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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-23-2009
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Talk about Stink Pots...

I'm not referring to the noisy, behemoths, that use a lot of fossil fuel to go places, I am talking about my sewer smelling boat.

I had spent weeks trying to figure out why my boat smells worse than a full porta-pottie on a hot summer day. I cleaned the all around the head with pine-sol, bleach, etc. Looked at the hoses, etc. We didn't use our holding take last year, but just for giggles, I pumped a lot of water into it and a little bleach and pumped it out before hauling the boat. Then I put some anti-freeze into it.

My wife commented that she started to notice the stank late last season, but I said it was just some residual stuff, and a we cleaned it out, and a good freeze over the winter, will improve everything. Well I visited the boat a lot over the winter and didn't notice it, but it really warmed up a few weeks ago and well,...it stank.

Well today, the stink source has been found. THe boat is still relatively new to us and I went forward and inspected the holding tank. Hoses look good, no evidence of leaks, well sealed, and vented. Oh yeah, I notice a cartridge filter tucked under the access hatch in the v-berth. I now remember that the PO put in a vent filter/stink scrubber (Sealand) and he showed it to me when I bought the boat. Well maybe that needs to be replaced. Removed it from the holder and start to unscrew the hoses, when water (or a condensate) leaks out. Well problem is now apparent. A saturated filter cartridge does scrub or vent gas. Replace, and stink goes away.

My hypothesis is that while have cleaned the boat over the past two seasons, water has entered the vent port on the side of the boat, trickled down and saturated the filter.

DrB - Now a proud owner of a Stink Free Boat
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Old 04-23-2009
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A couple of other things you may consider.
1. Use some holding tank deodorizer. It really works. You can get it from Walmart or any RV shop. Use it once or twice a season and over the winter.
2. Get some urine deodorizer and spray down the entire area around the head. It's surprizing how many men won't sit down to pee and the splash gets all around the head. Bleach isn't nearly as effective.
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Old 04-23-2009
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DrB—

I'm not a big fan of the vent line filters as they reduce the air flow and are a big part of why you need the vent line filter in the first place. If the holding tank has decent air flow, you get the good aerobic bacteria and no smell. If the tank has bad airflow—like when you have a filter in the line—you get the anaerobic bacteria...and a lot of smell... IMHO, you're better off with no filter and good airflow to the holding tank. It is cheaper in the long run, and reduces the chances of the hose permeating with nasty smelling stuff.
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Old 08-01-2009
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Re stink pots

1

Last edited by 224; 07-15-2011 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 08-01-2009
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Try KO from Raritan if you're looking for a deodorizer. It's a wonderful product that supposedly reacts with the methane and bacteria and goes to the order source as opposed to just masking it. We used it for several years and it worked wonderfully, while the other ones (Walmart stuff) just smelled like a restroom. We don't use it any longer since we're usually offshore every week. Our problem now is that when we pump the head we get a lot of odoriferous methane out the external vent. Everyone upwind of us has to plug their nose.
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Old 08-01-2009
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Try a dose of Dawn when it gets unbearable. Its a redneck fix - but environmentally safe and has some other positive effects...
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Old 08-01-2009
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It's not your holding tank ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrB View Post
I had spent weeks trying to figure out why my boat smells worse than a full porta-pottie on a hot summer day. I cleaned the all around the head with pine-sol, bleach, etc. Looked at the hoses, etc. We didn't use our holding take last year, but just for giggles, I pumped a lot of water into it and a little bleach and pumped it out before hauling the boat. Then I put some anti-freeze into it.

DrB - Now a proud owner of a Stink Free Boat
I had the same problem with my new-to-me boat. The odor was so bad that when I left the boat I could taste it in my mouth. Yekkh! I junked all the waste hose and replaced it with new odorfree hose (the $9/ft variety). The boat still stunk until the old hose was physically out of the boat, then it was a pleasure to be in the boat. When I removed the old hose, petrified fecal matter fell out in little chips. Yes, I knew you wanted to know that.

This stuff that sticks to the inside of the hose is the source of most head-related odors, IMHO.
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Old 08-02-2009
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I used KO for a long time and was never happy with it, then I tried the drop in bags by Thetford ( from the RV shop ) and man what a difference.

When we pumpout we cycle water threw the system or just put a hose down the hole, then drop one of these bags in, they acutally smell pretty good; I ran out of the Thetfords and picked up a simular product from Sealand, Sealand doesn't smell as good, but it has a bowl cleaner action that works really well on cleaning the bowl



That was probably way TMI
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