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Cleaning the cassette


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Having been away for a few nights with beloved and myself being in isolation we have naturally been using the loo to its full potential. It’s been fully rinsed each time after the daily empty and before we came away I recharged it with fresh water and bottom tank Chemical to give it a good old slosh about whilst travelling. It looks clean enough but I wondered if there’s any merit in using Thetfords toilet tank cleaner or just bite the bullet and take it apart for a thorough wash with hot soapy water followed by some disinfectant?

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1 minute ago, Tuningdrew said:

Having been away for a few nights with beloved and myself being in isolation we have naturally been using the loo to its full potential. It’s been fully rinsed each time after the daily empty and before we came away I recharged it with fresh water and bottom tank Chemical to give it a good old slosh about whilst travelling. It looks clean enough but I wondered if there’s any merit in using Thetfords toilet tank cleaner or just bite the bullet and take it apart for a thorough wash with hot soapy water followed by some disinfectant?

I use the Thetford's tank cleaner once a year and lubricate the seals.  Other than that just rinse well after use.

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After a fairly short period of use with chemicals added there should be no significant build up of calcium, so a good rinse out is all it needs. We have used ours for 3 or 4 months with no chemicals at all whilst in Spain for winter (we have a SOG fitted) and an annual clean with Thetfords tank cleaner was all that needed.

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Ern

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Tuningdrew, we always use the caravan toilet, rarely the on-site facilities - but I’ve never bothered with either of those cleaning methods (I just do the ‘sloshing’ routine on the way home). When the blade got stuck last year and I had to get inside the cassette, I took the opportunity to inspect the inside and found it to be as clean as a whistle.

 

John

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  • 3 weeks later...

I never skimp (at least I think I don't) and always use quality fluids like Thetford or Elsan but have suffered calcium build-up and it's been increasingly pongy.

 

When I emptied it earlier I decided to use a good dose of bleach, filled it partly with water and give it a good shake followed by a couple of rinsing fills. This seems to have drastically reduced bacteria levels and it's now wonderfully odour free.

 

I know some might recoil at the thought of using bleach but I trust the seals are unharmed, it was only diluted contact for less than a minute, and I'll only repeat when it needs it so not a regular clean.

 

Over winter I purchased 5 litres of white vinegar to clean the spade and left it slightly cracked and used the vinegar neat in the bowl. This dissolved the calcium very nicely. It didn't need much, have enough to last years, it's very cheap. I trust this will not harm the seals either.

Edited by limecc
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2 minutes ago, JohnPat said:

Don't travel with fluid in the flush! I learned the hard way!

So did I!

 

Back to the flush tank. We only use Lidl Bio washing tablets, or liquid in the bottom tank!

Breaks down solids really well, and after rinsing the tank is always crystal clean!

We tour for over 9 months a year, always using full facilities in the caravan,  so we do know what we are talking about!

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2019 Bailey Platinum (640) Phoenix from Chipping Sodbury caravans, towed by our  2017 my Discovery Sport!

 

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On 01/09/2020 at 18:27, Johnaldo said:

Tuningdrew, we always use the caravan toilet, rarely the on-site facilities - but I’ve never bothered with either of those cleaning methods (I just do the ‘sloshing’ routine on the way home). When the blade got stuck last year and I had to get inside the cassette, I took the opportunity to inspect the inside and found it to be as clean as a whistle.

 

John

Bloomin Heck Johnaldo...How big is the cassette if you can get in it!

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Trevor.

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A timely thread.

 

A good friend has bought his first van off a local elderly couple and has been getting used to how to work everything etc. whilst it's at home.

 

He asked me how stiff the handle should be to open and close the slide on the toilet, a Thetford C400 series, not stiff at all I replied, he then said it's quite stiff, especially when closing it, so I popped round to take a look and it was very stiff.

 

Slid the tank out and tried the internal handle, smooth as silk, tried the blade opener knob, extremely stiff and gritty especially at the end of the travel when the blade is pushed up to contact the seal.

 

So a peek inside revealed a fair amount of years old limescale, as hard as finishing plaster and adhering well to the plastic.

