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FLKokopelli 03-11-2009 10:55

Sorry, Can't Find the Thread on Stinky Head Fixes
Sorry, to ask the forum again about varoius solutions to stinky heads, but I can't find the original thread regarding someones' 2nd head smell. We only have one, and it is pretty awful at this point. Thanking you in advance for any advice.

SkiprJohn 03-11-2009 11:09

Did you try the search link after my signature? Its different than the one on the forum. I used "head smell" and got a few hits. Usually it is the old hoses which after a few years start the permeate head stuff.

John A 03-11-2009 11:31

Embarassing Question About the Head

Is one thread.

search the forum with the world 'head'
and go from there.
Not knowing your level of expertise, I'll run thru the basic steps.
Allow white distilled vineger to sit in the bowl and soak before pumping it a couple of times to soak some more then wash bowl and flush.
If that fails to work then it may be time to rebuild the head and replace the plumbing that runs from the bowl to the pump.
Always allow vineger to soak in the two inch hose that runs from the head to the anti-syphon valve at least once a week.
Always flush a lot of water thru the system with each use.
Lubricate the pump weekly with a tablespoon of vegetable oil.

MarkJ 03-11-2009 17:16

We changed the stinkiness of our 2 heads! :)

Our boat was 7 years old when we bought it.

The black water discharge pipes remain full of black water if the toilet is not poumped enoguh after use.

The pipes, after a few years, start to allow the smell seep through.

So we changed the discharge pipe on each head.

Also we are not in an area where we need holding tanks so we have taken them off line. Filled them often with fresh water from the pump out hole and then pumped that water out till they were clean.

By 'off line' I mean that one has a broken Y valve so we removed it and hard plumbed that head straight overboard.

The other is just not being used :)

Hope this helps.

Firehoser75 09-11-2009 12:46

Free Advice - Worth Every Penny
Depending on the age of your sewage hoses (and other equipment), the smell could well be that the hoses have allowed sewage (odour) to permeate. Test this by running a cloth along the hose and then smelling the cloth. If the cloth smells of sewage (at all), then you should replace the hose. Other things you can check or do to resolve the smell issue are:
1) Ensure that the holding tank air vent is large enough (at least 3/4 inch) and that it is not blocked. Sometimes insects nest just inside the vent hose near the hull exit point, or maybe the tank was overfilled with sewage, and this has dried and blocked the vent. Your tank needs air so that the "good" bacteria can flourish and the bad (anerobic) bacteria don't.
2) When you are not going to be using the boat for a few days, flush the head well with fresh water (usually just before pumpout). After pumpout, flush the tank well with fresh water through the deck fitting and pumpout again. I do this twice each time.
3) You can use a tank "chemical" that is enzyme based to help the bacteria do their job of digesting the waste.
4) Always pump the head in "dry mode" for at least 40 pumps (more if you have a long run from the head to the tank) after using it. Failure to do this allows some sewage to remain in the hose causing premature permeation and may even allow some backflow into the head if the joker valve leaks at all.
5) The vinegar idea described by other posters is a good one. Vinegar helps to dissolve any crystalization that can build up in the plumbing from the interaction between urine and sea water. This soaking and flushing with vinegar followed by a fresh water flush will help with that.
6) I advise against using vegetable oil in the head, as this can encourage the growth of the anerobic bacteria (smelly bacteria) in the holding tank. Instead, take the pump apart (at least twice a year) and use a water resistant grease (winch grease for example) to lube the pump. The Jabsco pump takes about 5 minutes to lube in this manner, it is no biggy.

That is all I can think of for now, good luck,

s/v Beth 09-11-2009 15:28

Our head has not stunk since we changed to Levac. And we do everything else the same. Just my 2 cents.

HHNTR111 07-12-2009 06:12

We've used Lavac commodes for 20 years, great system, simple. Otherwise, what he says is right.

jkleins 07-12-2009 08:07

We had a smell in our new/old boat that I suspected was the pipes but on checking they were fairly new. Then I got to the original (26 year old) plastic holding tank. Just touching it confirmed it was the source. It was built of very thick plastic but had obviously been permeated with "organic matter".

Fortunately it was only 6 gallons and it was my plan to replace it anyway. I just didn't think handling the tank would be the most smelly part. :)


FLKokopelli 07-12-2009 17:45

Thanks to all who replied to my request. The problem was solved with the white vinegar remedy. Boy am I relieved and so is my nose...

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