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Black & Gray Water Option


marytaz

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I would like to get some opinions on this possibility.

 

Here's my situation:

Living full-time in stationary trailer (can't do park model) with black & gray water tanks.

I will be right next to my brother's house.

 

What if I got a couple of these?

http://www.amazon.com/Tote-N-Stor-25609-Portable-Waste-Transport/dp/B0085KGOH0/ref=sr_1_19?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1443993370&sr=1-19

 

I could transfer both the black & gray water into them, wheel them into my brother's house to use his sink/toilet to discard.

 

Possibility? Pros / Cons?

 

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Personally, I would hate to roll these into a house and try to empty them into a sink or toilet.....a septic tank opening in the ground, maybe, but to empty into a sink or toilet would likely be very problematic [and smelly]. I think Mark and Dale Bruss have a much better idea of using a macerator pump and 3/4 garden hose if there is any way you could make it reach the dump point. Charlie

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I used one of the portable totes and you have two choices, one you can lift and a lot of trips or one you can't lift and just a couple trips. Multiply the size in gallons by 8.4 and add in the weight of the tote, compare that to what your back can deal with lifting and holding several times on dump day to decide on a size you can live with.

 

Inside dumping isn't on my list, you can almost always find a sewer cleanout near the house that you can use to dump into. Stop and think about an oopsie dumping 10 plus gallons of ripe black tank contents on the bathroom floor and how hard it is going to be to clean (walls will likely have to come out) to the point it doesn't have a lingering odor. The outside cleanout also makes a bigger tote a possibility since you don't have to lift it to dump it. One thing to watch out for are the U shaped cleanouts, one leg points under the house (not good to dump into) while the other leg (usually the one closest to the house) points downstream.

 

Really though the macerator option is going to be a lot nicer to use unless distance or height makes impractical.

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There is no way I would let anyone try to lug those heavy, smelly, dirty totes through my house to try to get the contents down my toilet. Disaster waiting to happen.

 

The macerator idea I would not allow in my house either.....only to an outdoor sewer connection that can be plumbed specifically for that purpose.

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Okay, I'll have to talk to my brother. I assume he would have a sewer cleanout by the house somewhere, just not sure where. Would there be a maximum hose length for this?

 

Read the pump spec to determine the maximum hose length because the elevation up hill would decrease the hose length compared to flat ground.

 

Also what temperatures will you be experiencing in the winter. Can you keep the Black and Grey tanks from freezing.

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JimAlberta - I'm thinking I agree now. I could see a catastrophe happening.

 

ms60ocb - Good question. I looked at the averages over the last 32 years and these are the months that show below freezing:

 

Nov: average temp - 39

Nov: average low - 28.3

 

Dec: average temp - 29.4

Dec: average low - 21.3

 

Jan: average temp - 28.7

Jan: average low - 20.9

 

Feb: average temp - 34.7

Feb: average low - 24.4

 

Mar: average temp - 44.5

Mar: average low - 31.9

 

That being as it shows, how does one keep the tanks from freezing? Is there some sort of wrap insulation that can be used?

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Okay, I guess I understand. But wouldn't it be illegal dumping beside the house? I'm a little confused still. New to this. ~ ~ ~

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Okay, I think I'm getting is now. Thanks for the link, Geo. Googling "sewer cleanout" now.

Depending upon what the local laws are, it very well could be that local codes forbid what you plan to do. The idea of emptying inside the house is not at all practical, and one that your brother would soon not accept since it would be very unsanitary. Dumping into a sewer clean-out connection is much more workable and maceration is probably the best answer for that, if you are allowed to do so by city codes.

 

I think that you need to realize that all of your plumbing is going to be subject to freezing weather that lasts for long periods and you will need some means of keeping both water and sewer connections warm enough to not freeze. You will need to have enclosed waste water tanks that are in a heated space and some way to fill the internal water tank and a way to empty the waste tanks in cold weather. RV living in very cold weather is a very difficult thing and keeping one comfortably warm is difficult and expensive.

Cleanout2.jpg

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Dumping into an outside cleanout isn't a problem but if you want something air tight all you need to do is buy a couple fittings from Lowe's or ACE to make an adapter from your hose end to the cleanout.

 

Adding a dedicated dump port isn't a problem either but is a lot more work and expense. You'd need to dig down to the level of the sewer line and add a Y connector and then plumb that up to ground level. Pretty much just be adding another cleanout port at the new location. Did that at my last house and the sewer line was just over six feet down and 12' from where I wanted the hookup so I had to do a 2' x 6' x 12' trench, could have gone with 18" trench if I could have found a skinny kid to plumb it.

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Kirk, thanks! I'm beginning to see what I'm up against. It's a bit more complicated than I originally thought in the very beginning. I'm more concerned about the operations of the sewer and not causing damage to the trailer than about my comfort ability. I have easy ways to deal with my comfort. It's the rest of the stuff I'm not up to speed on, but I'm learning. :)

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They make heat pads for holding and fresh tanks, look pretty much like the heaters for a waterbed but are usually sticky on one side so you just press them onto the bottom of the tank. Adding a bit of electric heat tape to any exposed plumbing can usually keep it from freezing, a bit of insulation will help too.

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Dumping into an outside cleanout isn't a problem but if you want something air tight all you need to do is buy a couple fittings from Lowe's or ACE to make an adapter from your hose end to the cleanout.

 

What kind of adapter would that be? I don't think that creating another sewer cleanout would be an option as it would require a permit, and also expensive.

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Mary, what kind of trailer do you have? Is the underbelly enclosed? While the average lows are good to know, it's the lows during cold snaps that will get to you. If the average low is about 20 in Dec and Jan, chances are you will see some temps in single digits or below. It's going to take a lot of work, equipment and luck to keep things from freezing up.

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They make heat pads for holding and fresh tanks, look pretty much like the heaters for a waterbed but are usually sticky on one side so you just press them onto the bottom of the tank. Adding a bit of electric heat tape to any exposed plumbing can usually keep it from freezing, a bit of insulation will help too.

Awesome! Thanks for the info!

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Mary, what kind of trailer do you have? Is the underbelly enclosed? While the average lows are good to know, it's the lows during cold snaps that will get to you. If the average low is about 20 in Dec and Jan, chances are you will see some temps in single digits or below. It's going to take a lot of work, equipment and luck to keep things from freezing up.

I don't have a trailer yet. Starting the research. I won't be buying for 5-6 more years. I know...it's a long time, but I obviously have a LOT to learn. You all have helped SO much. I can't thank you all enough. I did have another thread on the travel trailer board that had more info on what I'm doing. It's been suggested that I also visit RV shows to get ideas. I'm going to one in Sacramento next weekend. I am looking at those trailers with the underbelly enclosed.

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