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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, long time stalkers here, new time owners however. We have our first boat!!! Yeah!! and of course there a few things that we want to jump right on. The first are the boat odors!! So I've done a lot of research on what to put in the tank, but my problem is the odor is also present in the cabin closest to the port settee where our holding tank is. Even when the tank is empty? So this weekend I took a closer look and noticed the pump out hose looks...... well not right. Do I just need to replace this hose or is this a bigger job then that? The boat is a 1997 Hunter 310, and the holding tank is 25 Gal. Here is the picture.

Thank you everyone for all your post they've answered tons of questions before we had to ask.
 

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I gather your image is 'upside down' and the two valves on the left are through-hulls and the hose in question is coming out of the tank on the right side of the pic.. if all that's true that hose looks suspect, I'd change it out for some greenline sanitary hose BUT it looks like a sharp turn..

Any pictures from a better angle??
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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You could certainly replace the old hoses as they permeate over time and there are better ones on the market, but I have noticed on my boat that the longer I take better care of the holding tank with proper treatment and frequent pump outs, the less smell there is. Now, it is hardly noticeable. Also, make sure you clean around everything as well as you can because there might have been some leakage in the past and that will cause mold problems, which can rival the head smell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Unfortunately I didn't take any better pictures :(. You are right on though. That hose come out the bottom of the tank and goes to the y valve for pumpout. The other black hose which looks alot better is from the head.

What would you recommend I use to clean/kI'll any leakage? It is okay to use bleach on the inside of a hull?

Thank you
 

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Whenever I see rusty hose clamps, I say you need to change them immediately...as said, replacing the hoses looks like a good first step. And the sanitation pipes should be white, not creamy brown...and as for the yucky old one at the back...always use high-quality stainless hose clamps in marine environments. I find a magnet is useful when shopping - if they are magnetic, don't use them!

Chlorine (bleach) is okay, as long as you clean up afterwards (i.e. don't let pools of chlorine sit for too long). If you are worried wipe up with some hydrogen peroxide or an antichlor to neutralize the chlorine. I also use cheap distilled vinegar as a general disinfectant/deodorizer - but don't mix it with bleach!

To test the pipes, try wiping the pipes - especially the connections - with a slightly damp cloth. Then smell it. If it smells bad you have your smoking gun.

Obviously flush out the tank and head with clean water before you start work - even so, it'll likely be a bear as the smell remains, and pipes are often difficult to remove - and install! Warming and "working" them often helps, as does a lot of dishwasher detergent.

And when you have finished admiring your newly-replaced sanitation system, you're not done - remember to come back a few days later to re-tighten the hose clamps. As the pipe compress down, another re-tightening is often required.

Also check the vent is blocked. The tank needs to be vented outside to prevent anaerobic (stinky) decomposition.

Sorry about the dump of random thoughts...could have been more coherent but it is getting late :) Good luck, congrats on your new boat, and welcome to the world of boat maintenance...
 

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hose clamp has rust on it but does not look like the clamp is rusting. I would look closer at the connection above it to see if it is dripping on the lower connection. the lower hose has rust on the rubber and rubber does not rust.
 

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All of those hoses look like they have seen better days. There is a test to see if the hose is permeated. Take a clean white rag and rub it on the hose. Then sniff the rag. If the rag has picked up an odor the hose is shot.

Replace the hoses with Raritan Sani Flex or Trident 101 or 102 Sanitation hose.

I recommend you also get a copy of Peggie Hall's book on dealing with boat odors. She tells you all you need to know about maintaining a marine sanitation system.
 

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I went through this on my boat recently.

The fundamental problem was a blocked vent fitting, on the outside of the hull. When the tank can't vent, you are pressurizing it when you pump the head. Needless to say, this can cause all kinds of leaks and smells. It could even damage the tank. I found a split in mine.
 

