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Old 06-26-2014, 09:26 PM   #1
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Ozone Generators

Are they any good? Lots of good claims and lots of the opposite. Stretch is an advocate. Psneeld not so. Should I buy one or rent one or what? My boat has "old boat" odours and rather than gutting her and starting all over inside, I had already decided to live with it. But only if I have to. Will ozone help? I know you have to move out while it does it's thing. I also know some of the generators are wimpy, some will rot your rubber hoses in a couple of days. Some are $120. And some are $8000.

Anyway, help!
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:34 PM   #2
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It's not just me...look up all the science and make up own judgment.

While useful to generate ozone... my research has shown that ozone has to be used and controlled at levels that aren't safe for humans and lot's of equipment...especially in something like the confines of a boat...at lower levels it's pretty much been proven ineffective.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:37 PM   #3
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These things are cheap and effective for odors......find 'em on E-bay, bare bones units strapped to a wood block. I use them, all work well, but I prefer the programable type so I can leave them in the boat when it's all sealed up. Usually set it to run for 10 minutes every three hours....no odors when opening up again. Careful not to get too powerful of a unit and-or leave it on too long. It likes to eat neoprene products, and too much breathing of Ozone can be corrosive.

One unit I have also came with a tube to pump ozone through water for purification. Los Angeles uses Ozone to purify it's water supply, but beware, it's also naturally corrosive and like was said above, watch it in confined spaces.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:14 PM   #4
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I prefer to find the root cause and eliminate that.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
It's not just me...look up all the science and make up own judgment.

While useful to generate ozone... my research has shown that ozone has to be used and controlled at levels that aren't safe for humans and lot's of equipment...especially in something like the confines of a boat...at lower levels it's pretty much been proven ineffective.
100% Agree. Dangerous. Here is the EPA discussion.

Ozone Generators that are Sold as Air Cleaners | Indoor Air | US Environmental Protection Agency

If you have enough to work, it's unsafe. If it's safe, then you don't have enough to work.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:48 PM   #6
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I'm not trying to jam out here. Eliminate the root cause: replace it, cut it out, paint it. What if you can't get at it? What if you kill the smell with an ozone generator, isn't that eliminating the root cause?
Replaced all the mattresses, washed the curtains, painted as many void spaces as I can reach, replaced all the poop hoses except the poop tank (it's a sort-of sewage smell) bleached the poop compartment etc etc. Can't rip up the floorboards and all the foam, ergo bingo ozone?

I will buy a strong one, won't be inside when it's working, if it will help.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:50 PM   #7
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I bought one on Amazon for about $150. I use it only when needed and run it only for 15 min with no one on board. Totally eliminates my wife's allergy symptoms, so she likes being on the boat
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:55 PM   #8
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If you have enough to work, it's unsafe. If it's safe, then you don't have enough to work.
Secret is don't breathe while it is working, and air out after use. It won't linger long.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:39 AM   #9
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My experience is that it is effective at eliminating odors and it is dangerous.

I got a lung full one time and did not like it at all. If I were to try it again, I'd put the generator on a timer and not re-enter the space for several hours after it timed out.

I'd also set the timer for a pretty short run the first time and if that wasn't enough, try longer times until it has worked. You don't want to use a higher concentration than necessary. It can damage rubber.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:03 AM   #10
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Mine has a timer and when I leave the boat I run it. When I come back I open all doors and port lights to air the boat out. It only takes about 15 min and you can tell the difference.

I was the manager of a car dealership and we took in trade a car the lady had left pooped in diapers all over the back seat, floor, under the seats and where ever she could toss one. My desk manager wouldn't drive it for his appraisal. I told him to book it and hit it 2000 back of book. We made the deal and she drove out in a brand new car.

I asked the porter to take the car to the bone yard and he opened the door, took a whiff and ran back in the dealership saying he couldn't drive the car. I finally got him to open all the windows and after airing it a bit he drove it back.

