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Old 02-14-2017, 04:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Question Properly maintaining gray water

I seem to have down a working method for my black water tank but not the gray water, and could use some advice.

For black water, I just always leave the dumping valve shut and use Campa-Chem. Once a week, I dump the tank and put more Campa-Chem in. This works great for giving the chemicals the time they need to break down solids.

For my gray water, I haven't figured things out yet. I have a large family and smallish (40 gallons maybe?) tank, so I just leave the dumping valve open all the time. I tried closing the valve and adding tank treatment, but the tank fills up in like 4 hours.

How am I supposed to be maintaining the gray water tank? Would it help to just dump some treatment down the drain every couple of days? The problem I see with that, is that it will just go right down the drain and not have time to break down any small pieces of food that have made it into the tank from the kitchen sink. Any ideas, anyone?


Sorry. Forgot to mention the immediate problem I'm having which is that the gray water tank gets full of little pieces of food and then it gets clogged and won't drain. So I find myself having to do all sorts of crazy things to unclog it once a week, including draining it out into a bucket via the drain screw.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:32 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Put screens in your sink drains? I'll grant that's a low-tech approach, but it could help with the food junk issue. It seems like less trouble to just scrape the junk up out of the drain after washing dishes than to have it wind up in your water tank and clog things up.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:49 PM   #3
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Not trying to be rude!
A finer mesh sink strainer, scrape the dishes off into the trash bag better, add an outdoor rinse sink that dumps into a 5-gallon bucket with a paint sprayer mesh sock in it, use more cast-iron cooking on the/an outdoor fire where when your done cooking instead of the sink it goes back in the fire for cleaning and oiling.
Use tin-foil to cover pans skillets to cook in(have done but don't like it), paper plates and plastic forks and knives and feed everyone off of the fire pit outside.
Many more. Sorry that even sounds rough to me?
I am involved in Boy Scouts with my children and have been in scouting since I was a cub.
I have stayed in a camper once. I bought an old 45' camper and lived in it while I rebuilt it for a couple of years. My skoolie is the closest thing I will ever get/want to an RV.
My family cooks everything on the fire pit outside as much as possible, each person has there own mess kit that they are responsible for as far as keeping up with, keeping together, and washing,drying as they are done. I do have good enameled camping stuff but even When parked at a site and a friend wants to come hangout and eat. They have to take care of there own stuff.
In scouting with no RV. They get 3 tubs of water (warmed up on the fire) 1-to scrub 1-with a little bleach to rinse and the 3-rd is hot clean water for a final rinse and the final hot water rinse(depending on temp.) Is because hot/warm stuff dries faster than cold stuff and it can go in there packs or wherever in a few instead of setting in a drying rack until?
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:11 PM   #4
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You might consider a Macerater pump, it will suck out the chunks & pump it thru a 3/4 in hose & you can get rid of the slinky hose. The link below is a pricy one but I have seen them cheaper
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:53 PM   #5
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It all sort of depends upon where you are and what sort of hookups you have.

Generally speaking, if we have full hookups I leave the grey tank valve open and allow the tank to drain out as it is used. When the black tank gets full I then close the grey tank valve and open the black tank valve, rinse the black tank, close the black tank valve, and then reopen the grey tank valve.

If you are having issues in regards to solids in the grey tank lines getting stuck I would suggest you need to not let such big pieces go down the drain. I would also suggest you close the grey tank valve and only open it once a day. The head pressure will usually clean out any bits and pieces stuck along the way.

It is all sort of trial and error to find what will work the best for you.

One thing about the black tank, before you open the valve to drain the tank it helps if the tank is filled to the brim with extra water. The extra head pressure helps to move the solids out. You may want to either make or purchase a wand that can reach down inside the black tank and rinse the tank.

Generally speaking, if you are having issues with solids in the grey tank you are letting too much go down the drain. You may find you will need to put toilet chemical down the sink drain and let it stew away in there for a day or three before you empty the grey tank. Other than sticking a hose up the drain to rinse that end of the system there isn't much else you can do to get a grey tank to drain completely.
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