Saturday, December 2, 2023


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 once 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 at least a little.

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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cate (@guest_262892)
4 days ago

Thank goodness I was wearing gloves and boots. The valve was broken so when I took off the cap to attach the hose, I had a flood of nastiness . Took half an hour and a quart of bleach to clean dump site. Thankfully no one else was waiting

Larry (@guest_259034)
1 month ago

Until today I could say “No”, but now I have a story I have not previously heard of. Been using my expandable brown sewer hose for several years at pretty much the same length plus or minus. Today I parked farther away from the sewer opening than usual so had to expand the hose out a lot. After properly connecting both ends, I gave it the usual burst of gray water. Then I saw a resulting burst of gray water coming out the bottom of the hose midway along its length. Visual inspection revealed several slits crossways of the hose where the expansion process had cracked through. Had to use the longer, backup hose to complete the job. This confirmed my habit of carrying backup items.

Bill (@guest_258823)
1 month ago

We were in a campground with electric and water at the site and a dump station on the road that ran around the camping loop. We were expecting friends for dinner, and the tanks were close to full, so I moved to the dump station to make sure we could accommodate the company and clean-up after dinner. I checked the connections, pulled the black water valve, the contents rushed out, and the hose came apart. It wasn’t that old, but it had become brittle. I closed the valve, used the longer hose I carried to finish dumping, and moved the RV back to my site, then went back to hose down the dump station and adjacent road to clean up my mess. I had just begun when our company arrived.

Andrea (@guest_258812)
1 month ago

We stored our first sewer hose in the back bumper on our 17′ TT. About the second or third time we dumped, we realized there were a few pinholes along the hose.Turned out that a) our bumper was just large enough for that basic level hose, so it scraped in places, and b) the basic hose was just that. As soon as we got home we did some research & shopping, adding a Valterra PVC hose carrier and buying a better quality hose. That lasted a few years before one of the couplers became intermittently obstinate.

Don N (@guest_258796)
1 month ago

[added because of space limit] It also did $10,000 plus damage to my motorhome.

Don N (@guest_258795)
1 month ago

We were at an RV Park at winter time. I had hooked up two water hoses. One for my black tank cleaner. The park maintenance crew were wrapping insulation on the water pipes. When they finished, they turned the black water “Y” side on. We were in the rec room when I got word black water was coming out the top of my motorhome and running down the street. I got the valve closed and pulled the dump valve. I went to the office and insisted the guys come back and clean my motorhome and the street. On that same trip as I had my turn signals on a guy thought he could get by me on my right. WRONG. He saw he would not get past me and pulled his parking brake and went sideways and I totaled his Honda.

Rich (@guest_258786)
1 month ago

No, but the dump site tank at the park we were staying at had a blockage and when I started to dump the an overflow occurred immediately. I was able to close our valve and did avoid the pool of gunk. I notified the office and we went on our way. I dumped the tank at the next stop using an extra hose we carried.

SherKen (@guest_258777)
1 month ago

Yes, 1 time on our second tank. We were very fortunate because we were doing the normal routine for the first time on the second tank and we used it ONE TIME. Yet, still an awful experience with the spillage! Our release valve was broken inside the captured area and it was our first time! We returned to our Boondocking spot without emptying it out completely because it wasn’t coming out the hose. It was a Sunday.
We called a remote traveling RV Tech, told them our problem and he came to us a day later and had all the parts. Easy fix without a mess, surprisingly. Thank goodness for the Experienced RV Techs. Our experience happened 4 years ago and we have not had any further problems.

Greg (@guest_258763)
1 month ago

Never had this problem because I don’t have a sewer hose or a holding tank. Don’t want one! YUCK!

Roy (@guest_258750)
1 month ago

There is a saying among full-timers that goes, “If you have never had an issue dumping tanks, you will”. We had a sewer hose blow apart but it was my own fault because I knew it was old end needed replaced. It had started to become stiff, a clear sign it was dried out.

Last edited 1 month ago by Roy
Tim Bear (@guest_258746)
1 month ago

Not to me, but here’s a cautionary tale: A friend was in a SKP park for a few days, weathering a blustery storm. The first clear morning, came a knock on the door. The visitor was warning everybody in the park that the storm included hail, as he only discovered when he dumped the next morning, horrified to see that his sewer hose was sprouting ‘water’ like a lawn sprinkler hose.

Drew (@guest_258738)
1 month ago

It was my own fault. I didn’t look at the bayonet fitting on the sewer hose before I connected it. I later found it had a piece of t.p. lodged across one of the lugs- preventing a good seal. A real mess in the wet bay.

Robert S. (@guest_258728)
1 month ago

Thats why I have always carried a gallon of bleach, if it can happen, it will happen!

Uncle Swags (@guest_258710)
1 month ago

See my other comment.

bull (@guest_258704)
1 month ago

Impossible to happen on my 1957 Avion R20.

The original toilet drops straight through to the ground!

Jim Knoch (@guest_258689)
1 month ago

Oh Yes! I did my usual visual check on the hose & connections with a small amount of grey water. All seemed fine until I pulled the black tank dump valve there was a pin hole in the top side of the hose hose which produced a geyser that nearly hit me in the face! Luckily my old body’s reflexes were good enough to dodge it and close the valve. I used some plastic gorilla tape to cover the pinhole and finished the dump and site sanitation with bleach. Now I have a new Rhino Extreme hose system so hopefully no more geysers!

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse (@guest_258669)
1 month ago

No option for “user error”

Chuck B (@guest_258668)
1 month ago

Oh yeh, bad connections happen. As a result I have built in a step in our tank pump routine. I ALWAYS pull the grey water valve for several seconds to check everything before I start to empty the black tank. As simple as connections appear, stuff happens and I do not want bad stuff all over!

Kurt Shoemaker Sr (@guest_258641)
1 month ago

Coincidentally, the night before I was going to head for home I heard an odd noise during the night. The next morning I went to dump and found that a plastic strap used to support the gray and black discharge pipe had snapped. The weight pulled a couple of screws out of the plastic and the pipes dropped to the ground. Fortunately there was a hardware store close by and we were able to get things replaced and put back where they belonged. It could have been a real mess.

Mike Forsyth (@guest_258633)
1 month ago

We had a black tank valve that the rod actually broke from the blade. We had a full tank and tried to get it to dump with no progress. Ended up bringing it home. We have a raised cap on our septic system and used a big shop vac with long hose though the window through the toilet and emptied 40 gals of sewage. Dropped the corruplast (sp) and replaced the valve during a November snowstorm in Michigan. Last time we camped into late October.

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