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Old 23-07-2015, 11:42   #1
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Heater hose used in head

I recently replaced the outflow hose on my head. The original owner had used 'heater hose'. I replaced that with the 'correct' head hose from marine shop but now my head stinks. Never had any odor with heater hose. Anybody heard of using heater hose on head?


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Old 23-07-2015, 14:12   #2
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Re: Heater hose used in head

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I recently replaced the outflow hose on my head. The original owner had used 'heater hose'. I replaced that with the 'correct' head hose from marine shop but now my head stinks. Never had any odor with heater hose. Anybody heard of using heater hose on head?

What exactly do you mean by "my head stinks"...the toilet bowl? the whole compartment? Describe the hose run...IOW does it go directly from the toilet to a thru-hull IN the head? Or a path through lockers to a tank or thru-hull outside the head? Did you replace only the toilet discharge hose?

Exactly which "correct" hose did you use (brand..."model" #)? How long ago? The least expensive single wall "correct sanitation hose" permeated on my own boat in less than 90 days. Like a lot of other things, you get what you pay for in sanitation hose. However, if you used Trident 102--white, with green stripe, that's top quality sanitation hose...but it does have one drawback that fortunately is temporary, but really objectionable while it lasts...it out-gasses a chemical odor, something to do with the white skin...101--same hose, but black--doesn't do that. So if that's what it is, and you can live with it for a few weeks, it'll gradually go away.

And finally, did you have a spill when you removed the old hose?
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Old 23-07-2015, 16:02   #3
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Re: Heater hose used in head

Ok. To clarify...and correct my previous posting;
The heater hose was used on the intake side of the head (toilet), not discharge. That's the hose I replaced with the marine stores recommended head hose. The smell is just in the toilet bowl...not in the head compartment. And there was no spill from the removed hose.
The new intake hose hasn't been on very long. I replaced it prior to sailing up the coast in April for 2 weeks. The smell started after returning to my marina. I flush the toilet, (just water...no waste), clean the bowl and put baking soda into bowl. Smell returns after a few days.
Maybe there is something in the intake hose...and/or marina water, but I never had the odor before I replaced the 'heater' hose on the intake side of toilet.


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Old 23-07-2015, 16:05   #4
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Re: Heater hose used in head

I'm not on boat at present but the 'Trident' hose description sounds like what I have....so maybe I just need to wait until odor dissipates.


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Old 23-07-2015, 17:02   #5
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Re: Heater hose used in head

Nope.. Trident 102 isn't the culprit...'cuz it's only available in 1.5" and 1" and toilet intake lines are 3/4".

I'm pretty sure now that I know the source of your odor, but I have one last question: is the odor worse with the first flush after you've been off the boat for a while...gets a bit better after the first flush?
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Old 23-07-2015, 17:36   #6
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Re: Heater hose used in head

I used heater hose for the intake or supply to my toilet and dont have any problems with smell except self induced ie: I forget (or get lazy) to pump out before leaving after a weekend. I do supply the toilet with fresh water from my sink though and not from the (now non existent) thru hull.

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Old 23-07-2015, 22:50   #7
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Re: Heater hose used in head

Reply to peghall
Yes, the odor is worse after first flush and only slightly better after several flushes.
Reply to Rainh2o2
I was looking for another person who had the heater hose on their intake to the head. I didn't know if it was a mistake by the original owner of my boat or something he did on purpose.
Thanks to both of you for your help and info!


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Old 23-07-2015, 22:57   #8
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Re: Heater hose used in head

Vinegar and check ur loop vent. Put a little in ur toilet brush holder also.

Better pickles than poop.


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Old 24-07-2015, 01:25   #9
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Re: Heater hose used in head

Your head odor is most likely caused by the stinky harbor water and dead and decaying micro marine organisms that sit in the intake hose and bowl rim.

We had the same issue with a boat based out of Long Beach, CA. Nothing we could do about it, the smell quickly permeated the hoses. The head smelled like either rotten eggs or harbor stink... Those were our choices. The only long term solution would have been to switch to a fresh water flush system or move the boat to an area without the harbor water issue.

