Cleaning your RV’s Grey Water Tank

There’s a lot of upkeep that goes into your RV in order to ensure it’s going to continue to run the way you want it to run for years and years. This can vary greatly depending on the RV style and model you get, but most RVs come with their own plumbing system which is going to need a little more upkeep than your plumbing system at home.

One area you might not be as aware of is your grey water tank. Like the rest of your water supply system, your grey water tank plays a major role in keeping your camping experience comfortable, and a little bit of maintenance can prevent a big mess.

To help you at least cover the basics, Wisconsin RV World has provided some grey tank cleaning tips. If you find your water supply system needs more technical help, contact our service department so we can get you back on the road in no time. We’re in Madison, Wisconsin, near Green Bay and Milwaukee.

What is a Grey Water Tank?

Let’s start with making sure everyone is on the same page. Your plumbing system is a complex series of pipes and tanks. Everything starts in the freshwater tank, where the water you use comes from. Then, after you’ve used the water, it can go one of two places. Anything that goes down the toilet goes into the black water tank. Everything else goes in the grey water tank. This includes sink water, shower water, and any dirty water from appliances. It’s certainly not sewage, but over time it can build up and become stinky. There are chemicals that keep the odor out, but you’re still going to need to pay your dues and dump and clean the tank periodically.

Dumping the Tank

More often than cleaning it, you’ll want to dump your grey water tank. If you’re not hooked up to a dump site at your campground, then you’ll want to make sure this happens whenever the tank is “full,” meaning about 75%. Most RVs come with a gauge of some sort so you shouldn’t have to open the tank to see how full it is. Locate the nearest dump station and grab your hose. Before heading out, pour some dish detergent down the drain and letting hot water run through. Then start driving. The idea is to create a sudsy solution, so the movement of the RV will help slosh the soap around. When you arrive at the dump station, hook up your sewage hose to the tank and dump hole and open the tank valve. Let the tank drain and then add chemical treatment designed to prevent buildup.

Cleaning the Tank

Every once in a while, you’ll also want to take the opportunity to clean the tank. Without detaching the hose, let fresh water run down your drain to continuously flush it out. Add more chemical treatment and the tank should be fairly clean at this point. Clean up any spills you may have made before leaving the dump station.

If you’re cleaning all your tanks at once, consider starting with the black water tank, rather than the grey water tank. If you move from blackwater to grey water to freshwater, you’ll simultaneously clean the sewage hose. When you do finally disconnect your hose, make sure all tank valves are securely closed, as the methane they release is considered a pollutant.

Hopefully this gives you a place to start, since cleaning out your grey water tank should be high on your list of maintenance checks. It’s not going to be the most pleasant task, but it could certainly be much worse. If you’re still looking for the perfect RV to take your family traveling in, stop by Wisconsin RV World and we’ll help you find the perfect model. We welcome all current and future RV owners from Madison, Green Bay, and Milwaukee, WI.

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