If you’ve ever experienced a clogged RV toilet, you know what a nightmare it can be. Plumbing issues are never fun, but they don’t have to ruin a whole vacation. Today we want to help you learn how to unclog an RV toilet, so you’re ready should you face a plumbing challenge in the future. Let’s get started!
Reasons Why Your RV Toilet Might Be Clogging
One of the most common causes of a clogged RV toilet is the solid-to-liquid ratio. RV plumbing relies on an excessive amount of liquids to help flush solids out of the system. Too many solids will cause a clump, which causes blockages when attempting to dump your RV tanks.
The second most common reason for a clogged RV toilet is the type of toilet paper you use. RV tanks require solid materials to break down quickly, including toilet paper. Thick toilet paper that doesn’t break down easily can cause a clog, especially if you use too much at once. Nothing should go down the toilet that cannot easily tear apart and break down in the water.
Many RVers make the mistake of keeping their black tank valve open. They believe that will prevent blocks or clogs. However, by keeping your black tank valves open, you allow the liquids to leave the tank while the solids remain. Without enough water pushing solids out of the tank, they’ll begin to clump together. These clumps will not only stink but harden and cause a blockage when dumping your RV’s black tank.
How to Unclog Your RV Toilet
There are several methods that RVers use to unclog their RV toilets. However, you may find you need extra tools or a professional to help.
You could use a sewer kit such as Camco’s Flexible Swivel Stick. This wand connects to a standard garden hose and goes inside the toilet drain to spray water into the tank. This may help dislodge or break up the clog into pieces that can pass through the black tank drain. You may want to fill up the black tank with the swivel stick and then drive around the block to dislodge any clogs.
Or you could try boiling or hot water. Fill the black tank with a generous amount of hot water to help break down the sewage and other waste materials causing the clog. Check with your RV manufacturer before trying this method, as many tanks are made of plastic and can’t handle high heat.
You can also use chemicals or even ice. Some substances specifically target and break down bacteria and paper materials found in RV black tanks. These chemicals help accelerate the speed at which materials break down. Whether you choose to add chemicals or ice, go for a drive before trying to empty your tanks again. The ice method could also help keep your RV tanks and sensors clean.
- Powerful rotary cleaning action dislodges and flushes the stubborn waste deposits and odor-causing particles left after...
- Solid section including handle measures 24" long; the flexible section measures 34" long with a 2" diameter nozzle
Can You Use Drano in an RV Toilet?
Drano is one chemical that you don’t want to put into your RV’s plumbing system. It eats away at the materials found in residential plumbing systems. The difference is that residential plumbing often uses higher quality materials that can withstand corrosion better. Drano can damage not only the seals around your dump valves but the holding tanks themselves, resulting in a costly and extensive repair. There are RV-safe chemicals that will assist with breaking up RV toilet clogs. When in doubt, check with your manufacturer.
How to Keep Your Black Water Tank Clog-Free
There are a couple of things you can do to keep your RV black water tank clog-free. First, make sure you’re using enough water when flushing. You can never have too much liquid in your black tanks. It helps break down solids and prevents build-ups and clogs.
Also, ensure your toilet paper is safe for your RV. While there are RV-specific toilet papers, most septic-safe toilet papers will do the job. You can test your toilet paper by placing a square in a jar of water. Put a lid on top and shake it a few times. The toilet paper should immediately begin to break down and eventually disintegrate. This breakdown process is a sure sign that the toilet paper you’re using will be safe for your RV’s black tanks and minimize the risk of clogs.
Can You Use a Plunger in an RV Toilet?
If you do experience a clogged RV toilet, a plunger will be of no assistance. Clogs in an RV toilet system occur once the material has reached the tank. Gravity pushes the waste into the tank, and clogs can happen when emptying the tanks. Using a plunger will do nothing to push the clog out but will damage the seals in the bowl of the toilet. These seals help keep water in the base of the bowl and must be water-tight to help keep smells down.
Using the tips we’ve shared with you today, you’ll be more prepared when facing a clogged RV toilet. However, if you can’t seem to get it unclogged, you may need to hire a professional to assist you. Do you have any RV toilet clog tips you would add to our list? Let us know in the comments!
Last update on 2021-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API