Drain Master 3″ Electric Waste Valves

You Might Be Missing a Step When Winterizing Your Holding Tanks

Most RV’ers know that it’s essential to empty and clean your grey and black holding tanks when storing your RV for the winter months. You’re probably also aware that you should put some RV Antifreeze in your holding tanks, since you can’t be sure that there isn’t some water left.  A question we are asked a lot is “Should I leave my valves open or closed when storing my RV?”  The valves should be left in the open position which allows the seals to be in a relaxed position over the winter as opposed to pressing on the gate, causing a potential for stiction.

Have questions about winterizing the rest of your RV?  Check out this article from The RV Doctor.

Can Dumping Your Holding Tanks be a Breeze?

If you’re a seasoned RV’er, you’re all too familiar with leaky fittings, sewer hose pin holes, broken valve handles and the challenging task of trying to make sure the hose stays in the sewer inlet. And how about the occasional sewer smell in your RV?  These are the parts of  the RV’ing lifestyle that the salesman didn’t make any mention of, when you purchased your RV.   And doesn’t it seem that in this day and age of technology, there would be a better way?  Read on to hear what Gary Bunzer, The RV Doctor has to say about the issue.  You’ll find some great tips and products that just might have you looking forward to dumping your holding tanks.

Click here to read the article.

*please note, the Polychute sewer hose which is featured in this article,  is no longer available.

Check out this blog by a fellow RVer and Drain Master customer

Erik has his own blog http://www.eriksrantz.blogspot.com/  and he, like the rest of us have expectations when dealing with businesses. You can read the whole article on his site, but I thought it worth posting what Erik has to say about us as well as other companies, that believe that “The customer is king” without our customers, no one has a job! We love to help RVers solve waste managment issues and in the process hope they find our products worth purchasing. Thank you Erik for putting our site on your list of sites to visit.

Here are a list of some sites that I’ll also put on the side that I have found helpful in diagnosing the various maladies I have had to re-fix after the dealer failed to do so. For the forums, if you’re new to RVing visit the beginner section of the forums, they are a great way to discuss this lifestyle!

 – http://www.rvdoctor.com a great resource site and he has videos that explain many fixes for free.

 – http://blog.drainmaster.com/ I have learned a lot about drains and RV tank venting from this site. When I need to do some upgrades it looks like they have some great products to do the job. Not sure about how to properly dump your tanks? They have a great article about that right here.

            http://www.rvlinks.com/ The title says it all!

RV Advice Links – http://www.rvadvice.com/rvlinks.html, there are a lot of links on this site for many things that concern RV’ers.

 – http://www.irv2.com A great forum for help!

Adding a Second Switch Inside Your RV for Drain Master Electric Valve

Over time and talking to our customers it became evident that we needed to develop a simple system for our customers, without a lot of electrical background, to install a second switch in the living space of the RV. Folks are beginning to understand the importance of keeping the gray valve closed and only open when the tank is 2/3rds full. Putting a second switch inside the RV makes it simple to empty the tank with a push of a button after, washing clothes or taking a shower.

We standardized on the Mate N Lock style 4 pin flat plugs many years ago.

Every valve we sell for use in RVs has this plug on the valve, unless the RV mfg. specifically ordered valves  without them.  We then offer a number of extension cables that plug into the valve and go to the operator switch wire harness so it is a simple matter of plugging each one together.

 Here is a diagram that illustrates how everything plugs together.

Like this idea?

Click here to order the Wye harness and extension cables.

Still have questions on how to do this or what to order?  Just give us a call. (877) 787-8833

Does Dumping the Black Tank 1st & the Gray Second, Clean the Hose?

Every RVer knows that dumping the Black water, then the Gray water is to insure any residual Black water will be flushed down with the Gray water—but is this really true?

Actually it is, providing your Gray water dump valve and drain piping is 3″. Unfortunately many RV manufacturers still use 1.5″ piping and valves on the Gray water tank outlets. What actually happens in this case, is that only a very small portion of the inside of the sewer hose is cleaned.  Probably looking a lot more like this

But this theory of dumping the gray water second, assumes that the water flow goes a little more like this

To get maximum hose flushing action, the Gray water exit valve and piping needs to be 3″.

Here are the reasons:

1. It takes 2.56 times longer to empty a 35 gallon tank through an 1.5″ hole than it does with

a 3″ hole.

2. With the overall flow slowed so much, the water doesnt rush down the hose as it should,

cleaning the whole interior of the hose.

3.  As your Gray tank fills, a scum forms on the top of the water, generated from soap, oils,

shampoo, toothpaste etc. When the valve is opened, the faster the water exits, the

more it creats a whirlpool sucking the scum out. This action is minimal to non existant

through a 1.5″ hole.

Converting your existing system from 1.5″ to 3″ on the Gray tanks can only be done if the Gray holsing tank has a 3″ collar with a 3″ to 1.5″ reducer in it. You will be able to tell by looking at it. The first sign is, there is a band clamp around the tank collar.

