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post #1 of 11 Old 01-26-2013 Thread Starter
Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
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Holding tank problem easily solved...

Everyone that enjoys the benefit of a holding tank, at least everyone I know, after a few years, has to replace the Joker valve. Some call it a duck bill valve, or non-return valve, but essentially, it's nothing more than a rubber flapper valve that sometimes fails and allows foul-smelling water to seep back into the head (toilet).

In some instances, this is the result of crud build-up on the valve leaflets, which do not allow the valve to close tightly. This, in combination with a clogged vent on the goose-neck "Y" valve, and nasties growing inside the tank itself, can really produce a foul odor in the bathroom.

Cleaning out the tank scum can be problematic, especially when the tank does not have an access plate on the top. Just flushing the tank doesn't get everything out by a long shot.

The solution to this age old problem is Liquid Rid-X, a product normally used for keep home septic tanks clean. Just four ounces added to my 30-gallon, stainless-steel holding tank completely eliminated the odor overnight. Those little microbes went right to work and gobbled the nasties up, turning the solids into liquids in no time at all.

The other thing that was discovered was when urine is mixed with salt water it tends to create a nasty crust that is the consistency of semi-hard concrete. After a while it can completely block the discharge lines from the tank, thus requiring replacement. Ordinary vinegar poured into the head and flushed into the tank eliminates the crust, dissolving it away in a matter of hours.

Hope this information is helpful to others on this wonderful forum,

Gary

Last edited by travlineasy; 01-26-2013 at 12:10 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-26-2013
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Re: Holding tank problem easily solved...

Great info Gary! Having fun down in the sun buddy?

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Holding tank problem easily solved...

Loving it down here. My only regret is that I cannot stay longer and spend three months going home. Unfortunately, I have to leave here March 1 and be in the Chesapeake's upper reaches by April 10. Next time I'll plan for a longer stay.

Cheers,

Gary
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-26-2013
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Re: Holding tank problem easily solved...

Plan on a stop at the sassafras then, owe you a dinner!

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-26-2013
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Re: Holding tank problem easily solved...

I've done side-by-side testing of a bunch of chemicals for Practical Sailor. Rid-x was not as impressive at controlling odor as some many others, though it did help some and could help turn the corner, I suppose. However, it is not an overnight solution as it contains bacteria, and as Rid-x states it should take 3-4 days to germinate. We found it took several days to do anything. Perhaps in large overdoes there was enough active enzyme present to do something.

Interestingly, Rid-X does not recommend the use in RVs or boats. They did not respond and I think they simply haven't chased that possibility.


From the FAQ tab:
"RID-X has not been tested on recreational vehicles (RVs). therefore we cannot recommend using it in RVs."

I think there are better choices. I've spent enough time with poop to be pretty sure of that.

Three things I have found that help:
* Sail Delmarva: Something Free, Something Lazy
* Not using PG. Sail Delmarva: It's Always the Joker
* Flushing with enough water to clear the urine to the tank. Vinegar becomes much less necessary or unnecessary, depending on the waters, if there is no urine present. In 15 years I've never used an acid of any sort and had no build-up. Seawater flush.

(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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Last edited by pdqaltair; 01-26-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Holding tank problem easily solved...

We use Raritan K.O.

Same principle as Rid-X, I believe, but made for marine holding tanks.

Chasing every flush with at least one full bowl of clear water is the best thing one can do for their hoses, joker, tank decomposition, etc.


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post #7 of 11 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Holding tank problem easily solved...

We have been using Odorlos religiously for the last 10 years or so. Works great to keep the tank in order.

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Holding tank problem easily solved...

I HATE head odors.
If we we unable to pump out after a weekend the odor from the holding tank the next weekend was terrible. We had used all kinds of treatments but none really worked. I tried what we use for our home septic system last season. Septi-blast.
Odors are gone! I even let it go for 3 weeks as a test. No smell.
Jim
P.S. our head is fresh water flush

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post #9 of 11 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Holding tank problem easily solved...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrafford View Post
I HATE head odors.
If we we unable to pump out after a weekend the odor from the holding tank the next weekend was terrible. We had used all kinds of treatments but none really worked. I tried what we use for our home septic system last season. Septi-blast.
Odors are gone! I even let it go for 3 weeks as a test. No smell.
Jim
P.S. our head is fresh water flush
Its very possible that if you had used "all kinds of treatments but none really worked", that you were actually causing the problem. Many of these treatments may temporarily mask odor, but kill the good bacteria that prevent odor. Keeping all witchcraft out of the holding tank is the best first step. Adding good bacteria is fine. Lots of clear water, no chemicals and good ventilation and zero reason for a holding tank to ever smell.


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post #10 of 11 Old 01-27-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Holding tank problem easily solved...

That Jeannea 54DS probably has a larger holding tank than I have on my Morgan 33-O.I., which is just 27-gallons. Consequently, with once a week pump-outs here in the harbor, and $5 for an additional, unscheduled pump-out, flushing with large quantities of water is out of the question. Unfortunately, like most boats, space for the holding tank is quite limited, and in my case the compartment is completely filled with the tank itself.

I've been told that freshwater flushing seems to help quite a bit, and helps promote the growth of good bacteria that promotes healthy tank conditions. I haven't tested that, however, mainly because freshwater in this part of the world is pretty expensive, and it's loaded with chlorine and other chemicals that will kill the bacteria.

Gary
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