Prevent Plugged Holding Tanks with the Biffy Bidet!

We have been carrying a product called the Biffy for the past 4 years and it is an attachment that turns any toilet into a Bidet. A bidet is used for personal hygiene and extremely popular in Europe and more and more in high end homes in the US and Canada, as we become a more global society. Stay tuned to see how this could be the solution you’re looking for regarding plugged holding tanks!

biffy bidet toilet - reduce plugged holding tanksThe Biffy Installed

History Behind the Product  No pun intended!

The reason we carry the Biffy is the result of a call from an RVer who spends a lot of time RVing in Mexico that is always trying to conserve on water and is big on recycling. He had had a problem with plugged holding tanks due to too much T/P in the toilet while conserving on water. He discovered the Biffy and thought even though it uses more water he and his wife would not need to put the T/P down the toilet.

The Biffy delivers a soft shower of fresh clean water to cleanse your bottom completely – in seconds. No other bidets or bathroom accessory works as well, Guaranteed!

adjust pressure for bidet with inset - reduce plugged holding tanks

What Happens When the Biffy is Operated

When you are sitting on a toilet seat your bottom is perfectly positioned for thorough bidet cleansing. The toilet seat supports your cheeks while your body weight presses down, spreading your cheeks apart and exposes your bottom parts to the cleansing rinse of the Biffy. In just a few seconds fresh water rinses your bottom completely, like a bidet, only much better for your body and your health.

What Happend in Our Family

We make absolutely sure any product we sell works as advertised, so the first unit was installed in my RV. My wife was very hesitant feeling the water would be too cold. I didn’t think so and finally she tried it. I was right (not often mind you) and she began to use the Biffy on a regular basis. We installed one in each of our bathrooms at home and as the rest of the family came over—and used the Biffy, they too had to have one as well.

The Benefits of Using the Biffy

The Biffy bidet doesn’t require manual dexterity or coordination and so it is perfect for disabled or elderly persons. Because the Biffy bidet cleans without touching, the chance for fecal contamination on hands, skin, clothing, and bathroom fixtures can be eliminated. The Biffy bidet also provides gentle, non irritating care for many other health problems including hemorrhoids, rashes, and postpartum care for new mothers.

Hemorrhoids, a problem irritated by toilet paper can be relieved with the use of the Biffy. The Biffy bidet easily cleans around hemorrhoids without manual contact or rubbing of any kind. It’s soothing rinse helps heal them. It’s gentle rectal stimulation also relieves constipation. The Biffy is good for your body.

It is also a very eco friendly option, dramatically reducing the amount of toilet paper a household or RVing family uses over a year.  Some studies have been done on just how much of an impact toilet paper production and usage costs and you would be surprised at the numbers.

If you would like to join the Biffy Revolution, call or order yours on line.
Say goodbye to plugged holding tanks and wave hello to a clean, cost-effective solution!

Not Happy with Cable Pull Valves? Electric Valves- A Better Solution

The RV industry standard dump valve found on most RVs, especially 5th wheels is a manual cable pull style, knife gate valve. Most people have issues with them within the first 6 months, and the first indication is when they remove the sewer cap to install the sewer hose, they get sewage all over their shoes! What a surprise! Electric valves are our preferred solution because they work and keep you clean!

sewer cap removal

What exactly happened? It turns out the valve design has a couple of short comings.

1. The Seal Gap. If you were to have the valve in hand, a new one, with the knife gate closed, and the 2 seals on either side of the gate, then opened it, you would notice a slight gap between the seals.

gap in valve - try electric valves

This gap will allow some water to get back into the body of the valve when it is in the open position. This water is contaminated.

2. The cable pull valve has to be mounted in the side of the piping, in the 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock position so the gate slides back and forth like a pocket door in a house. The contaminated water in the body has no place to go so it sits, dries out, leaving a scum in the track the gate slides in.

gate valve vs electric valves

Debris in Gate Valve

Usually there is no issue opening a cable pull, the issue is on closing. What happens is when the cable is pushed, it has to exert enough pressure on the gate to overcome the now sticky track that the gate slides in. When the gate does begin to move, it runs smack into the seals which have to spread, to allow the gate to pass to the closed position—which it doesn’t get to, before the pressure stops the gate and the cable flexes, instead of continuing its push.

When we discovered this issue years ago, we informed our customers about the problem and recommended the valve be mounted in the 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock position over the piping. The reason is quite simply, water flows downhill! Luckily, electric valves alleviate some of these problems by automating the process.

Let’s take a trip. The water inside the holding tanks builds pressure as it rises creating pressure on the gate of the valve. Most gate valves will withstand pressure equal to a 10 foot high column of water which creates 4 times the pressure any RV holding tank could produce, so pressure on the gate is not an issue.

