Can You Use Boiling Water To Unclog An RV Toilet?
Clogged toilets are never fun to deal with, especially when they show up in an RV bathroom. Before you resort to any drastic measures, it’s important to assess the situation and start with the least harmful solutions first. For instance, many people wonder if you can use boiling water to unclog an RV toilet or if that will just make things worse.
Boiling water can solve a lot of cleaning dilemmas because the heat breaks through buildup and kills bacteria. We’ll explore the boiling water method in greater detail below as well as some other ways to resolve RV toilet clogs.
You can use boiling water to unclog an RV toilet. This is one of the simplest and least harmful methods to try because it doesn’t involve any chemicals. It may not remove every clog though, so physical tools and chemicals might be necessary to try afterward.
Boiling Water Method
Before you try any other de-clogging solutions, consider trying a few cups of boiling water first. A lot of RV toilet clogs can be loosened or dissolved if they are exposed to heat and the force/lubrication that a stream of water can provide.
One of the biggest appeals of the boiling water method is that it can be done by anyone at any time! If you don’t have access to other cleaners or tools and need to deal with a clog right away, this is an easy and accessible method.
Begin by boiling 2-3 cups of water. You can do this in a microwave, on your stove, or even on an outdoor grill or campfire! While you wait for it to boil, open up the toilet valve so that the clog and water can empty into your RV’s holding tank. Once you have done all that, you can use boiling water to unclog an RV toilet.
Simply return to the toilet and slowly pour the water into the bowl. Make sure it doesn’t overflow and be careful when handling the hot liquid. Attempt to flush the toilet once most of the water has drained and see if the clog has been cleared. If the clog remains after the first attempt, try again but this time let the water sit for about an hour before flushing again.
This method doesn’t always work out because some clogs are just too compacted to be budged by water. But if using boiling water to unclog an RV toilet didn’t do the trick, don’t give up hope! There are still plenty of DIY options you can try before you involve a professional plumber in the situation.
Other ways to unclog an RV toilet
Using a physical tool like a plumbing snake, tank wand, or a regular plunger can help get rid of some of the more stubborn toilet clogs you may encounter. If the clog is too compacted, it needs to be broken up or physically pushed through the pipes. Sometimes chemical agents and hot water are just no match for a solid blockage.
Drain snakes are some of the best tools to use for these situations because they are small and flexible enough to fit inside RV pipes without causing damage. Simply crank it through the system until the blockage is pushed into the holding tank.
A tank wand can be useful because these are specifically made for cleaning and servicing RV toilets. These are small flexible hoses that spray jets of water into a toilet/holding tank to clear blockages.
Plungers can be used to break up a clog and suction it closer to the surface, but they generally aren’t the most helpful when you’re dealing with a clogged RV toilet. This is because these don’t usually have standing pools of water to make the process smoother.
Lots of RVers recommend the ice cube method. Although you can use boiling water to unclog an RV toilet, this method is the exact opposite. However, they both use different forms of water to accomplish the same purpose, so as long as one of them works, then you have an easy plumbing solution to fall back on.
For this technique, fill the toilet bowl 1/2-1/3 full of ice cubes and flush them down. You can use any size of ice cubes, but pebble ice may be the most effective at breaking up clogs. Continue to flush ice until either the clog is released, or you can’t flush any more down.
If the ice cube method doesn’t work, you can always pour some warm water in afterward to remove the remains. This difference in temperatures could help loosen the clog, but try not to expose your pipes to extreme temperature changes. It’s better to use warm water instead of boiling water to remove the remaining ice cubes.
The ice cube method may also be a little rougher on your pipes, so try not to do it often if possible. It has proven itself to be an effective solution though!
Chemical toilet cleaners
Chemical toilet cleaners are another good way to deal with toilet clogs. When you’re dealing with an RV plumbing system though, you have to be careful about what ends up in your holding tanks. The system relies on helpful bacteria that break down waste, so you don’t want to use chemicals that will ruin the balance.
Use cleaners that are labeled as septic-safe because these will be more gentle on the plastic in your pipes. Even though it may be tempting to use bleach, it’s best to stay away from it. This is a powerful substance that can break down the plastic in your pipes and kill the helpful bacteria in your holding tanks.
RV Toilet Maintenance
Toilet clogs are annoying to deal with and sometimes it may take a couple of tries before the situation is resolved. It’s best if you can avoid the problem altogether by taking preventative measures to stop clogs before they get started.
There are a few things you can do to take care of your RV toilet and keep it in good shape. These include:
- Using septic-safe toilet paper
- Not flushing any foreign items down the toilet
- Using a smaller amount of toilet paper at a time
- Add a waste digester to your black tank
- Make sure that the holding tank doesn’t run dry
- Flush twice to ensure that everything gets cleared out of the pipes
Of course, there are ways to deal with clogs if they appear, but it’s better if you don’t have to deal with them at all!
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.