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Old 03-06-2013, 22:20   #1
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Head Smells, Need Help.

I have done some reading in the other threads on here, and have not found anyone with the same issue as mine. I installed an electric flush Jabsco toilet in place of the former manual pump Jabsco toilet three years ago. The toilet draws raw water in to flush and we are in a predominantly fresh water area on the boarder of a brackish water area. The last few times coming down to the vessel after it being packed up all week the entire head smells of sewer gas. I have noticed that the toilet is holding no liquid in the bottom and there is no pee trap to hold liquid to keep the odors from the holding tank from coming back up into the head. Can I install a 1 way clapper in to keep the gasses from coming back up? What other options do I have? I pump out regularly, I fill the holding tank with fresh water and pump again. I use holding tank odor neutralizer, and marine toilet paper. I am trying to avoid completely redoing the entire for cost purposes( if I did I would eliminate the holding tank and go to an Electro Scan). Anyone got any ideas?
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Old 03-06-2013, 22:38   #2
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Re: Head Smells, Need Help.

Get Peggie's book. Get Rid of Boat Odors: A Boat Owner's Guide to Marine Sanitation Systems and Other Sources of Aggravation and Odor: Peggie Hall: 9781892399151: Amazon.com: Books

That will help you understand what to look for in your system. Basically it all comes down to anaerobic bacteria. If your holding tank is well vented, then the likely culprit is stagnant water in your hoses.

More than likely the smell is in your seawater intake hose that's closed off when you leave the boat. Microorganisms die in the hose and rot, and without air the rot stinks. You might have odor permeating that hose, and you probably find the first flush results in a powerful smell as that standing water comes into the bowl. If that's the case you might benefit from a better quality hose, but you'll still have an issue with that first flush. You can cure that if you change to a fresh water flush by teeing your toilet intake into your sink drain (do NOT connect it to your fresh water supply).

If you're lucky Peggie will drop in on this thread. Regardless, start with her book.
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Old 03-06-2013, 22:48   #3
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Re: Head Smells, Need Help.

The odor may be from a different source than you think. It's very common for toilets flushed with raw water to pick up biological stuff, critters and plants, that get trapped in the rim of the bowl. They rot up there and the smell can be horrible. The cure is to remove the bowl from the boat and flush the rim with a hose. try to get all that stuff out. It's not easy because of the small holes in the bowl rim. The prevention is a good strainer in the intake line and some times stuff gets through that.

It would be very difficult for odor to get back into the toilet from the holding tank. There is already a flap valve in the discharge of the toilet. It's possible the flap valve is bad. If so replace it. I wouldn't add another check valve, you would just be asking for a blockage.

The discharge hose may be saturated and need replacing. Rub the hose with a rag. Sniff the rag. If you smell sewage, replace the hose with Trident or Raritan sewage hose.

When you flush, be sure to flush long enough for the sewage to be pushed all the way to the tank. Most people just flush long enough to clear the bowl. You don't want poop and piss sitting in the hose. The hose eventually gets blocked. If you're worried about holding tank capacity, at least give the line a good flush at the end of the day.

Read Peggie Hall's book for more information.She explains a trick for using the sink drain to supply fresh water to your toilet intake once in a while and that helps with odors as well. Here is a link to the book: Get Rid of Boat Odors by Peggie Hall

I see SailFast beat me to it! Great minds think alike.
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Old 03-06-2013, 23:08   #4
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Re: Head Smells, Need Help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Creekside View Post
Can I install a 1 way clapper in to keep the gasses from coming back up?
Yes. It's called a "joker valve." It might not solve your problem, but it's fairly cheap and easy to change. Check the parts list for your particular toilet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Creekside View Post
I use holding tank odor neutralizer, and marine toilet paper.
Well, "oder neutralizer" might not be sufficient. You want more than just a deodorant. The best products introduce a bacterial culture/enzyme that helps break down waste. What specific product do you use? If it's the cheap stuff, that could be your problem.
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Old 04-06-2013, 00:11   #5
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Re: Head Smells, Need Help.

Do you keep the head door closed when you're away from the boat? I've found that heads smell better if left open so odors can dissipate. This is probably not your whole problem but try it. Personally I prefer to keep the door open except when the head is occupied. Air doesn't get stale, and it's easy to know when it's occupied.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:23   #6
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Re: Head Smells, Need Help.

I use Campa Chem w/formaldehyde, I think I will also try leaving the head door open also. Do you think that the joker valve will cause backups? Peggy's book is out of stock currently but I will be checking back to see when it becomes available.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:37   #7
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Re: Head Smells, Need Help.

Head Odors 101 Head Odors 101 & Fresh Water to Head from the Sink in the Head FLIX

Head Odors 101.1 - "T" into sink drain: Head Odors 101 & Fresh Water to Head from the Sink in the Head FLIX

Head Odors 101.2 The Difference between KO & Odorlos (scroll up to Reply #2) Odorlos / Raritan - SailboatOwners.com
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:17   #8
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Re: Head Smells, Need Help.

Creekside, your toilet already has a Joker valve. If it isn't closing completely you should replace it. You don't say which model Jabsco toilet you have but here is a link to the parts list for the 37010 series toilet. http://www.xylemflowcontrol.com/file...43000-0612.pdf
That's the most common Jabsco electric toilet.

I have Peggie's book in stock. Here is a link to order it from me:
Get Rid of Boat Odors by Peggie Hall
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Old 04-06-2013, 14:58   #9
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Just read that chapter in Peggy's book. The solution is to disconnect the intake at the thru hull, fill a bucket with vinegar and water solution, put the intake hose in the bucket and flush the toilet several times. This cleans those little holes in the rim of the bowl. The problem is that this is only a temporary fix and it must become part of your maintenance routine!!
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