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Old 13-06-2013, 10:40   #1
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Tried EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

Ok, this has got me scratching my head, no pun intended! Lagoon 410, Here's what I've done..
1) Replaced all the blackwater hoses 6 months ago with ones from West Marine

2) Ran bleach solution done the shower drain which is a hose to a pump with no sump, seven days ago.

3) Ran bleach solution through the head intake seven days ago.

4) Tried the Raritan products in the shower drain and in the holding tank.

5) Opened the holding tank and rinsed it clean.

6) Vent is 1/2" and open.

7) Dyed the water in the toilet and flushed through looking for leaks using dry toilet paper on all connections.

8) Read and followed Peggy Halls book and suggestions.

The only thing that is not new is the Y valve and yet I still have smells. Could the hose have permeated this quickly?

Not sure where to go from here..suggestions welcome. By the way, the port head is fine...Go figure

Here's another thought, Our holding tanks get emptied every four days. Is this enough time for a product such as the Raritan products to work?
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Old 13-06-2013, 10:52   #2
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

Which hose did you use specifically? Where exactly is the odor coming from? Head odor can permeate exposed wood. I do not think Peggy's book specifies killing everything with bleach.

Also, a big part of most head smells come from the salt water. Are you using salt water to flush? Id so, do you rinse with fresh when leaving the boat?
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Old 13-06-2013, 10:56   #3
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid at SailAway View Post
8) Read and followed Peggy Halls book and suggestions.
( +1. Not if you're using chlorine.)

Peggy was famous for pointing out that many people complaining about head smells were really experiencing a smelly bilge. If you feel certain that you've done everything right for the head, maybe the bilge is due for a bit of cleaning.
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:16   #4
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

Here is a simple test..

Empty the holding tank.
Put some of that lemon scent stuff for holding tanks into the bowl (ok a huge amount)..
Fill the holding tank full with freshwater...if you normally use seawater, fill bowl repeatedly from the shower and use dry/pump setting on head... ensure the holding tank is FULL.. in hot weather simply the fumes coming out of the vent can be horrid..filling the tank prevents this. leave for 24hrs,

If you get a smell still, I very much doubt its your head or your holding tanks..6 months is nothing for hoses so its not those... its the bilge, waste seepage into plywood, grey water accumulation, dead rats or something else...
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:35   #5
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

did you replace the flush intake hoses as well as the blackwater out hoses? The intake can get as smelly as the outflow from little critters....
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:47   #6
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

We have the same problem, but have done nothing yet. I plan on replacing all the hoses and the vent line as well. The vent clogs to easy so it needs to be 5/8" or bigger. I'll be pulling all of the furniture out and inspecting all wires and bleaching everything, hopefully I don't find any soaked wood! Or rats! And our bilge does need a good clean-up.
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:50   #7
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
did you replace the flush intake hoses as well as the blackwater out hoses? The intake can get as smelly as the outflow from little critters....
Also the vent hose. Sanitation hose for that too. Clear vinyl hose WILL start to permiate in 6 months.
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:50   #8
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

What are you eating?..............
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Old 13-06-2013, 12:00   #9
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid at SailAway View Post
Ok, this has got me scratching my head, no pun intended! Lagoon 410, Here's what I've done..
1) Replaced all the blackwater hoses 6 months ago with ones from West Marine

2) Ran bleach solution done the shower drain which is a hose to a pump with no sump, seven days ago.

3) Ran bleach solution through the head intake seven days ago.

4) Tried the Raritan products in the shower drain and in the holding tank.

5) Opened the holding tank and rinsed it clean.

6) Vent is 1/2" and open.

7) Dyed the water in the toilet and flushed through looking for leaks using dry toilet paper on all connections.

8) Read and followed Peggy Halls book and suggestions.

The only thing that is not new is the Y valve and yet I still have smells. Could the hose have permeated this quickly?

