problem persists, it’s recommended to use a tank rinser to dislodge potential clogs in the tank.
Considering tank cleaning chemicals might be a logical next step for more stubborn blockages that resist this measure. However, the issue may not always lie within the tank itself. Therefore, checking the pipes leading to the tank for potential blockages is also essential.
Regular maintenance is a preventative measure that can help avoid future grey tank problems and should not be overlooked.
Additionally, using RV-friendly toilet paper can prevent clogs over time. This type of toilet paper is designed to break down quickly, reducing the risk of creating blockages within the system.
These tips provide ways to identify and solve the current draining issue and offer preventative measures to avoid future complications with your grey tank system.