Thursday, October 6, 2022

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Has a sewer valve or hose ever broken or malfunctioned while you were dumping?

Oh, horror of horrors! This surely must be the worst nightmare of any RVer short of a serious traffic accident. We sincerely hope you have never experienced a sewer dumping failure, but it does happen.

We saw a video the other day where a man told of how his black tank valve had malfunctioned, and as he drove down the highway the sewage backed up against the cap covering the valve. When he arrived at this campsite and removed the cap to attach his dumping hose, the crap (literally) gushed. “I was knee deep in it,” he said, although we are pretty sure he was exaggerating.

Most holding tank mishaps are not so serious or dramatic, but whether they are only a wee little drip or an eruption, they are not fun.

So our messy poll question of the day is about whether something like this has happened to you. We’re hoping most of you say no. But if you answer yes, please take a moment to fill us in on the details in the comments below.

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John M
16 days ago

We were at a Famcamp in New Mexico and while the wife was in a class, I dumped our tanks. I had not used one of the lengths of sewer hose before but needed it this time. When I opened the black valve, I had pin hole leeks in that section of hose. Not a big mess but more embarrassing than anything.

John M
16 days ago

Would like to comment on RVing over 70 but don’t and won’t get a Facebook account. I am 80 and wife is 76 and we still use the motorhome when it’s not in the shop and weather permits.

Tim
17 days ago

Came into a southern AZ SKP park and was reminded to check our sewer hose before pulling the valve. I wondered why: a few nights earlier, a hailstorm had come through, and the first person to dump his tanks the next morning re-discovered how the sprinkler hose was developed…quite a spray, I heard.

Don Waggoner
18 days ago

We had spent 4 days in a city park while a Nebraska blizzard rocked our motor home. After being dug and pulled out we went to the much needed dump station. The black valve didn’t want to pull out, so what do you do? Pull harder, the assembly pulled right off the tank connection. Luckily it stayed mostly in the compartment and ran out the hole in the bottom. A little snow shovel work and all was well.

Cecilia
18 days ago

No problem with hose or valve but we think someone pulled our valve when we stopped at a rest stop or restaurant so when we removed cap, it started gushing out. Luckily, I had the hose ready to go and slammed it up there while closing valve. Now, we have a fail safe. We purchased a Valterra valve and now nothing comes out when we remove cap until we open it.

Paul Schwengel
18 days ago
Reply to  Cecilia

added the extra valterra valve after discovering the hole plug that assembly left in the blk tank that jammed the 1st valve at/during mfg

Bill Forbes
18 days ago

I had a sewer hose come apart at a dump station. The hose itself, in the middle, the plastic tore and the slit propagated around and around the hose following the spring inside for several revolutions. It was probably a little old. The dump station was about two sites down from mine, in the middle of a very nice county park campground, surrounded by other sites, and with grass around it instead of concrete. I was still cleaning up the mess when our dinner guests arrived – on a Prius so I didn’t even hear them coming.

Cecilia
18 days ago
Reply to  Bill Forbes

Bill, I started opening the gray tank first for a few seconds to make sure hose hasn’t sprung a leak and then open the black.

Roy Davis
18 days ago

I had a hose spring a leak once but I caught it quick enough. While not hose related, I did have a clog once that was a pain getting open and I had the gate handle come off. I have had to replace a gate valve once but I’ve been RVing for well over 50 years. We use to say that it wasn’t a matter of “if” you’re going to have a sewer issue in a RV but “when”. The quality of equipment has improved over the years.

Wolfe
18 days ago

Yes, malfunction but not from the business end of the valve. Instead, the cheap plastic (UV damaged?) Tee-handle snapped its ears off when I pulled with normal pressure, and the edges left after the snap sliced across my palm, creating a nasty open wound holding the probably very infectious remains of the handle. I treated it accordingly and healed well, but it was not “fun.”

I now automatically replace those handles with METAL versions on all trailers.

Dump Greyfirst
18 days ago

At college tailgate, I ran hose under neighbor coach to dump. He was not home when hose unconnected! I used a broom and hose but could not get under his coach. I LEFT IN THE MORNING BEFORE HIM!

