Plumbing Issues Part Deux

A day at River Song
River Song. Because photos of plumbing issues are gross!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

After I returned from my conference last week, I went ahead and emptied my black water tank. The tank contents and a Commando pod had had almost a week to ferment. According to the instructions on the Commando packet, the chemical should clean a tank in 12 hours. So, five or six days should leave it squeaky clean, right?

I pulled the tank lever and listened as the contents whooshed down the sewer hose into the drain in the ground. Looked good! I could see the waste through the clear hose elbow; the water looked like tea, but I didn’t see a lot of paper. I guessed the Commando would have broken down the paper, so I wasn’t surprised.

Looking down riverAfter flushing the tank, I decided to fill it again and flush it with clean water. I poured in about three gallons of fresh water, and then grabbed a flashlight to peer into the tank through the toilet.

The toilet paper wad from last week was still there, waving to me like white pond fronds.

The Commando had not broken it down.


I tossed in another Commando pod and decided to let it ferment for another week. Surely, that would do the trick!

Which brings me to today, now a week later.

Looking toward one of my beloved cedar treesI pulled the lever to empty the black water tank. Again, water whooshed out, and the tank emptied really fast. Like, within thirty seconds.

I grabbed my flashlight again and peered into the tank through the toilet. The tank was still full of water. It should be empty. The sensor confirms the tank is full.

Oh, shit. Literally! The tank is clogged.

I went back outside and shook the sewer hose. It was light and flexible. Clearly, the clog wasn’t in the sewer hose. It had to be between the tank and the lever.

I don’t know how to fix this. The tank is still full of Commando; I don’t want to add another chemical in case they react with each other.


This story will have a part trois. Hopefully, it will be the last part.

I will have to research this. For now, I left the lever open, hoping the Commando and gravity will work together to free the clog.

Another photo taken at River Song todayUpdate: After about two hours, the black water tank has drained a bit. The sensor now says the tank is 3/4 full. I dropped in another Commando pod earlier; I figured two pods wouldn’t hurt. If the tank continues to drain, then I can, at least, continue using the toilet.

If all else fails, I can let the tank drain completely, and then try to unclog it from the lever underneath. Not the best option, but the last option.