Believe it or not, this is something that happens to almost every RV or trailer owner. It is not a fun situation to be in but it must be dealt with. One thing you know for sure is that there is an obstruction somewhere in the sewer line.
When this situation happens to you, it is possible that what some owners describe as the dreaded pyramid of poo is the source of the problem. This is a build-up of solid waste that blocks the toilet from emptying its contents.
To learn more about this problem and how to fix it, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so that you can fix it and get everything back to normal again. Take a few minutes to see how this information can help you.
The first bit of information you need to know about is that RV toilets are not like your toilet back home. What that tells you is that the solution to a non-draining toilet in your home will not be the one to use for your RV toilet.
What is the same between both types of toilets is that when it won’t drain, there is a clog somewhere. However, to fix the clog in your RV’s toilet, you need to close the black water tank valve.
Then you need to add as much water to the tank as possible without it overflowing. After that, pour the entire bottle of an RV holding tank cleaner into your toilet.
Now you have to wait 12 to 27 hours while the cleaner liquefies every solid piece of waste in the clog. After this time period is over, open the black water tank valve and let it drain.
Once it is drained, flush and clean the tank. Your toilet should flow normally again after all of this. This is just one method to unclog your toilet. We will get to other methods shortly but first, you need to know the possible sources for the clogged toilet.
There are many reasons why this takes place and this list may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sources.
1. Something fell into the toilet when the lid was up- this could be the toilet air freshener, a comb, or anything that is large enough to block the pipe and keep the solid waste from exiting the toilet. Even a toothbrush can cause this problem.
2. Hard water deposits- are always a possibility when you camp a lot in hard water areas. Those deposits can build up over time and then catch what solid pieces they can and stop them from draining into the holding tank.
3. Human hair- if you are one of those people that likes to toss lost hair down into the toilet and flush it away, then this is one possible source. Like hard water deposits, human hair can build up and act as a filter stopping larger waste items from exiting the toilet.
4. Flushing harsh chemicals- these can damage the valve, the seals, the mechanisms, and the pipes. When those items get damaged, then your toilet may not work as it should
5. Flushing toilet paper, wipes, or diapers- these items can cause a big clog that is hard to get rid of. While they are necessities of bathroom life, be careful and not use a log of toilet paper, etc.
Here are some alternatives to using holding tank cleaner:
1. Use a plunger- this may work if the clog is not that big and it is near the surface. If the clog is near the holding tank, then it may not work.
2. Plumber’s snake- always a good tool no matter the location of the toilet. Just be careful not to damage the pipes though. Also, do not confuse the side of the pipe with the clog.
3. Dishwashing liquid and boiling hot water- this will add moisture and lubrication that may be lacking inside the drain. The drawback here is that it may take a few hours to clear the clog.
4. Ice cubes and water- this is a technique many RV owners prefer because they do not have to use hot water. Just put water in the tank about 1/3 of the way up and then add the ice cubes.
5. Repair a broken slide valve- this can be one of the problems that stop your toilet from draining. If it is, you would have to drain your toilet first, then replace the slide valve.
This may be a dealer or mechanic option as you may not have the tools to do this work.
6. Vinegar and baking soda- these two ingredients are great products to use for many different tasks… individually. If combined, they create a chemical reaction that Is not good for other applications.
However, that chemical reaction may be just what you will need to clear a clog. It may not smell nice but it is better than what is coming out of your clogged toilet.
If you are not a handyman or you are getting to that age where working on toilets is beyond your ability, then take your RV to the dealer. The dealer should have a high-pressure wand that should clear out the clog.
The cost for this option is between $100 to $200 depending on your dealer.
Clogged toilets are a fact of life. They will take place when you least expect them to. But with this information, you should be able to diagnose and treat the clogged toilet quickly.
Unfortunately, not all solutions are quick and you may have to live with a clogged toilet for a few hours or one complete day. It is a common problem so you are not alone in solving it.