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Old 08-10-2011, 20:41   #16
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Filters treat the symptom, but they don't cure the problem. In fact, they actually help to create the problem.
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Old 08-10-2011, 20:43   #17
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorenzo b View Post
Do you always keep a cup or so of water in the toilet to form a positive vapor barrier?
That's one of the functions of a joker valve, eliminating the need for a water barrier.
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Old 08-10-2011, 20:44   #18
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
(what the heck is TST?)
It's the name for a group of products made by Camco, whom you've heard of. The one I know is the orange powder; it's active ingredient is nitrate (same as Oderlos), and so it works in much the same manner and to much same extent. There is also a slight orange scent, but not enough to call it a mask.

There are other TST products; some are surfactant and enzyme-based. Some may be old school perfume and sterilizer. Can't say without more information. It seems most of the manufacturers are trying different aproaches to head chemical, trying to see what the market wants. Some work, some don't. Pretty crazy.

If the orange powder failed for this poster, I suggest it failed because ventilation was too limited or because of the same factors that might make Oderlos fail.
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Old 08-10-2011, 20:59   #19
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

The thing that always baffles me about tank odors is that the system is closed loop, as it is meant to be, with only a vent outside the hull, why do I get odors inside, and specifically in the lockers near the holding tanks?

The tank, unless it's leaking, is rarely if ever the source of odor INSIDE the boat...'cuz odor from inside the tank has only one place to go: out the tank vent. So you need to look elsewhere for the source of your odor. The most common sources are permeated hoses and/or wet dirty bilges and/or sumps...occasionally trapped water beneath the sole. In fact, I get calls all the time from people who've ripped out their entire sanitation systems--head, hoses and tank--trying to get rid of what they thought was "head" or "tank" odor, when all they really needed to do was clean their bilges and sumps--really CLEAN 'em for a change, and flush ALL the dirty water out, instead of only dumping more bleach or "miracle" cleaner and calling it done.

A wet dirty bilge or sump is a real "pimordial soup" that can make a whole boat smell like a swamp or even a sewer. If you had a sink full of water that smelled like that, would you just pour some Simple Green or bleach into it, swish it around a bit, then just pull the plug and expect to have a clean sink? Of course not! So WHY do so many boat owners think that's all they need to do to have a clean bilge??? CLEAN the d'd things! And the sumps!

Odors are always strongest at their source...so after you've cleaned the bilges and sumps--thus eliminating them as a source, start opening hatches and sniffing immediately after coming aboard, BEFORE airing the boat out. Most likely the hoses will be a major source. We can discuss what to do next. Meanwhile, you MIGHT want to check out the link in my signature....???
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Old 08-10-2011, 21:03   #20
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

As the other products take time to work and a week is not long enough...

Where'd you get that idea? It IS necessary to flush out the tank before switching from one product to another, but anything that's gonna work will work right from the get-go, or it's not work at all.

And btw, preventing a vent blockage is a LOT easier than curing one. Just backflush the vent every time you wash the boat and/or pump out. If your vent thru-hull isn't designed to let you do that, replace it with one that will.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:55   #21
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, JR.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:15   #22
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Holding tank vent line filter...Build one yourself . Read Good Old Boat magazine...Sept 2011 issue. Simple, effective and cheap... Bob Tigar
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:31   #23
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

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Originally Posted by ShaunJ View Post
My vent has clogged twice this season and the smell is pretty bad when that happens.
I will take Peggy's advice and stop using bleach, the owner of my marina told me that since I pump out every week bleach is the best to use. As the other products take time to work and a week is not long enough. I have been using it for the whole season I don't think it works very well at all.
Lots of people will tell you entirely wrong things -- with great confidence.

They won't be there when your seals deteriorate from the bleach.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:08   #24
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Been there. No shortcuts.

Forget about adding any chemical.

Your problem is the hoses between the toilet and the holding tank need to be replaced. If you have some sort of plastic "Y" valve in the loop, it needs replacement as well.

When you replace the hoses be sure to check the pipe going into the holding tank for crystallization and clogging..ensure it is clear and clean.

Once you have cleaned up, use fresh water to flush and flush completely.

You may need to repeat this process in 5-8 years.

Bill
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:57   #25
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Quote:
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We can discuss what to do next. Meanwhile, you MIGHT want to check out the link in my signature....???
I don't see the link in your sig.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:10   #26
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

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I don't see the link in your sig.
Oops...I forgot. This is the only site I'm on that wouldn't let me include a link in my signature when I joined. Here 'tis:

Get Rid of Boat Odors
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:54   #27
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Gord - thanks - happy to be here and start my path to being a very active member.

Peggy - ordered your book and looking forward to some fireside reading...

Bill (and others) - "replace hoses and y-valve" - really?

First, if the toilet to holding tank hose is bleeding odors wouldn't the hose from the tank to the deck pump-out fitting also bleed odors? I ask because I have a very distinct odor in the lockers by the head and tank (next to each other, port side) but none along the path of the exit pipe (under sole and up stbd side to deck fitting). The head hose and y-valve would be only hard to replace, the exit hose nearly impossible without major demolition. Any coating available to seal these hoses from the outside?

Above is for my forward head. The aft head has a rubber bladder tank which definitely seems to be bleeding odors. All the fittings seems very secure, but the locker stinks. I can believe this large expanse of rubber is more likely to allow some odor bleeding than a pipe and probably should just replace the whole bladder (relatively easy access). Anyone know about the aging of these bladders?

I'm also suspicious my vents are clear enough and will check them tomorrow.

Thanks,

JR
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Old 11-10-2011, 13:45   #28
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

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i dont vent, nor use chemicals. material seems to anaerobically break down. no odor. seawater is a good rinse when needed - v rarely.
Hope nobody is on board for the explosion!
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Old 11-10-2011, 14:00   #29
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

JR SPYDER, If you're getting odors in the boat, you might have hoses that are permiated. If that is the source of the odors, replace your hoses with Trident Sanitation hose.
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Old 11-10-2011, 20:25   #30
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Not just any Trident sanitation hose...101 or 102 Trident Marine: Sanitation Hose It's a double walled rubber hose that's been on the market for nearly 20 without a single reported odor permeation failure...something that cannot be said about about ANY other hose including SeaLand's pricy OdorSafe stuff. I've personally been aboard at least half a dozen boats, and heard of MANY more OdorSafe failures.
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