We cleaned it thoroughly but the shit odor was horrible. No wholesaler would buy it. We had venders come by and sell us perfume bombs that change the odor and eliminate bad smells for 80 bucks a pop. We spent 240 and the car still stunk.

I finally went to the owner and told him we needed to buy an ozone generator. He agreed and I bought one. This was 1994 and they were around 400 then for a good one. When it came in I took the car near a plug in and ran it 6 hours then I started the car and put the AC on max and ran it another 30 min. When I took it out, rolled the windows down and went back in 30 there was no odor. In fact, the car had no smell at all.

That was a Thu and we sold the car that weekend. It never came back.

They work!!! I had owned my boat since 91 and took it to the boat. The PO smoked so much the headliner was brown, not white. We did everything to get the smell out. One day of the ozone generator and the boat didn't smell anymore.

They Work!!!
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:37 AM   #11
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A lot of thinks "work"...depends on the hoops you want to jump through, the money you want to pay, the dangerous side effects you have to deal with (health and equipment) and how "quickly" the smell will return once the "smell odor" not the origin is neutralized.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:06 PM   #12
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I purchased a boat that ended up having a leaky black water tank, a slow drip in the prop shaft seal and an engine oil leak that left a film on top of the sea water in the bilge. This combination made for a pretty nasty witches brew. All have now been repaired and I had the bilge professionally pressure washed. I replaced the mattress, washed all curtains, upholstery carpets and scrubbed everything that could be reached. While most of the bad odors have been reduce greatly, there is a lingering odor that comes back after the boat had been buttoned up for awhile. I know that this smell is embedded in every part of the boat and only time and continued cleaning will reduce it.

I bought an ozone generator through Amazon for around $160. This was a three plate unit with a timer and is about the size of a small toolbox. I go to the boat every two weeks on average and when I get there, I put the ozone generator in the engine room with the hatch open, set the timer for one hour, and go grocery shopping. When I return, I open all doors and let it air out. The bad odor is gone for awhile, but starts to return in a couple of days. The bottom line for my boat is that I will continue use the ozone generator as needed until the unpleasant odors have subsided over time and replaced by more pleasant aromas. The ozone generator is not a fix-all, just one of the tools.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:23 PM   #13
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How does ozone eliminate odors? I know it isn't just a perfume. I think it oxidizes organic matter that is causing the odor. Any chemists out there that can explain it?
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:34 PM   #14
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My wife had life threatening allergies and simply could not live with mold or dirty air, diesel fumes or any other smell scared her. We lived onboard for twenty years and never had a single spot of mold, drop of water in the bilge or any smell in the boat whatsoever. We had many strategies for this over the years but for the last seven years we found the easiest solution .... On our 43' boat we had two Heaven Fresh Air Purifiers. These units have HEPA filters, ion generator, UV filter, carbon filter and an ozone generator. These ran 24hrs a day except for the ozone which was turned on only when we left the boat. These units worked extremely well for us and made my work in keeping the boat habitable for my wife much easier.
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:17 PM   #15
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Ozone is the perfect killer of bacteria, virus, mold, and a host of other things that are worse than Ozone. Still, it is corrosive, but once it has oxidized whatever it touches, what's left is oxygen. Don't you remember how good the air is after a lightning storm? Like anything in excess, it can be dangerous. I couldn't kill the mold in between the wall panels of my boat when I had a water accident, but the ozone did. Here's an internet explanation.

Ozone Oxidation is Nature’s Sanitation Powerhouse

Ozone (O3) is a form of oxygen that has one more oxygen atom than the atmospheric oxygen (O2) we breathe. It’s this third oxygen atom that makes the ozone molecule so unstable, which is the key to its oxidizing power. Since ozone is unstable, it has a fairly short half-life under normal conditions, so it has to be produced and supplied continuously to a disinfection process.
This is where DEL Ozone comes in: DEL systems manufacture and deliver ozone in exactly the right quantities to provide the needed disinfection power for a given application.

How is Ozone Generated?

