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Old 09-27-2007, 04:18 AM   #1
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Sewer Odors with Fantastic Fan

Hi All...I have read through the 10 pages of sewer threads, particularly those dealing with odors...and peoples' solutions to the problems...here's our situation...I would like your suggestions as to where the problem lies...and what all we need to have checked...I want this problem resolved!

We have a 2006 19' Bambi. On our last 2 trips we have had bad sewer odor problems in the bathroom only, and only when we run the Fantastic Fan (blowing outward)...typically, the rear dead vent is open to increase air flow.

At first we thought the sewer smell was being brought in through the dead vent because it's not that far from the sewer vent up top...but we have since realized that the fan is drawing the odor in from behind or around the toilet where there is an access panel that covers an opening where the sewer vent pipe is connected to the black water tank...you can literally feel the air moving from that space, and you can smell the odor it's carrying. We have no odor when the fan is not on. And although this space also opens unto the space below the vanity, the odor doesn't seem to collect there.

We are convinced that there is a seal to the black water tank that has failed, though I have not been able to see any evidence of a failed seal so far. We always dump and clean out the black water tank thoroughly using the built in tank washer/sprayer a couple of times, so I'm pretty confident we don't have a build-up in the black tank (and we've only had the Bambi since March).

We are taking it in to Airstream on Monday, and I want to make sure we are having everything that may be a cause re-checked...as far as I know there are 4 openings into the black tank that could have a seal that is not sealed (Correct me if I'm wrong!):

1. the toilet seal itself
2. where the vent pipe connects to the black tank (right behind the toilet)...
3. where the factory sprayer is attached (which is near tthe top of the tank and also near the point where the vent pipe is connected...but on the upper side of the tank...
4. the dump connection...the latter would most likely not be an odor source I am thinking...at least not into the interior...

This last trip it was awful...it was like being in a hot outhouse in the middle of summer! Eeeewww. Once the Fantastic vent is off, the odor goes away... We ended up relying on the AC to keep us cool in the evenings, even though we could have been using the fantasitc vent to bring in cool air...we just couldn't use it!

Yes, we always keep about 2" of water in the toilet...so that is sealed. And it is definitely black water smell...not grey water smell...

Your thoughts?

Thanks,
TB
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Old 09-27-2007, 06:23 AM   #2
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Interestingly, I noticed that very thing with our new Fantastic. I was guessing it was because the toilet won't keep water. I'll have to experiment some more now.
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:07 AM   #3
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Add me to the list,experienced the same problem, unable to find a cause or solution.
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:55 AM   #4
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I read somewhere that using your Fantastic Fans breaks the vacuum inside your trailer that keeps odors from getting in. But what I notice when I use my fans is not as bad as you describe.
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Interestingly, I noticed that very thing with our new Fantastic. I was guessing it was because the toilet won't keep water.
Another thing to look at -- even the overhead vent fan in the toilet will pull up some bad odors during flushing if no window or door is open. The FF pulls a lot more volume than that and the downpipe is momentarily the path of least resistance.

It's a good thing Airstream dwellers are such good friends. "Honey! Is there a window open?"
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:37 AM   #6
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Odor

All of a sudden I'm not so excited to get my trailer finished for spring!
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:48 AM   #7
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Check under your sink. I have a vacuum break vent under my sink that is stuck. I get the same sewer odors when running my fans blowing out and a window open.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:54 AM   #8
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If this is a leak somewhere in the plumbing, have you tried simply opening a window to see if the stinch goes away? The open window would provide the "in" to the cabin rather than the suspected plumbing leak.

Lynn

PS: Since IE7 displays just enough of the title of the thread in the tab at the top, and since my eyes are not at all what they used to be, I found this thread because the title displayed in the tab appeared to be "Sewer Odors with Fart" (rather than "Sewer Odors with Fant" ...) Oh, I just HAD to read more!
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Old 09-27-2007, 11:17 AM   #9
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I thought I had the same problem when we started our most recent trip. Turns out it was my fresh water, I think.

I had not drained or sanitized after the last trip, and just added 10 gals or so just to get down the road. However, when I turned on the tap, I got a strong sulphur smell - and was convinced it was the black water tank.

In any event, I bought some fresh water sanitizer and added it to the tank per instructions, just because I thought it was needed anyway. And shortly thereafter, all the odor went away.

Any chance this could help you?

Pat
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:08 PM   #10
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try the shower p-trap

I've been working on my rear Fantastic Fan and have been dealing with the on again, off again smell as mentioned (coincidentally as my intermittent fan would go on and off???)...I hadn't used the shower in a few weeks and and guessed that maybe the water had all evaporated from the trap...smelly grey tank air was being sucked into the coach via the shower drain! I just ran some water into the trap and within minutes the smell is gone!

Marc
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:50 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your suggestions and idas so far...kepe them coming, as the more info I gather the better...

Overlander63: Our toilet will keep water in it without seeping out, so that possible source is "sealed"...

jlcur: I think by the time this is over I'm going to be a sewer smel experit... what a reputation! Not sure I want to be the "go-to-guy" for sewer gas! Maybe my search will help you out, too.

westernviews: Hmm. I will discuss this possibility with the AS folks to see if this is a possiblity in our situation, though I believe that applies to grey water tanks? ...thanks...

CanoeStream: We always have the non-fantastic fan vent open when we run the the fantastic fan so that it draws air in...and I have also tried opening a wndow...it doesn't seem to matter. And we only use the bathroom vent fan when we shower or have to clear the air after a trip to the john...so that's not what's drawing the odor in...

thecatsandi: Michelle...thanks...I will check that...but that should be connected to the grey water tank...and I am positive this is black water odor because we can smell the chemicals that are in the black water tank...

eubank: Lyn...Thanks for your input...we have tried opening a window...and it is like a really bad foul f*rt, so you weren't far off!

pmclemore: It's not the fresh water...we refresh the fresh water holding tank with every trip and we also use a fersh water sanitizer...but thanks...

B25guy: Marc...I thought at one point it was coming up from the shower drain, but I have filled the trap (you can see it has water in it if you look down into it) and put the drain plug n place, and it still happens. (PS: If your factastic fan is going off and on intermittently, check where you have the fanstasic fan thermostat set...it might happen to be right where it kicks in and out with small fluctuations in temps.)

Again, thanks for all your input. We realy appreciate you takeing the time... So far nothing has come up that I have't considered or that fully explains it...so I'm still looking for your thoughts...

What else?

Thanks,
TB
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:05 PM   #12
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It is connected to the grey tank but mine smells too and does not get treated too often.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:44 PM   #13
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I run my fantastic fan and the rear vent at the same time with no odors. It might be that I use a odor neutralizer in the two tanks. I use Happy Campers Holding Tank Treatment. Check out their website. It's worth the time.
And NO I do not make any $$ off this. It really works.

Happy Camper No Odor Tank Treatment

Safari-Rick
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:31 AM   #14
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Maybe try the FF without the other ceiling vent open. Open a window a crack instead. It might be pulling in fumes from the nearby exhaust stack. Airstream used to produce models with dual FFs; individuals put them in anyway.
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