 

He's not very practical so I brought it home, sleeves rolled up, a quick twist and took the operating mechanism out, far easier than the early versions and the whole mechanism was covered in the same deposits, hence the stiffness and grating noise .

 

It's now all in bits, the operating mechanism is sitting in some citric acid, ( I've got plenty of acid crystals, I use it for removing rust ) approx. 150g to 4ltr of warm water, with another 4ltr in the tank, which comes up approx. half way, I purposely haven't filled the tank so that I can compare the before and after cleaning affect to see if it dissolves the deposits, or loosens them from the plastic.

 

I've took some before photo's and will post some more with the results.

 

I haven't the time at the moment to reduce the sizes to fit  all five on here,  so see them here on my Flikr  page............

 

Nope that won't work I get a message " The link could not be embedded because that URL is not allowed."

 

Ahh well !

 

That's odd, I got the above message, but when I've posted the link is OK. 🤔

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22585746@N02/albums/72157716077974598

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Silversurf

Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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I think I’d just replace it....🤢

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7 minutes ago, Tuningdrew said:

I think I’d just replace it....🤢

 

He is a great family friend, a new one is something he would love to get, but hasn't got the spare cash, so I'll give it a bit of spit and polish and pop some new seals in, which I've got knocking about somewhere, FOC.

 

He's a bit of a worrier, so it will be more than worth it to see a smile on his face and one less furrow on his brow.

 

Cash won't change hands, but he makes his own wines and mead which is tastier than money.😋😉

 

I'm not squeamish, so doing anything like this doesn't bother me, an added bonus is that it may help someone on CT to see how it comes apart and what's inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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9 hours ago, Silversurf said:

It's now all in bits, the operating mechanism is sitting in some citric acid, ( I've got plenty of acid crystals, I use it for removing rust ) approx. 150g to 4ltr of warm water, with another 4ltr in the tank, which comes up approx. half way, I purposely haven't filled the tank so that I can compare the before and after cleaning affect to see if it dissolves the deposits, or loosens them from the plastic.

Admire you for taking the job on because of what you might find 😲😂.

 

If I was stripping it down and replacing the seals I'd be using brick acid I think. Should be no ill effect on the cassette plastic (polypropylene?) and it works in minutes not hours.

 

Thanks for the pics, I hope you get time to embed them permanently on the forum for posterity.

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14 hours ago, JohnPat said:

Don't travel with fluid in the flush! I learned the hard way!

 

14 hours ago, PR1 said:

So did I!

 

Care to explain please - just wondered if it's an experience I have missed out on. I assume travelling with too much in the top tank means that it leaks out somewhere . . . . .?

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41 minutes ago, DerbyClubman said:

 

 

Care to explain please - just wondered if it's an experience I have missed out on. I assume travelling with too much in the top tank means that it leaks out somewhere . . . . .?

I assume so as well, but then I've got a twin axle with shock absorbers so it doesnt bounce around like some might. Coat hangers stay put as well.

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1 hour ago, DerbyClubman said:

 

 

Care to explain please - just wondered if it's an experience I have missed out on. I assume travelling with too much in the top tank means that it leaks out somewhere . . . . .?

 

It can leak, although I haven't had the problem, there are mentions of this elsewhere on this forum. My problem is the micro switch, I have had to change 3 due to fluid ingress destroying the contacts. I now have changed my 'van. But I still drain.

 

Remember water equals weight, not a lot but it all adds up.  1ltr = 1kg! With my Bailey I have to consider this.

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I’ve just replaced the lip seal in our c260.
We noticed that there was an odour coming from the toilet bowl long after use, during our stay away recently. Adding some water to the bowl...it seeped away. On the basis that if water leaks into the tank, smell would leak out, I decided it was the seal. I hasten to add that it hadn’t been changed, merely annually lubricated, in 8years, so it’s done well.

 

Having rinsed out the tank several times, I filled it with water and a generous quantity of the thetford bowl cleaner....and left it to marinade over night.

 

For 8 years of use ( historically mainly liquids) it was remarkably clean inside. Only the nooks and crannies had some scale. It smelt quite fresh too...much to my relief.

