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Old 11-30-2011, 02:40 PM   #15
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Excellent suggestion on the p-traps. I've experienced that one, and you can add water to see. Another problem can be from accumulated crud in the trap, sometimes due to excessive water conservation, and one easy way to deal with it is to remove the kitchen and bath traps and clean them out if necessary. My bathroom trap was about 50% blocked with some unsavory substance...accumulated soap, oils, etc. Yuk. The shower trap is more of a challenge. In any event, odors do indeed come from the gray water tank, and that requires periodic freshening.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:16 PM   #16
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We've had that problem if we've sat around too much. With the grey tank, boiling water frees them.With the black tank a bag of ice cubes and a bunch of water to slop around while cruising cleans out the tank just fine. We are carefull to garbage the sink strainers, rather than compound the problem by running it down the drain. We also don't use paper in the black water, a little bag that gets dumped daily is a better idea for us after so many years.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:20 PM   #17
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Thanks for all of the great ideas. To answer some of the questions..
1. I understand that the Bacteria are my friends, but I want them to be related to my family....So we will start our own family of friendly bacteria!
2. I added water to all of the traps the first day.
3. I would add water to the 10% bleach solution, as I drained it into my home sewer, I answer to pollution is dilution.
4. The bowl does hold water, and flushes well.
5. My As came with a hydro-flusher, and I used it to fill the tank for 3 complete flushes.
6. I do use de-odorizer in the tank when I camp? My last AS never had a smell problem.
7. Yes, I do leave a little dd-oderizer and some water in the tank between uses

Soooo, I will check the seal this weekend, and let everyone know!

Thanks again for the fast replys
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
We've had that problem if we've sat around too much. With the grey tank, boiling water frees them.With the black tank a bag of ice cubes and a bunch of water to slop around while cruising cleans out the tank just fine. We are carefull to garbage the sink strainers, rather than compound the problem by running it down the drain. We also don't use paper in the black water, a little bag that gets dumped daily is a better idea for us after so many years.
Thanks Mike,
We do the same things...I hope that after a fresh start, we can can get back into that routine.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:31 PM   #19
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Sanitize Black Water Tank with Bleach

Greetings Air-Texas!

This is likely a long-shot, but it something that happened to me with my Overlander shortly after I purchased it in 1995. The seals around the black and gray water plumbing vents had failed, and if I left the bahtroom window ajar and one of the windows in the bedroom ajar with the rear roof vent cracked -- odors from the vents were pulled into the coach under certain weather conditions. It may be a peculiarity with my coach, but I thought that I might mention it as a possibility . . . my guess is that the small vents installed above the shower on some coaches could draw in odors from the tank vents if left open while the coach is stored.

Kevin
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:38 PM   #20
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Hi, Air-Texas. Welcome to the forums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamiak View Post
Adding 3 gallons of bleach to your 3/4-full holding tank is a lot of bleach. That would mean a concentration of +-10%...which is a lot considering a typical fresh water sanitizing is done with +- .1%. How are you going to get rid of that solution?

For most of us mortals, we're never going to get it to smell sweet down there, so if you have odor inside, as others have noted, something else is wrong, as in vent or gasket. Does your toilet bowl hold water?
Ordinary household bleach is 3% sodium hypochlorite. So you would get maybe 0.3% chlorine, not 10%. Since the hypochlorite will react with any organic material that is present to produce chloramines, the amount of free chlorine remaining will be much lower.

If there is a large accumulation of organic solids, it may take more than 3 gallons to break down all the organic material.

I agree with others that you should be sure there isn't a problem elsewhere. Sometimes people mistake propane leaks for a sewer odor. Vent pipe may not be attached, toilet to flange seal may leak. Though rare you may have a crack in the top of the tank.

In any case, yes, the tradeoff you make in running up the chlorine levels is that you will shorten the life of the seals and gaskets, and may end up having to replace them as a result.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:56 PM   #21
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Hi, Air-Texas. Welcome to the forums.



Ordinary household bleach is 3% sodium hypochlorite. So you would get maybe 0.3% chlorine, not 10%. Since the hypochlorite will react with any organic material that is present to produce chloramines, the amount of free chlorine remaining will be much lower.

If there is a large accumulation of organic solids, it may take more than 3 gallons to break down all the organic material.

