Just imagine you’re out somewhere in beautiful terrain, RVing with your family and having the time of your life. No worries to distract you, but out of nowhere, you find out your RV toilet bubbles when flushed! Yikes!
Now, what does this mean? Why would it happen? How to prevent it from happening? Lastly, how to handle the situation at hand?
Well, if you don’t want to experience your RV toilet bubbles when flushed! Then keep on reading. You may find answers to all your questions right here.
The Reason behind the RV Toilet Bubbles
The main reason behind your bubbling RV toilet is a blockage. RV toilet bubbles, when either the toilet drain or the black tank is blocked. RV toilet bubbles. The bubbling is often called burping by many RVers.
Let’s discuss each possible cause one by one.
Black Water Tank is Full
If you experience your RV toilet bubbling or burping, I would recommend you to check your black water tank, if you haven’t drained it for quite some time.
It needs to let out the air in the form of bubbles, after getting more water from the toilet flush.
Action to Take
If your black water tank is full, the first thing you need to do is drain your container in the black water drainage facility of your campground.
A full black tank may lead to reverse overflow in rare circumstances. You don’t want that to happen.
It’s probably best to understand the early signs and take corrective actions immediately.
Clogged Drain Pipe
Another reason behind those bubbles could be the blocked drainpipe. It’s the pipe connection between the toilet’s drain to the black water tank.
If due to any reason the drainpipe clogs, you may find your toilet bubbling upon flushing. Anything can cause this blockage. It can be solid waste residue or tissue paper sticking to the wall of the pipe.
Since the water pressure is not that high upon every flush, a building clog may continue to strengthen.
Action to Take
If you find the first reason mentioned above is not the case, checking the second option should be your next step. If and when you see your drain pipe clogged, I would recommend you to unclog it at the earliest.
Few effective tried and tested ways are as follows:
- You can use an RV black water tank cleaning wand to unclog the pipe. The wand runs deep into the tank, on its way down, it may take every blockage with it to the tank.
The multi-directional water nozzle sprays water with high pressure and effectively cleans both the drain pipe and the tank.
- Another effective way to unclog your drain pipe is by pouring two to four pots of boiling water down the drain. It effectively takes all the debris clogging the drainpipe down the black water tank.
Many RVers swear by this remedy and find it very effective.
- Another effective way to unclog your drain pipe is by using septic unclogging chemicals specifically. It kills the bacteria along with unclogging the drain pipe.
Debris Piled up in the Bottom of the Black Water Tank
If you steer clear of the first three troubleshooting causes, suspecting debris pile up in the bottom of your black water tank could be your next step.
Sometimes, tissues or numerous other solid waste piles up at the bottom of the tank especially at the drain pipes opening where it hits the fan.
You cannot see it as it’s practically impossible to actually see it but you can take measures to unclog it, if you suspect such a case.
Action to Take
In case, you are suffering bubbles from your RV toilet due to piled up debris in your black water tank’s bottom. Here are a few actions you can take to unclog the blockage.
- As mentioned above, use a RV back water tank cleaning wand to unclog the debris at the opening of the drain pipe.
- Secondly, you can choose to pour a few pots of hot boiling water in the tank, let it sit there for a few hours. Maybe, drive around to cause some commotion, and then drain the tank.
Many RVers recommend and practice this remedy.
- Another effective way to unclog piled up debris from the base of your RV black water tank is pouring ice cubes through the drain of your toilet.
- Drive around for half an hour to cause the ice cubes to whack around the base and sidewalls of the RV black tank.
- Usually, the drift between ice cubes and stuck up debris results in the later to lose its place and float along with the ice cubes. You can then drain the tank and rinse it through clean water.
- Another popular way to remove debris from the base of RV black water tank is using septic unclogging chemicals.
- The right way to do it is by filling half of your tank with water. Pour in the chemicals, let it sit for some time, maybe drive a little and then drain the water.
- I would recommend you to rinse your tank thoroughly after every treatment to avoid any further damage.
Blocked Black Water Tank Vent
After ruling out the first three most common reasons to cause RV toilet bubbles, you need to check if the vent of your black water is clear.
As you know, on the roof of your camper, be it a motorhome, a travel trailer or a fifth wheel, there is a vent for your blackwater tank. The vent ensures hassle-free exit of air when you flush and fill in the black water tank some more.
Leaves, birds or many other factors may lead the vent to block. When the vent is blocked, there is no room for excessive air to escape through the vent.
As a result, it finds its exit through the drain of your RV toilet, causing the bubbles.
Action to Take
You can check the vent of your black water tank for any blockage. There may be piles of leaves stuck there causing it.
Moreover, a bird may decide to make a nest on your RV’s black water tank’s vent. Carefully remove it from there and clean the vent. You may need to check under the cap of the vent as well.
Make sure there is nothing blocking the vent, as you don’t want that entire foul odor in your RV.
If you are done ruling out all the above mentioned techniques to find out the cause behind the bubbles, the last thing you can try is checking the vacuum breaker.
It’s the attachment on the toilet valve to check the water from siphoning backward into your clean water system. It is responsible for preventing any mixing of clean and dirty water.
There may be a chance, the device is broken and causing the bubbles.
Action to Take
I would recommend you to check the vacuum breaker. If you find the device broken, replace it and check if the bubbling or burping of your RV toilet upon flushing is stopped.
Find a Professional
If you can’t figure out the root cause behind the bubbles, I would recommend you to find a professional and get it checked.
You cannot leave this issue unresolved or else it may lead to a much bigger problem.
Tips for Maintenance
I would recommend a few tips and preventive measures to all the fellow RVers reading my blog.
- Please make the maintenance of RV toilets your priority, if you don’t want any unwanted, untimely trouble during your vacation.
- Use cleaning treatments/ solutions to clean and maintain the black tank. It would prevent any build-up or clog at a very initial stage.
- These are not the usual toilets like the one in your house. Keep away anything that doesn’t belong to your RV toilet or black water tank. Few such things are diapers, towels, tissue paper not designed for RVs, and many other such things.
- I would recommend you to empty your RV black water tank more often. The more you do it, the more you kill any chance of overly filled tank or solid waste build-up.
- I would also recommend you to hook your black water drain pipe with the drainage facility only when you plan to empty your tank. A constant connection may lead to drainage of all the fluid while the solids stay behind causing a huge mess and a very messy blockage for you.
- Cleaning your RV black water tank is a must. You should regularly do the needful. Follow any of the techniques mentioned above to unclog the tank, as these are equally good and effective for black water tank’s cleaning.
- Keep an eye on the vent of your black water tank. Don’t let leaves, animal waste, or any such thing pile up there.
- Seek a professional’s help immediately if you find the matter’s out of your hand.
I hope you find the article helpful. After finding the causes and taking measures to reverse the damage through my tips and techniques, I’m sure your RV toilet won’t produce bubbles when flushed anymore.
However, if the remedies are not working for you, you may need professional assistance. Even if you’re away from any civilization or in the woods. Find one as soon as you can.