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Old 08-24-2016, 07:00 AM   #1
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Black Tank Smell in 27FB Wardrobe

We're all closed up with the AC running (it's hot here in Florida) and the wife turns on the range hood to vent some cooking smells. I open the wardrobe to get something and there is a black tank smell. I know the smell having made the mistake of flushing the toilet with the vent fan running when everything is closed. The black tank vent pipe is on the other side of the Airstream about four feet from the closet. I open the compartment below the wardrobe, where the pump is and the floor penetrations, and no smell there. We turn the fan off and after a few minutes, the smell goes away. Can't figure out where this is coming from. Any suggestions?


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Old 08-24-2016, 07:15 AM   #2
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If you are running the vent fan with the camper closed up, air has to be pulled in from some where to replace the air you are venting out the fan. Is it possible you toilet or sink or shower drain is open and you are pulling air in thru the plumbing vent stack, into the camper thru an open drain. I am not sure of your trailer configuration but your shower or sink mite share a vent stack with your black water tank. Running the stove vent will cause you to draw air in from some where. I think the AC's are closed to recirculate interior air to be more efficient so outside air will be drawn in from some place.

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Old 08-24-2016, 07:26 AM   #3
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I deleted my recent post because I had not read your original post carefully enough. Sorry.

Is it windy there right now, by any chance, and could a downdraft from a nearby roof line, tree, or other obstacle, be blowing your black tank gases down the vent stack pipe?

Joe's suggestions are sound IMO, especially to make sure all your plumbing traps incl. the shower have water in them.

Good luck!

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Old 08-25-2016, 08:13 AM   #4
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After further study, I think I may have solved the problem. We had a breeze blowing from the front of the trailer to the rear. The blank tank vent is forward of the refrigerator vent. The refrigerator compartment is next to the wardrobe and there is no airtight seal between them. So the fan, I think, was drawing in the sewer gas through the refrigerator vent into the wardrobe. That's why we only smelled it in the upper part of the wardrobe and not underneath where the floor penetrations are. I was ready to take apart the wall where the vent pipe goes up from below, but now will just wait and see if my theory holds up.


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Old 08-25-2016, 08:47 AM   #5
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Good call -- thought it might be wind-related.
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:16 AM   #6
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Randy,
I thought I had read that the refrigerator compartment was supposed to be isolated from the trailer interior due to the potential for the fridge generating carbon monoxide. I think it is in the fridge installation instructions.

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Old 08-25-2016, 10:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
Randy,
I thought I had read that the refrigerator compartment was supposed to be isolated from the trailer interior due to the potential for the fridge generating carbon monoxide. I think it is in the fridge installation instructions.

Al
I think you're right, no carbon monoxide, no black tank smells, and no cold air drafts coming in.

Check around the edge of the fridge and see if it is fitting tight against the cabinet it is mounted into.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:52 PM   #8
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There is a re-vent under the wardrobe on the right hand side for the shower. It is a short stack with a vent on top. The conditions may have been right for it to vent. My 2015 27FB does the same thing sometimes. The thread made me think of what it might be from. Exhausting without an inflow? I know it is the worst when it is hot out. Now I have something to play with.
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Old 08-25-2016, 02:31 PM   #9
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There is a re-vent under the wardrobe on the right hand side for the shower. It is a short stack with a vent on top. The conditions may have been right for it to vent. My 2015 27FB does the same thing sometimes. The thread made me think of what it might be from. Exhausting without an inflow? I know it is the worst when it is hot out. Now I have something to play with.
That's the ticket --an excellent observation!

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for this insight.

Peter
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Old 08-28-2016, 06:38 AM   #10
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Wondering if you have seen the recent comment from GandW about the hidden vent, and whether it might apply to your AS? Thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverCabin View Post
After further study, I think I may have solved the problem. We had a breeze blowing from the front of the trailer to the rear. The blank tank vent is forward of the refrigerator vent. The refrigerator compartment is next to the wardrobe and there is no airtight seal between them. So the fan, I think, was drawing in the sewer gas through the refrigerator vent into the wardrobe. That's why we only smelled it in the upper part of the wardrobe and not underneath where the floor penetrations are. I was ready to take apart the wall where the vent pipe goes up from below, but now will just wait and see if my theory holds up.


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Old 08-29-2016, 06:39 PM   #11
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After reading the posts above, I took a closer look at the wall between the refrigerator and the wardrobe. There is a gap at the top of the wall, but the is some kind of weather stripping stuffed into the gap, so I believe the refrigerator compartment is sealed off from the trailer interior. It also is fitting snug at the front, so there goes my theory.

I found the re-vent for the shower below the wardrobe. It's in the compartment below the wardrobe. There is no smell coming from that, and as I said before, there is no smell at all that I can detect in that compartment even though that's where the vent is and there are several floor penetrations for the plumbing. The main gray water vent stack is across the hall from the re-vent, and the black tank vent is separate from the gray water vent stacks, and about three to four feet forward.

I was able to reproduce the problem by opening the shower overhead vent and turning on that fan while the trailer was closed up because the AC was running. After a few minutes, we could detect the smell in the wardrobe, in the center section where the hanger bar is, not in the area at the top above the shelf, and again, not below where the re-vent lives and all the plumbing.

Frankly, I'm stumped on this.


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Old 08-29-2016, 07:13 PM   #12
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Thanks for the update!

Good luck chasing this down.

Peter
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Old 01-30-2017, 07:52 PM   #13
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We are currently having the same issue in our (2012) 27fb. Is anyone willing to provide an update to their situation?

Thanks, _dave
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:37 PM   #14
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Just a thought... Have you checked to see that the black tank vent pipe is actually protruding up & out the top of the roof? (and that there is some form of sealant around the pipe?
We had a similar issue and found the black vent pipe was about an inch below the outer roof skin AND didn't have any barrier wrapping around it. Vent fans or the right breeze caused reverse airflow into the trailer and sometimes the AC units would pull black tank fumes through the inner/outer skin airspace. Unscrew the vent caps on the roof and visually verify the vent pipes are protruding an inch or two.....And have sealant with no gapping around them..
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