Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-01-2009, 17:27   #16
Registered User
 
RBEmerson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SE PA
Boat: Baba 35 - One With The Wind
Posts: 392
Another vote for "clear the vent". Assume nothing about the vent hose and fittings, though. On OWTW, we had problems with a water tank that turned out to be caused by a thoroughly kinked vent hose, clobbered right behind the point where the hose attached to the through-hull. Everything else looked just fine but the tank kept burping through the filler. Assume nothing! Unless you can either inspect or test everything, you don't know the whole picture.

Also, any hose will saturate with the stink of waste turned anaerobic if the waste sits long enough (see below re: hose length). Once a hose in permeated with bad smells, there's little to do but replace it. One possible "cure" is to pour white vinegar (get the cheap stuff, of course!) into the system - we're talking at least a couple of gallons of vinegar. Let it sit overnight and then flush it out with lots of fresh water. That may help the smell issue. Or not. BTW, this will also help with some mineral deposits. However, it's possible for waste lines to clog up with mineral deposits. Replace the hose. It's far safer and cleaner than attacking the deposits with dilute muriatic acid (which will work but this is ugly, ugly, ugly stuff to work with, particularly in a boat!).

Testing sources for smell... get a box of odor-free tissues (no aloe, etc.) and wipe suspected sources with the tissue. Whatever smells originate form the wiped area will transfer to the tissue.

Hose lengths... We have a LectraSan installed on OWTW. The installer ignored Raritan's instructions which call for no more than 6' of hose between the commode and LectraSan. Raritan also calls for 1 gallon of water per flush. We had all manner of problems with the LectraSan until I finally decided to re-plumb everything. In the process, I pulled out 10 feet (honest!) of extra hose the stupid installer left in the boat. With the shorter hoses, we stopped having smell problems, the LectraSan works as advertised, and all is well. The point here is that if there is a lot of hose between the commode and tank, it's possible (or even likely) that waste is sitting in the hose, turning anaerobic, and stinking up the hose and the boat. Keep the hose runs as short as possible and use more water (yes, it means clearing the holding tank more often) to ensure all of the waste is delivered to the tank.
__________________

__________________
S/V One With The Wind
'85 Baba 35
"You and I may agree, but we could both be wrong."
RBEmerson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2009, 18:14   #17
Registered User
 
Christian Van H's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Princeton, NJ
Boat: Challenger Anacapa 42
Posts: 2,097
Images: 57
OK, first you need to bring a normal house cat aboard. Bring the cat into the head area, and let him sniff around, then see which way the cat walks. Afterwards, locate and bring aboard a Labrador retriever. Lead the dog into the area where the holding tank is mounted. Let him sniff around and see if he wags his tail. OK, now that you've had a Cat scan and some Lab work, I suggest you open up the holding tank area, and find your leak! I wont even charge for this!
__________________

__________________
www.anacapas.com

Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women!
Christian Van H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2009, 19:17   #18
Registered User
 
RBEmerson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SE PA
Boat: Baba 35 - One With The Wind
Posts: 392
Um, maybe the horrible odor is from the "cat scan and lab work" joke?

P U!!!
__________________
S/V One With The Wind
'85 Baba 35
"You and I may agree, but we could both be wrong."
RBEmerson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2009, 20:02   #19
Registered User
 
Christian Van H's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Princeton, NJ
Boat: Challenger Anacapa 42
Posts: 2,097
Images: 57
Tough crowd! I'll be here all week...try the veal!
__________________
www.anacapas.com

Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women!
Christian Van H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2009, 20:13   #20
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
How old are the hoses? You have my sympathy but if they are more than 8 years old it is time to redo all the hoses and also check for cracks in the holding tank. I just finished this job. It was nasty but not as bad as I had thought it would be. Removing the old hose and opening the cabinets to get to the holding tank was the worst of it. Use the real expensive hose from trident. (you don't want to do it again). If effluent is escaping there is a leak somewhere and it will need to be fixed. When I replaced my hoses there was a 3/16 inch scale of calcium on the walls of the hose. This decreased the effective area of the hose alot. Try to get the hose runs as short as possible and as straight as possible. If you can get a hose going striaght out to sea from the holding tank that is the best. Good luck.
__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-01-2009, 20:22   #21
Registered User
 
RBEmerson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SE PA
Boat: Baba 35 - One With The Wind
Posts: 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Van H View Post
Tough crowd! I'll be here all week...try the veal!
Hey, and don't forget to tip the servers!!

I forgot to mention, in the above account of replumbing the head, that the hoses and their contents, for the most part, really weren't that ...ah... stanky. Yes, it helps to have disposable rags to stop things up and a big bucket to empty standing water into, but the job was mostly just messy and not messy, if you follow the difference.

