Dumping Your Black Tank at Home? Yes it’s Possible!
So we’re staying at a friend’s house in the northeast for work. This place is beautiful, we have total privacy, access to a 50 amp electric service, water! Who could possibly want anything more??
We’ll if you’re like us you might want a sewer hookup. I know that’s a lot to ask for, especially when staying on a friend’s property. Let’s face it, it’s probably not going to happen unless your friends are big RVers and invested some money into their property for a very specific purpose.
So that is where the research started. We knew we were in need of a solution because Erik’s father’s house in New Hampshiredidn’t have a accessible sewer cleanout so the search was on for a solution. We were actually staying in Texas in an RV park with some friends when Erik noticed our friend’s had a much smaller hose to their sewer cleanout, almost the size of a garden hose. When we investigated we found that their RV had a macerator system installed which allowed them to dump through a much smaller diameter hose. We don’t get into the crazy details but let’s just say a macerator is similar to a garbage disposal, it chops everything up so that you can put items down the drain that normally wouldn’t fit…
Available on Amazon Prime
Once we understood the concept, we then started investigating if anyone had developed a bolt-on, portable solution that WORKED and had decent reviews.
That’s when we stumbled upon the Flojet Portable macerator. Here is a picture of the unit and a link to a seller on amazon who sells it through prime, free shipping. For the most part the reviews were good, the only major theme we saw in the reviews was that the manufacture was pretty clear that running the unit for over 10-15 minutes was not advised and would either burn out the motor or cause the unit to otherwise fail. Hmmm.. picture this… you’ve got your black tanks open, this thing hooked up and the motor fails.. If you have any experience dumping a black tank that should give you a nice visual in terms of quite possibly the worst possible scenario of things to happen. Sure you could close the black tank valve and disassemble everything but that wouldn’t be a pretty situation for you or your neighbors… OK OK! So we’ve determined this thing needs to be reliable right?
So then came investigating whether 10 minutes was enough time to dump our tanks. In our RV, we have a 50 gallon black tank. We couldn’t get a straight answer from most of the forums on how long that would take to dump. Unfortunately the time had come where we needed to wrap up our research and just take the plunge. Amazon accepts returns right? (oh man i’d hate to be the guy who manages the returns for these bad boys.. I digress…). So we took the plunge, made the purchase and also purchased a roll of marine grade 10 gauge hookup wire as well. Sure we didn’t need 100 feet, but Erik’s father wanted us to wire his RV for the macerator as well so it was a decent investment for us.
There isn’t a lot you need to do here to install this unit. Essentially you need to run a heavy 10 gauge hookup wire from your battery compartment directly to a convenient location near your black tank hookup. I didn’t put this in the video but i highly recommend you put a fuse between your battery and the potentially long run to your wet bay. This is because even if the pump isnt hooked up, those wires are still hot and if they fray or have another problem after years of use or an installation oversight you could have a fire on your hands. Always fuse wires less and 36 inches from your batteries in an easy to access location. Here is the circuit breaker we used since we hate buying replacement fuses. Yes 30 bucks is steep but do you want to run out of the store to find fuses half way through a black tank cleanout? Nope!
Once you run your hookup wire (make sure to run it before you connect it to the battery!) you’ll want to attach the included plug to your wire. This will allow you to quickly connect/disconnect the macerator when in use or when stored. We solder all of our connections but a good butt connector and some electrical tape from the autoparts store would work as well in a pinch.Our coach has a raised rail chassis, what that means is we have lots of pass-throughs and easy access to run wires from our battery compartment to our wet bay where our black tank hookups are located. Every installation is different so if you’re going to try this plan your wiring route before you start, or have a dealer or shop help you out. Make sure to steer clear of any moving parts or parts that get hot and could melt your wires, especially if your routing the wires on the exterior of your coach.
What Else Do I Need?
That’s it for the install, we are ready to go with the exception of needing a good quality hose. If you’re not pumping uphill you can go between 75-100 feet in my opinion. We opted for a 3/4 inch hose. Be careful, most cheap hoses are 1/2 inch and that is a very small diameter
if you’re going any amount of distance. That will slow things down and make your pump work harder. We picked our hose at home depot, its contractor grade, had great ends on it but we also found it here on amazon with free shipping. You may want to get another hose to hookup to the cleanout valve. We explain more on how that works in our video above. For us we already had a tank cleanout hose so we were in business without having to buy a second hose.
So did it work?
The good news is after taking the plunge and buying the product we can safely say it takes less than 5 minutes for this little guy to completely empty our black tank. The motor does get hot for sure but it seems well within its tolerances. We’ve only used it now about 10 times but every time it works and works great. We love the carrying case and the trigger switch is nice so that you don’t have to be down on your hands and knees throughout the entire process. We go into quite a bit more detail on the actual process of using the unit in our video at the top of this post so make sure to check that out too.
Thanks for checking in and make sure to comment or share your experiences or questions!