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post #1 of 16 Old 07-25-2014 Thread Starter
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smelly sink

Hey everyone,

I have an odd problem that I hope you can help me with.

My sink in the galley has acquired an odd / bad smell.

I've cleaned the sink bowl and run boiling hot soapy water down but it won't go away .

I worry about putting bleach down there as I don't want to damage the pipes.

The boat was built in 2008, so I doubt the pipes need replacing. There is no smell below he sink area or in he heads sink or head Itself.

Many thx in advance

Chuck buck

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Ben 31


Hi everyone

Any suggestions on how to remove Oder from the sink in the galley?

Much appreciated!!
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-25-2014
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Re: smelly sink

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Originally Posted by ChuckBuck View Post
Hey everyone,

I have an odd problem that I hope you can help me with.

My sink in the galley has acquired an odd / bad smell.

I've cleaned the sink bowl and run boiling hot soapy water down but it won't go away .

I worry about putting bleach down there as I don't want to damage the pipes.

The boat was built in 2008, so I doubt the pipes need replacing. There is no smell below he sink area or in he heads sink or head Itself.

Many thx in advance

Chuck buck

Maple leaf
Ben 31


Hi everyone

Any suggestions on how to remove Oder from the sink in the galley?

Much appreciated!!
Floating debris rotting on the water surface within the drain, including, perhaps dead sealife. One solution is to "blow" the standing water and its contents out. For that you can use one of the pressurized signaling horns sold at marine stores. You can make a temporary gasket around the drain with a couple of wet paper towels cut away over the drain opening itself. Press the bell of the signal horn down, over the drain, firmly and give the drain a 2-3 second blast. The pressure will blow the standing water out through the through-hull. If the drain serves two sinks, insert a plug in one and hold it firmly in place while blasting out through the second/adjoining drain. We've used the foregoing to good advantage in past...
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-25-2014
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Re: smelly sink

Pour a cup of bleach down the drain, let it sit five minutes, and then pour a bucket of freshwater down the drain (or stop up the sink and fill it with the house water, then pull the plug) to flush out the bleach. Five minutes of bleach isn't going to do anything appreciable to the pipes. And a cup of bleach isn't going to do anything appreciable to the environment. Also, try to "flush" the sink (either with a bucket of water, or by stopping and filling the sink) every once in a while to prevent a reoccurrence.
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Last edited by Puddin'_Tain; 07-25-2014 at 11:35 AM.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-25-2014
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Re: smelly sink

Occasional use of bleach is not doing to harm anything.

Something that is often misunderstood about bleach is that more is not much better, but it can be more destructive. The more that is used, the higher the pH, and the less the germicidal effectiveness (broad statement with many limitations). Time is much more important. This holds true for many cleaning applications; less bleach and more time.

Mix ~ 1 tsp/gallon and let it sit in each of the drains for at least an hour.

But you might try this first, to remove the junk: baking soda followed by bleach. At first I thought this was silly; just a bunch of CO2 from the reaction. But it is the bubbles getting UNDER the dirt that does the work in inaccessible places, combined with the initial alkalinity and surfactant nature of the bicarb.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-25-2014
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Re: smelly sink

bleach

I like the fog horn or pressure blow idea too...saves you from going over and manual degunking the thruhull

I do the bleach thing here at the house every week or so since we use cisterns for half the day when the water is cutoff for the city we live in

guess what? same funky smell you get on boats. you let bleach sit for 5-10 minutes then flush and rinse and you can see it get completely gunk and smell free...

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-25-2014
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Re: smelly sink

They are right about the bleach, and about using it sparingly.

If you are concerned about the bleach you can also use hydrogen peroxide to kill smells and it is harmless to most pipes and such, as well as wildlife, etc. You want to use the standard drugstore 30% active type, use generously, and let it sit for a little while. It's not quite as aggressive as bleach, so you may have to repeat.

Trust me, I'm an R&D chemist for a company that makes cleaning supplies and deodorizers...

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post #7 of 16 Old 07-25-2014
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Re: smelly sink

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They are right about the bleach, and about using it sparingly.

If you are concerned about the bleach you can also use hydrogen peroxide to kill smells and it is harmless to most pipes and such, as well as wildlife, etc. You want to use the standard drugstore 30% active type, use generously, and let it sit for a little while. It's not quite as aggressive as bleach, so you may have to repeat.

Trust me, I'm an R&D chemist for a company that makes cleaning supplies and deodorizers...
The "standard drugstore" hydrogen peroxide is 3%, not 30% H2O2 in an aqueous solution. However, you can get ~30% hydrogen peroxide that is marketed as a "cleaning solution" (rather than as a topical antiseptic) at some hardware stores, hydroponics supply outlets, aquarium shops, etc. Strong solutions will burn the skin, and are probably about as dangerous as household bleach. Industrial grade peroxides (including >30% hydrogen peroxide) can be downright nasty to use, and should be avoided unless you have some experience with such chemicals.

I would just used regular bleach; it's quick, easy to get, and cheap. But the ultimate source of the problem is organics floating inside of the sink drain plumbing. A little bit of cooking oil, some food scraps, and whatever else doesn't get flushed out will turn into a stinky brew. Many (most?) boat freshwater systems don't deliver water at a high enough rate to effectively flush that gunk down the hose and out the thru-hull. That's why I suggested pouring a bucket of water down the drain once in a while. You might also try scrubbing the inside of the hose with a long-handled bottlebrush to remove any mold/mildew growing in there.

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post #8 of 16 Old 07-25-2014
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Re: smelly sink

If it's just "A little bit of cooking oil, some food scraps, and whatever else" what's wrong with using a plunger? It's an awfully good test of your hose connections and clamps, but other than that, it should blow anything in the drain, out.
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Last edited by capta; 07-25-2014 at 04:00 PM.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-25-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: smelly sink

great suggestions everyone - will give them a go tomorrow!

Cheers,

CB
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-25-2014
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Re: smelly sink

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If it's just "A little bit of cooking oil, some food scraps, and whatever else" what's wrong with using a plunger? It's an awfully good test of your hose connections and clamps, but other than that, it should blow anything in the drain, out.
If the plunger will force enough air through the plumbing to displace all the liquid, then it would probably work just fine. The trick is to get everything past the thru-hull. If there isn't an actual clog then the plunger shouldn't really be "pressure-testing" anything (as long as the seacock is open).

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Last edited by Puddin'_Tain; 07-26-2014 at 01:39 AM.
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