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-   -   Permeated BW Tank? (http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f115/permeated-bw-tank-128833.html)

smanch 02-07-2014 07:28

Permeated BW Tank?
 
All,

Thanks for the help in advance.

We have a Catalina 42 - 18 years old, recently acquired. We knew that we needed to replace the holding tank lines, but as I scoped out the job, I realized the outside of the forward tank itself (sniffed it) is pretty nasty smelling. Will get to the aft tank soon; no information there for now.

If hoses permeate, do holding tanks permeate too at this age? Assume a replacement is needed?

For now, I expect to wash down the exterior (what I can reach) to see if that helps.

Again; thanks.

-Scott

skipmac 02-07-2014 08:19

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
What material is the tank made of? Is it a hard tank or a bladder?

smanch 02-07-2014 09:15

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
Hard tank. Black plastic.... At least it's black now..... Have to assume its original equipment. Previous owner would have noted the update if he made it.


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skipmac 02-07-2014 09:55

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
Sure hope black was the original color. Hate to think what it might be if the tank started out white.

Have you tried the wipe test? Take a clean, white rag, moisten slightly and wipe the outside of the tank. I would go for the most suspect area like along the bottom but avoid any spot that might have been contaminated with a leaky or contaminated hose or fitting.

Examine and sniff the rag. Does it look like sewage and smell like sewage? If yes then probably time for a new tank. PE if I recall is the recommended material for replacements.

By the way, wouldn't hurt to try the same test with the hoses and other parts of the system.

sailorboy1 02-07-2014 12:13

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
I don't know the answer, but have never read of a tank permeating

I agree with Skip, clean the tank and do a rag test. But I would be sure that the tank and area under and around it are well cleaned before I started thinking of tearing out a plastic holding tank.

jkleins 02-07-2014 12:59

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
Our 25 year old tank was permeated. You could clean the tank all day and it still smelled. I needed to increase the size so I replaced it and the smell went away. The hoses were fairly new and not smelly compared to the old tank. It looked like a poly tank just like the one I put in.

Jim

IdoraKeeper 02-07-2014 13:04

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
A plastic tank should not permeate. If it stinks it may have a pin hole or a fitting that is oozing. Unless you enjoy fooling with sewage a lot, rip it all out, get a new tank from Ronco (cheap and effective). Use as little hose as possible (only to attach to the head and thru hull/deck fitting). Do the rest in PVC. If you use salt water flush use hose and a vented loop to the intake thru hull. No more permeation, no leaks. Its what they use on cruise ships. Boy howdy, they got sewage!

peghall 02-07-2014 20:31

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
We have a Catalina 42 - 18 years old, recently acquired. We knew that we needed to replace the holding tank lines, but as I scoped out the job, I realized the outside of the forward tank itself (sniffed it) is pretty nasty smelling. Will get to the aft tank soon; no information there for now.

If hoses permeate, do holding tanks permeate too at this age? Assume a replacement is needed?


Your tank hasn't permeated. Ronco Plastics has made water and waste tanks for Catalina for more than 20 years...their tanks (ALL their tanks, not just the ones they make for Catalina) are 3/8" thick and yes, their waste tanks are black. Odor that may seem to emanate from it has attached itself from another source--hoses, or possibly a wet dirty bilge...those can turn into primordial soups that can make a whole boat smell like a swamp or even a sewer. Cleaning it, then finding and eliminating the source(s) of the odor in that area, will solve your problem.

When you replace hoses, be sure to replace the vent line too...and use sanitation hose. If--as is true on most smaller Catalinas--the vent line terminates into a rail stanchion, relocate it to a new thru-hull. The slits in the rail stanchions are so small that any waste that flows out the vent due to overflow or even heeling will clog 'em up in a heartbeat.

If you need help finding the source(s) of odors, I'll be glad to help.

Jim Cate 03-07-2014 00:47

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
Hey Peggie, I thought that you retired! Guess that you are like a firewagon horse... hear the fire bell and off you go...

But it is good to know that you are still around and responding to the desperate needs of yotties.

Hope that I never need your help (ho,ho)!

Cheers,

Jim

smanch 03-07-2014 05:55

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
All. Thanks for the feedback. More info on what's up.