I agree with others that you should be sure there isn't a problem elsewhere. Sometimes people mistake propane leaks for a sewer odor. Vent pipe may not be attached, toilet to flange seal may leak. Though rare you may have a crack in the top of the tank.

In any case, yes, the tradeoff you make in running up the chlorine levels is that you will shorten the life of the seals and gaskets, and may end up having to replace them as a result.
Thanks Jammer, I hope it is not the tank! That is a lot of work on a New-to-Me AS..
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Thanks Jammer, I hope it is not the tank! That is a lot of work on a New-to-Me AS..
this is a long shot but I recently pulled, toilet to replace valve and inside underside of toilet was disgusting I didn't stick my nose in it to see if it smelled but out could be your culprit
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:30 PM   #23
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this is a long shot but I recently pulled, toilet to replace valve and inside underside of toilet was disgusting I didn't stick my nose in it to see if it smelled but out could be your culprit
When I check the seal, I will clean that area.. It is the only place we have not gotten into! My Wife and I spent 3 days cleaning and maintaining it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:44 PM   #24
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Someone (Rip-off World?) makes a cleaning 360 degree wand that we have for the black water tank, works , sorta. Nothing like a high pressure hose with a single-steam nozzle to get the skunge out.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:10 PM   #25
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When I said "10% solution" (unlike Holmes' 7% solution), I wasn't referring to the technical concentration of chlorine ions, but rather the simple concentration of household chlorine bleach relative to water that one would typically use to sanitize, say, a-water tank, etc. And those proportions have built-in fudge factors since off-the-shelf household bleaches are typically sold with a range of concentrations of sodium hypochlorite. Name brand household bleaches are typically in the 6% sodium hypochlorite, while "bargain brands" are somewhat less to enable the reduced price. No matter how you slice it, 3 gallons of bleach in, say, 30-40-50 gallons of water is a potent solution, and it would certainly tie-dye any clothes it incidentally came in contact with. I'm sure it will kill the bad bugs.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:39 PM   #26
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When I said "10% solution" (unlike Holmes' 7% solution), I wasn't referring to the technical concentration of chlorine ions, but rather the simple concentration of household chlorine bleach relative to water that one would typically use to sanitize, say, a-water tank, etc. And those proportions have built-in fudge factors since off-the-shelf household bleaches are typically sold with a range of concentrations of sodium hypochlorite. Name brand household bleaches are typically in the 6% sodium hypochlorite, while "bargain brands" are somewhat less to enable the reduced price. No matter how you slice it, 3 gallons of bleach in, say, 30-40-50 gallons of water is a potent solution, and it would certainly tie-dye any clothes it incidentally came in contact with. I'm sure it will kill the bad bugs.
LOL, I hope so!
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:41 PM   #27
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Take your toilet apart.
It's not that hard. You will be grossed by the residues that have accumulated on the seals and various inner workings.

Tom
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:11 PM   #28
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I agree with others that you should be sure there isn't a problem elsewhere. Sometimes people mistake propane leaks for a sewer odor.
I want to second Jammer's observation. A year or two ago we chased a faint bad odor in our trailer for months. Flushed out the black and grey tanks, checked tank vents, washed traps, and practically took the trailer apart looking for a dead rodent behind a cabinet or something like that.

We couldn't identify the smell except that it was putrid, and couldn't localize it. My best guess was that it was coming from somewhere under the kitchen sink.

The problem practically solved itself in the wee hours of one morning when the LP gas detector went off. (Trust me, it will wake you up! I think I came three feet straight up out of the bed!) For the rest of the night we turned off the gas at the tanks and left the door and windows open to ventilate the trailer.

The next morning I went looking for the gas leak and it wasn't hard to find. We seldom use the oven, but the last time we had, we had turned the control knob back to OFF. We hadn't noticed that you had to turn it a little past OFF to a small mark that said "pilot off". So a small amount of LP gas had been leaking from the oven pilot all that time.

We turned the oven knob all the way off and that satisfied the LP gas detector. And our putrid smell immediately disappeared and never came back.

The LP gas detector is quite sensitive--alarms at a gas concentration less than 10% of the lower explosive limit--but it turns out your nose is even more sensitive. You can smell the odorant they use in LP gas at extremely low concentrations, but it doesn't smell like "gas" until it reaches higher concentrations--it just smells bad.

So don't rule out a very slight LP leak, greywater tank smell, or anything else in your search.
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