Not sure where to go from here..suggestions welcome. By the way, the port head is fine...Go figure

Here's another thought, Our holding tanks get emptied every four days. Is this enough time for a product such as the Raritan products to work?
One trick we discovered that works really well is to use Petrotape to wrap lines, or for that matter the Y valve. It is cloth tape impregnated with some kind of wax/petroleum product that is used to protect hoses and metal outside, but it also blocks all odors. Because it is sticky, like very soft bees wax, it sticks to whatever you smoosh it on, including the Y valve.

BC Petro Tape
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Old 13-06-2013, 12:24   #10
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

Thanks for the replies guys! Here's to answer some replies.

1) The vent hose is new and is the same stuff as the sanitary hose. The vent is 1 1/2'' NOT 1/2" my bad on that.

2) The bilges are clean and smell sweet.

3) The hoses are Trident from West Marine

4) I did not replace the intake hose, but will do so this weekend.

5) We flush with brackish water and the boat doesn't get left over the week, as we live aboard full time.

6) Here is the way we flush for both #1 and #2...Jabsco head by the way...Add water to bowl and do business then pump until contents are gone and then 10-15 more pumps. After that, we pump 4-5 times to put more water in bowl, then pump 15-20 times until we feel the hose is clear.

7) There is no wood to absorb odors, only fiberglass is in the head area.

8) Stopped using the chrorine.

I will try the lemon test and see what happens. One more tidbit of a clue, is that sometimes when we pump the lines dry I hear a gurgling or hissing sound from the head.
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Old 13-06-2013, 13:17   #11
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

Some things I noticed, maybe or maybe not helpful:

- At anchor in strong currents, and also at marinas where you don't swing to the wind, the wind can go into the vent(s), causing positive pressure to build up in the holding tank which will find its way out through the inspection port housing and other more-or-less sealed fixtures. Look at your vent and see if the wind is blowing into it. Not much you can do about it because basically, especially at a marina, a strong wind can always swivel around on you no matter how you have the vent configured.

- The bleach really is a no-no. The only thing other than sea water, toilet paper, and biological inputs that go into our head is white vinegar. There's a spray bottle in the head with white vinegar that give a few pumps to after using the head.

- "Droops" in the output hose(s) can be really problematic because sediment can and does build up really easily.

- Flushing like crazy helps a lot. We try to flush at least ~3 gallons every time we use the head.

- Holding tanks are a pain in the ass. All of the things that you should to (reduce your hose runs, reduce connections, flush with tons of water) are all incredibly problematic with holding tanks.

- We have a gravity tank which is above the waterline, and with the thruhull open it functions a bit like an oversized anti-siphon. The input is on the top of the tank, the output is on the bottom, and there you go.

- If you're going to go away for a while, pump fresh water through the head (garden hose through the portlight) with a bit (1/4 cup?) of white vinegar.

Hope some of that helps man. I've been through five heads on our boat and finally have a setup I'm relatively happy with.
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Old 13-06-2013, 13:43   #12
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

FYI...The ULTIMATE fungicide is a mixture of Formaldehyde:Bleach, 20:80 v/v; watch out for toxic fumes being generated during the prep! You need to wear a chemical mask during its prep and usage; minimize the amount of exposure, as formaldehyde is a cancer causing agent. No organism can live through it! A HIGHLY TOXIC MIX! Unless you're trained in preps of herbicides and fungicides, you must NOT attempt this mixture. Odors would be gone in a jiffy.

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Old 13-06-2013, 13:46   #13
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

how about you get a big bucket of fresh water and use it to flush the heads for a few days and see it the smell goes away, if so it the brackish flush causing the odor
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Old 13-06-2013, 13:54   #14
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

Maybe it is not the head?

How long have you been out?
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Old 13-06-2013, 13:58   #15
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Re: Tryed EVERYTHING, Head Still Smells

One more tidbit of a clue, is that sometimes when we pump the lines dry I hear a gurgling or hissing sound from the head.
Pretty typical sometimes
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