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Old 13-10-2011, 10:28   #31
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

So I was on the boat yesterday and got into the lockers/bilge area around the heads. The hoses have no markings (unlike other Trident hoses on other systems). They are a smooth semi-glossy light grey in color. Seem only a few years old on my 23 y/o boat.

Also when I got back home I had Peggie's book in the mail, Now I have to say that I never expected a book on boat odors to be a real page turner but it was! Thanks Peggie. Great stuff. It also raised more questions for me to investigate the next time on board, probably this weekend. Overall I think I have a hose replacement job in my future. My knuckles are bleeding just thinking about it. Knowing this now, however, means I'll be sure everything is extra well flushed before I'm hauled out for the winter.

JR
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Old 14-10-2011, 15:49   #32
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Welll...thank you very much for the kind words!
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Old 14-10-2011, 21:54   #33
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

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?

If the discharge fitting is at the bottom of the tank, more than likely yes...'cuz waste will always rise in that line to the level in the tank and sit there to permeate the hose. However, if the discharge fitting is on the top of the tank, with a pick up tube inside the tank, that line MAY not be permeated. But my rule of thumb is, if you have to replace one section of hose, replace ALL the hoses...otherwise, you're just gonna replace 'em all anyway, one at a time.

I seriously doubt if the bladder has permeated...they have rubber liners. Otoh, they're highly prone to leak at a fitting if they become pressurized--even blow out a fitting if they become REALLY pressurized...which is one of the reasons why bladders aren't recommended for sewage holding by anyone except the companies that make/sell bladders. They're ok for water, but seamless rotomolded PE that has a minimum wall thickness of 3/8" is the recommended material for waste holding.

Btw...somewhere back a ways in this jungle of posts, you questioned why there's be two holding tanks. 6' or less is the optimal distance from the toilet to the tank--'cuz that's as far as bowl contents will move in the amount of time anyone will spend flushing...so unless the tank can be installed within no more than 6-8' from both toilets, each toilet needs to be on its own tank. Available space for a tank can also be a factor...two tanks may be the only way to have sufficient holding capacity.
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Old 16-10-2011, 10:12   #34
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

For my fwd head with integral fiberglass holding tank the discharge is on the bottom, then a flex hose curves about 18" up to a diverter valve whose fittings are just at the tank top height. The diverter directs the discharge flow to either the macerator pump (down hill) or to the the deck fitting (up hill of course). It occurs to me that after a pump out and complete flush of the tank/hoses I should leave this valve in the off position so both of the discharge routes stay empty. I'm also thinking that the 18" connector from the bottom of the tank to the bottom of the diverter valve could be replaced with solid PVC pipe like used in household plumbing, and I wouldn't have to worry about it being full (which it always will be), and getting permeated. Thoughts on using PVC?

As for the bladder the previous owner gave me a new spare which I've been able to look at closely. The way the fitting attach to the rubber membrane are just asking to leak. Not a very smart method employed, but at least the fittings can be taken apart and a sealant could be put in where the leaks are bound to happen. This is all moot for me now as I've decided to replace the bladder tank with a plastic tank over the winter.

Peggie, thanks for going back to my old questions. Looking at the original blueprints of the boat it looks like the aft head only had a direct overboard discharge. The bladder tank was added later, as the fwd tank is both too small and too far away. In most ways the job was done in a high quality way with good parts, but as you and others point out a bladder tank is just sub-optimal for waste holding.

A lot of work ahead. I also have a stinky inlet water problem to solve and will follow the advice on these posts and in Peggie's book. Might as well do full service on both toilets too. So I''l be working on all dimensions of my heads over the winter.

Thanks all,

JR
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Old 16-10-2011, 14:49   #35
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

I'm also thinking that the 18" connector from the bottom of the tank to the bottom of the diverter valve could be replaced with solid PVC pipe like used in household plumbing, and I wouldn't have to worry about it being full (which it always will be), and getting permeated. Thoughts on using PVC?

That'll work.

