Are you having trouble with your non-flush RV toilet not flushing? If so, you are not alone. Many RVers struggle with the same issue and it can be quite frustrating trying to figure out what the problem is. That’s why we’re here to help! In this article, we will provide answers to frequently asked questions about RV toilets, as well as give you some useful tips for fixing an RV toilet that isn’t flushing. With this information, we hope to make the process of troubleshooting and fixing your RV toilet a lot easier. So let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Non-Working or Sticky Flush Valve
One of the most common causes of a non-flushing RV toilet is a faulty or stuck flush valve. This can happen when the rubber seal in the valve has become dry, cracked, or otherwise damaged over time. To fix this issue, you’ll need to replace the flush valve, which is relatively easy to do (if you’re comfortable with basic DIY repairs). However, if you’re unsure of how to replace the flush valve yourself, it’s best to seek professional help. 
Water Flow – The Key to A Good Flush
An empty water tank
An empty water tank is the primary cause for an RV toilet not flushing. Make sure your tank is full and the valves are open, allowing water to properly flow into the toilet bowl. If the water pressure is low, try pumping up the hose that leads to the toilet or use a different source of water supply. 
A pump that is not turned on or not working
Sometimes, the pump that pumps water into your RV toilet is not turned on or it has stopped working. To check if this is the case, make sure to turn on the switch and ensure that electricity is reaching the pump. If the pump is still not functioning properly, you can try replacing it with a new one. 
Kinks or other obstructions in the water line to the toilet
A broken flush valve
If all else fails, the flush valve might be broken. A broken flush valve will not let any water into the bowl and it is important to fix this problem quickly. To do so, you can try replacing the flapper or seal in the tank if it is worn out. Otherwise, you may need to completely replace the flush valve.
No matter the problem, with a little bit of patience and perseverance you should be able to get your RV toilet flushing properly in no time. Just make sure to always have a full water tank and double-check for any kinks or obstructions in the water line before attempting more complicated fixes. 
A Visible Clog – The Easy Diagnosis
Poor operating procedures
Sometimes, the issue isn’t a clog at all. It may be that you are not using the RV toilet correctly or slowly enough to ensure it flushes properly. An easy way to test this is to try flushing twice; if the water level in the bowl lowers significantly after the second flush, then you know poor operating procedures are to blame.
To fix this, use the toilet with a slower and more controlled method than you would in a regular flush toilet. This will give the water time to move through the entire sewage system without being restricted. Take your time when using it, as rushing can cause problems like overflowing or not flushing properly. 
A clog in the waste pipe that backs up into the toilet
If the toilet still won’t flush properly after two flushes, then you may have a clog in the waste pipe that is preventing water from flowing through. This can happen when foreign objects are flushed down the toilet or too much waste builds up in the pipe and restricts the flow of water.
The first thing to do is to try plunging the toilet. If this doesn’t work, you can use a special RV toilet snake or other drain cleaning tool to get rid of any clogs in the pipe. 
A full waste tank
If you’ve tried plunging and using other tools to remove clogs, but the toilet still won’t flush properly, then it could be that your waste tank is full. When this happens, water can’t flow through the pipes properly because of a build-up of pressure from the waste tank. 
A “pyramid blockage” in the waste tank
To fix this issue, you will need to remove all of the waste from the tank and thoroughly clean it before using it again. You can do this by manually scooping out all of the solid waste and then flushing the tank with hot water to get rid of any residue. 
When the Flush Doesn’t Happen
Repair the toilet flush system
If your RV toilet is not flushing well, it’s likely that the flush system needs to be repaired. To do this, you must first locate the source of the problem. Here are some common issues which may cause a non-flushing toilet:
- Malfunctioning Float Valve: The float valve is responsible for filling the bowl with water after it is flushed. If this valve is stuck, leaking or otherwise not working properly, then the toilet won’t flush as expected.
- Clogged Air Vent: The air vent is responsible for letting air into the bowl when it is being flushed. If this vent becomes clogged with debris, then the bowl may not be able to fill with water.
- Blocked Waste Pipe: The waste pipe is responsible for draining the toilet when it is flushed. If this pipe becomes blocked by debris, then the toilet won’t flush properly. 
Replace the toilet
If the repair work is not an option or doesn’t fix the issue, then it may be necessary to replace the toilet. To do this, you will need to remove the old toilet and install a new one. Make sure that all of the connections are made correctly before attempting to flush again. 
No Water When You Need It
Sometimes you think you have plenty of water in your RV toilet, but when you go to flush it – nothing happens! This can be a common issue and an annoying one at that. So what do you do?
First, check the water supply line to make sure it’s not clogged with dirt or debris. If it is, it is preventing the water from getting to your toilet. Also make sure the line isn’t bent or kinked in any way that could be restricting the flow of water.
