Stench from Fresh Water Holding Tank - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 11-13-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 22
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
countrygent5201 is on a distinguished road
Stench from Fresh Water Holding Tank

The previous owner of my 1986 Hunter 28.5 stopped using the fresh water holding tank several years ago, but apparently didn't completely drain it. Since I'm one who believes a thing should be used if it's there, I filled the tank with fresh water from the dock system and later attempted to use it for hand-washing after a visit to the head. At first, the water seemed normal, but then a stench began to develop as the water ran. I immediately began draining the tank by opening both the head and galley faucets, and the odor became really bad -- a rotten egg sort of stench -- as the last few gallons were pushed through the lines. I flushed the system for about 10 minutes, then dumped in a box of baking soda and refilled the tank. Little if any improvement. Next I tried a cup of chlorine bleach. Still stinky. I'm sure the stench was caused by allowing water to stagnate in the tank, but how do you get rid of the awful smell? I don't intend to drink the water or use it for cooking, but it even leaves your hands smelly after washing them in it with soap. Is there a product that eliminates the stench. If I can ever get the tank clean again, is there a rule-of-thumb about how often it should be drained and refilled to avoid stagnation?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 11-14-2009
night0wl's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Posts: 1,323
Thanks: 0
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Rep Power: 9
night0wl is on a distinguished road
Have the same issue in my boat...but dont know how to fix it. Advice is appreciated!
__________________
S/V Jendai
Beneteau 343
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 11-14-2009
mitiempo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Victoria B.C. Canada
Posts: 6,758
Thanks: 0
Thanked 49 Times in 40 Posts
Rep Power: 6
mitiempo will become famous soon enough
Put a fairly strong bleach solution in the tank, much more than a cup, maybe a gallon in a 25 gallon tank. Let sit overnite. Drain tank through taps. Repeat if necessary. Check the hoses to the taps - they probably need replacing anyway - after all they're probably original. Then just fill and drain until the bleach is not apparent. It worked in my case and the tank hadn't been used for over a year. I replaced the lines as they were black with age and probably as old as the boat - 32 years.
Brian
ps - then you only have to get rid of the smell of the bleach.

Last edited by mitiempo; 11-14-2009 at 01:59 AM. Reason: addition
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 11-14-2009
roline's Avatar
Cal 9.2 SilverSwan
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 272
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 14
roline is on a distinguished road
Ah yes the old Hydrogen sulfide from bacteria. I had a touch of it and couldn't figure out why. I had removed the poly tank and bleached it, replaced the lines and after a season started to have it again. I realized that the tap water that I was adding was from the kitchen sink has a carbon filter that absorbes all of the clorine in the water. SO there was a lack of treatment for bacteria. Bleach (hypochlorite) works well. Another treatment that can be used is Hydrogen peroxide, but do not mix the two!
Hydrogen peroxide sanitizes without the bleach stench but is more expensive to use. Once under control, sanitize at least once a year.
__________________
Cal 9.2 #19 SilverSwan
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 11-14-2009
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
First off, I would highly recommend opening the tank's and pressure spraying the interior if at all possible, then I would replace the hoses and finish by shock treating the whole system per Peggie Hall's directions.

Bleaching or treating the lines won't work very well, since the lines probably have a bioslime coating, where the bleach only affects the outermost layer of it, and doesn't kill all of the bacteria/mold living in it.

I don't recommend adding chlorine bleach to the fresh water system as a matter of normal use, but shock treating it once a season is a good idea.
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.

Last edited by sailingdog; 11-14-2009 at 11:47 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 11-14-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 22
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
countrygent5201 is on a distinguished road
Roline, how much peroxide should I use? This sounds like the best route if it doesn't leave its own stench. Would a quart per 25 gallons of water do the job?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 11-14-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: chesapeake bay
Posts: 1,942
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 6
scottyt is on a distinguished road
gent you should go to a pool supply or a wood working place and get the peroxide there. it will be stronger, so you need less, but make sure to dilute it in some water before dumping it in.

if you use anything you will need to remove any screens in faucets as they will clog as the slime come outs. what i would do is shock it with bleach, a couple of cups, and run the faucets till you smell the bleach. let it sit over night, then drain completely. then repeat, the same then a couple of flushes to clear it out. once you do this open the inspection port if you have one, the bleach smell will go away in a day or so with the port open
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 11-14-2009
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 14,390
Thanks: 63
Thanked 160 Times in 157 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
Just an additional comment, when you shock or bleach your tanks you should be sure to completely fill them each time to ensure you're getting the bleach/peroxide to all the inner tank surfaces.
__________________
Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 11-14-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Benfleet
Posts: 58
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
wookie is on a distinguished road
yea bleach works put plenty in leave 24hrs, drain through all taps, refill fresh water should work
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 11-14-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Deer Harbor, Washington
Posts: 191
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Rep Power: 6
mitchbrown is on a distinguished road
RO machine can make water smell like sulfure

If you have a Watermaker on the boat and they pickled the thing and then didn't flush it well enough before putting the product water back to running into the tank the chemicls will make the water smell like sulfure. The solution is to just flush the thing out really good and I would apply bleach and then flush again after 24 hours and then use it.

Mitch
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Smelly water from fresh water tank Bruce_Olson Gear & Maintenance 20 09-01-2007 04:42 PM
fresh water tank, tastes like ****! nauticalrich Gear & Maintenance 6 05-24-2002 04:17 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:48 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012