Here's what I know half way through some work.

Wipe test- top and side of tank separately are dirty. Top could be that it collected dust and dirt for years. Not as true about sides, is my thinking. Hose to macerater pump and from head are dirty too.

Put nose next to tank- unholy stink.

Air vent. Made of non sanitary hose, has airflow and is not clogged (don't ask how I checked)

Washed the tank top with anti-bac household cleaner. This is a start.



What I've done.

Replaced the 1" line from macerater pump to thru hull. Am replacing the 1.5" lines from head to tank and tank to macerater pump this weekend. Using the white sanitation hose.

As I take off the 1.5" lines I will haul the tank and wash it down with the anti-bac household cleaner.

No evidence yet of leaks anywhere.

Still smells in boat.

I assume there isn't a magic wand to wave that I can buy off Defender to take care of this......if there is, leave the link please.

Thx





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peghall 03-07-2014 09:13

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
Air vent. Made of non sanitary hose, has airflow and is not clogged (don't ask how I checked)

Replace it anyway, with sanitation hose. Replace ALL the hoses, don't try to second guess which ones need it. A boat owner once paid me to come to FL to track down the source of his odor, insisted he'd already replaced all the hoses...took me about 30 seconds to find the one 2' section he "didn't think needed replacing."

Washed the tank top with anti-bac household cleaner. This is a start.

Prob'ly not.

What I've done.

Replaced the 1" line from macerater pump to thru hull. Am replacing the 1.5" lines from head to tank and tank to macerater pump this weekend. Using the white sanitation hose.

Hopefully you're not using Shields or Trident #148 single wall flex pvc...if you are, you'll most likely be doing it again in a year. Trident 101--102 if it MUST be white (they're the same exept for color)--is a double walled rubber hose that's been on the market nearly 20 years without a single reported odor permeation failure.

As I take off the 1.5" lines I will haul the tank and wash it down with the anti-bac household cleaner.

Nope...not what you want to use.


Still smells in boat.

I assume there isn't a magic wand to wave that I can buy off Defender to take care of this......if there is, leave the link please.

Here 'tis, along with instructions:

PureAyre (I don't think Defender carries it) Odor eliminator PureAyre eliminates cat, pet, smoke, skunk, cigars, gasoline, cooking and musty odors I found it at a boat show in Seattle nearly 10 years ago...it WORKS! My dad spent his last 3 years in a nursing home...I did his laundry. The last year of his life I was buying PureAyre by the case. Not only is it the only thing I've ever found that eliminates those kinds of "organic" (sewer, sour milk etc) odors, but even smoke and diesel odors. Buy a couple of gallons of the HOUSEHOLD formula (works just as well as their "marine" and costs less) online directly from them, and a 1-gallon pump up garden spray bottle from Walmart. After you've replaced ALL the hoses etc and thoroughly cleaned every inch of the bilges, lockers etc, load up the sprayer with PureAyre (uncut) sprayit (a light coat, don't overdo it) onto every surface, nook and cranny where there's odor...get under and behind things. DO NOT RINSE!! Just let it dry with every hatch open...put a fan on if possible. Spray the tank with it before you put it back... Spray cushions and put them out in the sun all day.

Give me a shout if you need more help...

peghall 03-07-2014 09:21

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jkleins (Post 1576569)
Our 25 year old tank was permeated. You could clean the tank all day and it still smelled. Jim

I can't count the number of people over the years who've insisted to me that their tanks had permeated, when the odor was actually from inside of the tank because they hadn't plugged the fittings after they'd removed it and rinsed it out.

peghall 03-07-2014 09:30

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Cate (Post 1576921)
Hey Peggie, I thought that you retired! Guess that you are like a firewagon horse... hear the fire bell and off you go...
Jim

Yep... something like that. :) I only read three forums now...I've classified 'em as 'kids,' grown-ups,' and 'pontificating old farts'... and try only to jump in if/when nobody replies after a day or two, or there are a bunch of replies that don't offer the help needed.

Thanks for the kind words!

Capt Phil 03-07-2014 09:50

Re: Permeated BW Tank?
 
+1, Peg... good advice. Cheers, Phil


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