Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-07-2011, 15:19   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 16
My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

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!
__________________

__________________
bec.chandler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 15:31   #2
Registered User
 
captain465's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ft Lauderdale, FL
Boat: 38ft Irwin center cockpit sloop MERIDIAN
Posts: 526
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

You may have salt water depsoits in the rim of the bowl. I would suggest disconnecting the intake hose and slowly pump a bleach or vinagar solution through the system.
Good luck!!
__________________

__________________
Do not go where the path may lead.........
go instead where there is no path........
and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
captain465 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 15:54   #3
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 745
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

Questions:

WHERE is your "head odor"--Inside the boat? Or only out the tank vent? Both?

If inside the boat... Throughout the boat? Just in the head? Constant, or only when you flush?

Once I know exactly what we're dealing with, we can cure it...so give me as much detail as possible!
__________________
Peggie Hall--Specializing in marine sanitation since '87
Author "Get Rid of Boat Odors-- A Guide to Marine Sanitation Systems & Other Sources of Aggravation and odor"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 15:56   #4
temporary dirt dweller

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: clearwater
Posts: 1,330
Images: 6
Send a message via Yahoo to gonesail
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

not much you can do about making the flush water smell better .. it usually sits in the hose and becomes smelly. have you tried the tankette inline treatment system?
__________________
sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most.
gonesail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 15:57   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,217
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

I get a bad smell only when I flush, it's been suggested that it's the salt water stagnating in the intake line. I'd love to know if there's a fix.

The boat used to smell all the time, but pumpout then regular use of additive fixed that.
__________________
MarkSF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 16:00   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 16
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

The smell is inside the boat, mostly in the head, and only when you flush. When the head has not been used, there is no smell at all. The more often you flush, the further the smell permeates! I swear I can smell it when I'm in the aft cabin in the morning a few minutes after my fiance has used the head in the bow. He thinks I'm crazy...

Also, it doesn't matter what we flush, the smell is the same
__________________
bec.chandler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 16:03   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Boat: Finot 45 - steel
Posts: 23
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

ever thought about converting to fresh water flush? we have both, salt and fresh and use fresh most of the time thus eliminating build up and saltwater smells. you use a little more water, well a lot more but if you have access to lots its not a problem.
__________________
sail-fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 16:07   #8
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 745
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

Yes, there is a fix for that...a very simple one: reroute the head intake line to tee it into the head sink drain. This provides a safe source of fresh water to rinse the sea water out of the WHOLE system before the boat will sit, eliminating odor from stagnant sea water. For more details, there have been several discussions about doing this just recently.

Btw...bcchandler...it's entirely possible that your odor has nothing to do with your head. I get calls all the time from people who've torn out their entire sanitation system trying to cure what they thought was "head" 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 "miracle" product into the primordial soup and calling it done. A wet dirty bilge IS a "primordial soup" that can make a whole boat smell like a swamp or even a sewer...and it's amazing how much better a boat can smell when the boat is actually clean.
__________________
Peggie Hall--Specializing in marine sanitation since '87
Author "Get Rid of Boat Odors-- A Guide to Marine Sanitation Systems & Other Sources of Aggravation and odor"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 16:21   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 16
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

Thanks for the tips! I am pretty confident it's the head and not the bilge- we don't have a separate shower sump, and don't shower on the boat. In the last few months, I have scrubbed (without chemicals) every corner of this boat (it is new to us), including the bilge, under the head sink, under the shower grate, and in every corner.

Plus if I cared to stick my nose in it more, the smell is most obviously emanating from the toilet bowl itself while flushing. I feel like the smell is more like sewage than stagnant sea water. Do they smell that similar?

Would flushing a bit of freshwater down after each flushing accomplish the same thing as re-routing the hose? We currently don't have running fresh water (we use jugs of water for drinking and cooking, and generally wash hands/dishes in salt water), so I would think the rerouting wouldn't help as much since we don't run much fresh water through that sink? Also, I'm trying to picture how that flushes out the whole system- it seams to me it would only flush out the last little bit of hose?

I will see if I can find the other discussions for further enlightenment on this for a possible solution when we have running water again.
__________________
bec.chandler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 17:19   #10
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 745
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

Would flushing a bit of freshwater down after each flushing accomplish the same thing as re-routing the hose?

