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Old 10-08-2009, 17:10   #1
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Head and Holding Storage

I am getting ready to move off of the boat soon and will be leaving it for a few months before my parents move aboard this winter. I am planning on sort of closing up shop. My head and holding tank stink. What else is new? I was thinking of trying to store it with the whole plumbing system full and soaking with a bleach and water solution to see if I could get rid of the stink before my folks move aboard their otherwise beautiful yacht. Does anyone have any experience with this type of treatment? Will the bleach eat through the holdig tank and plumbing lines?
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Old 10-08-2009, 17:21   #2
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The bleach wouldn't "eat" though anything (I'm a water treater). Bleach isn't good on metals but unless you are planning on filling with staight industrial bleach shouldn't cause any problems. But if it was me and I wanted to do a disinflect I would fill the system and let it set a couple of hours, then drain and flush instead of leaving it filled withthe bleach. Otherwise you could end up with any werid kind of sludge etc.
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Old 10-08-2009, 17:31   #3
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If your head and holding tank stink, bleach will not solve the problem. The hoses probably are shot and will have to be replaced.
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Old 10-08-2009, 18:27   #4
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Quote:
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If your head and holding tank stink, bleach will not solve the problem. The hoses probably are shot and will have to be replaced.
What makes you say this? Bleach is a cure all.
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Old 10-08-2009, 18:49   #5
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Im afraid Vasco is correct.
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Old 10-08-2009, 19:07   #6
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Rub a paper towel on the hose. If it stinks replace it. There are no easy fixes to head problems. If the tank is a problem it's usually lack of air flowing through , unless it's leaking.
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Old 10-08-2009, 19:09   #7
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Replace the hoses and buy some holding tank solution. Bleach will only make the smell go away temporarily.
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Old 10-08-2009, 19:13   #8
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hypothetically:

if you were my son, and you'd lived aboard rent-free all summer without even once bothering to treat the holding tank, and then if before scooting back to college for the fall semester you threw a bottle of bleach in the tank, I'd disown you.

Young man, scurry down to West Marine, purchase a bottle of "Headzyme" WITH YOUR OWN MONEY, and learn how to use it.
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Old 10-08-2009, 19:27   #9
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Rubbing the paper towel on the hose is the right idea, but the full treatment is to wrap the hose with a warm, damp rag, and let it sit an hour. If odor has permeated the hose, it will be picked up by the rag. The only solution is replacement.

An other common problem is an abundance of anaerobic bacteria (the type that thrive where there is a lack of oxygen) in the holding tank due to inadequate ventilation. For some reason, it's those critters that are the smelly ones, not the aerobic. Before throwing enzymes in, checking the deck vent and vent hose all the way back to the tank for constrictions/obstructions. Without good ventilation, the smell will return, even with chemicals & new hoses.
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Old 10-08-2009, 19:52   #10
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Quote:
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if you were my son, and you'd lived aboard rent-free all summer without even once bothering to treat the holding tank, and then if before scooting back to college for the fall semester you threw a bottle of bleach in the tank, I'd disown you.

Young man, scurry down to West Marine, purchase a bottle of "Headzyme" WITH YOUR OWN MONEY, and learn how to use it.
I am not a young man (pushing 30), I am not in college, I am not living rent free, I have put in over $10,000 worth of free labor into this boat, and we have constantly treated the holding tank. Thanks you for making such astute assumptions about me though. This is the type of stereotyping I have to undergo every day at my marina and it drives me nuts.

Back to the thread though, sorry. I will check the hoses as per suggested. I am however worried about improper ventilation though. Sometimes when we pump out the holding tank the vent only wheezes a little bit until the tank is almost empty. I will investigate further. I was sort of under the assumption that everyone's head and tank smelled a bit.

Also, as I have read on other threads, it is not a good idea to use products like Headzyme when your ventilation is in question because you can explode your holding tank.
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Old 10-08-2009, 20:02   #11
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I should have mentioned, there is a special type of hose meant specifically for that problem. Its just called sanitation hose. Smells cannot penetrate this hose

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Old 11-08-2009, 10:42   #12
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Those are the hoses we have and they are a little stinky when I do the wet cloth trick. What's up with that?
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:51   #13
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What's up with that? Worn like everything else. It has served it's time, and time to replace. Wrapping it with saran wrap is a bandaid cure, but will work for some time. To most of us 30 is a kid, and your labor just earns you the right to use the boat......i2f
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:09   #14
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Having dealt with both of the described problems this last year (smelly hoses and clogged up vent tube), you really, really want to check that vent, first! If you're fortunate, cleaning that up will take care of your problem.

Replacing sanitation hoses is a major job I won't soon forget. Expensive, too. Good quality hose runs dollars per foot and don't give in and replace it with cheap hose. Furthermore, you will use many hose clamps and since a number of them are likely to be below the water line, you'll need to double them using 316. You really don't want to do that job again for as long as possible, and you really don't want a leak, either!

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Old 11-08-2009, 15:05   #15
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Yup, I just blew out the vent hose and it was a little clogged with the usual calcification (which strikes me as weird because it should just be full of air right?) and a little bit of brown water. I currently have the while system soaking in a bath of warm water and bleach without chlorine. I also stuck some air fresheners and baking soda down by the hoses. This is a problem we (the family) noticed when we moved aboard. It is made worse by the that when you lie down in the v berth your head is right above all of the hoses.
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