How to Remove a Black Water Tank on an RVby Editorial Team
One feature that many RV owners find appealing about their RV is the ability to travel in a self-contained vehicle. A black water tank is one component that makes this possible. Black water tanks hold waste from the toilet until the waste can be flushed into an approved dumping station. When a black water tank fails, it can be removed and replaced like any other component on an RV. Most RV owners can accomplish this themselves with tools they usually carry on their RV.
Remove the RV toilet. Turn off the water source to the RV. Look at the rear of the toilet and disconnect the water hose. Use a screwdriver and adjustable wrench to remove the two nuts at the base of the toilet. Lift the toilet and place it out of the way. Firmly grasp the toilet flange and turn it clockwise for removal.
Depress the emergency brake pedal. Place chocks in front and behind the rear wheels. Climb on the roof of the RV. Use a screwdriver to disconnect the roof vent stack connection from the vent stack. Turn the vent stack pipe counterclockwise to unscrew it from the black water tank.
Climb down and slide under the RV. Identify any wiring that leads to either side of the black water tank. These wires are for sensors that are located in the tank and determine if the tank is full. Use a screwdriver to remove these wires.
Identify the dump valve at the bottom of the black water tank. This valve is used to empty the tank into an approved dump station. Use a screwdriver to remove the valve from the black water tank.
Identify the two metal straps or angle irons holding the black water tank in place. Place a floor jack under the black water tank. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the metal straps or angle irons in place. Lower the black water tank to the ground with the floor jack. Maneuver the tank to remove it from under the RV.
Keep the black water tank in one piece if at all possible during the removal process. Take the tank to RV supply center to buy an exact replica for replacement.
- If the vent stack does not unscrew, cut the vent stack inside the RV with a hacksaw. When replacing the black water tank, glue the vent stack back together at the cut seam.
Things You'll Need
- Rubber gloves
- Adjustable wrench
- Wheel chocks
- Floor jack
- Always wear rubber gloves when working with RV waste tanks.
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