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The Black Water Holding Tank Valve On Our RV Is Stuck Closed

by Tim
(Nashua, NH)

The Black Water Holding Tank Valve On Our RV Is Stuck Closed

The Black Water Holding Tank Valve On Our RV Is Stuck Closed

The Black Water Holding Tank Valve On Our RV Is Stuck Closed
The Black Water Holding Tank Valve On Our RV Is Stuck Closed

The black water tank valve is stuck and I can't get it open. I have tried to flush it out with water to see if it would loosen the valve and open but no such luck. Any suggestions?

ANSWER: Greetings Tim thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Well I am sure that you are not happy with this situation. I am hoping that you are hooked up to a sewer. Whether you get the RV Waste Valve open or not it sounds like it is time to replace it. Luckily they are not that expensive or that hard to install.

Leave your RV repair bills to us—Good Sam Extended Service Plan

If your Black Water Tank does have water in it, I would try dumping a whole bottle of original liquid Dawn Detergent In the holding tank and let it sit for a while. You would be amazed at how much crud that Dawn breaks up. It could also act as a lubricant if it reaches the valve.

You do not tell me whether you have a motorhome or a trailer, but if you are willing to drive the motorhome or pull the trailer around a little bit I have another suggestion for you. Dump the bottle of liquid Dawn down the toilet and get the motorhome or trailer ready to hit the road and right before you leave dump about 10 to 20 pounds of bagged ice down the toilet.

This way while you are going down the road the ice cubes will rattle around in the tank also stirring around the liquid Dawn and this may be enough to free up whatever debris is keeping the sewer valve from opening. I know this all sounds kind of stupid, but it works and once you get the tank dumped it will be nice and clean.

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Once you are done with your little road trip you will need to hook back up to the sewer and try to open the RV Waste Valve again. You may have to pull real hard to get it open. I cannot tell you how hard to pull. Prior to pulling on it, you might want to tap the handle of the waste valve with a hammer and the vibration from that tapping may also help free it up. I cannot tell you how hard to tap it, but I know that right about now you may be ready to turn a tap into a real hard overhead swing with the hammer, so you may have to use a little bit of restraint when you get to this part of the process.

If after all the agitating, flushing, hammering and pulling the valve still does not free-up you may have to take your RV in to have it repaired by a Qualified RV Technician or you can check in your area to see if there is a mobile RV service that can come to you to perform the repair.

I hope that one of the solutions above work for you.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for The Black Water Holding Tank Valve On Our RV Is Stuck Closed

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HANDLE BROKE OFF THE VALVE, TANK FULL. HELP
by: Anonymous

LDF PLEASE COME BACK HERE IF YOU CAN HELP.

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Valve seems to be stuck closed
by: DeeAnn

I ended up calling my RV Repair man and he drilled a hole thru the pvc pipe I had going to the septic tank and snaked the black water tank. Paper had clung to the valve and kept it from closing tight. He said to always rinse the tank really well each time it was emptied and to keep a lot of water flow at all times when flushing. Solids had built up inside blocking the opening. It was quite embarrassing but has never happened again. Sometimes you just have to call for help :)
Good luck to all!

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Building tiny house
by: Tj

My black tank was clogged and this method helped me fix it 100%. Thank you!

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Black tank
by: Anonymous

I went to open my black tank and the handle pulled all the way out. Is it something I could do or not? Thanks

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it works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by: Sam

so our cable was REALLY tight...we were afraid we were going to have to cut into the underbelly and replace it....we tried this first and OMG the cable works as good as new!

BTW we used generic soap from Dollar Store and it worked (didn't have any Dawn)

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BROKEN HANDLE
by: Anonymous

I TRIED TO EMPTY MY BLACK WATER TANK AND THE HANDLE PULLED RIGHT OFF. I AM HOOKED UP TO A SEWER BUT NOTHING CAME OUT. I TRIED TO PUT THE HANDLE BACK IN AND IT WOULDN'T GO. I WAS GIVING THE TANK A CLEANING TREATMENT SO I KNOW IT IS FULL. HELP.
THE CAMPGOUND I'M IN IS SEASONAL BUT THEY CAN'T HELP ME. I AM CALLING RV DEALERS RIGHT NOW. I CAN'T
DRIVE IT ANYWHERE. MY TRAILER IS IN A PERMANENT SITE. AGAIN HELP

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my cable actuator broke
by: Anonymous

my handle wasnt stuck like the others ...the cable broke when I tried to open the black water...now I don't know how to empty it. I can't find any specs on how to replace it. mine is on an 04 mobile suite...its in the underneath compartment...so I cant let the black water pour out under there...help!

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stuck black water valve
by: Anonymous

my black water tank valve was stuck shut. I used your trick with dawn and it worked like a charm. thank you.

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PENETRATING OIL
by: Anonymous

I USED BLASTER PENETRATING OIL ON THE VALVE AND LET IT SET FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS AND IT LOOSENED IT UP ENOUGH FOR ME TO OPEN THE DRAIN AND THEN I REPLACED THE VALVE.

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Valve seems to be stuck closed
by: DeeAnn

This has just happened to me. I am in hopes that the valve is just stuck and not bent or broken. I can push the lever in and pull it out but only a little water comes through. Maybe a few gallons a day. I am semi-permantly set up in my space so cannot hit the road, but will try the soap trick & see if it helps.
I took off the drain pipe outside (pvc instead of slinky hose) and pushed a piece of garden hose up the pipe toward the tank and hit a solid wall of metal or plastic. Then I tried the same method inside down into the blackwater tank. Same result. So even though the handle is pulled to open outside...the valve still seems to be closed.
Any more ideas?

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