If the lines look clean and clear, then check for a blockage inside the toilet itself. You can do this by removing the toilet’s tank lid and looking inside. If you notice any debris, or if the water in the tank is not draining properly, that could be your problem. To unclog it, remove all of the visible debris and use a plunger to clear away any blockages. 
Deeper into the System – Clogged Pipes
Do not use household drain cleaners
The next thing to check is the clogged pipes. If it’s the pipes that are blocked, then you’ll need to get a professional plumber out to take a look and unclog them. This could be expensive so make sure you have some idea of what might be causing the problem first before calling out a technician. 
It’s also important to never try and use any household drain cleaners as these can damage the pipes in your RV, leading to even more costly repair bills.
Don’t Use Power Snakes
If the pipes are blocked then you don’t want to use a power snake or augur either as these can cause even more damage and be fruitless in solving the problem. If it turns out that it is indeed a clogged pipe then you need to call in a professional plumber who will be able to take a look at the situation and diagnose the issue.
Sometimes, clogged pipes can be caused by a build up of grease or other wastes that have been put down the toilet instead of in the designated waste bin. If it’s a recurring problem then make sure to always dispose of your waste correctly and avoid dumping any type of waste into the RV toilet. 
Other Unclogging Methods To Try
Use A Plunger To Fix A Clogged RV Toilet
If your RV toilet is clogged and you are unable to unclog it using the methods above, you may need to use a plunger. A plunger can be used to loosen any stubborn blockages in the pipes or bowl of your RV toilet. To use a plunger, start by filling the bowl of the toilet with enough water to cover the plunger. Then, place the plunger so that it is centered over the outlet of the toilet and push down firmly while creating a seal around the outlet. Move the plunger up and down vigorously for several minutes until you feel resistance when pushing down. This should help to loosen any blockages in your RV toilet’s pipes or bowl. 
Using Plumber’s Snake To Clear A Clog From Your RV’s Toilet
If you are still unable to unclog your RV toilet, you may need to use a plumber’s snake. A plumber’s snake is a long flexible cable with an auger at the end that can be used to break up or remove stubborn clogs from pipes and toilets. To use a plumber’s snake, start by locating the inlet and outlet of your RV toilet and removing the cap from the inlet. Then, insert the auger tip of the plumber’s snake into the inlet and rotate it gently while pushing down until you feel resistance. This should help to loosen any blockages or debris that may be clogging your RV toilet’s pipes or bowl. 
Use Boiling Water To Unclog RV Toilet
If the methods above have failed to unclog your RV toilet, you can always try using boiling water. Boiling water is effective at breaking down blockages and loosening any trapped debris in your RV toilet’s pipes or bowl. To use boiling water as an unclogging agent for your RV toilet, start by bringing a pot of water to a rolling boil. Then, carefully pour the boiling water directly into the toilet bowl and let it sit for several minutes. This should help to break down any blockages or debris that may be clogging your RV toilet’s pipes or bowl. 
Unclog An RV Toilet With The Ice Cube Method
The last method you can try to unclog your RV toilet is the ice cube method. This involves filling a large plastic bag with several handfuls of ice cubes and then tying it shut. Then, carefully place the bag inside the toilet bowl, making sure not to cover the outlet hole. The cold temperatures of the ice cubes should help to break down any blockages or debris that might be clogging your RV toilet’s pipes or bowl. Allow the bag to sit in the toilet for several minutes before flushing. 
If the methods above have failed to unclog your RV toilet, then you may need to take it to a dealership for professional service. A professional technician will be able to diagnose and repair any clogs or blockages in your RV’s toilet system. They will also be able to suggest any additional repairs that may be needed. 
How To Prevent Toilet Backups In The Future
Keep Your Black Water Tank Valve Closed
The single most important thing you can do to avoid a clogged RV toilet is to always keep the black water tank valve closed. Your RV will only flush properly when your black water tank has been emptied and you open the valve to allow new waste water in. Even if it’s just for a few days, not opening the valve when the tank is full can cause blockage and clogs. So, make sure you open your black water valve before flushing for maximum flush power! 
Use More Water When Flushing
Choose The Correct Toilet Paper
Using the wrong kind of toilet paper can also lead to clogs and backups. Choose a toilet paper that’s specifically designed for RV use, as it’s much stronger than regular toilet paper and won’t clog up your pipes. Avoid using any tissue or other types of paper products in your RV toilet, since these can cause major blockages and backups. 
Use Drop-In RV Toilet Cleaners
Using RV drop-in toilet cleaners can also help prevent clogs and backups in your RV toilet. These cleaners are designed to break down any waste that may be stuck in your pipes, as well as reduce odors from the black water tank. Drop-in cleaners should be used on a regular basis to keep your RV toilet functioning properly.
