Did you know that an RV toilet can “burp”? It doesn’t sound like what we humans can do. But why does it burp, to begin with?
An RV toilet that burps is usually associated with a vent being unable to expel air. Typically, this is a regular occurrence if the black water tank is almost filled to capacity. When this happens, the pipe sticks originating from the vent have gone too far down. For this reason, the air may no longer escape from the vent itself.
At this point, you might already have the solution to this common problem. Obviously, it will be draining the black water tank and making sure it gets cleaned regularly. We will talk about why it happens and how you can stop this burping from happening. To learn this simple maintenance solution to a common RV toilet issue, keep reading.
Why Do RV Toilets Burp?
RV toilets have black water tanks hooked up to them. This, of course, handles all of your wastewater. The tank has a vent that will allow air to escape because the tank itself is enclosed most of the time. The vent will need to expel the air at all times rather than allow odors from the tank to leak inside the RV itself.
If the vent is obstructed, that’s when the toilet will begin to burp. Meanwhile, this is also a sign that the black water tank is almost filled to capacity. This is a common issue if you do not have an alert sensor on your tank like most modern RVs have.
The pipe sticks located inside the black tank will be so far down that they can also cover the opening of the pipes. If this is left unattended, you will be dealing with something much worse than a burp. You’re going to deal with water backup, which is pretty messy once it gets bad.
However, burping is not limited to this issue with an obstructed vent or a full tank. This can be due to a clog that may be occurring in the vent itself.
What Causes A Vent To Clog?
One of the common objects that can cause clogging is toilet paper. You could be flushing regular toilet paper in small amounts. And it can get to the point where some pieces of it can make their way up to the vents and get stuck there. Regardless of how full the tank is, the toilet can burp if there are obstructions in the vent itself. This will mean having to clean out the tank or unclog the obstruction using a toilet snake or a similar tool.
And this vent can only be accessed from the roof. So you’re going to need to swallow your pride, overcome your fear of heights (if any) for a bit, and do your best to unclog the vent in the safest way possible.
Fixing A Burping Toilet
Fixing the toilet can depend on a certain situation. For example, if the tank is close to full, then emptying it as soon as possible will be the best option. The more you put it off, the more disaster that you’re going to run into.
Be sure to flush the tank with clean water every time you empty it. The last thing you want is to retain a bunch of dried-up material that can cause clogs themselves. This is also known as ‘piling’.
If you allow ‘piling’ to happen, you will rob the tank of the precious space that it needs in order to hold the water. And that will mean more frequent dumping, which can be time-consuming. You would be better off traveling to your next destination as opposed to emptying the tank almost every single day.
Also, you want to check your tank on a regular basis for any debris. You’ll never know what you will find. If there is any debris present, flush it out with a good old-fashioned garden hose.
Safety Precautions Before You Unclog
Before you even perform maintenance and figure out the problem, it is important to take the necessary precautions. For example, you want to wear disposable gloves and other protective clothing before getting to work. That’s because you want to protect yourself from bacteria exposure that can cause illness (especially if it gets in contact with your skin). A face mask should also be part of your attire as well since you will probably be dealing with hazardous fumes and odors.
If your toilet does burp, then you know that is a sure sign of a problem. At this point, you want to investigate what is causing this. This can be due to a clog in your vent or it may be time to clean the black water tank before things become more of a problem.
Preventing your RV toilet from burping relies on one thing: simple maintenance. Make sure that your tank is cleaned when it needs to be and check your vents regularly for debris and cracks. The more you take good care of your tanks, pipes, and vents, the better.