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Old 26-08-2019, 11:48   #1
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Ozone Generators - pros/cons

First post here guys - be kind!

Picked up a new to me boat this spring - 2004 Hunter 36. Love it.
In a past life it was in salt water, had an A/C unit and a generator in the sail locker......both were removed 2 owners ago. The last owner used the boat mostly as a day sailer and didn't spend a lot of time cleaning. I've spent a good many days over the summer scrubbing anything I can get access to with a citrus based degreaser, detergent and cleaner and each of those holds/storage spaces is now visibly cleaner and smelling a LOT better.

What remains is a really funky smell coming out of that sail locker (or from below it where I can't get easy access) and when the wind direction is right the smell makes its way through the rest of the boat. Not as strong as directly in the locker but that appears to be the origin.

In that locker I stripped out the old insulation, etc...scraped and scrubbed everything back to fiberglass or wood and it's much better - but still strong and nowhere near gone.

I've read about ozone generators a little here on these forums and more extensively on forums about things like removing smoker smells from used cars, as well as removing human scents from hunting gear, etc....

Does anyone have significant experience with them (on boats or other)? I'm interested in the pros and cons.

Apparently it will kill any organic smell......but stay the heck out of the boat while it's operating.

The process used is basically oxidation - and I'm not a huge fan of speeding up any oxidation process on the boat - I've read that it's not good on electronics in particular. Anyone have experience? Any thoughts on how to keep things like autopilots, radios, tank guages, etc.....out of harms way?

I'm thinking about running it in the sail locker specifically for 'a while' to get rid of that smell, then the boat in general to take any residual odours out of things like boat cushions, etc....

Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences - sorry for the short novel.....
Thanks in advance.
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Old 26-08-2019, 12:28   #2
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, McRobbie.
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Old 26-08-2019, 13:16   #3
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

I have an ozone generator on the boat. There’s no cons other than in the minds of internet “experts”. As ongoing as you clean the area or the odor and that it isn’t a continuous source the ozone generator does a good job of getting of organic odors. Got mine for like $40 pff Amazon
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Old 26-08-2019, 17:28   #4
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

Well look it up yourself and see what effects ozone has on both your health and rubber and plastics, make up your own mind.
However I do wonder if the smaller less expensive ones actually generate much ozone or not.
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Old 26-08-2019, 18:55   #5
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

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Well look it up yourself and see what effects ozone has on both your health and rubber and plastics, make up your own mind.
However I do wonder if the smaller less expensive ones actually generate much ozone or not.
If so bad for rubber, plastics, and even wiring - why donít the generators just fall apart from it.

Pretty easy to know they are making lots of ozone as you can smell it. Plus I posted mine does work to kill odors, Iím not guessing|
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Old 27-08-2019, 10:26   #6
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

I had a problem smell on my last boat, I cleaned everything twice, put in new head. Finally found the problem when I took cushions out to get reupholstered, mold under the covers in the foam. Fellow that did my upholstery work told me to go get odoban from home depot and use it on the foam. It worked great, destroys odors not a cover up. I use odoban for all my cleaning on the boat, leaves a nice eucalyptus smell. I also use a ozone generator, I love it and haven't seen any problems, it is my understanding that it effects rubber, but not our newer rubber hoses etc which are more than just rubber.
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Old 27-08-2019, 10:30   #7
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

I would recommend something that does not run at a high enough voltage to produce actaul ozone. It's not good for you. What you want is an "ionizer." I would use one that is in some sort of airstream. We are currently testing the application in air handlers in my hospital with positive results for what we are trying to accomplish. Right now, that is preventing the growth of molds and such on the cooling coils. It's not 100% but we have recently modified the installation to get there. We have considered them for smell issues in certain instances but have not yet tried it. Our concern here would be a kitchen exhaust located near an air intake or window. I have no reason to believe that it would not work but cannot yet speak from experience.
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Old 27-08-2019, 10:49   #8
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

EPA: Indoor Air Quality - Ozone Generators that are Sold as Air Cleaners
https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quali...d-air-cleaners


Conclusions:
- Whether in its pure form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health.
- Some studies show that ozone concentrations produced by ozone generators can exceed health standards even when one follows manufacturer’s instructions.
- Available scientific evidence shows that, at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is generally ineffective in controlling indoor air pollution.
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Old 27-08-2019, 12:10   #9
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

When Peggy Hall chimes in here, listen closely to what she says.

She is the Goddess who can cure all things foul.
I keep her book onboard as a permanent reference guide.
If she does not comment to this thread,,,,,track her down.
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Old 27-08-2019, 12:25   #10
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

I think that as long as you for lack of a better term use common sense there is a safe way to use an ozone generator. Turn it on and leave, then upon return, turn it off and open up the boat.
I assume that to get to a concentration that it would work would require the boat to be tightly closed up?

I looked up how a Soclean CPAP cleaner works out of curiosity, they kept claiming that they pumped activated oxygen through the CPAP, then just a little digging I found out that what they were calling ďactivatedĒ oxygen was ozone.

Also it seems that ozone is unstable and will decompose or whatever back to O2 within 2 hours.

In other words if used occasionally and only when the boat was unoccupied and then you aired out the boat upon return, well then maybe there is no health issue, or maybe even not an issue with rubber and some plastics?
Maybe to decompose plastics requires a level of ozone that a consumer generator isnít likely to get to?
Thatís a question as much as a statement by the way.
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Old 27-08-2019, 12:31   #11
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

Have you tried those packets of Baking Soda designed for use in the fridge to control odours?

Safer than messing around with a highly toxic and reactive gas
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Old 27-08-2019, 14:36   #12
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

I have owned and used a commercial ozone generator in the past when I owned wooden boats. They work as advertised. You close the boat up tight, run it for several hours while away from the boat, come back air the boat out and the odor is gone and the boat smells fresh. This depends of course on the source of the odor.
On a wooden boat I once purchased, it had a very bad mildew issue. I used the ozone generator and the mildew was eliminated. But it did take several treatments to do so.
I no longer have the commercial unit, since I no longer have a wooden boat, but I do use a small battery powered unit in my refrigerator. Which in fact works very well in keeping odors, growth and spoilage down. I like the results I have had over many years of use and have never suffered from any of the side effects. I think if used properly they are of benefit. This is offered only from my personal experience.
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Old 27-08-2019, 14:37   #13
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

Ozone smells nice, like the air right after a thunderstorm. But it may not be good for you. I suggest doing your own research. Here's a place to start: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/ozone-generators-are-sold-air-cleaners

Mold likes three conditions: low UV light, stagnant air, and high humidity.


You may find it cheaper and healthier to install some ventilation fans to blow out the mold spores and to keep the cabin air temperature at least 15 degrees F above the dew point, which will keep the humidity at or below 60%. I use a Honeywell dehumidistat ($45) and an oil-filled convection heater ($40). (Never use a heater with an integral fan - if the fan fails - the whole thing can melt down and start a fire.)
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Old 27-08-2019, 14:44   #14
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

Isnít the con that from everything Iíve read shows there is no proof they work in the low concentrations that these consumer units produce?
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Old 27-08-2019, 15:40   #15
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Re: Ozone Generators - pros/cons

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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
Isnít the con that from everything Iíve read shows there is no proof they work in the low concentrations that these consumer units produce?
They work in concentrations not safe for breathing air. You need a pretty high concentration for 6+ hours to kill odors. And the ozone needs to get to the source of the odor.

Also, ozone eats up various rubber compounds (and lungs) so it isnít an everyday treatment option for odor.
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