Thursday, November 25, 2010
A Load of Crap or Tales from the Shitter
During my three-month absence this summer the seals (flange, plumber's wax, whatever) dried out and so the toilet leaked. Some ugly rusty looking substance oozed from the base. I feared it was a dead mouse but hoped it was just the toilet parts rusting away. I couldn't bear to look so I hired Jose to do the dirty work. Then I went to visit with Edgar.
When I returned the job was nearly complete. Jose had so throughly scrubbed all parts of the toilet that it was gleaming white. (I think its true color is cream. Oh well.) Jose said, "I am so happy with this job that I will give you a year's guarantee." Great because he re-seated it at a slight angle and now the linen closet door doesn't have room to open. A minor problem.
But Charlotte's was a major problem.
When Jose poured her concrete patio (see how diverse his skills!) he noticed a foul smell from under her trailer and saw a sewage leak. The day after my job he went to tackle hers.
RV LESSON: The black tank.
The consensus in the RV world is to keep the valve closed on the black tank and then empty the contents when needed. For you non-RVers, the black tank sits under the toilet, like a Port-a-Potty. Keeping the valve open requires lots of water to keep the contents of the tank flushed. Charlotte always kept her valve open until one day at happy hour the men convinced her to close it. So she did. But then she never opened it. She thought she did. She said she grabbed onto three valve handles and pulled but apparently she was missing the black tank valve.
According to Jose - who took pictures and a video! - the amount of shit in the toilet was so massive that the gasses were causing the sides of the tank to expand. Holy Crap Batman! Why didn't Charlotte know it was accumulating? I mean, it's pretty obvious when the tank needs to be emptied because you'll go to flush and the waste rises into the toilet bowl. (Sorry to be so graphic). Our guess ("our" is everyone at happy hour as this was quite a topic of conversation) is that the fluids in Charlotte's black tank were oozing out leaving the solids which built and built and built.
So there you go, finally a valuable RV lesson. Don't forget to flush your black tank. If you need convincing, I'll send Jose's video.