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Old 02-03-2011, 15:13   #46
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

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Originally Posted by Pete the Cat View Post
On many boats the sink drain and the head intake are the same through hull. It is possible to shut off the sink through hull, fill the sink and flush the head with fresh water. I have never had a head smell on my Tartan 37 by doing this regularly.

Thanks Pete ..... I will pass this on to my husband too.
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Old 02-03-2011, 16:00   #47
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

I found a similar odor on a 28 year old boat that had fairly new hoses and persisted despite cleaning the intake. It turned out to be a 28 year old plastic holding tank that was probably permeated with sewer odor. I just had to rub across it with my hand and the odor transferred to my hand easily. It was impossible to clean and just required replacement. That took care of the problem completely.

I still get the intake hose odor if I let salt water sit in the hoses for long periods but I took care of that by just switching to fresh water flushes.

good luck.

Jim
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Old 02-03-2011, 16:07   #48
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

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Originally Posted by IrishLass View Post
From Peg:

The odor is confined to the head and to the locker with the holding tank and holding tank hoses. The smell is always present.....Sewer odor as in the sweet smell you get in holding tanks (this is in my view or "smell"). The joker valve was changed about a year ago.
Uhn, my condolences. My head and holding tank pretty much smelled the same, but it was due to old hoses and a very old holding tank. Rather than replace, I ripped them all out and went with a composting head. Best boat buy ever.

Ripping out the old stuff = worst job ever. If you have to do that, assign it to the hubby and take a looong weekend.
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Old 02-03-2011, 17:04   #49
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, eric42.
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Old 02-03-2011, 19:13   #50
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

I work at a marina on the great lakes and i can tell you that by far the majority of boats have discustingly smelly heads so im not convinced that decaying sea creatures have anything to do with it, we have a boat in the shop right now that is only a few years old and it stinks, it has never seen salt water so im not sure how much that has to do with it either. As far as im concerned replacing the hoses is just a temporary fix, they just dont seem to last long. We have had the best luck using ridgid pvc plumbing pipe from the lumber yard,the bonus is its cheap. We have one customers boat where we built a custom tank out of plywood/glass/epoxy with pvc plumbing and just a few short neoprene flexible connectors, its all under the head of the owners vee berth and i can detect no smell after going on 10yrs. The other roaring sucess was installing an airhead and removing the holding tank in another customers boat at least 5yrs ago, they love it and it definatly does not smell.
Steve.
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Old 02-03-2011, 20:52   #51
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

Aha! Your description of the odor--sickening sweet/sour/sewer--tells me that your sanitation hoses are the source of your odor...they've become permeated (saturated) with odor. You can confirm that with a simple test: wet clean rags in HOT water...wring 'em out and wrap one around each section of hose. When the rags have cooled, remove 'em and smell 'em. If you can smell the same odor on the rag, that hose has permeated. The only cure: new hoses.

The best most odor resistant hose on the market today is Trident 101/102 (identical except for color) Trident Marine: Sanitation Hose
It's a double walled rubber hose that's been on the market for more than 15 years without a single reported odor permeation failure...something that cannot be said about ANY other hose. Sailboatowners.com has it for the best price I've found--101 for $5.95/ft...102 for $7.95 (white is more expensive to make than black) Trident Sanitation Hose 101 black and 148 white

Replacing hoses is definitely not the most fun job, but it doesn't have to be the nightmare that most people turn it into (I think they do that 'cuz they want a new war story)...there are few tricks that make it a LOT easier. Feel free to give me a shout if I can help.
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Old 02-03-2011, 21:49   #52
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

Well if washing and scrubbing doesn't work maybe it's time for a circumcision!
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Old 02-03-2011, 21:56   #53
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

Are you using a holding tank? If so add a cup of liquid Calgon water softener and a half cup of laundry detergent to the tank at your next pump out.
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Old 02-03-2011, 22:18   #54
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

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Are you using a holding tank? If so add a cup of liquid Calgon water softener and a half cup of laundry detergent to the tank at your next pump out.
Unless a tank is leaking, the holding tank is rarely if ever the source of odor INSIDE a boat...'cuz odor inside the tank has only one place to go: out the tank vent. So pumping out, rinsing out, trying different tank products to get rid of odor inside the boat is just chasing your tail.

However adding some liquid detergent, even some Calgon, to the tank isn't a bad idea...it won't get rid of any odor inside the boat, but it does help to slow down the buildup of the animal fats in waste on tank senders and tank walls.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:51   #55
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

I am simply passing on advice I got when I complained that my Head Smelled Bad. I took this advice and found that it totally cured the problem. Your suggestion that bad smelling culprits are externalized by venting and a sealed system etc. seems reasonable. I guess I don't care where the bad odors come from or go to as long as they stop annoying me. My on board system is functional, intact and secure and now it doesn't smell bad. I'm happy.
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:16   #56
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

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Originally Posted by Kay Koudele View Post
use "Lemon Fresh Joy" dishwashing soap- squirt it around the rim of the toilet basin every day, and the head will stay smelling fresh.
I like this - it sounds like a simple, and pleasant solution - and much friendlier than ours. Our solution - no men in the heads (except when it needs fixing). Seriously - and we don't have a smell!!!
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:11   #57
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

Sure, that will work as long as you refrain from being a man. I'm on a small boat and alone a lot of the time.

I mentioned laundry soap, you've corrected me, it is dish soap I use as well. Depending on the size of the holding tank and frequency of pump out the amount of additives will vary, something to work out with the specifics of the situation, ambient temperatures and all that.

I just got tired of annoying odors and when this suggestion came along tried it and bingo it worked, now I can fixate on something else.

I add these to the tank not down the head. Periodically I add a tablespoon of non-vegetable cooking oil to the head.

Hey, could you use some snow? I have more than I can use..
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:23   #58
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

What kind of cooking oil is "non vegetable?" It would have to be animal fat...and the only ones I can think of are butter and lard.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:59   #59
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
Aha! Your description of the odor--sickening sweet/sour/sewer--tells me that your sanitation hoses are the source of your odor...they've become permeated (saturated) with odor. You can confirm that with a simple test: wet clean rags in HOT water...wring 'em out and wrap one around each section of hose. When the rags have cooled, remove 'em and smell 'em. If you can smell the same odor on the rag, that hose has permeated. The only cure: new hoses.

The best most odor resistant hose on the market today is Trident 101/102 (identical except for color) Trident Marine: Sanitation Hose
It's a double walled rubber hose that's been on the market for more than 15 years without a single reported odor permeation failure...something that cannot be said about ANY other hose. Sailboatowners.com has it for the best price I've found--101 for $5.95/ft...102 for $7.95 (white is more expensive to make than black) Trident Sanitation Hose 101 black and 148 white

Replacing hoses is definitely not the most fun job, but it doesn't have to be the nightmare that most people turn it into (I think they do that 'cuz they want a new war story)...there are few tricks that make it a LOT easier. Feel free to give me a shout if I can help.

THANK YOU SO MUCH PEG ... we will go at this and let you know what happens. And wow ..... apparently this is a huge issue. I am amazed at how many responses there have been to this one issue. I hope any who are suffering with the same issue find their resolution here too. Thanks again!
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:39   #60
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Re: The Head Smells Bad

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Originally Posted by jkleins View Post
I just had to rub across it with my hand and the odor transferred to my hand easily. It was impossible to clean and just required replacement.

Jim
I hope you had your hand replaced by a qualified surgeon !
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