The chemical reaction that results in ozone is pretty simple. Ozone is a form of oxygen that is created when electrical energy breaks apart an ordinary oxygen molecule (O2) starting a chemical reaction that results in ozone (O3).
Electrical energy breaks the ordinary O2 molecule into two O1 atoms
The free oxygen atoms unite with other O2 molecules to produce ozone
(O1) + (O2) = (O3)
Ozone is an unstable molecule because the 3rd oxygen atom is connected to the other two atoms with a weak bond (symbolized by the single line in the diagram). The weak bond is why ozone is such a powerful sanitizer, as shown below.
DEL Ozone systems duplicate this process with advanced technology that produces ozone safely, reliably, in controlled amounts, and effectively managed to achieve our disinfection objectives.

How Does Ozone Work?

Once a DEL system has delivered ozone through a disinfection system, it cleans the target water or produces ozone-enriched water to sanitize a surface through ozone oxidation.

The unstable third oxygen atom can combine with organic and inorganic molecules to destroy or change them through oxidation. This process happens almost instantaneously. For example, ozone in a swimming pool will kill Cryptosporidium parvum practically on contact, whereas chlorine in normal pool concentrations would take hours to kill it. Like chlorine, ozone is “used up” in the oxidation process, and has to be re-supplied.

Ozone oxidizes a very large range of other substances. In a pool, these organic molecules can be viruses, bacteria, fungi, yeast, oils, organic chloramines, etc., and inorganic molecules can be dissolved metals such as iron, copper and manganese, and inorganic forms of chloramine. On a food preparation surface, or on the food itself, the target organism might be Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli or any number of other dangerous microorganisms. In hospital or long-term care laundry, the ozone kills the dangerous antibiotic resistant staph bacteria (MRSA) that can be carried on clothing or bedding.

The chemical process of ozone oxidation is relentless. It continues until the ozone is completely destroyed (actually, it is “reduced” in the process of “oxidizing” other substances). When this beneficial third unstable atom completes its oxidizing duties, it leaves behind only the familiar oxygen molecule like the ones in the air we breathe, O2.
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:37 PM   #16
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The ozone generator is not a fix-all, just one of the tools.
Exactly. I've never seen them work miracles like the car story. But they have their place if used carefully and not over used.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:26 PM   #17
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Exactly. I've never seen them work miracles like the car story.
Here is another miracle story. We had a 15,000 sf industrial space that had been operated as a fish processing facility for over 10 years. When we got the space back the dark smell of death (words can't describe) was overpowering. (When the tenant was in possession, the space was kept very cool; the smell was bad then, but when the tenant moved out and the A/C was turned off, it became unbearable. The slab had cracked in one area and that part of the slab had to be broken out, about 6 feet of black soil underneath removed and a new slab poured. All of the ceiling insulation was replaced. All of the walls were painted (with a sealing paint), the carpet was replaced, and the concrete floors were thoroughly cleaned. It didn't smell nearly as bad, but the residual odor was still strong enough to make the unit unrentable. We then pumped it full of ozone for three days. The smell was gone, and never returned.
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:01 PM   #18
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You could go on down to West Marine and pick up a couple of these:



There's a slow release version and a fast release version.

Of course as posted above, finding the source of the odor and correcting it first will go a long way towards getting rid of it permanently.
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:16 PM   #19
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Here is another miracle story.
Like I said, I' VE never seen them work miracles. YMMV.
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:21 PM   #20
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Like I said, I' VE never seen them work miracles. YMMV.
How about them odor bags???...WM says they perform miracles...

Seriously...the best thing you can do for a boat is keep it as dry and clean as possible with lots of air flowing through it.

Some boats are built with bulkheads and decks that meet and prevent airflow through the bilge...some boats have the deck raised up a bit so there's several inches above stringers, bulkheads, etc..and there a complete open space in the bilge to allow air to flow stem to sten. These boats usually never smell if used regularly.

Granted not the most seaworthy design..but for some boats...not sure a couple watertight bulkheads would save her in anything but a dock sinking anyway.
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