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If for some reason you don't want to buy Ms Hall's excellent book, then Google search for "Peggie Hall Headmistress." She has been kind enough to offer her excellent advice on various Internet fora and most everything in her book is on the Net

but i'd just buy the book :)
 

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Crealock 37
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I've been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to change the head hoses on both of the boats I've owned. With a little planning it's not a bad job.

Flush the system as much as you can with clear water then empty/pump out the holding tank.

Work from the top down -- take the hose off at the high end. To avoid spilling what is still in the hose I used the vacuum container I use to suck oil out of my engine to empty the hose as much as possible before removing the low end from the tank/valve fitting.

A ziplock bag secured with tape works well to "plug" the hose end as you wrestle it out of it's lair. You will also want to cover the tank outlets until you're ready to stick a hose back on them. Preventing spill is much easier than cleaning it up.

If you can find "chucks" or some other absorbent pad laying them below the work area is a good idea for catching drips and spills.

Heat gun works well to warm the hose to make it more pliable. What I've found works best is boiling hot water in a small container --- stick the hose into the water, it will evenly heat the entire hose end. (Just don't do like I did and pour the boiling water on your foot when you're deep in the lazaretto.)

Get the AWAB hose clamps. They are made of stainless, they are long lasting and the non-perforated band allows for a much better seal of the hose.

I am a big fan of the Raritan Saniflex Sanitation Hose, flexible and well made.
 

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Peggy Hall's book is an absolute must read for anyone with their first holding tank system. Without understanding how differently they work from what you have at home, a novice will absolutely cause them to stink.

For starters, you never put any chemical of any kind in a holding tank. Ever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you everyone for your post. I will be ordering Peggy's book today. Now I just need to get the hose and clamps. What is the difference between the 101 and 102 hose, is it just the color?
 

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bell ringer
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it is color

Before you do the hose have you just checked to be sure they are tight? From my experience the odor for a leaking connection and the odor from a bad hose are WAY different. The leak smells and the hose one burns your eyes.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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While swapping the hose (after you have removed the offending black hose pictured above), I would spray and wipe the entire area with Chlorox Clean-Up.


The stuff is AMAZING at killing mold, mildew and smells.
 
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Learning the HARD way...
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Here is the pic that you posted;


I would look carefully at the vanity discharge seacock too. It looks like it is leaking.
 

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Peggy Hall's book is an absolute must read for anyone with their first holding tank system. Without understanding how differently they work from what you have at home, a novice will absolutely cause them to stink.

For starters, you never put any chemical of any kind in a holding tank. Ever.
Water is a chemical compound. Can I put that in?
 

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Water is a chemical compound. Can I put that in?
We all can, but I'm not sure about you. However, you may. :rolleyes:

Chemical cleaners, disinfectants, deodorizers, even soaps or other bathing products, can kill the good bacteria that prevent odor and let the smelly bacteria take over. That's where the adage, "nothing goes down the head unless you ate it first" came from. Aboard our boat, we allow the flushing of toilet paper, which is inert. Some do not, but for clogging, not odor.

Besides, the nuclear anti-odor chemicals just have to be really bad for the environment. Much worse than the waste itself, which has been going back into nature for about 50,000 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I now have Peggie's book!!!! I've also taken some more pictures. It looks like the first winter project will be replacing the hose from the tank to head, tank to pump out and the air vent hose. The air vent hose has a sticky yellow crystal film all the way up and down it? As far as I know no one has peed on the hose so what is that? I also found this How-To on a Hunter 310:
Big Surprise ..................... - SailboatOwners.com
 

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Sanitary hoses shall be replaced regularly, some says every 2nd year some says every 5th year. Not 20 year !

If you look on your last pic, 9515 (?), then there is rust which has also gone into the hose. Rust is there as something has leaked. It looks like you have plastic (nylon? polyethene?) fastenings to the tank - those are very difficult to get tight.

What material is the tank made of - can't see on the pics. Is that plastic as well? Sanitary tanks and hoses have to be extra tight, not at all the same kind of plastic used for drinking water.

/J
 
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