When the red tide came through the area, the smell was unbearable. Also unbearable after a rare rain storm would empty all the trash from up the Los Angeles river (drainage ditch) into the marina.
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Old 24-07-2015, 08:28   #10
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Re: Heater hose used in head

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Yes, the odor is worse after first flush and only slightly better after several flushes.
Type of hose used for the intake has nothing to do with it. It's a complete coincidence that immediately after you replaced the hose, you managed to pull some animal or vegetable sea life into your intake, where it died and is decaying. Black flecks in your flush water would help to confirm this. Because it remains pretty "ripe" even after you've flushed when you come back aboard, I suspect it's animal life...it may even be trapped in the channel in rim of the bowl. I've seen a lot of weeds and more than a few minnows...but the worst intake odor I ever experienced was the remains of a baby octopus!

The cure: Buy a quart of distilled white vinegar...remove the intake line from the thru-hull (prob'ly would be a good idea to close the seacock first) and stick it in a bucket of clean FRESH water to which you've added the whole quart of vinegar. Flush the whole bucketful through. Follow that with a couple of bucketfuls of clean fresh water. That SHOULD clean out your system...if you still have odor, it may be necessary to remove the bowl and put it on the dock to blast out with a hose. You might want to put a strainer in you intake line, near the thru-hull...or....

There's a pretty simple and inexpensive way to eliminate intake odor problems...several sailboat builders have plumbed boats this way to eliminate one hole in the boat and save the cost of a thru-hull and seacock: reroute your head intake line to tee it into the head sink drain line immediately ahead of the seacock...the tee needs be below waterline. This will let you flush the toilet with sea water, same as always. You may need to keep the plug in the sink to prevent the toilet from pulling in air that interferes with the pump priming. When you're ready to leave the boat, after you've closed all the thru-hulls, fill the sink with clean fresh water...flush. Because the thru-hull is closed the toilet will pull the water out of the sink, rinsing all the sea water out of the WHOLE system--intake line, pump, channel in the rim of the bowl AND the discharge. Just putting clean water in the bowl only rinses out the discharge line.

Works just as well at eliminating intake odors as using fresh water all the time, but conserves your fresh water and costs a LOT less than a new toilet!
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Old 24-07-2015, 09:12   #11
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Re: Heater hose used in head

Great info!! I'll give the intake hose a good cleaning and put in a strainer/screen close to thru hull. Re-routing the intake hose to sink drain isn't impossible but the sink and toilet are on opposite sides of my head with shower sump in between.
Thanks again for your help!


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Old 24-07-2015, 15:21   #12
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Re: Heater hose used in head

I use Trident hose except for one length of sloping PVC. No dips where waste can lodge. I also use Trident hose for the tank vent pipe. My freshwater hand basin drains into the toilet salt water intake with a T same as Peg suggested. Instead of a stopper in the hand basin I use a small plastic sea cock under the basin. That prevents sucking air in when flushing the toilet. Before leaving the boat on the marina I flush the whole system thoroughly including the holding tank with fresh water from the hand basin. To do that I turn off the salt water toilet intake by the skin fitting and turn on the hand basin drain. I run fresh into the basin and it drains into the toilet bowl and I pump it through the holding tank. It doesn't take very much fresh water to do that and it's best to do a couple of cycles. Absolutely no smells. Also I have a solar powered extraction vent in the cabin top above the toilet with a switch inside it as it doesn't need to run forever.
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Old 25-07-2015, 00:55   #13
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Re: Heater hose used in head

Re: stinky toilet

When you can, use fresh water for flushing instead of the sea water. all kinds of things germinate/percolate/generate in the sea water--calcium carbonate also makes for stinky.
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Old 25-07-2015, 08:07   #14
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Re: Heater hose used in head

The only way I have found to completely eliminate odor is to use fresh water as the big yachts do. Changing hoses frequently helps but micro organism decay will always occur. Vinegar helps (I pour a bit in every flush) and the correct hose as well.
Heads using sea water will always eventually smell in my experience.
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Old 21-06-2016, 09:53   #15
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Re: Heater hose used in head

Update on head odor and intake hose.

I went back to heater hose for my intake to head a few months ago....and it solved my odor problem!!! No more rotten eggs smell!! And I mean ZERO bad smell!!

The marine hose was white....the heater hose is black and is made of different material than the marine hose.

I'm not sure why the black hose doesn't smell but I don't really care. All I know is it solved the problem!!


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