RV Toilet Won’t Hold Water: Fixes And Troubleshooting
One common issue that RV owners often face is when their RV toilet won’t hold water. This is a significant problem because the water in the toilet bowl serves as a barrier against unpleasant odors from the holding tank. Addressing this issue promptly and accurately is crucial for maintaining the comfort and functionality of your RV.
- Verify water supply: Ensure the RV toilet has sufficient water pressure.
- Seal flush valve: Inspect for wear or damage; replace if needed.
- Examine wax ring: Check for damage or improper installation.
- Check ball/flapper valve: Ensure proper alignment and free movement.
- Adjust water level: Set it correctly using an adjustment mechanism.
Exploring the world of RVing opens up a distinct avenue to relish the perks of camping while sidestepping potential challenges, such as limited bathroom access. RVs’ convenience might often be overlooked until a glitch disrupts the seamless experience, reminding them of their indispensable role in outdoor adventures.
Embracing the RV lifestyle invites a novel approach to enjoying the great outdoors, where the comforts of home travel with you until the unexpected hiccup nudges you to appreciate their significance.
When your toilet is flushed, it is supposed to hold a little bit of water back in the bowl. It might not be as much as what you will find in a regular toilet, but it is sufficient to stop any odors from coming out.
What do you do when your RV toilet does not hold water?
Basics of an RV Toilet
You would be surprised to know that an RV toilet not holding backwater is a common issue. You have to search any RV forum, and you will discover that you are not the first to face this.
First, you should know that manufacturers make several varying RV toilet models. However, the most widespread RV toilet is Thetford’s Aqua Magic.
It is possible to find other brands installed in more luxurious RVs. However, most RVs use Thetford.
While it is easy to believe that a toilet as simple as the one in an RV can’t develop a gault, this is not always the case. A significant sign that something is wrong is when the RV toilet does not hold water.
For the most part, you do not have water in your RV toilet simply because the rubber seal, also known as the blade seal, has become damaged or even becomes hard till it cannot work correctly anymore.
When the blade seal in the RV’s toilet fails, it does so because it cannot function properly anymore. Trying to solve this issue is simple. All you have to do is remove the old blade seal and put a new one on,
Fixing a Toilet Seal on a Leaking RV Toilet
If you know your way around plumbing or you are particularly handy, you could look to dismantle the entire RV toilet so you can replace the blade seal.
If you are unsure of your skills, there is nothing wrong with enlisting the help of a professional. This is because improperly or incorrectly fixing a toilet could result in all sorts of issues.
If you feel up for handling this repair job, the first thing you will have to do is purchase the appropriate repair supplies for an RV toilet. This repair supply also includes the essential blade seal for the RV toilet.
Selecting the Right Repair Kit for your RV Toilet
As stated earlier, the most widely found toilet model in an RV is the Aqua Magic kit by Thetford. However, this does not mean there aren’t any other varying models to select from.
It also does not mean that the toilet in your RV has to be this model. This is why it is imperative to determine the kind of toilet you have in your RV first.
Ideally, the best way to do this is to consult the RV’s owner’s manual. Doing this is relatively easy; you will get all the required information. A blade seal can be purchased at any hardware store selling RV parts.
It can be purchased for about $16 to $30. Most RVers believe they will have to pay an exorbitant fee to have their RV toilet hold water again, which can be a pleasant surprise.
Process of Replacing the Seals in your RV Toilet
1. Turn the Water Off
This must be the first step when dealing with plumbing issues. Most RVs are equipped with a water valve leading to the toilet. The supply can be switched off at this point.
If you cannot find this valve or your RV does not have one, you can turn the water off by disconnecting the hook-up or turning the pump off.
It would be best to flush the toilet as soon as this is done. Doing this ensures that the bathroom is empty of water, and since the water supply is shut off, it cannot be refilled.
2. Disconnect the Toilet so You Can Remove It
An RV toilet is typically kept in place with 2 or 3 bolts. These bolts might be covered, so you should search for caps peeking out at the toilet base. You must remove the caps using a putty knife to loosen them up.
At this point, you can use a socket or wrench to take the nuts out. The location of these bolts tends to vary depending on the RV manufacturer.
Some RVs might take a page from household toilets using two bolts, with one on either, while others might use a front and back layout. Others might use three bolts.
Take the water supply hose off from the inlet valve. This will enable you to move the toilet up and away. If the water supply has not been disconnected, you will unlikely be able to move the bathroom.
Once the toilet has been moved, you must place a plastic bag over the drain hole.
While this might not be completely necessary, it can be good to protect you from accidentally dropping tools in the drain. Additionally, it can help curb the foul smell.
3. Take Out the Blade Seal
To take the blade seal out, you will first have to locate it. The blade seal can be easily found at the bottom of the bowl. It has to be removed.
If the blade seal has become harmful or problematic, it must be carefully removed to avoid damaging the RV toilet bowl.
This part of the repair process has to be delicate. It is essential that the toilet’s base, as well as any other parts that get sealed, are clean so that the seal can connect.
4. Clean the Toilet Base
Given that the toilet is not in the way, you can take the time to clean that area while it is accessible. Ensure that the area is scrubbed clean.
5. Change the Blade Seal
Once everything has been cleared, the replacement blade seal can be implemented. It should be centered right above the toilet drain. If there are any unique directions on the seal, ensure they are followed.
6. Place the RV Toilet Back
Before doing this, remove the plastic bag or rag placed over the drain. After doing that, put the toilet back. Ensure that it is centered on the drain and the blade seal. The drain, blade, and bathroom must be appropriately connected.
Once the toilet is seated correctly, screw the bolts back on. To help you connect the blade and the RV toilet better, you can sit on it to ensure it stays in place while you tighten the bolts.
One thing you should never do is overtighten the bolts. If the bolts are too tight, it could damage the toilet if it is plastic. If it is porcelain, it could break. The bolts must be firmly in place; however, they do not need to be tightened like a wheel lug nut.
7. Connect the Water Supply Back
To do this, you must ensure the threads are clean on the supply nozzle. Pipe sealant should be applied on the threads to provide a fresh clean and stop leaking.
This is important as there are times when the sealant on a supple hose would lose its strength after being removed.
8. Test the RV Toilet Out by Turning the Water On
Once everything has been reconnected, you can move to turn on the water supply to test the connections.
How Do I know if my RV Toilet is Clogged?
Identifying a clog in your RV toilet is a straightforward process. The design of most RV toilets allows for a clear view into the holding tank since the sealed door opens directly into it.
If you’re wondering how I know if my RV toilet is clogged, you can check for any obstructions blocking the door seal.
If your toilet empties directly into the blackwater tank, this will be pretty simple to spot. A clog can typically be cleared using a sturdy stick to push the waste obstruction into the tank.
The issue where an RV toilet won’t hold water can be pretty frustrating and can result in various problems. The first step in addressing this issue is to verify the water supply.
Ensuring the RV toilet has sufficient water pressure is crucial, as low pressure can lead to inadequate water retention.
Next, inspect the seal flush valve for any signs of wear or damage. These seals are integral for holding water in the bowl; hence, any signs of wear or damage may necessitate replacement.
Another component to check is the wax ring. This element is essential for creating a watertight seal between the toilet and the sewer pipe.
Therefore, any damage or improper installation could result in the RV toilet not holding water. The ball or flapper valve should also be inspected.
This valve regulates the flow of water from the tank to the bowl. Ensure it is properly aligned and moving freely for optimal functionality.
Adjust the water level in the tank. This can be done using an adjustment mechanism on the fill valve. Setting it correctly will ensure enough water is delivered to the bowl each time it is flushed.