 

The toilet bowl now doesn’t leak water away. 👍

 

One point I noticed which may or may not be relevant.  As I am sure many will know the bowl slider is a two stage action...initially dropping the seal slightly before swinging it to one side.
It’s been my practise for some years to store the tank under the caravan after cleaning rather than putting it back in the locker. (Saved me taking it out again to add fluid for the next trip and with the open spout, a chance to ventilate in the meantime.)


It occurred to me that I had over this last year, taken to storing the emptied tank back in situ because of the low expectation the caravan would be used. I therefore fully closed the seal. I do wonder if the long period of non use this year, with the seal pressed firmly against the bowl face for the duration had deformed it beyond recovery ....causing the seepage/smell?  
 

I’ve reverted to storing the tank under neath....hope the seal lasts another 8years to save a repeat of the unsavoury task😂 

 

 

Edited by ericfield
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3 hours ago, DerbyClubman said:

 

 

Care to explain please - just wondered if it's an experience I have missed out on. I assume travelling with too much in the top tank means that it leaks out somewhere . . . . .?

 I'm also curious... I guess its not sealed so sloshes out? I've never travelled with flush water in the flush tank so am yet to learn the lesson. 

 

15 hours ago, Tuningdrew said:

I think I’d just replace it....🤢

 

Yeah - c.£90 for a new tank and seat would be money well spent. 

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All clean as a whistle now, ready to assemble, I left it steeping overnight and yesterday morning I was able to remove it easily by brushing with an old paint brush and a quick hose out.

 

In that timespan it appears to soften the deposits, resulting in them not adhering to the plastic, it could also possibly dissolve the deposits over a longer soaking period and using a stronger solution, but it has worked well whilst I slept.

 

Checked all the seals today and the only one I'll replace is the  lip seal, all the others were OK including the automatic vent seal, which many miss because it can't be seen, it's under the rectangular panel on top of the tank.

 

I'll assemble it tomorrow, with a good dollop of RS Components best silicone grease. I should have done it today but I've been playing with some Raptor Paint which has been errrr, interesting.

 

So here are some more photo's, the first five before, including the acid, the next four when washed and dried.

 

https://tinyurl.com/y2ywjfap

 

 

Edited by Silversurf
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Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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19 hours ago, Silversurf said:

All clean as a whistle now, ready to assemble, I left it steeping overnight and yesterday morning I was able to remove it easily by brushing with an old paint brush and a quick hose out.

 

Job well done... (still would have bought a new one!) 

 

I can't fathom how it got that bad though... Did the previous owner leave 'contents' in the tank to evaporate with no toilet chemical? 

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On 23/09/2020 at 14:35, Custard Avenger said:

 I'm also curious... I guess its not sealed so sloshes out? I've never travelled with flush water in the flush tank so am yet to learn the lesson. 

 

Most caravan suppliers manuals recommend not travelling with full flush tanks for the reason you suggest. I travel with just a couple of Litres...never had a slosh out,

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On the flush system there is a loose fit push connection near the top!

Thats why you should not over fill, or travel with fluid in it!

2019 Bailey Platinum (640) Phoenix from Chipping Sodbury caravans, towed by our  2017 my Discovery Sport!

 

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On 01/09/2020 at 18:27, Johnaldo said:

Tuningdrew, we always use the caravan toilet, rarely the on-site facilities - but I’ve never bothered with either of those cleaning methods (I just do the ‘sloshing’ routine on the way home). When the blade got stuck last year and I had to get inside the cassette, I took the opportunity to inspect the inside and found it to be as clean as a whistle.

What looks clean may not be chemically clean BUT considering the tank's function it doesn't need to be. We always gave ours the 'copious fresh water treatment' and nowt else except for the annual thorough clean with washing liquid and hot water, followed by a thorough "rinse and shake".

The holding tank on our MH is fixed in position, so the only rinsing that gets is whatever the undulating road surfaces can provide to the contents. The two waste tanks (grey and black) are partly filled with detergent and water when the MH is taken for the annual service and MOT, otherwise it's just fill and empty as needed throughout the year, with an occasional flush-through with clean water.

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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