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Old 06-29-2013, 07:54 AM   #1
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Smell from old holding tank problem

I "discovered" that some PO must have had a head or holding tank fitting blow out on him, because there is a lot of dried "residue" (use use your imagination).

The Prairie has a one-piece head enclosure, the whole thing; tub, toilet pedestal, sink base, etc is one big fiberglass unit. It all sits on a rough floor of plywood, but most of it is an inch or two above the plywood.

This leaves a vast, inaccessible area for "residue" to remain and soak into the wood.

I've gotten all I can out with a yardstick, even dumped a bucket of bleach and hot water down there.

Still, on hot or humid days, the odor lingers.

Suggestions?
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:05 AM   #2
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Try a ozone generator. I think anyone that has a boat should have one. They can be used to get rid of just about any organic smell.. and boats have their fair share of trapped smells! Proper use is key to their success.
If you buy one a good one costs about $ 400.00.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollywood8118 View Post
Try a ozone generator. I think anyone that has a boat should have one. They can be used to get rid of just about any organic smell.. and boats have their fair share of trapped smells! Proper use is key to their success.
If you buy one a good one costs about $ 400.00.
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Hollywood - I am making a monument to you out of canvas snaps!

I never thought to look for one of those. We have some occasional smelliness, but usually fades once we bleach-water and fresh-flush the system. What worse is the Admiral-Alarm goes off because she has a nose that beats any Labrador.


I just checked Amazon, units run from USD $139 to $229.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:21 AM   #4
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Try Pure Aire from pet store. Worked for me
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:05 PM   #5
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Can't ozone generators deteriorate rubber? Dripless shaft seal bellows come to mind.

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Old 06-29-2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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Can't ozone generators deteriorate rubber? Dripless shaft seal bellows come to mind.

SteveH

I've always wondered the same...and also the health issues without proper ventilation.

I also owned a very expensive one that was good for temporary relief...but never seem to keep long lasting odors at bay...you still have to remove a potent source.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:46 PM   #7
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Older boats also tend to have old rubber sanitation hoses that have outlived their live span. They could be permeated with waste. Try wiping them down with bleach. It it temporarily gets rid of odor, the hoses should be changed for good quality sanitation hoses. This is a common problem.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:07 AM   #8
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You might consider a pressure washer on a nice warm day to blast away what you can see.

Can't ozone generators deteriorate rubber? Dripless shaft seal bellows come to mind.

In high concentrations with long exposure it could be a problem, think generator building , buttoned up for the winter, or ships generator room .

With the puny output of most auto dealer or marine units , you might have to wait decades for a problem.
Most folks PM engine hoses and other rubber at least every second decade.

The ceramic shaft seals require the rubber to be replaced MUCH more frequently to keep the vessel floating.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:58 AM   #9
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The hoses (which appeared pretty new) are all gone, so that's not the problem.

The ozone suggestion got me thinking, maybe next I'll toss a bucket of Oxy Clean and water down there. It'll end up in the bilge, and the only thing it should encounter down there is the bilge pump. I'm assuming it won't ruin that, but even if it did, that would be easy to replace.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:13 AM   #10
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Go to a pet store and get an enzyme based odor remover. Works wonders.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:19 AM   #11
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Ozone in super concentration is bad for us and rubber products.Every hotel and almost all used cars are treated with short high concentration to rid the smells of previous occupants. Too much is bad for us or any organic object.
All I can say is that for me it really worked and didn't appear to have a detrimental effect on anything on my boats or cars..and made the Admiral's nose happy
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:29 PM   #12
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Ozone generator cautions

Ozone generators are very effective in killing odors by oxidation of surface material, much like hypochlorite but instead by O3 in gaseous form. If the source remains, e.g. trapped residue, odor will return and require retreatment. I've had excellent results with a couple of boats and a smelly garage.

Ozone is toxic, so any boat, auto or room treated must be thoroughly ventilated after fumigating with an ozone generator before occupancy. There are units which are designed to put out smaller concentrations of ozone continually to control odors, but I personally would not care to have one aboard.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:27 PM   #13
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Smell from holding tank

I used to have the same problem and went through all of the above fixes, to no avail. Finally, I bought a small household steam cleaner and steamed the entire area, problem solved, bugs dead.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:13 AM   #14
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The PO of my boat installed a Bilge Buster Ozone system. It really didn't work and deteriorated about a 3 foot diameter section of my sound insulation panels. At first I thought I had a water leak because of the way the panels got mushy, come to find out it was the stupid Bilge Buster. I've turned it off and will never use it again.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:04 AM   #15
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A stinky problem indeed

I spent the fall/spring dealing with a similar problem on my Marine Trader.

Glad to report that for the first time in six or seven years the boat doesn't smell like you know what anymore!

My holding tank, located under the v-berth, had overflowed many times, and was leeching into the bilge water. After removing the tank - long story - I cleaned the area with a mixture of Cascade (for the grease), bleach (for the smell), and Lysol (to cover up the bleach smell). Painted three coats of Interlux Bilge Coat over what was left.

A good marine enamel works wonders.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:42 PM   #16
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Glad SeaMoose solved his odor problem, but a serious caution is in order here.

Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) should NEVER be mixed with other household cleaning products, as very toxic by-products can be produced. The best known danger is with ammonia-containing products which will produce chlorine gas, but there are other possibilities.

Bleach should be used by itself. If a degreaser is needed it can be used first, and might also reduce the amount of material to be oxidized by the bleach. The use of enamel to seal off any remaining offensive material is a great finishing touch!
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