Jeff Craig
18 days ago

After seeing someone have a hose pop off the back of their slide-in camper at a roadside dump station, I got in the habit of double checking my connections. Unfortunately, the other end can still surprise you. Some older parks have the ‘periscope’ type sewer inlet (sits up above the surface rather than flat-in-the-ground) and they were designed to just put a hose down – the old style I don’t use.

Once, the hose popped out, even though I had it ‘secured’. Luckily, I just had started to ‘splash’ the grey tank (before the black tanks gets dumped) and there was about a gallon of grey water soaking into the grass. From that point, in those ‘periscope’ connections, I now zip-tie them down now.

kat
18 days ago

I put no as it didn’t malfunction. However, my husband didn’t realize he left the back tank lever open from a previous trip. Thankfully no one was there and he was able to clean the mess up before anyone (other than me) knew anything about it!

Robert Hulett
19 days ago

Shouldn’t the no answer really be Not Yet ?

Jim schrankel
19 days ago

I always run the gray water FIRST, for a few gallons to make sure everything is tight and secure. Then I do the black water. No surprises that way.

Dan
18 days ago
Reply to  Jim schrankel

Totally agree. I’ve been preaching this for years to every newbie and even the “Experts” who write black first. Once you give your logic about gray is MUCH easier to clean up. A convert has been made.

Mike
18 days ago
Reply to  Jim schrankel

I do the same thing. FIRST. gray for a few gallons.

Michael Galvin
6 days ago
Reply to  Jim schrankel

This sounds like a good idea but takes time and there rarely is a problem. However, I should do it, since twice I failed to secure the connections. Still took less time to clean up than it would have taken to check 200 times with the grey first and find no problem.

Lee Brandt
19 days ago

Had a really hard to open Black tank valve pulled on it gently and it slowly pulled the connection AT the TANK off (rubber boot) and out rushed 3 days worth..could not stop it til totally empty. Guessing At least 30 gallons

Gary Kayser
19 days ago

I bought a 45 degree clear elbow and thought that would take out some of the bend in the sewer hose, it locked in as it should, but when I opened the drain valve it popped off and made a mess of my shoes and the dump station.

Bob Weinfurt
19 days ago

Luckily no, at least not yet.

Jeanette Walker
19 days ago

We didn’t have a leak, but would have if we weren’t paying attention. The raven at the park we were in pecked a hole in the drain hose. Now if there are raven or blackbirds around we lay a tarp over it.

John Sciortino
19 days ago

I had my first DSD(dump station disaster) this summer at a state park in South Dakota. I connected the big hose to the camper, checked the connection for tightness, & put the other end into the dump station sewer hole. I have a clear elbow on the sewer end. I gave the valve a quick pull. Everything was good for about 4 seconds, then the sewer hose popped up out of the hole and began to wiggle back & forth like a big snake. It was a sewage tornado. Took me about 5 seconds to get the valve closed. During the 5 seconds, I was expressing verbal profanity. Eventually it all drained & I finished my duties with my foot holding the hose elbow in the hole. Five more minutes of hosing everything clean & we were done. Thank goodness there was nobody around when this happened.

Al H.
19 days ago
Reply to  John Sciortino

Same tune, different verse! After years of using our Jayco travel trailer with no problems, we made our first outing with our new to us Truck Camper. Securing the bottom end of the hose with a flat rock, I pulled the valve slide. It turns-out that 3’ of head pressure responds differently than 12” of head pressure. The rock flipped out of the way and the hose lurched around like a really upset snake. Fortunately, there was a large funnel-shaped apron around the actual dump opening, and probably 6” of curbing around that. With only a few gallons of waste, it didn’t make much of a mess, but it certainly added an element of excitement to the process!

The Greyhound Express
19 days ago

We were in Yellowstone camping, and just before we left after a week of exploring I emptied the tanks. When I opened the the black tank valve I saw little geysers shooting up all along the hose… some with tissue streamers. It seems that a little chipmunk had bitten tiny holes all along the top of the sewer hose. Shades of Robin Williams in RV.
Ever since I put out the sewer hose only when I need to dump the tanks.

Deborah Mason
19 days ago

I had to say no because the failure happened before we got the rig. Previous owner had just cut off/removed anything that failed. Didn’t realize this for days, while using the on board commode at night. Then we discovered there was NO black tank. Following day realized there was no valve, either. Did the best we could at a secluded dump station, then learned A LOT about how that all works & installed a new tank, pipe & valve.