“This has developed over the last 3 weeks but I need a reliable second opinion. I live full time in my RV and am at an RV resort with full H/U. I keep my black tank closed until I empty it, which I do weekly. The handle has gotten extremely hard to push/pull and I looked at YouTube today for some help. One recommendation was to use “3 in 1” silicone spray so I ordered a can. The video showed the man spraying the rod of the handle and THEN he sprayed the inside of the black tank outlet and the “gate” part of the valve. I’d prefer not to disconnect my sewer hose. Another video showed pouring vegetable oil down the toilet when the tank was empty. I was sort of leary of that because U wasn’t sure about the sensors. Please give your expert advice!! Thanks in advance!”
1 thought on “Black Valve Sticking”
Thank you very much for this great question. The handle sticking on the black water tank or the gray water tank is a very common one. A couple of things. First you are correct in keeping your black water tank closed until full. This is very important as to adequately flush all the solids from the black water tank, you need the turbulence created when you open the valve and all the contents rush out at once. Secondly, when the valve is not used for a while, they do get difficult to use.
A couple of things:
1. Spraying a silicone spray or WD 40 on the actual rod of the handle probably wont help. I have even tried greasing the rod with lithium grease and it didn’t seem to work either. I can certainly understand why you would not want to reach up there with the sewer pipe disconnected. I would not advise doing that.
2. The reason for the sticking is not really the rod coming out, it is the actual gate valve itself. There is a plastic panel or gate attached to the rod. When you push it down the rod, the panel slides into a fitting and blocks the liquid from coming out.
3.They make a lubricating oil that you can pour in your toilet when the tank is empty. This will not hurt the sensors. I have tried it, and it helps a bit. Here is a link to that product.
Again, make sure your tank is empty before you put the lubricating oil in. Then go out and open and close the valve several times and see if it is better. If it is not, I might add some more water from the toilet to make sure that the oil is getting to the valve.
4. I have also heard that this solution is a good one. It involves actually lubricating the gate valve itself which is where the problem really lies. MAKE SURE YOUR TANK IS EMPTY WHEN YOU DO THIS. Buy a can of WD40. Find a drill bit and matching screw that is just a bit bigger than the straw on the can of WD40. You basically drill a small hole in the top of the valve. Make the hole large enough so that you can fit the straw of a can of WD 40 into it. After you drill the hole, put the straw of the WD 40 can into the hole and fill the cavity with the lubricant. Then open and the close the valve several times. Then screw the screw in to close the hole. This is a link to a great YouTube video that shows how to do it. (sorry for all the commercials) https://youtu.be/2GDErKY05-8
5. I do want to say that I have not personally tried the process just described but I have seen it used for years by others with good results. I think that i would definitely try putting the lubricant into the tank as described in #3 as a first step.