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Old 26-07-2011, 20:12   #16
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Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

Put a strainer on your head intake, Mark. It should be installed close to the thru-hull so that it catches stuff before it can travel far enough up the line to get stuck...above the waterline so you don't have to close the seacock to clean it out.
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Old 26-07-2011, 20:23   #17
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Thank you! I will try to flush the system this weekend and post the results next week.
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Old 27-07-2011, 16:48   #18
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Flush the system out with fresh water. Close the seacock and dry flush until most water is out. Take a box of bicarbonate of soda and pour into the tank. Add a few buckets of hot water. Take the boat out for a sail and get the water to move all over. Leave for 24 hours. Go out to sea and flush out.
It seriously worked well for us.
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Old 27-07-2011, 19:08   #19
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

How will pouring bicarb into the holding tank clean out the head INTAKE?...which is where his problem is.
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Old 27-07-2011, 19:52   #20
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

I was thinking of shoving a turkey baster full of bleach up the intake pipe from the outside.

Then get someone inside to slowly pump.
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Old 27-07-2011, 20:41   #21
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Nooo...wouldn't do that! For one thing, that's not enough volume to flush anything out, even if it didn't all just run right back out again. But mainly because bleach is corrosive, highly damaging to rubber and also breaks down hose resistance to odor permeation.
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Old 04-08-2011, 15:24   #22
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

I took a deep breath on Saturday and tackled the smelly head. 20 minutes later, I was done! Great news- the head raw water intake line is already teed into the head sink drain. So instead of yanking out the line from the thru hull, I simply poured the fresh water/vinegar solution in the sink and pumped it through. It worked amazing! All kinds of crap came out. I also took the opportunity to really scrub under the lip of the bowl, which also made a huge difference (the sea water was only dribbling down one side of the bowl- the rest was clogged, and I didn't even realize it).

Afterwards, I could take a deep breath after pumping the head and keep the smile on my face. Then I did a little happy dance.

Just four days later, though, and I can already start to smell it again. I thought I'd go through more vinegar solution (need to go buy more vinegar first), maybe it is just residual? How often should I pump fresh water and/or vinegar through?

I am just so thrilled the previous owners thought ahead on this one and teed in that raw water intake!
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Old 04-08-2011, 15:30   #23
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

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Just four days later, though, and I can already start to smell it again. I thought I'd go through more vinegar solution (need to go buy more vinegar first), maybe it is just residual? How often should I pump fresh water and/or vinegar through?
Did you continue to use fresh water or revert to sea water intake? If you didn't clean the intake hose (right from the thru hull) it will still smell and that smell will propagate down to the toilet.
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Old 04-08-2011, 17:17   #24
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Do you have a sea strainer in your intake line? That would catch most of the stuff that will rot and stink before it gets to your bowl. Anything small enough to go through the strainer will be small enough to go through the holes in the rim and be flushed out.
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Old 04-08-2011, 19:02   #25
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Woohoo! I love it when something works!

Just four days later, though, and I can already start to smell it again. I thought I'd go through more vinegar solution (need to go buy more vinegar first), maybe it is just residual? How often should I pump fresh water and/or vinegar through?

Vinegar: a cupful only about once a week...and be sure to pump it ALL the way through to the tank...don't leave it in the bowl or toilet pump.

Clean water: a sinkful every time the boat will be left to sit for more than just a day.
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Old 22-12-2011, 11:21   #26
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Update to: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

I'm always eager when reading forum posts to see how the suggested solutions to the posted problems turn out.

I was the one to initiate this thread, so I wanted to give a long-term update.

The head works great! It no longer smells, ever. It took about four good flushings of fresh water/vinegar over two weeks to flush all the crap through.

Luckily the previous owner had tapped the head seawater intake valve into the sink thru hull so with a very easy switch of a lever to close the sea cock, I can pour the vinegar solution into the sink and flush it through the system.

We use the head every day, pump with sea water, and it goes straight overboard (I hate it, but no place to pump out way up here), and it NEVER smells. I keep a jug of freshwater/vinegar next to the head and every few weeks flush a liter or so through the system. It keeps it unclogged and clean and smelling like roses (or...vinegar...).

Peggie, Head Mistress, You are my hero.
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Old 28-12-2011, 15:36   #27
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

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Originally Posted by bec.chandler View Post
Ok, I'm getting nit-picky here. Everything in the head works just fine. But it smells whenever you flush it. My fiance says he doesn't notice it, so I guess it's not a really strong smell, but it drives me bonkers.

The details: we have a jabsco head and pump. I rebuilt the pump about 4 months ago, replacing all valves and seals (so yes- I've replaced the joker valve AND the flapper valve). About two months ago, I added a vented loop from the bowl to the holding tank (oh man what a pain!!), and while I was at it replaced all the hoses. So pretty much everything is brand new.

I live in a remote corner of BC on the boat, so we pump overboard (there is nowhere to pump out up here). The last time we pumped out, we flushed out the tank a few times then tossed a little KO in the bottom with just a bit of water.

So to sum up, we use the head for everything all the time since it's our home. We flush lots and lots straight overboard with plenty of sea water (no harm, since it's going right back over) through 4-month old pump parts and 2-month old hoses. So why in the world does the headsmell then permeate through the boat??!!?

My one decree when I moved aboard was that my head would NOT smell like a head. And it does! Help!
As the recent owwner of a 44' Gulfstar MY, I HAD your problem. Thought about it? Fixed it. Please check out the FIRST picture of the FreshFlush device on the webpage. IT WORKS! NO new toilets
(would have needed 2 fresh water flush designated units= $$$$$). check it out.
Gene
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Old 28-12-2011, 15:56   #28
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Check the vented loop in the discharge hose.......there is a small valve at the top of it that is the device that prevents possible backflow (as a vacuum breaker). If that sticks open it will allow a small amount of sewage or "bad air" to escape into the boat. Also check the vent from the holding tank . Find out where it vents to and if neccessary, relocate the vent discharge away from any opening that might allow the vented air into the boat.
Tell us what you actually find.........
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Old 28-12-2011, 16:02   #29
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Thanks for the R W E response. I think?
Back to the concern. Does flushing with FRESH WATER eliminate/alleviate the odor problem or was Chuck Husick telling a fib?
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Old 07-01-2012, 21:13   #30
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Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

I think my groco hf head IS recirculating the contents of the bowl when I flush . I know it probably needs to be rebuilt, but what exactly causes this problem?
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