Cheap device prevents accidental RV sewer overflow



Doug Swarts ( and Chuck Woodbury of discuss how a simple, inexpensive device can save the day (as well as a lot of money on a major repair) when cleaning out an RV’s black (sewer) tank. A variety of the devices mentioned in the video are available for around $10 to $20 at


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I have used these hose timers in my garden. They are very prone to failure. One time it shuts off, and the next for some unexplained reason does not. I suggest you use a timer on your phone and consider the phone timer a first priority!

Steven M Jenkins

Could not find at Amazon the one shown in the video. All the others had significant number of bad reviews, saying they did not work (i.e. they did NOT shut off the water and led to flooding). So . . . I shall not order one. Thanks for the video anyway.


When parked I empty and flush my black tank once a week. After emptying I close the valve and add water for 5 to 8 minutes then empty and might rinse one more time. I have a clear plastic pipe at the RV end of the sewer hose to monitor when it’s clean. I use the stopwatch function on my wristwatch to monitor the time when adding water to flush. I can hear the water going in to flush the tank and if I go the 8 minutes the water has reached the sprayer nozzle as the running water sound stops. I like the above idea of using a programmable device to measure the number of gallons then I won’t have to worry about overflow anywhere in the system.

David Ozanne

I had a bad exp[experience with a black water flush that was not marked. I thought it was the fresh water input and hooked it up on my first trip in that MH. The toilet did not overflow but the water went all the way up the vent pipe and all over the place. A good Samaritan turned off the water for me and told me when I got back to the motor home. Never did it again.


I just use my watch or cell phone. With typical rv park water pressures it takes between 3 1/2 to 4 minutes to fill the tank with a hose…very easy. Nothing else to buy.

Robert Peterson

Wouldn’t it make sense to have a similar device that shut off after a given amount of gallons flowed through it. You know how many gallons your tank holds, so you could “program a number of gallons into it and get the level you want.