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Randall
Randall, RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 10329
Experience:  RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician with many years experience.
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Trying to dump the black water tank for the first

Customer Question

trying to dump the black water tank for the first time....it's 3/4 full and when I open the drain valve nothing flows.....same with gray water....I have an Alpine 3101 year 2016
JA: How many miles are on the car? Have you noticed any leaks lately?
Customer: car?....it's a 5th wheel
JA: What is the model of your '16 RV?
Customer: keystone alpine 3101
JA: Are you fixing your RV yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Just trying to drain the tanks....can't get it to flow.....first time to drain
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: RV
Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

Hi! My name is ***** ***** I can assist you with this. I may need some additional information from you first in order to give a complete answer.

Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

Was there any water or chemical added to the tanks before you started using them?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
not that I know of......bought the unit 30 Sept.....out camping this weekend....tried to drain the black water tank but no flow.....same as one of the gray water tanks....both are 3/4 full
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
you there?
Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

Yes, I am here.........very busy this morning!

Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

The gray tank should empty out without having had any water in it. Be sure that you don't have 2 gray tanks and one may be empty already. The valves for a model with two will have valves in two different places and the second one is not where the black tank drain is. One the black tank there HAS to be added water and chemical in the tank BEFORE you use it or the solids won't dissolve and just block up the tank exit.

Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

If that has happened here...........you will need to get some tank treatment and add and some water and let it sit for a few hours and hopefully it will drain then. I recommend Happy Camper Extreme Cleaner when this happens. Available directly online on Amazon if your local dealer or shop doesn't carry it.

Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

IF these are cable valves, they may need adjustment and may not be actually pulling the valve blades open when you pull them out.

Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

I will make a phone chat option offer for you in case you think that might be more productive and quicker. No time limit on calls or on multiple calls.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have some tank treatment but only put but have only put 4 oz in the tank....should I put more in?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
about 30 min ago it was added
Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

It needs more time than that and should be added with about 5 gallons of water EACH time you empty the tank. If you wait until now, it will take quite a while to work unless it is the Happy Camper product. Get some of that so you have it. Use RV toilet paper as well. Regular TP won't dissolve well in this system.

Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

You can buy an add on valve and tank flush that uses the black flush system and a garden hose. That can be helpful when you have a clogged outlet in the tank. Valterra make them and you can find them online at Amazon or other RV outlets. Camco makes one as well. Theirs is called a "Dual Flush Pro" and is about $40 or so. Valterra's is called a "Hydroflush"

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have a flush system.....could that unclog the tank
Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

Doubtful..........at least not until the chemical has time to work.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
should I add more of what I have to a 3/4 full tank?.....heading out for about 3 hours for it to work
Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

Yes........and more chemical. I would add about 5 gallons of water and twice as much chemical.

Expert:  Randall replied 1 month ago.

Since I never hear anything back from you, I am thinking you were able to resolve this issue, but if not, please get back to me and I can assist you in tracking down the problem.