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Thawing out a Grey Tank?

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  • Thawing out a Grey Tank?

    Anyone know the best way to thaw a grey tank? I wasn't thinking when I let my grey tank drip to drain when I knew it was going to freeze. So its stuck at the drip stage & frozen. I was able to use it a little bit, wash a few dogs but now I'm at the over flow stage. It over flowed at a clients house today. Not nice but atleast it was a gravel driveway so no issue. Only one dog today & now I'm home trying boiling water & a funnel. I have gotten the big chunk of ice away from the front of the valve but still the valve is frozen in place. It is dripping a few drops but that is it. I have a light pointed at it that gives off some heat (kept my pipes thawed last night).

    Any advice to thaw it? I have 1 dog tomorrow (if it doesn't snow, its a maybe) that it wouldn't be good to have an over flow at this place. Then of coarse 12 dogs next week.

    I better remember this lesson.

    The Soapy Puppy

  • #2
    Little Update

    Ok my hubby said to try spraying water from the hose up the grey water opening. It helped a little, I got the big pipe cleared but now how do I thaw the main tank? Any water, hot or cold coming out of the tub is going straight to the over flow part still.

    The Soapy Puppy


    • #3
      If it is a WGT, take your HV hose and pull it through the laundry door (in tub), pull it until you can get your end stuck in the vinyl covered release valve area. Turn on both motors on the HV (K-9 II) and wait for 30 minutes. These directions are per Jamie when my fresh tank froze up last year. It worked for me, Good Luck !!

      Happy Heating Up

      Dolly’s Barking Bubbles, LLC


      • #4
        Do you have van or a trailer. I have a trailer and I use ceramic heaters. I put one in the back with the tanks and one in the front with the shampoos. So far I've been pretty lucky and had my tanks freeze. If you don't have them you can get the heaters at Walmart or lowe's (actually a lot of places have them right now). That's all I have. Hope it thaws pretty quick.
        "In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."


        • #5
          All I can think of is to put a strong light on it overnight or wrap it in an electric blanket as best as you can.

          I highly recommend buying one of these tank heaters to prevent from this happening again. I have 'em on my rv and they work great. (I only have the tank heater but would like the pipe heaters as well)


          • #6
            i read your post and then ran outside to drain my grey tank. i forgot. much appreciated. my drain is located next to the exhaust pipe. if i forget, usually only takes one call and the exhaust pipe thaws it out.
            Certified Master Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid and Care Instructor
            "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher US Congregational Minister 1813-1887


            • #7
              Sorry, this is a camper van we converted, came with the grey tank under the rear of the van. Its also an extended van so the exhaust isn't close enough, I wish. I've been at this for almost 4 hrs. I have a hose in the over flow side, I cyfin (spelling) the water out. Then pour hot water down the tub drain. Its still flowing out the over flow almost instantly. Makes no since. My hose can go all over in there. The reg drain is still frozen at the pipe but I can't tell how much of the tank is frozen since my hose in the other end can go all over.

              Anyway, hubby is home so I will see if he can fix this. I will look into getting a rv tank heater.

              The SOapy Puppy
              Last edited by Starshan; 12-11-09, 05:40 PM.


              • #8
                Um, I keep RV antifreeze stuff on hand and run some down into the grey tank on a regular basis to keep it from freezing. I also fill with hot water in the winter so if needed I put hot water right in the grey tank to get it going. Didn't hear anyone suggest it so maybe I'm doing something that's not the best idea? IDK, works for me.
                What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.


                • #9
                  Boy, isn't this deep freeze

                  here in WA the pitts?!

                  My issue this week was a frozen water pump! And it froze on the way to my first dog! Was working fine at home, but by the time I got to the client's, it was froze up good! Had a full load of dogs, but had to slide them down a day or two. Took the rig home, it took about 2 hours to thaw it out!

                  My pump is on the outside edge of the compartment with the fresh tank, HW tank, and the batts. My solution of course is to have a heater in that compartment, but to keep the pump from freezing on my hour drive to first client...hand warmer, activated, put on pump, wrapped in a towel! These 10 degree temps I'm just not set for!

                  For my holding tank? I use a solution of brine (salt and water). This keeps my tank melted to where it will drain. Before I drain it, I also run a few gallons of HOT water in the tank.

                  I hope you get it thawed. It is warming up some, it was 31 when I bombed outta here this AM, but by the time I got south it was back to the teens! I guess that's the cloud cover we had in the Skagit this morning and overnight. It was blue sky and cold by the time I got 30 miles soutrh!

                  I'll be glad for a warm up even if it means some snow!


                  • #10

                    Ok 5hrs later with hubby's help we got it thawed out. My cyfin (spelling) wasn't getting much water out but his worked, got a ton of water out. Then we dumped alot of hot water in, using a small pipe to hit the ice through the drain pipe it finally broke loose. So the next issue will be in the morning when all the huge puddles of water have froze, I get to drive on ice. Live & learn I guess.

                    Now to save up & get the rv tank water heater. Cheapest I could find was from for $75, most other places want $104 - $109. One blanket does 15gals, I have 28gal freshwater, not sure how big the grey is, it seems a little smaller.

                    I can now relax & enjoy my first eatable treat of the month my client gave me, fresh peanut brittle. Since I didn't have anymore clients today she asked me to wait so she could finish it. A little tip & a hug to go with it, made my day even though all the stress. She's not super reg either, with her husband off work she waits as long as she can to get her schn groomed. It was Aug the last time I saw her.

                    The Soapy Puppy
                    Last edited by Starshan; 12-11-09, 06:51 PM.


                    • #11

                      I can't wait for it to warm up even though I have finally got the hang of the heating the inside & out of the water pipes, hairdryer on the outside faucet etc. The grey tank sucked. The next big task for hubby is the propane heater this weekend. It won't heat anymore as of yesterday, Thursday & my 8 batteries are not liking the space heater, the end of one dog the inverter was complaining to me. I flip the switch to the propane heater, smell propane (outside), fan comes on, thermostat does its beeping noise but no flame I'm assuming. The thermostat tries a few more times then I shut it off & give up. Back to back trouble this winter & its not really even winter yet is it? I sure hope the snow isn't bad because next week is busy for me, I do have room to adjust people if needed but really don't want to cram my days just in case.

                      The Soapy Puppy