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Black water holding tank in freezing temps

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  #1  
Old 01-18-2011, 07:51 AM
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Camper Type: Travel Trailer
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Texas
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Default Black water holding tank in freezing temps

We're having to stay in the rv during the winter for at least half of the time while we work on a project out in the sticks. The last couple of weeks have been freezing weather (even in Texas!) and we needed to dump the black water. Well, it was frozen...not a pretty sight. Major amounts of running water through the system got maybe half of it out. Is there some form of antifreeze solution that can be added to the tank while still in use? We can't winterize for storage since it will be in use. Any ideas? Thanks to all.
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2011, 09:26 AM
ctfortner's Avatar
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I have heard of others adding rv antifreeze into a frozen holding tank to get things moving. I have also heard of using a heat lamp and placing that close to the tank, but not touching. Just to provide some heat and possible thawing. One other thing you could try would be boiling or hot water added to the tank to thaw it enough to drain it all out.

As for keeping it thawed, they do sell holding tank blankets, you may want to look into that for using the camper throughout the winter.
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2011, 11:22 AM
frank-id's Avatar
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Default Add salt to the tank

Any type of salt will allow the tank contents to melt. The salt will not affect the tank. Do not allow tank to become full of waste. Frank
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:54 AM
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All good ideas but keep in mind salt water freezes at 28 deg F. Make sure you don't put the heat lamp too close to the plastic holding tank. If you wrap some kind of skirt around the trailer base (tarp or cardboard) it will greatly reduce the circulating cold air that is causing the problem. Using any kind of heating device would be more efficient this way. If I had the problem though, I would use plenty of RV antifreeze mixed into the tank. Good luck.

freezing in Texas????
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:02 PM
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I have heard others from other forums about this problem and some of them have put very hot water in the tanks just to get more effluent going. Just make sure that you evacuate as much of it as possible because hot water loses its heat and will freeze pretty quick, but hopefully it will be down the drain and out of your plumbing before that happens.

Can anyone else confirm or add to this?
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:10 AM
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I, myself wouldn't use salt. It will stick together and form a blockage in your tanks. It will be tough to get it out. Especially rock salt.
Do what you can to get the stuff out. Hot water, probably the best. If and when you get it cleaned out and heating the tank is not an option, flush using windshield washer fluid. It is the cheapest antifreeze and good down to 20 below. If there is any ice left, it will tend to melt it also.
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