Nope...'cuz anything put directly into the bowl only goes through the bottom part of the pump and out the discharge...it doesn't (be VERY glad for this!) recirculate through the intake, pump and channel in the rim of the bowl.

It doesn't seem you carry enough fresh water to make it work, but I'll explain the advantages to teeing the head intake line into the head sink drain line anyway. Fwiw, some builders plumb boats to do this because it eliminates a hole in the boat (head intake thru-hull) and saves 'em the cost of a thru-hull and seacock.

Teeing the head intake line into the head sink drain means that the toilet and the sink drain use the same thru-hull...so you can still flush with sea water. But you can also flush with fresh water by closing that seacock and filling the sink with clean fresh water...flushing the toilet pulls the water out of the sink. So you DO rinse out the whole system.

Back to your odor problem... One last question: are you seeing any black flecks in the bowl when you pump the toilet in the wet mode?
__________________
Peggie Hall--Specializing in marine sanitation since '87
Author "Get Rid of Boat Odors-- A Guide to Marine Sanitation Systems & Other Sources of Aggravation and odor"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 17:30   #11
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 16
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

Ah, I understand that process now. Hopefully this winter we will have running water again, so we can go through that modification then.

Yes! sometimes there are black flecks when we wet flush. What does that mean??
__________________
bec.chandler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 18:26   #12
Sponsoring Vendor
 
HopCar's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Miami Florida
Boat: Ellis Flybridge 28
Posts: 2,029
Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

It sounds like you have rotting stuff in the rim of the bowl. Every time you flush your getting a whiff of that. It's pretty common to get sea weed and other stuff trapped there to rot and stink. Remove the bowl and flush it out through the water inlet with lots of fresh water until the black bits stop coming out. Peggy will tell you in more detail and may have other ideas.
Peggy, I told my purchasing agent that we need to stock your book in our stores.
__________________
Hopkins-Carter Marine Supplies & Fishing Tackle
What You Need, at the Price You Want...with Service!
HopCar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 19:34   #13
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 745
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

Aha! Ok...I've narrowed my suspicions down to two most likely sources...and since it only seems to be emanating from the bowl and only when you flush, AND there are black flecks in the flush water, I'm leaning hard toward #1:

1. You've pulled some animal or vegetable sea life into the head intake where it's gotten trapped and died and is decaying...and STINKING! And yes, it CAN smell like sewage (You haven't really lived till you've cleaned a dead baby octopus out of the rim of a toilet bowl)!

The cure (You're gonna need about 5 gallons of fresh water and some white vinegar): Fill a bucket with clean fresh water to which you've added a quart (liter) of distilled white vinegar. Remove the head intake hose from the thru-hull (it would prob'ly be a good idea to close the seacock first)...stick it into the bucket and pump the WHOLE bucketful through the toilet. Wait an hour...then pump another bucketful of clean fresh water through the toilet.

#2: Permeated sanitation hose.

Or maybe both.
__________________
Peggie Hall--Specializing in marine sanitation since '87
Author "Get Rid of Boat Odors-- A Guide to Marine Sanitation Systems & Other Sources of Aggravation and odor"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 19:38   #14
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 745
Re: My Head Smells Like . . . a Head

Thank you!
__________________
Peggie Hall--Specializing in marine sanitation since '87
Author "Get Rid of Boat Odors-- A Guide to Marine Sanitation Systems & Other Sources of Aggravation and odor"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 20:59   #15
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: St Martin, the Caribbean.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 10,263
Images: 25
Re: My Head Smells Like a Head

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
1. You've pulled some animal or vegetable sea life into the head intake where it's gotten trapped and died and is decaying...and STINKING! And yes, it CAN smell like sewage (You haven't really lived till you've cleaned a dead baby octopus out of the rim of a toilet bowl)!
My hull seriously needs to be antifouled. The growth is huge. Plus I am in a bay with a lot of critters that jump into the growth.

So I am hoping a good paint job and cleaning or replacing the intake hoes will do the trick.

Mark
__________________

__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
head

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
Jabsco Head captden Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 57 22-11-2011 05:39
Robertson AP20 Control Head Needed bill brown Marine Electronics 0 25-07-2011 17:17
Updating the Shower / Head EC Sailor Liveaboard's Forum 6 23-07-2011 10:21
Head Not Pumping Out Completely Tori Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 11 21-07-2011 11:38
Looking for Stem Head Fitting Advice parito Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 3 13-07-2011 07:44


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:17.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.