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head tank smell

Discussion in 'Carver Yacht' started by iceman3500, Jun 18, 2015.

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  1. iceman3500

    iceman3500 New Member

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    We have a 1987 3207. I've poured sewage treatment liquid into both tanks after every pump out since we've had it. Lately, there is a god awful sewage smell every time either unit is flushed. It comes from the stern and is even noticeable while under way. The tanks must be vented out the stern but I'm not sure. I've seen in-line filters on various sites and wonder if they work? Does anyone with a 3207 know how the tanks are vented? If there are vent lines, where do they run and what size are they? I've looked through the manual but the information is very generic. Any help is appreciated.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    What did you serve for dinner?:rolleyes: First I hope you poured that H.T. deoderant down the toilets so it'll affect the entire system including the hoses. If you have a frshwater, Vacu-flush toilet there is most likely a filter. I see no reason why you can't install a filter in the vent line of any system anyway though. The vent is usually in close relation to the tank. It should look very similar t your fuel tank vent. Does your head use raw water or tank water? If raw water, the problem may be from the water you're sitting in, especially if shallow. Low tide does wonders for the smell of som raw water systems.
    Whenever you pump out, which should be often, after pumping out run several gallons of fresh water into the tank, and pump out again. Once done pour holding tank deoderant down each toilet.
  3. Seaclusion

    Seaclusion New Member

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    If 1987 vessel still has the original hoses, they would be the first thing that I would change.
  4. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Wipe several points of the 1.5 inch hose from the head with a towel. if you smell stuff from the towel, it's hose time. The odor filters help with stuff smell from the tank as it is filled.
    If your smelling the stuff inside the boat be sure to check the hoses as above soon.

    Also, this question as been up before several times. Be sure to search past threads for lots more info.

    ,rc
  5. Good Spirit

    Good Spirit Member

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    I would concur that it is likely your hoses. Once changed out put a cantaloupe by each tank and leave them for a couple of days. They will absorb the odour
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Do you then give them to your malicious dock neighbor as a gift afterwards?
  7. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    That's a symptom of having a holding tank vent filter in place... and it's now beyond its useful life. You can trace things a bit by hanging around OUTSIDE your stern while somebody else flushes. The hull fitting that smells the most is likely your vent. Go inside and look for accesses somewhere between there and the holding tank. A filter may be behind one of those access panels, or even just above or next to your holding tank. Many of the commercial filters are about a 12" long x 3" diameter (-ish) canister with simple garden hose threads at each end. (Check West Marine or Defender websites for a picture of what you're looking for.) Off with the old, on with the new, do another sniff test.

    FWIW, there are "sewage treatments" and then there are marine holding tank treatments. If you're using a good product, generally aerobic or enzymatic, keep doing that. If you're using perfume, there are better options. Different topic.

    -Chris
  8. Delfin

    Delfin Member

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  9. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Uh?

    If your going to wrap the sanitation hose, would it not be quicker and cheaper to just replace it?
  10. Delfin

    Delfin Member

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    Two answers. First, maybe, depending on where the hose is and how tough it is to replace. Second, the suggestion is to wrap the replacement hose, unless you like replacing every few years when it all starts to stink.
  11. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    I'm surprised so many seem to have sanitation hose failures. We've never had that happen, and we never have head odors. We have "enjoyed" some odors from time to time (e.g., the head and galley sink P-traps) that are usually easily fixed... but we've never had to replace sanitation hoses...

    -Chris
  12. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    What brand and age of your ship?
  13. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    Current is Silverton, 13 years old, sanitation hoses seem to be nothing special (the one I can easily see labeling on -- from overboard macerator to thru-hull discharge -- is MPI from Italy). One of our previous boats was a Mainship, 6 years old when we bought, 12 years when we sold, also built by Silverton, probably the same hose suppliers. We had a Wellcraft in between, but not really long enough to judge sanitation hoses...

    In any case, our owners club did some brainstorming and identified something like 32 normal causes of unwelcome odors on boats, and only a few of those were waste-related. Shower sumps, P-traps, stale water in bilges, stale water in AC condensate pans, etc. Several decided they had been trying to fix the wrong problem.

    OP's description in this case seems pretty clear, though. But if the glass is half full, I'm guessing it's just a dead vent filter... or maybe a sanitation hose fitting has come loose... not hose problems, per se.

    Of course, I have been wrong before... :)

    -Chris
  14. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    And these other points are that I was trying to point out with out re-writing an other novel. There is a world of stinky things on a boat.
    When your in AquaSpace and self contained, many systems land locked folks take for granted, can be a great issue.
    All we had to go with was the original OP comments.
    ,rc
  15. captnrontx

    captnrontx New Member

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    I recently helped a friend move his 42 foot Navigator from Baltimore to myrtle beach. While underway the boat filled with noxious head smell as soon as we docked the smell subsided. He has electric heads (which I hate). What may be the cause?
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    If it happens when running, it sounds like the vent or vent filter is clogged. The bouncing around causes sloshing in the holding tank of sewage and releases some gas, sounds like it didn't have anywhere to go. I would empty the holding tank. fill it 3/4 with water, empty it again and put raritan treatment in it. I would then check for a vent filter and if so change it and also blow the line out with compressed air when you have the filter off. Also check ALL fittings at the top of the holding tank itself.