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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-15-2009
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Holding Tank Odor

I have a plastic holding tank right under the fwd V-berth. It stinks!

I think the vapors are permeating through the plastic, since there is no sign of a leak.

I'm not interested in tearing the v-birth apart to replace it with SS, so what are my options? Encapsulating it in foam?
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Old 10-15-2009
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More details would help. What boat? How old? Is this a built in tank? No access at all?

If you have some access, I'd replace the tank with a new plastic one. Companies like Raritan make plastic holding tanks in all shapes and sizes.
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Agree, need more details. You shouldn't have to tear out the V-berth. One of the access holes should do the job. As far as replacing with stainless steel, why? Just replace with new plastic. As for some of the cuff ideas...

Check your plumbing lines. They may be old and may have lost their order blocking properties.

Check for a leak in your vent or pump out line.

Coat it will two coats of Kilz Original(Depot or Lowes or anyone, really)

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Sorry, the boat is a 1979 Pearson 32.
I would have to cut it out.
Since this plastic tank stinks, why wouldn't a new plastic tank stink?
I diligently searched for a leak. Didn't check the vent pipe though.
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Old 10-15-2009
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I've heard the old rubber hose that leads to the pump out fitting and head are the culprits with giving off the odors more then the plastic.
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Denise is correct

The polyethylene, unless its extremely thin walled, usually wont permeate any 'odor'. Betcha, its the rubber hose and their connections.

To find out, tape down some moistened paper towels then cover with saran wrap on the tank, its connections and the hosing; wait a week or so then remove .... and (excuse the expression) sniff the paper.
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Fill it with water and pump it out several times. That helped mine.
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I had the same problem with my holding tank. No solids in it so the smell was not quite so bad but no amount or type of deodorizing or flushing would fix it. I replaced all the lines and the smell went away almost immediately. I also scrubbed the sides of the tank with bleach but that was mostly just to clean off the 30 years of crud. The tank is old but it did not seem to be the culprit on my boat.

On mine I could tip the tank up so I could replace the hose on the bottom of the tank. It still had some liquid in it but no mishaps occured. Put lots of plastic under the pipes you are taking off to catch anything that falls out.

I was going to use the odorsafe brand of hose but no one in town carried it so I went with the other white stuff that West and everyone else seem to sell.

Next time I am at the pumpout I will open up the inspection hatch and see if I can't clean out the sludge in the bottom of it.
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Add my opinion to Denise and Rich. Empty it, clean it, pull off all of the old hoses. The smell will almost certainly be gone. Then replace the hoses with the best, odor proof hoses you can find. Be prepared for sticker shock, good sanitation hose costs real money.

good luck!
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Old 10-15-2009
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Replace the hoses. Use trident 101 and good double clamps. Make sure you vent is new also and is aereating your tank so the aerobic bacteria are in the majority and I bet the smell will go awa.

Dave
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