How to Unclog an RV Toilet Holding Tank in 4 Methods?

how to unclog an rv toilet holding tank

Have you experienced wastewater returns after flushing the toilet? If so, this problem generally happens because of a clogged RV toilet. So how to unclog an RV toilet holding tank? You’ve come to the right place if you’re searching for a solution for that issue.

You can clean blockage in an RV toilet holding tank by using tools like drain snakes and cleaning chemicals. Another way is to call for professional help.

It might seem like a straightforward task. But missing a few details can make the problem worse. So continue reading to know how to deal with this concern properly.

4 Methods to Unclog Your RV Toilet Holding Tank


What You’ll Need

Take note that the items you’ll need to unclog the RV holding tank differ depending on your preferred method. The following items range from being free to fairly expensive.

  • Boiling water: You have different ways to get boiling water for your RV toilet clogged tank. One option is to boil water using a pan or pot. Another method is to use a dedicated water heater or thermos. Be careful when using boiling water as it can cause serious burns if your skin comes into contact with the hot container. Make sure you prepare safety gear, such as gloves or towels, to cover your skin when handling hot water.
  • Drain snake: Also called a drain auger, the drain snake is a piece of reasonably inexpensive equipment to help clear a clogged RV toilet. If you’re on a tight budget, you can purchase one drain snake from a local hardware store, like this Cobra Toilet Auger. A drain snake can be more effective than using boiling water to remove a blockage from an RV black tank clogged, particularly for reasonably large obstructions.
  • Chemical cleaners: Several drain cleaners exist on the market, so it can be tough to search for the right product for your needs. It’s important to read customer reviews first before purchasing a drain-cleaning product.

If you’re not in a hurry, take time in reading through each customer’s feedback. In turn, you’ll know the pros and cons of each product.

Still, ensure that you’re wearing gloves and an apron when handling chemical cleaners. It’s because some of these products can cause irritations when they come in contact with the skin.

Additionally, avoid using a conventional plunger to try and remove clogs from an RV toilet. Although it’s a fairly inexpensive tool, plungers aren’t effective in removing blocks from plumbing systems. In some cases, it can even make the issue worse than before.

Following the methods properly is important after you decided what tools you’re going to use to unclog your RV’s toilet holding tank.

</p> <h3><strong>Method 1: Use Boiling Water</strong></h3> <p>


Using boiling water to unclog the RV toilet is perhaps one of the easiest ways to tackle this problem. You only need to heat water in a pan or thermos and pour the liquid into the toilet.

This technique is helpful when the obstructions are relatively small and soft. Some examples include small clumps of hair and toilet paper.

Also, you may notice that the water will rise slightly after pouring the hot water. This event is relatively normal because you’ll soon see that the water will lower slowly.

However, hot water might not be ideal for tougher and denser clogs.

</p> <h3><strong>Method 2: Use Drain Snakes</strong></h3> <p>


If boiling water doesn’t solve the problem, you can use drain snakes. These thin and long objects can help remove fairly stubborn blockages in drains, including RV toilets. Drain snakes are also excellent in removing obstructions from angled pipes.

However, don’t confuse drain snakes for toilets and sinks with sink augers because sink augers tend to be smaller, which makes them quite ineffective in removing toilet clogs.

With your toilet snake, set it into the toilet carefully. Then, feel around the plumbing by wriggling the tool around. Turn the handle and twist the snake when you hit the clog. You’ll know when the block is gone if the auger no longer gives you tension.

</p> <h3><strong>Method 3: Try Chemical Cleaners</strong></h3> <p>


Before using your preferred chemical cleaner to unclog an RV toilet holding tank, make sure to read and follow the instructions. Also, consider using a respirator as the fumes from the product can be harmful if inhaled.

Take note that different cleaners can have unique ingredients. Some of these components can be safe for skin contact. However, products like the Liquid Fire Drain Line Opener have sulfuric acid, which is a corrosive chemical.

</p> <h3><strong>Method 4: Call for Professional Help</strong></h3> <p>


If you don’t know what goes on in your RV, especially the vehicle’s plumbing system, you should trust the advice of a professional technician. Avoid tinkering with the toilet if you don’t have a sufficient understanding of the system to avoid costly mistakes.

You can ask the locals for a trustworthy RV repair professional in the area. However, if other RVers aren’t around or if you’re in a secluded location, check out online review sites instead.

Once you have the contact information of a notable company, ask the business about its services and costs. Make sure that the professional aid you’ll get is in line with the price that you’re going to pay. That way, you’ll gain excellent value from the transaction.

Causes of RV Toilet Holding Tank Clogs


Causes of frequent toilet clogs can vary depending on the issue. The root of these issues can be any of the following:

  • A low-flow toilet
  • Old RV toilet holding tank
  • Flushed toilet paper
  • Piles of human waste
  • No water in the holding tank
  • The black water valve is open

A clogged holding tank can make traveling unpleasant, so it’s important to know how to avoid it. You can avoid this problem by incorporating preventive measures, such as using RV-friendly toilet paper or replacing the toilet with a new model.


Did you like this guide on how to unclog an RV toilet holding tank? If so, don’t hesitate to share this with others so that they’ll know what to do when this issue appears.

Remember, only use the appropriate tools to unclog a motorhome or travel trailer’s toilet. Also, consider using paid repair services from industry experts if the problem seems to be tougher than assumed.

If you want to talk about this topic or something relevant, feel free to start a discussion in the comment section.

Related: Guide on Dumping RV Tanks at Home Easily.

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