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Old 06-26-2022, 12:14 PM   #1
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Black water tank

I have a 2008 Crossroads Cruiser that has an awful sewer smell coming out of it. We've drained the black water tank but I was reading earlier that you should at least flush it with a cleaner after you dump the black water. I am on city water I have everything hooked up including electricity because I'm living in it. Is there a second black water tank somewhere that we're not seeing? It belched up nasty water on me this morning, and then the horrible smell came into my house. My control panel shows that there's black water is full. But as I said, we've already drained it and there wasn't much in it and we are on irregular water system. We've converted everything for City water and regular electricity.

I need a little guidance. Thanks so much
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Old 06-26-2022, 01:28 PM   #2
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First off, what are you using for a treatment in the black tank. If you don't treat it with something, it will definitely stink. They have chemical treatments you can add each time after dumping and rinsing the tank. There is also the GEO method. The instructions for that is in our document section here on the forum. (Tab for it is at the top of the page)


You can't go by the panel. They are notoriously wrong. The probes get covered with paper and other stuff, and they just don't work then. You have do a good good rinse after each time you dump. It usually takes multiple rinses. Good luck.
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Old 06-26-2022, 01:30 PM   #3
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First off, what are you using for a treatment in the black tank. If you don't treat it with something, it will definitely stink. They have chemical treatments you can add each time after dumping and rinsing the tank. There is also the GEO method. The instructions for that is in our document section here on the forum. (Tab for it is at the top of the page)


You can't go by the panel. They are notoriously wrong. The probes get covered with paper and other stuff, and they just don't work then. You have do a good good rinse after each time you dump. It usually takes multiple rinses. Good luck.
Thank you. So even though it's plumbed for City water, I need to rinse?
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Old 06-26-2022, 01:41 PM   #4
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Well, if you are dumping everything into that holding tank that's on it, then YES. Plus, what ever you do don't leave the dump valve open continuously. Only open it to dump when the tank gets near 3/4 to full. If you leave it open all the time, I can guarantee, you will end up with a poop pyramid. That will not be any fun to clean out.
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Old 06-26-2022, 08:23 PM   #5
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Well, if you are dumping everything into that holding tank that's on it, then YES. Plus, what ever you do don't leave the dump valve open continuously. Only open it to dump when the tank gets near 3/4 to full. If you leave it open all the time, I can guarantee, you will end up with a poop pyramid. That will not be any fun to clean out.
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Old 06-28-2022, 09:10 AM   #6
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OK I dropped a bio something in but still smells. Do I just leave that in there till I dump again?
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Old 06-28-2022, 09:46 AM   #7
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If you have a poop pyramid as Lloyd stated it doesn’t go away by adding some bio something. Your tank has to be full of liquid in order to break down that pyramid. It may take a few times too. This may be your only solution short of hooking trailer up and driving around for a bit sloshing it around.
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Old 06-28-2022, 10:17 AM   #8
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Dropping a Bio tablet won't do it. You should definitely try the GEO method, but you must drive it around to slosh the water in the tank to dislodge the "stuff".

You may have to do this multiple times to loosen up the "stuff."

By the way, I don't add the bleach to the GEO method. But it works well without it.
You can do this to the gray tanks also.
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Old 06-28-2022, 11:12 AM   #9
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By the way, I don't add the bleach to the GEO method. But it works well without it.
You can do this to the gray tanks also.

I have never used the bleach either. I really don't think it should be used. There's to much chance of somebody adding something that will don't be compatible with it and have some dangerous fumes.

Like Mark stated, it works fine without it.
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:17 PM   #10
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Hi Christie 65. You mentioned that you are hooked to City water and electricity in your post. Not sure if you are in a campground or a lot somewhere in town and run your sewer hose from the trailer to a city sewer pipe or collection pit.

You did not indicate if you have left your dump valve open all the time. As some of the other posts have indicated, you do not open this valve until the black water tank is about 3/4 full. If this valve is left open the only thing that drains is the Pee and you are left with a poop pyramid that will have to be blasted out of there with a hose. There are hose attachments that you can purchase for this task, if needed, at any RV store or most hardware outlets.

There is a balancing act when to dump your grey water tank as well. Leave this valve closed until the tank is nearly full. If this tank is full before your black water tank, empty the black first and dump it and close the valve. Then open up the grey water valve and dump that one. This cleans your sewer hose so it doesn't get plugged with paper and poop.

If the black water tank needs to be dumped but the grey tank still has lots of room before its full, follow the same procedure as above just to keep the sewer hose clean.

Does your trailer have a black tank flush kit? If so don't dump your grey water tank yet.

If you do there is an adapter on the side of the trailer near the black water tank that you hook up a hose to flush the black tank. There are spray nozzles inside the tank that power sprays the inside to loosen/remove the stubborn crap that is still in the tank. Flush for 3 - 4 minutes at a time and open the valve at the end of each cycle. Do this until the water runs clear and there are no more lumps. Then dump your grey water tank.

As previously noted by others there is documentation on the Geo System on cleaning your tank. Once you have a routine you shouldn't have a problem with the smell.

Its a crappy job but we all have to do it at some point.
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:37 PM   #11
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They also make a spray nozzle you run in by opening the toilet with the foot value. Using that to help fill the black water to flush/dump it might help, but definitely add chemicals each time you flush. There are a number on the market.
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Old 06-30-2022, 10:14 PM   #12
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Hi Christi, This might be a no duh for you and all the other experienced folks on this forum, but when we first bought our trailer no one told us that the seal on the toilet must always be kept wet. The toilet never held water and we didn't think anything of it... that is until 2 years later when we started to get a very bad smell in the trailer. As the camping season went on, the smell got worse and eventually the seal just fell off and fell into the black tank. We had been wanting to replace the dometic plastic base toilet with a porcelain base anyway so that's what we did. After reading the manual and talking with an experienced neighbor we realized that 2 years of being dry is not great for a seal.

I don't know how handy you are but you might want to take a look at the seal first. It may need to be replaced. Regularly applying some plumbers grease to the seal can help keep it from getting dry. You can test for leaks by putting water in toilet and check to see if it is draining over time. If the seal is healthy/not cracked the water should stay in the bowel and not drain. If it is draining, even a little, then there is a crack. Where water can get through so can air and that could be where the smell is coming from. In theory if all of the seals are secure you shouldn't have any smell aside from when you open the trap to flush.

That being said cleaning out the black tank is something that should be done regularly as other folks have pointed out. Good luck and I hope you find the problem soon!! No one likes sleeping next to a sewer vent!
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Old 07-01-2022, 04:55 PM   #13
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When storing and not using my rv I put some olive oil in the toilet. Won't dissipate and keeps the seal soft.
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Old 07-02-2022, 05:03 AM   #14
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Noone seems to have mentioned that there is a possibilty that your vent stack may be blocked. If all else fails, I would look there.
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Old 07-02-2022, 04:44 PM   #15
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Noone seems to have mentioned that there is a possibilty that your vent stack may be blocked. If all else fails, I would look there.
Neither has anyone mentioned the posibility of the wax seal under the toilet leaking. An easy way to check it is to fill your black tank until water backs up into the toilet(with the flapper open) If you get water on the floor, the wax seal needs to be replaced. (if it leaks water, it certainly leaks fumes)
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