Regular RV Toilet And Black Water Tank Maintenance
Finally, it’s important to keep up with regular maintenance on your RV toilet and black water tank. This includes regularly emptying the tank, checking for any clogs or blockages in the pipes, and using drop-in cleaners whenever necessary. Doing these tasks on a regular basis will help ensure that you don’t have any unexpected clogs or backups in your RV toilet.
By following the tips above, you should be able to prevent any future problems with your RV toilet. Remember to keep the black water tank valve closed, use more water when flushing, choose the right kind of toilet paper and use drop-in cleaners regularly. 
Why is my toilet not flushing but not clogged?
There could be a few reasons why your RV toilet isn’t flushing. It could be due to low water pressure, a clogged vent line, or a malfunctioning flush valve. If your RV is hooked up to city water and the toilet isn’t flushing properly, you may need to check for any kinks in the hose connection that could be causing a drop in water pressure. If the RV is on a septic tank, it’s possible that the vent line could be clogged with debris from plants or tree roots. Another possibility is that the flush valve has become corroded and needs to be replaced.
How do you manually flush an RV toilet?
If you are unable to fix the problem with your RV toilet, you can manually flush it. To do this, simply pour a bucket of clean water into the bowl and swirl it around with a toilet brush. You may need to add more water if necessary. Once the bowl is full, press down on the flushing lever located at the side of the toilet. This will activate the flush cycle and allow the water to go down the drain.
Why is my toilet bowl filling up but not flushing?
This could be due to a malfunctioning seal in the flush valve. A bad seal will prevent water from passing through, resulting in the bowl filling up but not flushing. The best way to fix this issue is to replace the flush valve with a new one. This should rectify the problem and allow your RV toilet to function properly again.
Can you use a plunger to unclog a RV toilet?
A plunger can be used to unclog a RV toilet, but it may not always be successful. If the clog is caused by a solid object, you may need to use a snake or auger to remove it. If the clog is further down in the pipes and not accessible with either of these tools, you’ll need to call a professional plumber. They will be able to identify the source of the problem and find the best solution for you.
How do you force a toilet to flush without running water?
If your RV toilet has no running water and you need to flush it, you can manually force the toilet to flush. To do this, fill a bucket with clean water and pour it into the bowl. You may need to add more water if necessary. Once the bowl is full, press down on the flushing lever located at the side of the toilet. This will activate the flush cycle and allow the water to go down the drain. Keep in mind that this method should only be used as a last resort; if you are able to access running water, it is best to use that instead.
Will baking soda and vinegar unclog a RV toilet?
Yes, you can use baking soda and vinegar to unclog a RV toilet. To do this, pour 3-4 cups of vinegar into the bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Then add 1 cup of baking soda and allow it to fizz up. Once the fizzing subsides, flush the toilet with water to clear the clog. If this doesn’t work, you may need to use a plunger or snake to remove the clog. If either of these methods don’t work, then it is best to call a plumber for help.
Can you leave baking soda and vinegar in toilet overnight?
No, it is not recommended to leave baking soda and vinegar in the toilet overnight. This can cause residue to build up on the inside of your pipes, which could eventually lead to a clog. If you want to use this method for unclogging your RV toilet, it is best to wait until the fizzing has stopped and then flush the toilet with water. This will clear out any residue and restore your RV toilet to normal functioning.
What can I pour down my toilet to unclog it?
If you need to unclog your RV toilet, the best thing to pour down it is a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Pour 3-4 cups of vinegar into the bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Then add 1 cup of baking soda and allow it to fizz up. Once the fizzing subsides, flush the toilet with water to clear the clog. If this doesn’t work, you may need to use a plunger or snake to remove the clog. If either of these methods don’t work, then it is best to call a plumber for help.
Why does my RV toilet keep clogging up?
This could be due to a few different factors. The first is that the size of the waste pipe may not be large enough for the amount of waste and water you are trying to flush through it. The second is that there may be too much solid material (such as toilet paper) in the bowl which can cause a clog. Another possible cause could be that the flush valve is not sealing properly, resulting in water not passing through. It is best to identify the source of the issue and take appropriate steps to resolve it.
Useful Video: RV Toilet Repair how to fix your Thetford toilet.
When it comes to fixing an RV toilet that won’t flush, there are a few simple solutions you can try before needing to call in a professional. Checking the pressure of the tank and water line, ensuring the tank is seated properly and adding additional chemicals may resolve your issue quickly and easily. If none of these solutions work, then it’s time to call in an expert. With a few simple steps and these tips, you can easily fix your RV toilet so that it flushes properly and works as intended. Happy travels!