Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How often should I get my tanks cleaned?

I recommend that you have your tanks professionally hydro-jet cleaned once a year if you’re a full-time RVer (every six months if you do a lot of boon docking / dry camping).

When should I dump my tanks?

You should dump your tanks when they get around 2/3 full rather than waiting until they are full. Many tank sensors are inaccurate, and you can damage your tanks by over-filling them. Dump the black tank first, then the gray tank.

Should I close my valves or leave them open?

This is a sensitive question to answer, and many people are divided on this. However, I recommend closing your valves. When there is no liquid in the tanks, grease, soap, hair, skin, food, and other debris that doesn’t get fully washed out sits there and bakes on the surface of your tanks. Not only does this waste and debris begin to line your tanks, but it also traps odors. Most people are shocked when I tell them that the gray tanks are usually much dirtier (and smell a lot worse) than black tanks.

Why is hydro-jetting the best way to clean my tanks?

Hydro-jetting uses high-pressured water to scout and scrub the interior surfaces of your RV’s holding tanks, pipes, and valves, removing waste, build-up, scale, grease, soaps, and other debris that has built up over time. The process of hydro-jetting works to resolve a number of common plumbing problems in your RV. It successfully removes the debris that accumulates in your RV’s holding tanks and pipes due to human waste, toilet paper, hair, soap residue, grease, and more. In addition, it can resolve mineral and scale buildup in the holding tanks and sewer system pipes that cannot be released with simple water hose pressure. The hydro-jetting tool is inserted into the pipe where waste leaves your RV and travels down through the sewer hose to the in-ground pipe. This high-pressure water, with the help of a specially-designed jetter head, moves upstream through your RV’s plumbing system, working its way to your holding tank and makes your holding tanks “factory clean.”

Aren’t the tank sprayers enough to clean my tank?

The short answer is no. Tank sprayers simply act as a rinsing mechanism. The relative PSI from the nozzle head is between 100 PSI and 150 PSI, mainly from the reduction in the PEX tube and further through the nozzle head. Especially large RVs, like 5th wheels, where a tank (or second tank, like at a rear bathroom) is farther from the water inlet may experience even greater loss of pressure as the water travels to the black tank.

What is hydro-jetting?

Using a heavy-duty, electric commercial water pump, we send a special, flexible wand up your RV’s sewer pipes, past gate valves, and into your tanks. There, water is pumped in at 1,500 PSI through proprietary nozzles. Water at this pressure scrubs the tank surfaces clean and breaking up built-up gunk, residue from enzymes and other tank additives. Any clogs or mounds of waste (like in hard-to-rinse tank corners or along the front tank bulkhead) that can’t be removed by your tank rinser are easily broken up and ready to be pulled out during the rinsing step of our cleaning process.

Do you use heated water or chemicals?

No, just plain water. We could heat the water, but it travels through the system at such a fantastic flow rate that it would have little effect on anything in your tanks. Likewise, chemicals aren’t needed as nothing is in your tank long enough to be dissolved or affected.

What are some signs my tanks need cleaning?

The toilet won’t flush. This is usually the first sign. If the toilet won’t flush, it’s likely because the black water tank is full and you need to empty it. The drains are slow. If your drains are taking longer than usual, it could be because the black water tank has debris and needs a thorough cleaning. There’s an odor. If your RV has an unpleasant or foul odor it’s likely because the black water tank is full and needs emptying. The tanks are full. If you’ve been emptying your tanks more frequently than usual it’s likely because they are clogged and need to be cleaned.

What is struvite?

Struvite is a crystal that occurs naturally, mostly in places such as wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), confined animal feeding operations (CAFO), food processing, and other industries where magnesium, ammonia, and phosphate are present.

Struvite can also form in Recreational Vehicles (RV), whereas it has magnesium, ammonia, phosphate in the holding takes due to the hard water, ammonia, and other organic matter coming together.

The struvite or scale can range in color and thickness. Struvite can prove to be a major problem for Recreational Vehicle (RV) owners as hydro-flushing, mechanical cleaning, or the use of acids are needed to rid of the buildup that can cause clogs in the pipes and systems.

What Are Drain Flies?
Drain flies commonly go by a few nicknames such as moth flies or sink flies. They are about the same size as gnats and fruit flies—between 2mm and 5mm—but can be distinguished by their small, moth-like wings and round, fuzzy bodies. Drain flies also differ in color compared to other small house flies, typically ranging between pale gray to black. While they may look like moths, these little creatures cannot fly very far. You’ll notice that they make large hops from place to place instead of buzzing around your home like other pests.

Drain flies have a lifespan of between eight and 24 days but can lay and hatch up to 300 eggs in just 48 hours, so it’s important to get ahead of the problem before they have a chance to spread through your pipes.

What Do Drain Flies Eat?

Drain flies primarily live on organic material found in standing water, which often includes sewage or other contaminated water, typically when it causes a film to build up in a humid area of pipes with standing water. Because of this, your drains are an ideal place for drain flies to thrive and reproduce. They can also find food and sewage near a collection of garbage, animal waste, or compost.

Drain flies have a lifespan of between eight and 24 days but can lay and hatch up to 300 eggs in just 48 hours, so it’s important to get ahead of the problem before they have a chance to spread through your pipes.

Are Drain Flies Harmful?

In short, no, drain flies are not harmful to humans. Though drain flies consume and live in sewage and bacteria, they are not disease-carrying insects, but In great masses, they can carry the bacteria with them. Overall, they cause no proven harm to your health, even if they are a serious nuisance in your home. As we noted before, drain flies can also reproduce quickly, spreading nests throughout your pipes that can be costly to clear out if left unchecked.

Why are Regular Rinses Good for My Tanks?

Sensors Can Become Layered with Residual Waste

Bacteria and enzyme treatments will break solid waste into thick, murky water, but there are still particles of waste that can cause problems. As the tank drains, a thin film of waste can cover sensors enough to cause them to misread; after many trips without rinsing, it can begin to layer and the sensors can start misreading. Allowing this thin film on the sensors, walls and floor of the tank to dry out for days or weeks at a time can easily lead to all the dreaded problems (clogs, odors, and misreading sensors), which is why we recommend short rinses after every dump in addition to long rinses (20-30 minutes) every 3-5 dumps.

Can’t I just rinse out trapped waste?

Some may argue that this isn’t an issue if you park your RV perfectly level, but there are several reasons why this argument doesn’t really hold up:

• It’s extremely difficult to park an RV perfectly level.
• Many holding tanks aren’t even installed perfectly level.
• Flat holding tanks (which is the norm) don’t give gravity the incline it needs to move waste out of low points in the tank.

The reality is that despite your best efforts, you will likely still have some waste residue accumulate at low points inside your RV holding tank if you don’t thoroughly rinse it out regularly.

Can odors increase over time?
You may not notice any odors the first several times you skip the rinsing regimen, but after many days or weeks of waste sitting in low points or crevices in the tank, it can start smelling really bad. And it’s compounded when the RV is sitting in hot weather with these bits of lingering waste in the tank. Each time you add new waste to tanks that contain dried out waste residue, you make it soft again, which helps new waste cling to it. Before you know it, you have odors rising and the makings of a compacted tank.

Get In Touch

(912) 660-4022

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Location

Effingham, Georgia

Email

tomsrvtanks@outlook.com

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