If you'd like a little one-on-one input as you start to put the details together, feel free to email me...I'll be glad to help.
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Old 24-10-2011, 16:52   #36
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Since this post seems to be the place for holding tank woes, here goes mine. I recently bought Peggy’s book as well, and it is a great read, lots of good information in it. We have a 40 gallon Ronco tank, that has a 1” vent that is 24” long (from thru hull vent to top of tank vent). The rise from the top of the tank to the thru hull is only about 6”. All of the hoses are 3 years old now, as are the valves, and the Manual Lavac head, which works well by the way. The problem that we are experiencing is that the locker for the tank really stinks. I tried the hot wet cloth on the tank and hoses, but that came up smelling clean. We have used everything for 3 years now, and pump out every 2 weeks. When I rebuilt the Henderson pump about 3 months ago, it was caked inside with crystallized smell gunk (urine no doubt), and it took a while to clean everything off the insides. The head makes use of a dedicated separate fresh water tank to pull from instead of seawater.
We have not up until recently started rinsing the tank with fresh water after each pump out. I also started using a cup of white vinegar a week to try and clean up the system. That didn’t seem to make much difference. I removed the clamshell that was covering the tank vent, to try and get more airflow in the tank. Based on Peggy’s recommendation in her book we started using Raritan CP this past week, and also KO for the tank. I also checked the vent (used water pressure) to make sure that the vent line isnot plugged. We do not have a vent filter. So far the smell is down significantly, but the locker still stinks. Any suggestions? How long should the CP stuff take to really eliminate the odors? I also looked for possible leaks, but when I stuck my head near the tank while the admiral pumped the Henderson, water came in plenty fast, but did not leak , nor could I detect any increase in odor or hear any air escaping except for the vent as it should.
Any suggestions..? Any one??? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
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Old 24-10-2011, 18:39   #37
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Everything you've described about your tank installation and maintenance is wonderful. And while all of it certainly should do a wonderful job of eliminating odor belching out the tank vent, NONE of it will have any impact whatever on odor INSIDE a boat...'cuz unless a tank is leaking, it cannot possibly be the source or odor inside the boat. Odor from inside the tank has only one place to go: out the tank vent. Odor inside the boat has to have another source.

So you don't have "holding tank odor"...What you do have is residual odor in that locker from previous permeated hoses or a spill...or maybe even some of a spill still left hiding somewhere.

You said, "When I rebuilt the Henderson pump about 3 months ago, it was caked inside with crystallized smell gunk (urine no doubt), and it took a while to clean everything off the insides." And I'll bet it also leaked...which makes it a good bet that it was the culprit. If not...YOU may have spilled waste when you replaced the tank and hoses. So...

Step one: Order a gallon of PureAyre PureAyre (household version works just fine and costs less than the marine version)...and buy a garden pump spray jug.

Step two: clean every surface, nook and cranny in that locker any other that stink with a good strong solution of detergent and water...NO bleach...it won't help.FIND any remaining odor source and remove it. Mop up all the excess water...even let it dry bit, but it can still be a bit damp, just not WET.

Step three: Put the PureAyre in the jug and lay down a thin coating of it on EVERY surface, nook and cranny in any area that stinks. Do NOT rinse...just let it dry for at least 24 hours--even turn on a fan.

If you still have ANY odor, you haven't found the source yet. If you're absolutely certain that there couldn't possibly be any source of ANY odor left, investigate trapped water under the sole or anywhere else that maybe limber holes may be blocked. I'll help you track it down if you can't find it.
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Old 25-10-2011, 07:16   #38
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Thanks Peggy, I will follow your steps above. We did have a spill in that locker shortly after installation almost 3 years ago(I forgot about that until you mentioned it). I thought we got rid of the odor then, perhaps a hot cloth on the floor where it the spill was might reveal it?

Yes, the pump was leaking which prompted the rebuild and unfortunately is leaking again UGH, but we can't seem to locate the leak, as it is intermittent. That is my other piece of this project that I am working on now. I was considering using some blue food coloring in the bowl to track down the leak on the pump. The pump is an externally mounted Henderson pump and leaks about a table spoon of stuff every so often against the bulkhead (behind the pump housing) that we have it mounted on. The tank locker is isolated in a locker just about 6' from the pump with a bulkhead in between. We wipe down that bulkhead very regularly, and it smells better than the tank locker. ;-(

For detergent for cleaning the locker, will something like simple green work or any recommendations?

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 25-10-2011, 10:00   #39
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Any good detergent is as good as any other, so use whatever you have on hand.

Replace the pump, forget about any "hot wet cloth on the spill" (trust me, it still stinks!), and stop dreaming up any MORE extra work for yourself that accomplishes nothin' except delay in actually solving the problem!
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Old 16-05-2014, 13:54   #40
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Peg, I know that this is an old thread, but I have a quick question. Found a used fresh water tank that fits my vbunk perfectly. Can I convert to a holding tank?

Thanks..
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Old 16-05-2014, 14:38   #41
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtourtillott View Post
Peg, I know that this is an old thread, but I have a quick question. Found a used fresh water tank that fits my vbunk perfectly. Can I convert to a holding tank? Thanks..
Yep. It'll need some new fittings, and I'll be glad to help you locate and size 'em if you'd like to contact me directly.
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