How to Clean Your RV’s Black Water Holding Tank

September 11th, 2018 by

Little boy thinks it's time to clean the black water tank
The black water tank of your RV contains human waste, and needs to be handled carefully – otherwise, Salt Lake City campers risk disease and infection. But how do I clean my RV’s black water tank? Learn here at Dennis Dillon RV Marine Powersports.

Empty the Black Water Holding Tank

Before you start cleaning your black water holding tank, you’ll need to empty the waste. No, it’s not advisable to dump the contents of your black water holding tank when you’re boondocking outside Meridian city limits, nor when you’re camping off the cord. You should only empty your black water holding tank in a designated RV dumping station. Make sure to stay protected when you empty the black water holding tank, so wash your hands, wear protective gloves, and wear shoe coverings.

Get the Right RV Accessories

Some RV’s have built-in systems for flushing black water holding tanks. If yours does, then be sure to make use of it. But if your RV doesn’t have a built-in system that flushes, you’ll need to purchase a flush valve or a tank cleaning wand. Once you’ve procured one of these devices, it’s time to get started.

Clean Your Black Water Holding Tank

Now that you’ve got the right materials, you’ll want to rinse and flush the black water holding tank. Then, you’ll clean the sucker. Flush your toilet a few times. Then, add some dish soap or laundry soap with about a quart of bleach. Let the mixture sit for around an hour.

  • If you get a flush valve, connect your gray water line to the flush valve. You’ll get plenty of water shooting back into the tank. This will eliminate clogs and thoroughly rinse the black water holding tank. You’ll want to keep the main drain open when cleaning the drain valve, drain pipe, and drain hose.
  • If you get a tank cleaning wand, connects to an outside water hose, you’ll insert the wand into your RV’s toilet bowl, so that you power rinse the inside of your tank. Turn the hose on, so that the hose is spraying as forcibly as possible.

Now, you’ll want to open the dump valve. You’ll want to leave the dump valve open throughout the process, and you’ll want the tank cleaning wand spraying for 10-15 minutes.

When Should I Empty My Black Water Holding Tank, and When Should I Clean It?

You’ll know when to empty your black water tank based on the monitor panel readings. This panel is most likely located on your RV’s dashboard. The more you maintain your RV’s black water tank with care, the more accurate your black water tank’s dashboard meter will be. You’ll want to clean your RV’s black water holding tank, though, around once a month, or even once every two months. Here are a few tips to ensure that you’re taking appropriate care of your black water tank:

  • Don’t dump your black water holding tank too often. If there is more waste, then it’ll break down more effectively.
  • Don’t use antifreeze or windshield wiper fluid. Use dish soap or bleach.

What are the Benefits in Cleaning My Black Water Holding Tank?

There are many benefits! Notable benefits of cleaning your black water holding tank include:

  • Extending the lifespan of your RV’s waste system
  • Improved accuracy of monitor panel’s holding tank readings
  • Your RV will be less odorous
  • Prevents costly repair bills down the line

Learn More RV Maintenance Tips at Dennis Dillon RV Marine Powersports

Sure, RV maintenance may not be fun, but it is necessary. Learn other RV maintenance tips and tricks here at Dennis Dillon RV Marine Powersports, serving campers from Los Angeles to San Diego. And check out our RV accessories – we may have sewer accessories and parts on discount! Contact us today for questions.