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Old 06-07-2014, 07:55   #1
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Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

I've heard if you go #2 in a marine head it will always smell like #2. I recently bought a new (to me) boat and had to install the sanitation system. I had only been going #1 for about a month and it smelled fine. I had some friends aboard and someone not only went #2, but they flushed the toilet paper. Typically I'm anchored out and flush overboard, so there's nothing in the holding tank.

Now the manual Jabsco toilet reeks and I'm more than willing to take apart the head to clean it out if that's what I need to do. I've tried flushing odor removers, bathroom cleaners, OxiClean, etc. and nothing has diminished the smell. Do I need to take it apart and flush something out? Or should I invest in Peggie's book like what I'd read on other threads? I'm afraid to invite more people aboard, I was so happy with this boat at first because of it's lack of "boat smell" and now I've got one

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Old 06-07-2014, 09:10   #2
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

Ummmm.......we've been doing #2 in our head for a few years and there is no smell. Are you sure you're not just smelling the dead sea life in the flush water line and subconsciously trying to blame this on a single dookie?
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:11   #3
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

Don't bother taking apart the pump assembly on the Jabsco. They are very cheaply made heads and the seals will never work properly again. You're better off a) replacing the toilet with a Raritan or a Lavac or b) replacing the whole pump assembly on the Jabsco, which really doesn't cost much more than the service kit, anyway.

Otherwise, if there's no compelling reason to take it apart, running white vinegar seems to do a pretty good job on the smell. It's often bacteria that gets stuck in the hose and decomposes -- often in the intake, so it's not even necessarily the #2 causing the problem. Another thing that helps is to use fresh water in the flush by using the shower hose to fill the bowl.

For maintenance, smell-wise, I've found a gel toilet bowl (I think it's Dow Scrubbing Bubbles) that works pretty well. Since it just sticks on the side of the bowl, no need to hang anything. The gel will last for quite a few flushes and it does help stop the smell.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:31   #4
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

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Or should I invest in Peggie's book like what I'd read on other threads?
Absolutely.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:36   #5
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

Most likely it's either the seawater smell or the hoses have permiated with odor and need replacement. Unlikely to be the toilet itself especially after you try a vinegar treatment. Don't use bleach.

Also, check the hoses where they can't easily be seen. I had a hose spring a small leak near a clamp and was squirting #2 into a small cabinet/bilge. Yeah.... most likely, you have a small leak.
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Old 08-07-2014, 15:35   #6
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

OK, I'm trying to understand this...

1) You just admitted on a public forum that you are breaking the law? Yes, I know, it's stupid: You can pee in the water, but not in a head. But...

2) Yes, buy Peggy's book.

3) Flush with fresh water, or use your head A LOT. The first flushes will be nasty, using salt water. Unless you use it a few times each day, you will have the smell from incoming water.
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Old 08-07-2014, 15:45   #7
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

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or b) replacing the whole pump assembly on the Jabsco, which really doesn't cost much more than the service kit, anyway.

I was looking at replacing 1 yesterday and the new pump was twice the rebuilt kit, or 57% of a complete new head
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Old 08-07-2014, 15:50   #8
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

It is amazing how fast a head hose can permeate to the point of chasing you off your boat, as I found this past weekend
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Old 08-07-2014, 16:02   #9
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

do whatever it takes to push the waste thru the entire length of the hose and into the holding tank or overboard after usage. never leave sea water in the intake hose for over a day .. keep pumping it thru before it ferments or whatever. also make sure you don't suck up some kind of sea critter that dies in your head and really stinks. if you flush with sea water you also get the crystals that will eventually block the hose. if your hoses are old and stinky then you may need to replace them.
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Old 08-07-2014, 16:09   #10
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

Sassy, I'm with the guys who think the odor is from something besides a single #2.
If the smell is coming out of the bowl, it is often critters and plants that have come in with the sea water and gotten caught in the passageway at the top of the bowl. This is very hard to clean and you should probably pull the bowl to work on it.

If the hoses are permeated they need to be replaced. To test this dampen a cloth with water and rub the hose. Sniff the cloth. If it smells bad replace the hose.


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Old 08-07-2014, 19:41   #11
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

I am glad I have a simple bucket-not as eligant but easy to maintain
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:21   #12
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

Our boat had an odor emanating from one of the holding tanks, it did not get really bad until,we started using seawater while On a 4 week trip. At the dock we use fresh water. Our friends loaned us some liquid called Unique, it is an enzyme that breaks down bacteria and solid crud stuff, in holding tanks etc . It worked so well we ordered some.

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Old 12-07-2014, 17:42   #13
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

Some places the sea water in the head bowl stinks more than others. I'm in Punta del Este now it just smells really bad here as the decomposition kicks in while the water sits in the bowl. I've taken to giving the heads a flush with fresh water once a day; helps a lot. Out at sea I've never had a problem with smelly water.
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Old 12-07-2014, 17:48   #14
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

Odorlos and Peggie's Book. I have NO idea what's so hard for people to do to learn to use them properly.
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Old 12-07-2014, 18:10   #15
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Re: Stinky Head (I know, it's been said before)

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Odorlos and Peggie's Book. I have NO idea what's so hard for people to do to learn to use them properly.
No idea why somebody would need to buy a book on it either! Is every other poster on this forum related to Peggy?
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