Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Thanked 199 Times in 184 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Peggy Hall has it right on. You may already have permeated hoses. If so, you will only fix this by replacing them. She has a test: wrap them in hot wet towels and let stand. Remove the towel and smell them. If you sense the odor you have in the boat, its swap out time.
That said, I'm a devout follower of her methods. Never ever put chemicals, oils or anything other the toilet paper in the head. EVER.
Flush with substantially more water than seems necessary. You must move everything to the holding tank, so nothing but water sits in the lines. Check the lines to be sure they are routed without low spots that collect stuff.
Here's a tip I found brilliant. If you use a macerator to pump overboard (outside 3nm of course), you should flush 5 gallons of water as soon as it empties, which is roughly 5 full bowls, then pump that overboard as well so that sewage doesn't sit in the outlet line.
She describes that adding oil to lubricate your head will float on top of your holding tank and prevent aerobic bacteria from growing. You need aerobic bacteria, which does not smell, to break down contents. Without healthy aerobic bacteria, the anaerobic bacteria flourish and they are what stink.
Flushing a couple of bowls of fresh water before you leave for extended periods will prevent the sulphur smell from building in the lines between your head and holding tank. Its also flushes anything that may be lying in the lines. However, the line from the thru hull to your pump will still be loaded with seawater and will stink on your first flush. I push it through as a matter of opening the boat and it goes away.
We only clean with Raritan CP, which is safe for proper bacterial growth. It also has a pleasant smell that will overcome the sulphur smell on that first pump. A few drops, fill with stale water and flush. Its over.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.