Now, we could discuss the time the commode pump piston came off the pump rod in mid-flush... Nah, best not to discuss that. Really.
__________________
S/V One With The Wind
'85 Baba 35
"You and I may agree, but we could both be wrong."
RBEmerson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2009, 19:52   #22
Registered User
 
scotte's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, CA, USA
Boat: Privilege 39
Posts: 664
Due to a leaky Y-Valve we had an issue where if the Y-Valve was set to direct-overboard, and the overboard seacock was open, it caused the tank to slowly fill... and fill... and fill... until it was leaking out through the access hatch of the tank into the bilge, plugging the vent, and so on.
__________________
scotte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2009, 21:00   #23
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Galveston Bay
Boat: 32' CC Oday
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Van H View Post
OK, now that you've had a Cat scan and some Lab work, I suggest you open up the holding tank area, and find your leak! I wont even charge for this!
I think Christian should have to watch 24 hours of "The Benny Hill" show for this uh....ill bred remark.


I direct a stream of water at the holding tank vent when pumping out so that fresh water can be be sucked in and flush the vent line clear. You would be surprised at what gets stuck in there.
__________________
"You do not ask a tame seagull why it needs to disappear from time to time toward the open sea. It goes, that's all."

Bernard Moitessier
BassAckwards is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2009, 21:16   #24
Registered User
 
RBEmerson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SE PA
Boat: Baba 35 - One With The Wind
Posts: 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotte View Post
Due to a leaky Y-Valve we had an issue where if the Y-Valve was set to direct-overboard, and the overboard seacock was open, it caused the tank to slowly fill... and fill... and fill... until it was leaking out through the access hatch of the tank into the bilge, plugging the vent, and so on.
Which is exactly why there should be an anti-siphon loop on the discharge line. When pumping overboard, the vent won't open (or it shouldn't if installed correctly), so smell isn't an issue.
__________________
S/V One With The Wind
'85 Baba 35
"You and I may agree, but we could both be wrong."
RBEmerson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-01-2009, 11:32   #25
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Pedro, California
Boat: Carpe Diem: 36' Pearson Sloop
Posts: 6
Hi everyone! We are successfully less smelly today, back to living comfortably...however I will NOT be duped again! We took everything (including the million-pound life raft) out of the wet locker. Used the flashlight trick, saw the level going down as we pumped out. Checked the vent, it had liquid in it, we think that was the problem, so cleaned it out. Carefully cleaned out the wetlocker and sucked all the extra water out. Carefully repacked the locker so that everything still fits and we can use the flashlight to view the holding tank and its level of fullness. Then tackled the head, got it smelling all fresh and clean, dried out, and usable again.

Thanks so much for everyone's help, advise, and sympathies. We will most likely be ordering the tank reader as suggested by Christian, and I've found a new blog to follow! Thanks everyone!

~E
__________________
elizabell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-01-2009, 13:01   #26
Registered User
 
Tempest245's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Piscataway, NJ
Boat: 34 Sabre Tempest
Posts: 937
Wonderful! Glad to hear that Life has returned to normal.
__________________
Tempest
Tempest245 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-01-2009, 13:19   #27
Registered User
 
RBEmerson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SE PA
Boat: Baba 35 - One With The Wind
Posts: 392
Congratulations, Elizabell!

A quick follow-up on the vent line... had liquid backup up into the hose (that is, tank level drops, stuff in vent line drops) or was it trapped in the line? If so, what did you do to keep the trap from re-forming? Also, in general, if there's any way to let air circulate in a locker and its contents, the less chance there is of the locker getting foul and moldy.
__________________
S/V One With The Wind
'85 Baba 35
"You and I may agree, but we could both be wrong."
RBEmerson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-01-2009, 14:33   #28
Registered User
 
Christian Van H's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Princeton, NJ
Boat: Challenger Anacapa 42
Posts: 2,097
Images: 57
Hi again Elizabell... No more jokes, I promise! In that book I recommended, you will see that your vent line shouldn't be capable of holding water...it should be a gentle slope up the whole way. I think RBE was gettin' to this in his question. C
__________________
www.anacapas.com

Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women!
Christian Van H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-01-2009, 14:58   #29
Registered User
 
RBEmerson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SE PA
Boat: Baba 35 - One With The Wind
Posts: 392
A big +1 to that! If there's any kind of "S" in the vent line... stink!
__________________
S/V One With The Wind
'85 Baba 35
"You and I may agree, but we could both be wrong."
RBEmerson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-01-2009, 11:29   #30
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
+1 on the vent line. I also think that you should use good quality sanitation hose for the vent line. I replaced mine b/c there was a nasty bit of grunge on the outside of the hose. I realized that when heeled over that the vent hose had the possibility of holding effluent. I made sure that when the boat was flat anything in the hose would go all the way back tot he holding tank.
__________________

__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
head, holding tank, leaks, tanks, odor

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
head operation Capt. Newbie Construction, Maintenance & Refit 2 30-07-2008 21:58
You Just Have to Shake Your Head TaoJones Health, Safety & Related Gear 6 15-11-2007 10:17
Installing head exranger Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 7 14-09-2007 12:51
In over my head unbusted67 The Sailor's Confessional 26 11-04-2007 14:39
horrible thread unbusted67 Health, Safety & Related Gear 32 04-02-2007 21:26



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:51.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.