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Old 07-10-2011, 10:03   #1
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Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

I know that everyone on this forum probably gets sick and tired of boat odor questions but if you all could send me some quick advice I promise not to wear you out. Now I have said all that here is my problem...

I have a new holding tank and lines in my houseboat. It is a 70 gallon tank and it is used a lot. I have a family of four with 2 small children so we are constantly pumping out.

I used Kronin four my first year with pretty good luck but then started to get a smell on the outside of the boat when it was flushed. One.. the Kronin is expensive when you are pumping out once a week and also I am curios if Kronin has time to do what it needs to do when I have to empty the tank once a week.

I put the sweet tank system in my dads boat about 10 years ago and it works wonders. That is what I would like to do soon. But until then I need to make sure I am using the right treatment.

I regretfully began using a product called TST. It works ok but is nothing but a mask. On one of my older boats I had used Odorlos and it worked great!

I have found someone here locally that carries odorlos and I want to start using it again.

So here is the question... Do I have to go to extremes to clean out the TST that has been in the tank before I start using Odorlos again?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
Phogan
P.S ventalation seems to be adequate.
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Old 07-10-2011, 13:31   #2
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

I use swimming pool bleach in powder form, just a table spoon for a tank your size.
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Old 07-10-2011, 14:18   #3
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Phogan.
The following charts list MSDS listed component chemicals:
http://www.calarvc.com/pdf/RV_Holding_Tank_Products.pdf

FWIW: Living dockside, and pimping your tank weekly, especially if you also perform a rinse (and have good ventilation), shouldn’t require any chemicals (especially bleach).
Peggy Hall will offer the definitive advice.
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Old 07-10-2011, 16:28   #4
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Never heard of "pimping" a holding tank. How much do you get for it?
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Old 07-10-2011, 16:49   #5
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

I added vents and started using odorus...smell gone Thanks Peggy
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Old 07-10-2011, 22:50   #6
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

You don't have to go to extremes, but I'd at least rinse out the tank before switching to Odorlos (what the heck is TST?)...it's not that hard to do: Pump out, then put about 5 gallons of clean water down the deck pumpout fitting...pump that out. Repeat 2-4 more times. That should rinse out your tank enough to make sure there's no adverse chemical reaction when you add Odorlos.

You do know that once you've installed the Sweetank aerator, you'll have to flush out the tank a couple of times a year to get rid of sludge that can clog up the system? What I've described above is just good training to do that.

Lorenzo, fwiw...chlorine is highly corrosive, also highly destructive to rubber and breaks down hose resistance to odor permeation....which makes it a VERY bad choice as a holding tank product.
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Old 07-10-2011, 23:08   #7
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Use Rid-X and sone kind of deodrizer. Rince twice every pump out
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Old 07-10-2011, 23:17   #8
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

i dont vent, nor use chemicals. material seems to anaerobically break down. no odor. seawater is a good rinse when needed - v rarely.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:46   #9
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

An unvented bladder is ok for water and maybe for fuel, but it would not be legal in the US. USCG regs require that all WASTE holding tanks--black water and gray water--not only be vented, but vented to the outside of the boat, because methane is flammable...and also because sewage--all organic matter--generates gasses as it breaks down aerobically or anaerobically, which can pressurize a tank enough to blow out a fitting or burst a seam in an old tank.

So legal or not in your neck of the woods, an unvented tank is not recommended for waste holding. You really should rinse it out pretty thoroughly 2-3 x year to flush all the sludge out of it too.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:01   #10
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

A holding tank filter like this one is the only thing we have found that "really" works for tank odor.

Amazon.com: SeaLand Holding Tank Vent Filter with Bracket (5/8-Inch): Sports & Outdoors
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:05   #11
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phogan View Post
I know that everyone on this forum probably gets sick and tired of boat odor questions but if you all could send me some quick advice I promise not to wear you out. Now I have said all that here is my problem...

I have a new holding tank and lines in my houseboat. It is a 70 gallon tank and it is used a lot. I have a family of four with 2 small children so we are constantly pumping out.

I used Kronin four my first year with pretty good luck but then started to get a smell on the outside of the boat when it was flushed. One.. the Kronin is expensive when you are pumping out once a week and also I am curios if Kronin has time to do what it needs to do when I have to empty the tank once a week.

I put the sweet tank system in my dads boat about 10 years ago and it works wonders. That is what I would like to do soon. But until then I need to make sure I am using the right treatment.

I regretfully began using a product called TST. It works ok but is nothing but a mask. On one of my older boats I had used Odorlos and it worked great!

I have found someone here locally that carries odorlos and I want to start using it again.

So here is the question... Do I have to go to extremes to clean out the TST that has been in the tank before I start using Odorlos again?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
Phogan
P.S ventalation seems to be adequate.

i'm certainly not an expert, but my whole boat smelled like an over-used kittly litter box. i mentioned this to the dock master and he told me to

1) use Odorlos

and

2) flush with fresh water.

It's only one person, not four, but sometimes I've missed my weekly pumpout -- happened this week -- and there's no odor.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:23   #12
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Do you always keep a cup or so of water in the toilet to form a positive vapor barrier?
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:28   #13
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

That's a good question. 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?

I just bought a 23 year old sailboat and I'm just learning about her systems, and odors. She has an original integral holding tank forward, for the fwd head, and a bladder for the aft head which seems quite new. I don't know why there is this separate bladder. I'm just stating to deal with smells as I use the boat/heads more. So I'm happy to see this thread and learn all I can.

JR
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Old 08-10-2011, 19:42   #14
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

Peggy Hall is a treasure. A number of years ago I read her description of how to create an aerobic digestion holding tank. I built one and used her recommended product, K.O. It solved my holding tank issues completely. This is a completely different approach to holding tanks, so heed her advice.
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Old 08-10-2011, 19:57   #15
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Re: Holding Tank Odor . . . Help !

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.
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