Why Is My RV Black Tank Making A Gurgling Noise?

 Is your toilet making bubbly or gurgling noises? You may have many questions about your black water tank, such as long how it lasts or how to unfreeze it. For those who have had this issue, you should keep in mind that the gurgling may be heard from your toilet, however it is actually coming from the black holding tank beneath your toilet. There can be many reasons for this issue, but the most probable would be that the black tank’s vent is clogged or plugged. Proper air flow in required for your black water tank to stay ventilated, and when clogged it will result in bubbling and gurgling noises after flushing your RV toilet.

Gurgling coming from your toilet and/or black tank isn’t always a problem, sometimes it’s just a simple indication that your tank is ready to be dumped. Often bubbling or gurgling is due to a very full black holding tank that has no ventilation. If your tank is gurgling even after dumping, it is most probable that there is some kind of clog in your vent pipe. You should monitor this vent often for bird nests, critters, or any kind of debris that may be blocking air flow.

If you have recently dumped your black holding tank and your vent is not having issues, but you are still experiencing gurgling noises; it could be your black water tank has built up a dreaded “poop pyramid”. This is a common problem for many RV owners that choose to leave their black tank valve open. By doing this, liquid waste will drain out of the tank, leaving the solids to settle at the bottom and be difficult to remove from the tank as it forms into the pyramid.

While this is a frustrating problem, it can be easily solved by flushing water throughout the tank and adding some kind of solution to break down the pyramid making it easier to dump. To prevent this in the future, you should try to regularly flush out your black tank with water and keep your valve closed when you are not flushing or dumping the tanks. If your tanks will be sitting for a while and are unable to be dumped, you may choose to add some kind of septic system solution to break everything down.

Improper ventilation and poop pyramids would be the most common and likely reasons you are hearing gurgling coming from your black water tank. However, if the gurgling and bubbling is coming from your toilet, it could likely be because your toilet’s valve is either stuck or broken. The valve is the small flapper in the bottom of your toilet bowl that releases waste into your black water tank. If this valve gets stuck or broken it could result in water bubbling or gurgling due to lack of air flow.

Regardless of how handy you are around your RV, replacing your toilet’s valve is an easy fix that should stop your gurgling issue. You can usually find a valve replacement online or at a local hardware store and easily repair yourself. In some cases, if you have an older toilet, the toilet may need to be replaced as a whole because older models don’t have replacement parts for the valve. However in most cases, this is only for any RV toilet older than 2000.

Another problem that is related to your RV’s toilet would be that your toilet isn’t providing enough water when flushing. Sometimes if you aren’t using enough water to flush, waste can get stuck and clog the pipes. When the pipes are clogged, air flow can’t get through, causing gurgling and bubbling sounds to happen. By increasing the water amount and water pressure that occurs when you flush, you can help prevent these annoying sounds coming from your RV’s toilet.

As you can see, there could be many reasons you are hearing gurgling or bubbling noises in your RV. However one of the most simple explanations could simply be that it is time to empty your black water tank. If you are a single person or couple living in a RV, you can go several weeks before needing to empty the tank. If it has been awhile since you have dumped, gurgling could be a simple indication that is it time to empty the tank. While you should always be checking your valves and vents, this could be a simple explanation for your problem.

Continue reading to learn how you can easily unclog your RV’s black holding tank vent:

How Do You Unclog A RV Black Tank Vent?

If you have encountered gurgling or bubbling coming from your black water tank, it may be because your holding tank’s vent is clogged. When a vent is clogged, it prevents the needed air flow from entering the tank, which would be why you are experiencing the gurgling. There are several efficient ways you can go about unclogging your RV’s black water tank vent. However how you unclog the tank will depend on how clogged it is. One of the best ways to unclog would be by placing some kind of septic cleaner to break down the waste to where it can be flushed out.

Before doing anything, you should run plenty of water throughout the black tank to loosen everything and make sure the area is clean. Once everything is loose, it will become even easier to break down the blockage and unclog your vent. After you have done this, you can add your septic solution to break down the contents. This could take several hours, so some RV owners suggest doing this late in the day and letting it set over night, or perhaps even for an entire 24 hours.

You should make sure when running water through the pipes and tanks that are your connections are tightly together, as leaking could occur if anything is loose. When the plumbing of your RV is put together, it is often secured with a very poor quality glue. So you should double check all pipes and water lines before running water through the system. Keep in mind that it could take several flushing routines to release the blockage in your vent, so patience is necessary for this to be resolved.

Once you have flushed your system and/or used a septic system chemical to break down the blockage, you should chlorinate your black water tanks. This is super easy to do and helps with bad odors coming from your tank. Once you have done this, you should refill the tank to it’s required amount of water. While having blockage in your black water tank is irritating, it is very easy to fix for yourself.

Check out some of the awesome products to help you properly care for your RV’s black water holding tank:

Green Gobbler Septic Tank Treatment

Protect your septic tank with Green Gobbler Septic Saver. Using the most powerful bacteria and digestive enzymes available, Septic Saver digests grease, fats, oils, paper, and organic matter to keep your sewer line and septic tank clear. Check out this awesome septic tank cleaner you can use for your black water tank.

Camco 25ft Flex Black Water Tank Hose

This is a great flexible hose that is ideal for flushing black water, grey water, or tote tanks. This hose is long and will extend out 25 feet, which is a great length for your RV, fifth wheel, motorhome, or camper. Check out this awesome black water tank hose for flushing out the system.

Camco Permanent Pump Converter

If you are trying to pump and flush your black water tank and water lines in your RV, there is no tool you need more than this pump converter kit. This kit is great for winterizing, but is also great for moving around water or cleaning solutions. Check out this must have RV pump.

We hope this article helped you determine why your RV’s black water tank is gurgling. Sharing problems and solutions can make RV living so much easier. So if we didn’t include something that you have experienced, please leave a comment below to share with others. Until then, enjoy, be safe and have fun RVing!