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Anyone Heard of using Pinesol in the Black Water Tank?


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#1 Paul and Sue Stromsness

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:42 PM

We were told by an RV service center they use Pinesol in the blackwater tank to help breakdown contents and to use as deodorizer. Anyone hear this? Does it work better than the stuff made for this purpose?

#2 AFChap

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:49 PM

Some say it works. I suspect that at best it covers one odor with another. If I thought I needed a tank additive, I would use some made for the purpose in mind. The only additive we use is something with coconut oil two or three times a year to lube the dump valves. If you have odor problems you need to check for leaks through the vacuum breakers under the sinks, empty drain traps, roof vents, etc.
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#3 RVTEN

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:53 PM

You will find ALL KINDS of ideas on what to toss in the Black Water Tank. Ice Cubes, house hold cleaners. Many think they know more than the manufacturers of sanitation chemical products.

Some of us even use the toilet for what it is intended for. Some bag it. :huh:
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#4 George Stoltz

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:33 PM

As for odors, if everything is working properly you should not have them. I do agree with adding some sort of vegetable oil periodically to help keep the valves lubricated.
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#5 richfaa

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:33 PM

It works for odor control. Don't know what is in it that will break down waste. We do not use anything but then we do dump every couple of days. .
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#6 Mike

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:59 PM

The original formula includes Pine Oil. The alternate formulas do not. I used some while in Mexico. It did provide an odor "mask and I assume it is no different than putting any other cleaner in the tank. It claims that it is a degreaser. If you are treating the tanks as a big bucket that needs cleaned now and then, it seems to make sense. I plan on continuing to use it.

(I am going to try rid-x too. Not worried about breaking down the stuff that most folks think about going into a black water tank, but it claims to have other enzymes and bacteria that quickly break down paper and grease and things like that and would seem to act on those within the span of time between dumps. I don't really have a good reason to do this other than my continued efforts to get clean sensors and working tank gauges. Yeah, I don't really need them at this point, but just one of those things that frustrate me.)

Edited by Mike, 06 May 2012 - 05:00 PM.

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#7 Rif

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:04 PM

Paul and Sue,

Your post is one that is often discussed. Every time it is brought up, the vast majority of experienced full timers will share their opinion and personal experience that you need to add nothing to the holding tank except water. All the commercial chemicals are sold for one purpose only -- to make money for the vendors. You don't need it. Period.

Some suggest that adding some kind of lubrication periodically is a good idea. Maybe. I never have and don't seem to need it. But then again, I've only been RVing for 40 years and full timing for about 14 years. Perhaps I just haven't been at it long enough too experience the problems.
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#8 Mike

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:39 PM

Rif, I agree that nothing but water is really needed for the tanks to serve their intended purpose. That has been my typical practice until just recently and with these recent attempts I am really just trying to clean the crud on the sensors that my cheapo tank measuring system uses. Any thoughts on getting those to work? (other than just ignoring them or breaking out a "wand" with every dump or getting some fancy tank swishing cleaning thing.) What do you use if anything to fix that based on your experiences over the years to keep your sensors working?

Edited by Mike, 06 May 2012 - 05:40 PM.

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#9 AFChap

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:54 PM

I replaced my in tank probes with Host Miracle Probes. Hokey name, but they work great!
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#10 Lou Schneider

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:04 PM

I haven't done anything except add water (or antifreeze if I'm winterizing) to the black and grey tanks after I dump to make sure the tank valves stay wet, and haven't had to replace a valve yet. It's when they dry out and the "stuff" on them hardens that you run into problems. The black water valve on my current motorhome was replaced by the previous owner and has a 1995 date written on it.

Edited by Lou Schneider, 06 May 2012 - 06:05 PM.

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#11 mrfrank

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:27 PM

The folks at the Tiffin service facility recommend "Pine Power" rather than "Pinesol". Pine Powers formulation is different. I usually buy it at the Dollar General for about a buck a bottle!

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#12 GzrGldGeo

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:45 PM

Paul and Sue,

Your post is one that is often discussed. Every time it is brought up, the vast majority of experienced full timers will share their opinion and personal experience that you need to add nothing to the holding tank except water. All the commercial chemicals are sold for one purpose only -- to make money for the vendors. You don't need it. Period.

Some suggest that adding some kind of lubrication periodically is a good idea. Maybe. I never have and don't seem to need it. But then again, I've only been RVing for 40 years and full timing for about 14 years. Perhaps I just haven't been at it long enough too experience the problems.


