How To Remove The Grey Water Tank From An RV

A grey water tank is water storage for wastewater from washing clothes or dishes. Grey water tanks are used primarily on recreational vehicles (RVs) with a toilet and shower. So the question is, how do you remove the grey water tank from your RV? We have researched to bring you the answer below.

Follow these steps to remove your grey water tank from your RV:

  • First, drain out the greywater to avoid any spills.
  • Pull down on the bottom end of your grey water tank to remove it from its holding brackets.
  • Drain everything out of your old grey water tank; store it anywhere that's safe where children and animals can't get to it.
  • Replacing all components into their original places, turn off the water source and run a test cycle through the system.

Pretty easy, right? We may have made it seem pretty simple above, but removing the grey water tank takes a little more than that. So please read on as we discuss the process of removing the grey water tank from your RV in more detail!

A man is emptying the RV sewer after camping. He is wearing gloves. How To Remove The Grey Water Tank From An RV

How To Remove The Grey Water Tank From RV

Before removing the old tank, you'll need to drain out the greywater to avoid any spills. Drainage can be accomplished by opening the valve at the bottom of the tank so that gravity does all of the work. You can usually open this valve with just your hands. Once you've drained out all of the greywater, remove the cap at the bottom of the black water tank.

Now you can pull down on the bottom end of your grey water tank to remove it from its holding brackets and then tip it up so that any remaining water spills out into the black water tank. 

The process is usually straightforward but might take a few tries if you're not experienced removing components from an RV. Also, be careful as you pull the grey water tank away because there might be a little bit of pressure in it from your drainage, so if you're not careful, some water could splash out onto you.

If you choose to permanently remove your old grey water tank rather than reinstall it after taking it off, drain the remaining wastewater into the black water tank. This will kill any bacteria that might have grown in it while you have it removed and also allow you to use the excess space for items like more storage boxes.

After draining everything out of your old grey water tank, store it anywhere that's safe where children and animals can't get to it but where you'll be able to find it easily when you need it. If you place it in storage, ensure that you can get to all of the connections and valves on your new tank so that nothing is clogged or stopped up before use.

After replacing all components into their original places, turn off the water source and run a test cycle through the system. Then, use a hose or something else that will spray out into the tub so that you can ensure there aren't any leaks in any of your connections. Also, make sure that all of the old water is flushed through properly before using it for showers or doing laundry.

What happens when the grey water tank is full?

When your water tank is full, the dirty water needs a way to escape. If there's no place for it to go and the drain isn't working correctly, then that will cause your sink or shower head in your RV to overflow!

If there are grey water tanks overfilled with too dirtied liquid, they can become backed up due to lack of drainage. This often happens when sinks inside homes start pouring over because their drains have been blocked by encroaching wastewater from nearby washing machines and showers, which has nowhere else to go but towards them as gravity takes effect on its downward journey through pipes made just barely wide enough for one gush at a time.

They are instead filling these conduits until overflow spills out onto floors beneath where feet walk dangerously close, all too often, causing a dangerous slip-and-fall accident that could injure you and those close to you.

How to switch grey water tanks

If you have a large family or regularly entertain guests, then you may want to consider upgrading the size of your grey water tank. This is because if you go through a lot of wastewater during any given period of time, it might make more sense to get a larger one that can handle all kinds of day-to-day functions like washing dishes, doing laundry, and showering.

Fortunately, it's easy to switch out your old grey water tank with a new one! But before you remove the current tank and put in the new one, you'll need to drain out all of the grey water inside of it for safety reasons. You can do this by using a hose or another appropriate water-spouting device to flush out the interior.

Once drained, follow the steps above to removing the old grey water tank. Once removed, you can now put in the new grey water tank. Just like that, you have a new grey water tank! Put it back in place and turn on the water supply so that you can start using your grey water tank again with a whole load of wastewater.

Man serving recreational vehicle in dumping station

Do you need to treat the grey water tank?

Some people will add chemicals to the grey water tank after they fill it up to stay cleaner for longer and not smell. Again, this is up to you or your family members, but we recommend pouring a little bit into it before you start using it again.

It's also recommended not to use any harsh chemicals like bleach or toilet bowl cleaners in your grey water tank because it can build up on the plastic and cause some things to break down and not work correctly. Instead, all you need is a few tablespoons of dish soap, and that should be more than enough to get your tank nice and clean for starting another season of using your RV without worrying about a sink or shower overflowing.

Is it OK to dump grey water on the ground?

No, you should never dump grey water on the ground -at all! Even if it's out in a field somewhere and there are no plants near your camper that would be able to take up any of those nutrients from your dirty laundry water or, even worse, from the waste inside your toilet bowl.

If you have an RV with just a sink and no shower, it's ok to dump out what you used for dishwashing or handwashing on the ground. Usually, the water is pretty clean at that point because there aren't any other sinks connected that will be mixing with the dirty water from your dishes. 

It's also important to note, even though grey water and black water septic systems are different, it would be best if you still took great care to ensure it doesn't leak out into the ground or, even worse, into a water source. If your camper is parked beside a lake and there's no way for the grey water tank to empty without going through the ground first, don't do it! It might be tempting to go for some quick help in cleaning your sink or taking a shower on a hot day, but it's better to wait until you can find an appropriate place to dump out your waste.

rv unloading gray water into open sewer

Is greywater considered sewage? 

Yes, greywater is considered sewage and should be treated as such.  The components in your RV connected to a black water septic system (toilet bowl and sink drain) will need to be disposed of into a landfill with the rest of your campers' black waste, but you can dispose of any other parts separately.

It's important to note that greywater should only be disposed of into a pre-existing septic system or sewer, much like black water. Do not use any other type of drain because it will create an even bigger problem for everyone in the area. 

In Closing

The process of taking out, cleaning, and replacing your grey water tank is straightforward if you know what to do and have the right tools. Hopefully, we've helped guide you in understanding how to use your camper without any problems for another year correctly!

If you enjoyed this article, you might like these other RV posts!

How Much Does It Cost To Replace RV Water Heater?

How To Seal RV Window To Stop Leaks

What Happens If You Overfill The RV Waste Tank?

How do you dispose of your greywater? Leave us a comment below!

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One comment

  1. Wat about the drain lines from the sink and shower that 90 at the floor and connects to the holding tank wat do i do about that?

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