If you are into hiking or camping, buying an RV toilet is an excellent investment. These types of toilets are lightweight, convenient, and easy to use. However, even top-quality units can have problems over time, such as not being able to hold water. In this article, we will focus on the most common causes of RV toilets that won’t hold water, including how to fix this issue.
Some Basics About RV Toilets
To start, not holding water is a common problem among RV toilets, so you aren’t the first to experience this issue. Thankfully, the good thing about RV toilets is that they’re simple devices, and most of them operate in a similar way. In most cases, if the toilet won’t hold water, it’s because the blade seal is damaged. The seal might even harden over time and the mechanism will stop working, requiring a replacement blade seal. Looking into the blade seal is our recommended first step when trying to repair your RV toilet.
How to Replace the Blade Seal
You can always call a plumber to fix the problem for you and check out your toilet in general. However, fixing a broken blade seal requires only some basic DIY skills, so if you’re handy, it shouldn’t be a problem to fix the seal yourself. See below for the basic instructions on how to complete the job.
1. Choose the Right Repair Kit
The first thing that you need to clarify is what type of RV toilet you have. It’s even better if you still have an instruction manual at hand. If you don’t, you can check the unit serial number on the base of the unit, and might even be able to look up the manual online. However, no matter the model, you will be able to find a blade seal in most hardware stores for around $20. Once you’ve confirmed the model, make sure to buy a new blade seal that’s compatible with your toilet.
2. How to Replace the Seal?
Now that you have your replacement ready to go, you can follow these steps to replace the old seal:
- First, turn off the water supply and empty the toilet from water and pressure.
- Then, remove the bolts that hold the unit to the floor, and detach the water pipe behind the unit. Remove the toilet carefully and place it in a safe place.
- Next, put a towel on the exposed waste hole and locate the seal. You should see a ring that you’ll need to replace with a new ring in the same location.
- Before you start replacing the part, add a bit of water to ensure that the seal holds water properly.
- After you replace the seal, install the toilet back in position and make sure to properly tighten the bolts.
- Finally, let the water run and test to make sure everything works as expected.
Other Causes of the Problem
If you looked into your blade seal and that wasn’t the issue, there are a few other thing you can try to figure out why your RV toilet isn’t holding water.
Broken Water Valve
Over time, the water valve will wear off and you will need to replace it. If you notice that the water continues to run in your toilet after you flush, that’s a sign that it’s time to replace your water valve. This problem is also more common when the water valve has frozen and then reheated to a normal temperature multiple times. However, a broken water valve is a simple fix, and water valves themselves are usually very affordable.
Broken or Worn Flange
A damaged toilet flange is another common problem among RV toilets. If you notice leaking water around the base of the unit, there’s a good chance that the flange has worn off.
Since most parts in an RV toilet are rubber or plastic, they will eventually wear down over time. However, no matter which part you need to replace, you should be able to find it online or at your local hardware store without issue. If you’ve looked into all the other issues above with no success, you may need to call in a plumber to look for other worn parts in your toilet.
As you can see, not holding water is a common problem among RV toilets. However, many of the most common causes are simple and affordable to fix. Even if you worry about shipping costs or extra fees, your local hardware store will likely have the replacement parts available to get your toilet up and running again in no time.