:lol::D:D:D:lol:
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#13 Stanley P. Miller

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:33 AM

If you have to toss something in the toilet dollar bills are less work than many other solutions but they won't dissolve and may clog your dump valve or stick to your sensors. That leaves poop, septic safe toilet paper and water as the best options. :-)

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#14 Motorcycle Jack

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:01 AM

As full timers we use water (about 6 gallons of fresh after a dump) in the tank. After that we put only what is recommended to go in there - waste and single ply. When we move we put 6-10 gallons of water and some water softener to keep the insides clean.
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#15 Rif

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:37 AM

Rif, I agree that nothing but water is really needed for the tanks to serve their intended purpose. That has been my typical practice until just recently and with these recent attempts I am really just trying to clean the crud on the sensors that my cheapo tank measuring system uses. Any thoughts on getting those to work? (other than just ignoring them or breaking out a "wand" with every dump or getting some fancy tank swishing cleaning thing.) What do you use if anything to fix that based on your experiences over the years to keep your sensors working?

Mike,

There are really only 2 options for long term. Replace the probes with the external type, or give up. The vast majority of us who have been doing this for a long time choose the latter. All the ice, water softener, and chemical you try will eventually fail to dislodge the paper clinging to the probes. If you have a straight line to the tank from the toilet a wand may work, but if your line has an angle that is not an option. Mine has an angle, and though I have a built in flush system, it will not keep the probes clean forever. Mine stopped working when the RV was a couple years old. Our Teton is now 10 years old.

My fresh water gauge still works, and that is most important to me. I dump my gray based on how much fresh water I have run through the system. In other words, I dump the gray after every second fill of the fresh water tank. I've misjudged it only once in the past 10 years or so, and the result is just a backup in the tub/shower. As for the black tank, it is time to dump when a bubble forms when you flush.
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#16 Kirk

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:42 AM

According to a clinic from Thetford at a rally some years back, PineSol if used long enough will destroy the seals in the system. It was a very popular home remedy in the RV community back in the 80's and early 90's, until the word got around from the folks who experienced swelled O rings in flush valves and such problems. If you don't use much it probably wont harm anything but it also don't do anything.

There are many home remedies for black tanks and gray tanks in RV mythology and most don't hurt much as long as you use enough water, but water is the key and like so many chemicals, what they do best it to clean out the wallet of the people using them. But it is your tank so you are free to put anything into it that you wish to. For more than 10 years, we simply used generous amounts of water and a good tank flush system and nothing more.

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#17 Billieg

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:07 PM

The folks at the Tiffin service facility recommend "Pine Power" rather than "Pinesol". Pine Powers formulation is different. I usually buy it at the Dollar General for about a buck a bottle!



2X. Been using it foe awhile now and it does a good job. It also lubes the tank so nothing sticks and helps with the sensors. 1 cup after every dump works well for me.
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#18 bobsallyh

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:32 PM

Since this subject came up, here is a recipe that was given to several people in the park we are in for the winter at Yuma. They had their tanks cleaned by All Pro Water Flow Ltd. Here is what he gave them.
Holding Tank Cleaner, Deodorant
In a 1 gallon container (wide mouth preferred) pour a 48 oz. Pine-Sol (any scent works). Refill the 48 oz. Pine-Sol bottle with water, add water to the gallon jug. Then add 1 cup Calgon Bath oil beads.
Be sure to dilute the Pine-Sol before adding bath oil beads!!!
Shake well. Add 8 oz. to black water holding tank, 4 oz. to grey water tanks, add 2-3 gallons of water to each of the tanks. Your tanks are now ready to use.
When hitting the road after dumping your tanks, add the cleaner, deodorant as above and fill tanks half full, allow tanks to slosh whie on road, this will help keep your tanks cleaner longer.

We don't use anything but water. This guy is one of at least 2 tank cleaning vendors on the winter circuit in Yuma. As usual, your fuel milage may vary!

#19 Paul and Sue Stromsness

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:14 PM

Thank you all for the information, we really appreciate it.

#20 Randy G

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:01 PM

I am new to this rv life style and I have a forty year old motor home that only has a fiberglass black tank. I have been dumping when I arrive at a destination, thinking that stirring it up as I go down the road helps keep the tank clean. Does driving with a mostly full tank put too much pressure on the system?