THE TECHNICAL NITTY GRITTY

We all connect to the sewer inlet with the proper 3″ sewer hose, (we will address other methods later) and we push the button in our case, to open the valve. The water begins to push the air in the piping downstream of the valve, creating a back pressure (momentarlily PSI) which is short lived, but in time that water can get back into the valve body. Not a flood of water because there is air in the body already, but a few drops. Then all of a sudden the back pressure PSI turns into full flow GPM. At this point, if the valve is installed over the drain pipe, the water flowing past the seals creates a slight venturi action, which helps the water in the body run down and out the piping.

Back pressure creates the issue and full flow helps remove unwanted water from the body. If this can’t happen, the water stays in the body of the valve, allowing the contaminates in the water to settle in the small track the slide gate rides in. This causes the slide gate to stick, taking more pressure to open it, which in the case of the cable pull, causes it to flex instead of pushing the gate, so it doesn’t make it all the way closed. You get to experience the result of this when you remove the cap to put on your sewer hose.

If you’ve had enough of your cable pull valves, we can help! Electric valves are simple, easy, long-lasting.

Do you have a cable pull? Do you have electric valves? Leave a comment with your experience!

Dump Valve Size and Why we do not Make an 1.5″ Valve

Have you ever wondered why a lot of RVs use a small 1.5″ valve on the gray water tanks? We spent considerable time asking RV manufacturers that question a number of years ago while in the process of designing a true 12vdc electric dump valve. (Prior to this all other electric valves were not really electric valves—they were manual dump valve actuators.

We got a number of answers including;

1. It costs less for both the valve and the pipe and parts.

2. The gray water doesn’t have solids so a smaller pipe and valve works fine.

3. So the customer knows which valve does what.

4. Because we always have.

At first this sounded reasonable but the high cost of tooling to create injection molded parts and not being convinced a 1.5″ valve on the gray water tank was correct, we did further testing. We found first and foremost using a 35 gallon tank, it took 2.56 times longer to dump the tank through a 1.5″ valve than it did through a 3″ valve!  The thought occured to me as an RVer; why would the manufacturer want to keep its customer in a place they do not want to be for longer than they need to be?

DO YOU WANT TO WAIT FOR THIS?

slow drip hose - gray water

As an RVer I know that all of us dump the black first and the gray second, so we clean the inside of the hose. The problem is that when it is done using 1.5″ piping, the water running down the hose is a trickle not a flood, as it is with 3″ plumbing. We also noticed that as the water drained slowly through the 1.5″ pipe the scum that forms on the top of the gray water adheres to the sidewalls of the tank, much more so than it does when using 3″ pipe. In addition the whirlpool or tornadic effect inside the tank pulls the scum out much better as it exits the tank. With an 1.5″ valve this action is almost undetectable.

OR WAIT FOR THIS?

water rushing onto rocks - gray water

The decision to not spend the tooling money to create a valve that didn’t have any advantage to the customer, became pretty easy.

What to do? Educate the RV manufacturers on our findings and provide a reducer flange so folks wanting to retrofit their existing RV could do so.

reducer flange small

We designed the flange so it will fit into an 1.5″ pipe easily, see directions HERE

If you have any questions, as always we are here to assist you, whether you want to switch from 1 1/2 to 3″ or completely redo your waste configuration, click the button below to see how we can help, call 877 787 8833 toll free or email us info@drainmaster.com

www.drainmaster.com/main

3 Ways to Prevent a Plugged Black Water Holding Tank

As anyone who has experienced a plugged tank will attest, it is not fun and can be extremely difficult to clear without making a big mess!

To prevent you from ever having to experience this unfortunate situation (or other black holding tank issues) you will need to remember 3 key things.

1. Use lots of water!

People don’t seem to realize that they should use more water than the volume of water used during the flush cycle. A good rule of thumb is to fill the bowl a second time and dump it, to insure you are using enough water. This is just one way to avoid a plugged tank.

bucket of water2. Do not use Toilet Paper in the toilet!

Sounds a little bizarre but you have a couple of choices. Boat owners have always had a waste basket beside the toilet and they fold the paper after use and put it in the basket. Their motto is, if it has not been in your mouth it does not go in the toilet. A second way to do this is much more appealing (at least to me).  Add a bidet to your toilet. We carry such a device called the Biffy. This eliminates any possibility of odors, and is actually better for you. The toilet paper is used simply as a drying device, cutting the volume of toilet paper in your holding tanks dramatically.

biffy bidet - prevent plugged tank

3. Keep an eye on the Grandkids.

It turns out that kids seem to like putting toys, or cats, where they do not belong. I can’t think of a less desirable find than a fuzzy cat as the culprit of a plugged tank!cat in toilet

The other, more common than you would think, culprit that you have no control over, is the RV manufacturer leaving plastic plugs from the hole saw, used to penetrate the tank for input plumbing from the sinks, shower etc., and of course the roof vent which goes on both the black and gray water tanks. This is an example of a hole saw plug.

plastic piece plugging tank - plugged tank

As always, common sense applies when using your RV and if it doesn’t feel good it probably needs investigating.

Do you have a suggestions to add? Any plugged tank stories to share? We welcome them here in the comments section below.