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Old 06-18-2012, 06:28 AM   #1
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Default Toilet odor when flushing

Well just got back from our first weekend on the boat. First time using the head and it seems we get an odor both inside and outside when it is flushed. This also occurs even when flushing just water. The boat is a 04 Maxum 3100 with an electric head. The holding tank was empty previous to purchase and had no smell when sniffed through the pump out line. when I first notice the smell after someone flushed I again checked for odors at the pump out line and there was no such odor. But every flush now is very noticeable both inside and out. I have read in posts about a joker valve being a cause of this which makes sense for the inside smell but why would it also smell from what I assume to be the vent. Any helpful info would be appreciated. Also how long should you have to hold the button for a flush.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:07 PM   #2
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First install a Sealand SaniGuard vent line filter:

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=50656

Next, make sure you are using head/holding tank cleaner/deoderant on a regular basis:

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=50657


Make sure that you pump out the holding tank weekly. I pump mine out every Sunday. It even helps to toss a few gallons of fresh water in there after the pump out, then pump that out. Then put about 1-1.5 gal. of fresh water and about twice the recommended dosage of santizer/deoderant. Make sure to flush it back to the holding tank with more water.

If that doesn't solve the problem, look at replacing your sanitation line running from the head to the holding tank. Some older types (like the black stuff) are eventually permiable.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:10 PM   #3
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what I've done in all of my boats ..and this helps a lot...is pump out....run about 10 gals of fresh water into the holding tank......pump that out....then add more water....do this about 3 times....this should help quite a bit.....then use the odorizer chemical to the head bowl.....that should keep the smells down...if at all possible ...don't do #2 in the boat but use a shore facility if you can...I mean if it's like 3am and the urge hits...that's fine...by try and use shore facilities as much as possible...(let them do the heavy work).....
if the smells persist....add about a couple of bleach to the bowl and flush down to the tank...let sit for about 24 hrs and then pump out....it's not something I recommend often but it does kill certain germs....then do the 3 fill/pumps with fresh water and that should pretty much sanitize the tank and lines...

hope this helps..

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Old 06-18-2012, 08:47 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. Still wondering if I should be looking at A service kit with the joker valve and new flexible impeller as well as it seems I'm not getting a good flush.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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If you have a vacu-flush system the vacuum generator is between your toilet and the holding tank so no odors from the holding tank itself can migrate back to the toilet. The four duck bills in the vacuum generator keep all fluids, solids and gases from moving backwards towards the toilet. IMO, any odors you smell when you open the ball valve (flush) are from a permeated drain line that runs from the toilet to the vacuum generator. I replaced my lines and have no odor coming from the toilet when I hold the ball valve open. When I pulled the old line (12 years old) out it smelled worse than a month old porta-jon.

Also, be sure to clean thoroughly underneith the ball valve. I drag a hose into the head at least once a month while pumping out and rinse the underside of the ball and down inside the toilet with a heavy stream of fresh water.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:22 AM   #6
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Pine Sol- Has solved it every time for me and a companion boat
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:34 AM   #7
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The admiral hate the number 2 rule but it does help.........
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:48 AM   #8
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Its my understanding some of the smell comes from rotting organisms in the water its self. Your toilet pulls water from the lake/river/ocean, The organisms die and rott in the lines then smell, This is also where the black stuff in the toilet comes from.

regardless, as the others said use treatment regularly, and pump out often.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:31 PM   #9
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LOL, I love the #2 rules. Eveyone I know that has a porta pottie says "It's called a porta pottie, not a porta poopie!". I do agree, that when we are in the marina, we use the facilities. We have only two rules:

1) "If you're in bed, you can use the head".

2) "If it didn't come out of you, it doesn't get flushed down" (degradable toilet paper is the only exception)

Nobody wants to get up, get dressed, then take the long walk. Obviously if we're out on the hook, it is the only game in town, so we use it. Other than that, we use it like a regular head. As stated, an inline filter is HUGE. Keep in mind there are gases that build up in the tank. When you flush the air needs to be displaced. It comes out of the holding tank vent........and it's rarely a secret what's going on. Most folks say "no #2" because that is the odor that comes out of the tank regardless of WHY you're flushing. The vent line filter takes caere of that.

Also stated, pump out often, flush and pump again and use copious amounts of deoderizer and you should be good to go.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:43 PM   #10
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Just an update on my toilet odor problem. I decided to pick up a service kit and install it this weekend. I had a hunch that it wasn't flushing properly and when I took it all apart I found that previous to my purchase someone had flushed a wipe other than toilet paper. It was wrapped tight around the cutting blade and I have no idea how it was even able to flush at all. Anyway installed new kit and it now flushes great with no smell. Oh and I had been using deoderizer and still am adding it.
Just a word of advice for anyone trying to cut you time down on repairs, PUMP OUT YOUR TANK BEFORE YOU START!

What a sh*ty job!!!!!
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