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Old 09-14-2016, 03:46 PM   #1
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Holding Tank Odor

Stumped. Vent line (without filter) is clear, no visible leakage, hot rag test on all hoses pass the smell test (did replace one hose yesterday that did not...someone had used an exhaust hose on one short connection). Also laid hot rags on tank and they passed the test as well. Put hot rags on all tank connections too and they passed. But when flush either head, a waft of odor becomes very noticeable. Odor is not near either vacu-flush unit either...it is definitely around the holding tank area.
Seems like any "back pressure" created would go out the clear vent line. Odor dissipates (but does not go away) after a few minutes but with next flush is right back.
Ideas for further investigation? Thanks
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:02 PM   #2
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Holding Tank Odor

What about a leak around the vent line at the tank? And do you get the same smell outside the boat at the vent when flushed?
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:03 PM   #3
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What about a leak around the vent line at the tank?
Thanks. That was one of the connections I also hot rag tested. Seems OK.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:19 PM   #4
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Can you put some low pressure air into the vent and spray soapy water around the holding tank and hoses and look for bubbles. You might try a shop vac to blow air into the tank. I would probably do a complete pump out first... Don't know if the joker valves would stop the air from coming back into the heads or not. If you can get a couple of psi air into the tank and soap it, you may be able to see where/if the tank or hoses are leaking.
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:36 PM   #5
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Small crack in fitting

Off to the hardware store. Found a small crack in the fitting for the vent line to the holding tank. Problem identified, now just need to source the fitting and be a contortionist to replace it! Thanks all.
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:44 PM   #6
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Off to the hardware store. Found a small crack in the fitting for the vent line to the holding tank. Problem identified, now just need to source the fitting and be a contortionist to replace it! Thanks all.
That could do it. The rag test will just tell you if the hoses are permeated. If there is an air leak, then you are venting some of the displaced air from the flush into your boat. Not a permanent fix, but I would use some duct tape around the cracked fitting to see if that eliminates the odor issue.
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:56 PM   #7
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Off to the hardware store. Found a small crack in the fitting for the vent line to the holding tank. Problem identified, now just need to source the fitting and be a contortionist to replace it! Thanks all.
If your tank has standard fittings, you need a thread-barb fitting that will fit TIGHTLY in a 5/8" hose, Whether it should be straight or a 90 depends on what you have now. That's not something typically used in domestic plumbing, so you're far more likely to find it at a marine store than a hardware store.

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Old 09-14-2016, 06:37 PM   #8
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Thanks

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If your tank has standard fittings, you need a thread-barb fitting that will fit TIGHTLY in a 5/8" hose, Whether it should be straight or a 90 depends on what you have now. That's not something typically used in domestic plumbing, so you're far more likely to find it at a marine store than a hardware store.

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Thanks Peggie, your book is on my Kindle! That's how I learned about the hot rag test.....thanks!
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:39 PM   #9
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That could do it. The rag test will just tell you if the hoses are permeated. If there is an air leak, then you are venting some of the displaced air from the flush into your boat. Not a permanent fix, but I would use some duct tape around the cracked fitting to see if that eliminates the odor issue.
The fitting broke as I was examining it....hose fell completely off. So tomorrow I'm off to find the correct fitting. Thanks.
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:35 AM   #10
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Brass fittings at NAPA or similar, for less than boat store prices.
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:57 AM   #11
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Please tell us about the "hot rag test" Thanks
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:24 AM   #12
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Please tell us about the "hot rag test" Thanks
Peggies book has the details, but in short get some strips of clean rags, wet them with hot water, wrap suspect areas (hoses, connections, etc) with the hot wet rags, let them cool a few minutes, take off and sniff the cooled rags. Your nose will tell you if the odor is coming from that suspected area.
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:04 AM   #13
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Brass fittings at NAPA or similar, for less than boat store prices.
NEVER use brass in any part of a sanitation system. It's not even recommended for use anywhere else n a boat with the possible exception of a bell.

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Old 09-15-2016, 08:17 AM   #14
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NEVER use brass in any part of a sanitation system. It's not even recommended for use anywhere else n a boat with the possible exception of a bell.

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Yes and someone should tell Grand Banks that too! That is what they used that failed! I found a replacement plastic fitting at Home Depot for $3.50. All is good now.
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:22 AM   #15
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Brass fittings at NAPA or similar, for less than boat store prices.
And it will soon corrode. Plastic or nylon fittings would be much better in contact with sewage or corrosive vapors. We're talking two or three dollars here, not hundreds.
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:47 AM   #16
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Another happy ending!
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:16 AM   #17
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NEVER use brass in any part of a sanitation system. It's not even recommended for use anywhere else n a boat with the possible exception of a bell.
Most of our plumbing fixtures (faucets, shower handles, etc.) are made of chrome plated brass but of course they are only in contact with fresh, potable water just like they are on land. In many cases, they are the same as found in residential use.

Air horns are often made of chrome plated brass for some reason. I would think stainless steel would be better. It must be a manufacturing thing.

Brass should never be used in contact with sea water.
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Old 09-16-2016, 06:59 AM   #18
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"Off to the hardware store. Found a small crack in the fitting for the vent line to the holding tank."

Most vent lines are seldom immersed in sea water.

De zincification requires immersion is why props go pink.

The OP stated the fitting was CRACKED , and fell apart .

A cracked fitting would be from abuse, overload ,perhaps installing the tank?

A std fuel line fitting will work as well as any. Plastic tank, rubber hose , no electric.

Might be interesting for folks at a marina to ask , what IS the source of their small 1/4 , 3/8, 1/2 inch parts in the bin display .
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Old 09-16-2016, 09:20 AM   #19
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I like plastic fittings they work just fine. I have some of the schedule 80 grey plastic ones used on a seacock for splitting water to heat pump and a utility pump, bought them at Lowes. If say I managed to step on it and it broke, which it does not break, I could always turn off the seacock.

The schedule 80 black polypropylene fittings I think are better and tougher than schedule 80 PVC.
Got a 90* from Amazon cheap. I installed in the discharge line from head to the seacock. I pump out the waste into the water. My connection hose is that standard white PVC.
Examples here
Polypropylene Threaded Pipe Fittings Category | Polypropylene Pipe Fittings and Polypropylene Pipe Couplings. | U.S. Plastic Corp.
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Old 09-16-2016, 09:32 AM   #20
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Might be interesting for folks at a marina to ask , what IS the source of their small 1/4 , 3/8, 1/2 inch parts in the bin display

The marine industry is too small a market for it to be profitable for any mfr to make fittings ONLY for the marine market. Marine stores buy them from distributors who buy from the same mfrs who make them for the plumbing, automotive and other industries, according the specifications needed for that industry. Some things can be "universal"...others must be industry--or even customer--specific. For instance, Moeller makes most of SeaLand's plumbing fittings, some of which are the same as those sold in hardware stores except for wall thickness or material--SeaLand's are heavy duty sched 80, hardware store version can be thin-walled sched 40 or thinner sched 80 made by anybody.
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