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Old 01-20-2015, 10:54 AM   #1
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Black tank vent plugged?

Not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but just back from a beach trip without sewer line hookups.
When we used the toilet, the "water" would bubble back up once it filled after flushing. There was back pressure that actually pushed enough air up the drain, to allow that water to spray back out of the toilet. Not good.
I checked the black tank valve to ensure it was sealing by removing the drain cap and inspecting for leaks.
I can't imagine the vent plugging but pressurizing the tank isn't a good thing.
Any thoughts or ideas?
Thx.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:53 AM   #2
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Have you tried sticking a garden hose in the vent pipe and trying to flush it back down into the tank?
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:11 AM   #3
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Not yet, but my original thought was to take my 25' 3/8" snake and run it down the vent.
I like the garden hose idea better.
I really wondered if others have faced this same issue before?
It's a lot more back pressure that I wouldn't expect, even with a blocked vent.
I will update next week when I get over to the trailer.
Thx.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:16 AM   #4
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This topic has got me very curious. I cant imagine how any back pressure could build up in the black tank. every time you flush you open a large hole which would relieve any pressure in the tank, thats if the vent wasnt working at all. I will watch this thread with anticipation of the problem and solution. The only time I have ever heard of the black tank being overpressurized is with the San-T-Flush system and the drain valved closed allowing the black tank to be overfilled during cleaning
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:33 AM   #5
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I agree with Jason. That's a big tank to pressurize with just a flush. My initial thoughts are that the 3" drain pipe is either too close to the bottom on the tank or you have mounded a pile at the bottom of the tank/drain pipe. The air you see coming up is from the 3" pipe going TO the black tank and is being forced up (no other place to go due to the blockage) by the water from the bowl going down the drain. Hope this description makes sense to you.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:46 AM   #6
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You could use a drain snake if you have one. I would use a hose first if you don't. Probably needs a good flushing. The pressure thing is confusing though.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:41 PM   #7
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Sounds like the tank is full or liquid level is higher than the pipe going from the toilet.
I would drain and pour water down toilet and see if it still bubbles
But its just my $00.2
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw3jason View Post
This topic has got me very curious. I cant imagine how any back pressure could build up in the black tank. every time you flush you open a large hole which would relieve any pressure in the tank, thats if the vent wasnt working at all. I will watch this thread with anticipation of the problem and solution. The only time I have ever heard of the black tank being overpressurized is with the San-T-Flush system and the drain valved closed allowing the black tank to be overfilled during cleaning
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I agree with Jason. That's a big tank to pressurize with just a flush. My initial thoughts are that the 3" drain pipe is either too close to the bottom on the tank or you have mounded a pile at the bottom of the tank/drain pipe. The air you see coming up is from the 3" pipe going TO the black tank and is being forced up (no other place to go due to the blockage) by the water from the bowl going down the drain. Hope this description makes sense to you.

Don't you think it possible if the vent pipe is plugged---when you flush the toilet and drop that mass down into the holding tank, the air has to go some place and if the vent is plugged, the only way it has to escape is back up the toilet?

I will monitor this tread for the results and findings.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
Don't you think it possible if the vent pipe is plugged---when you flush the toilet and drop that mass down into the holding tank, the air has to go some place and if the vent is plugged, the only way it has to escape is back up the toilet?

I will monitor this tread for the results and findings.
If the mass is large enough to cause pressure when flushed, one might consider more leafy vegtables in ones diet

but seriously, I have never heard of this. Was the toilet overful maybe? He did say he was not hooked up to sewer, maybe just to much contents
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Old 01-21-2015, 02:05 PM   #10
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Could the windy conditions going down the vent pipe have caused you're problem?
I'm also thinking if the vent was clogged then the smell would be really bad.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:04 PM   #11
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Last July the camper next door had that problem, Turned out that the vent pipe was pluged by a wasp nest, one of the largest I have ever seen
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:20 PM   #12
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LLoyd, yes it is possible but here is my thoughts. One flush is about 1 -2 gallons (depending on how full the bowl was) going into a 35-40 gallon tank. Will that 1-2 gallons of water pressurize that large of tank enough to blow water up the drain enough to splash? I would think you would need at least 4 - 5 PSI to do that. I have been wrong before so am really interested in this outcome.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:57 PM   #13
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I'm sitting here in constipation waiting for the outcome.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:04 PM   #14
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Take two ex-lax and call me in the morning.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:09 PM   #15
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You didn't have the exhaust fan on in the bathroom blowing out when you flushed did you?
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:03 PM   #16
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I'm sitting here in constipation waiting for the outcome.
That's hilarious!
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:44 AM   #17
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Headed over this w/end to check the vent. It does have a sani tee and I do use it to flush but it wasn't connected when this occurs.
Also, It wasn't windy when this was happening and it also happened before and after I drained and cleaned out the tank.
I did not have the exhaust fan on and can't imagine that could add that much suction.
I will think about my diet though Jason, never thought it could just be methane gas.
Thx.
More to follow.
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:21 PM   #18
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Have you discovered the problem yet?
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:13 AM   #19
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So yesterday, I went over to the trailer to check it out. Since I had flushed out the black tank very well after our last trip, I tested each of the three drain valves. All sealed properly, but I was thinking a worn valve issue could create this back pressure.
I then filled the toilet with about 3 gallons of water and flushed. The water filled the drain line but then stopped. I continued to fill the toilet up to the rim and flushing did nothing.
I use a security cable to run down the angled drain line when it plugs and went to get it. I again pushed the flush lever and nothing. Still full, then all of a sudden, whoosh. The "plug" released and the toilet flushed properly before I had a chance to use the cable.
Not sure if the issue was mounding up, as the tank was very clear water and my San I tee system works pretty well.
After heading for home, I got to thinking...Our 4 yr old granddaughter spends lots of time with us and just maybe, one of her Barbie's ended up in the toilet.
My next step will be to see what comes out.
Thanks all for your help and ideas.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:31 AM   #20
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If that's the case, hopefully it will come out.
It would to bad if it clogged up the outlet of the tank, or got part way out the drain line---hit a elbow and sits there.
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