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Why Do RV Toilets Clog?

Posted by Tank Techs on December 31, 2019

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It’s easy to unplug an RV toilet *IF* you truly know what is wrong and where the problem is. The good thing is that most of the time, RV toilet and tank clogs are some variation of a very common problem.

PYRAMID PLUG

Photo by Tanktechs.com
Photo by Tanktechs.com

This column of paper stacked below the pipe from the toilet remained in the holding tank AFTER the tank was cleaned after using a pressure washer at 3000 psi. The paper was hardened because of chemicals in the tank treatment used in the tank.

Simply put, RV toilets clog because there isn’t enough water in the tank. The problem likely began with toilet paper and solids stacking up in the tank until it got tall enough to block the toilet pipe. This is referred to as a “pyramid plug.”

When waste is flushed without plenty of water in the toilet bowl, the heavy solids drop down right below the pipe. Plop. When there isn’t much water in the tank, that pile of solid waste and toilet paper just sits there and when another bunch comes down the pipe, it lands on top and stays there. Plop. Eventually this pile gets tall enough to reach the pipe itself and restricts the batches of waste that come down the pipe and won’t let them into the tank at all.

Usually, you will go pull the valve and scratch your head because very little or nothing comes out of the tank. That’s because the tank hardly has anything in it and what is there is all in a nice tight pile right under the toilet.

HOW CAN IT BE PREVENTED?

  • Always, always, always fill the toilet with water BEFORE you flush.
  • Make sure the tank isn’t losing water due to an open or leaking valve.

WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A CLOG?

Check out “Unclogging an RV Toilet”

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