Second is some white looking paste around the fitting area where the reducer was inserted. This material doesnt ever harden fully, so you can loosen the band clamp and by moving the reducer back and forth with pulling pressure on it and a little patience the reducer will come out. If your tank has a 1.5″ tank collar you are better off aborting the project.

If and when you look for a new RV, make sure you look to see the plumbing system detail, it is the area you do not like to go near, so be sure to check this area out before you buy. The devil is in the details and most folks buy the bling first, then are stuck with the issues that they didnt look for in the first place.

For some great holding tank tips, be sure you have requested our 7 Essential RV Holding Tank Tips

Ever Get Sewer Gas Smell from Time to Time Inside your RV

If you have ever experienced that unmistakable smell inside your RV, you absolutely know it is not supposed to be there EVER! Why it came into the living space of your coach is in all probability for one or two reasons. If you have been travelling down the road when you smell it or enter the coach when you stop, the possible problem is water has escaped out of one of the P-traps in your sink or shower, breaking the “water seal” created in the P-trap and allowing the sewer gases back into the living space of the RV.

The other possibility is that the holding tank roof vent allowed the outside air to enter the vent stack, creating a positive air pressure in the holding tank and the air is seeping into the living space through a poor seal somewhere.

With our most recent partnership with 360 Products Inc. we are in a position to help eliminate sewer odors in your RV once and for all, guaranteed. As you may already be aware, we sell the HepvO waterless P-trap which eliminates the issue of water spilling out of the traditional P-trap, however, if you have positive air pressure in the vent system, the potential for sewer gases to permeate the living space still exists.

We have looked in the past at carrying a roof vent but any of the units that worked required moving parts. The first on the market to address this problem was the 360 Shark Fin that turns in the breeze, causing a negative pressure in the vent stack and holding tanks. It’s popularity with consumers caught the eye of a couple of companies known in the RV Industry for “knocking off” good products and two more appeared on the market. The original inventor of the 360 Shark Fin knew this device had limitations, and his goal was to make a product with no moving parts that was very low profile and would never allow a negative pressure in the vent stack, under any wind condition. Five years in development and hundreds of models tested, the perfect unit emerged and they could not make it fail in any of the test labs it was sent to!

We are proud to be partnered with 360 Products Inc. and with the 360 Siphon added to our waste management product family, we feel all our products are designed to make your RVing experience uneventful when it comes to dealing with human waste issues.

Creative Ways to Install Drain Master in the Proper Position

We have talked about valve positioning in the past and most manual valve failures can be contributed solely to the position the valve body is in, in relation to the pipe it is located in. Keeping the valve body over the piping, as opposed to beside or under the piping, is the key to long term reliability and performance.

 

This sounds simple, but in reality, once the RV is designed, built and sold to the consumer, the task of repositioning becomes a separate challenge. You will find that most of the time, a workable solution can be found. In rare cases, you are stuck with the existing configuration with no recourse, even if you replumb the whole system starting at the holding tank outlets.

Increasing the gray tank outlet

Most RV manufacturers buy their holding tanks with an 1.5″ reducer in a 3″ hole on the tank for the gray water. This reducer can be removed in most cases.  By having the gray tank outlet 3″, you will get the actual water flow necessary to remove the scum build up on top of the water as the gray tank fills. If this is possible, you should definitely do it!

Imagine your holding tank (pictured below),outlet(s), and begin here.

First make sure you can remove the reducer in the gray tank(s). If not, you will need to look at alternates (described later) then see if you have 6 to 8 inches above both tank outlets. If so, the valves should be mounted as close to the tank as possible (see pic below), to prevent solids from building in the pipe, between the tank and the valve face, causing a cork.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you do not have the room, come out until you have the overhead room to mount the valves over the pipe in their respective flanges. Now plumbing to the side of the coach where you connect the sewer hose becomes pretty simple—in most cases.

Alternative– 1.5″ tank outlets mean you will need to continue with the in 1.5″ pipe from the holding tank and use a reducer on the tank side of the valve, then increase the  pipe size to 3″. If not, you will have to plumb the rest of the way with the existing pipe and termination assembly.

Our goal is to make dumping your holding tanks uneventful and as efficient as possible. We highly recommend reading our “First in Last out” rules of dumping your tanks. If all RVers used this method we would eliminate ground water contamination between the RV site and the sewer inlet, a common issue at parks with full hook ups. Be an environmentally friendly RVer!

We are happy to work with our customers on these types of issues, so please feel free to contact us 877 787-8833 toll free with any of your questions.

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.

   The 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 a plugged black tank 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!

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.

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?

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?

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.

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

3 Ways to Prevent a Plugged Black Water Holding Tank

As anyone who has experienced a plugged holding 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 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.

2. 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.

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 black tank!

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.

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?  We welcome them here in the comments section below.