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What To Know Before Dumping Your Black Water Tank

What To Know Before Dumping Your Black Water Tank

New RV owners have a lot to learn. Reading through your owner’s manual for the first time can be intimidating—especially when it comes to the water system. Nonetheless, knowing how to properly maintain the different tanks and valves of your system will help you travel comfortably and confidently in your RV. Holding tank maintenance is one of the most crucial aspects of taking care of your RV, and part of that is knowing how to drain your black water tank. Become an expert in your RV’s water system with this list of what to know before dumping your black water tank.

What You Need

The first thing to do is gather your supplies and head to the dump station. Never dump your tanks anywhere outside other than a designated dump spot. As you set up, make sure you have everything you need for the procedure, including a sewer hose and attachment, a garden hose for cleanup, and gloves to protect your hands.

How To Drain

Once you have everything ready at the dump station, locate your RV’s gate valves. Make sure you know which gate valve goes to the black water tank and which goes to the gray water tank. You always want to drain the black tank first, since it holds wastewater. When you dump the gray tank second, the shower and dish water from the tank will begin to rinse out your sewer hose. Make sure both gate valves are closed, then remove the tank lid and attach your sewer hose. Place it at a downward angle so that wastewater can drain easily from the tank and into the dump station. When everything is ready, open the gate valve for the black water tank and let it flow until the tank is empty. Close the gate valve again, then repeat the process for the gray water tank.

Clean up Is Crucial

When you’re done, double check both gate valves are shut securely. Unhook the sewer hose from your tank but make sure it continues to drain into the dump station. You can use a garden hose to rinse the sewer hose and clean out any remaining wastewater. Never use the freshwater hose to clean your sewer hose. This should be a completely separate hose that never touches your freshwater tank and system.

Special Tips for Winter Travel

This list of what to know before dumping your black water tank will help you throughout the year, but there are a few extra considerations to make if you plan on RVing in colder weather. A frozen tank or gate valve can be messy and unpleasant. It can also lead to cracks, ruptures, and other costly damage. Avoid any issues by installing heaters on your RV’s dump valve. You can also attach heaters to holding tanks and pipes to prevent water from freezing within them. It’s also a good idea to let your tanks fill up before dumping them; a full tank is less likely to freeze than a tank with little water in it. These tips can help you keep your black water tank—and the rest of your system—in good shape no matter where or when you travel.

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