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Old 09-14-2016, 09:08 PM   #1
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Question Gray waste water tank odor

Occasionaly we have an odor in the coach. I have had it researched by my maintenance supplier and he said he fixed the problem. We had a broken vent stack cover on the roof that he replaced. The odor continued. I put odor control into the gray water tank and it dissapated. Upon further review, we do not have a washer and dryer installed in our 34' limited, and behind a cover plate in the toilet area, are the vent stacks for the washer if it were installed. My question is based upon the picture attached, should I plug the vent pipe that is behind the toilet wall, as I am assuming there is a vent from the gray water tank that ends at the top of the coach under the vent covers? If not, how are all the sinks and shower vented? Unfortunately I cannot choose or copy the photo to this site.
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:22 PM   #2
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As you might suspect, odor created in the gray tank is not unusual. I treat mine with HappyCamper. Regarding the plumping in your picture, it is not a vent, rather it is the drain for the washer. Your holding tanks are vented outside at roof level. However, tank odor could be coming from that drain pipe if the pee trap is dry. Pee traps need to have water present in order to block odors from escaping. Adding water will correct the issue, but only temporary. Because the water will eventually evaporate. The good news is, the fix is easy. Until you install a washer, cap the drain pipe. And ... welcome to the Alpine community
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:13 AM   #3
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Yup--the washer p-trap is a common issue if a washer is not installed. Also check the flexible pipe under the cabinets in the kitchen/room slide. It connects to a hard PVC pipe in the shower wall. The flex pipe is designed to drain the kitchen sink and moves with the slide as it opens and closes but over the years, quite a few have broken at the connection to the PVC in the shower wall. Its a PITA to get to and fix but its worth checking out......
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:34 PM   #4
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What year is your coach?
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:47 PM   #5
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benbom -- It is very common to have strong sewage smell from the gray tank. You are correct in identifying the culprit and the best way to stop it is to plug the drain line for the washer. I first identified this problem several years ago and used to pour water down the washer drain periodically to stop the smell. We rarely used the washer so the P-trap would lose its water and the smell would permeate thru the rv if the trap were dry, so I poured water down it. However, if we had to travel without cleaning the gray tank first the water would slosh out of the washer P-trap and we would enjoy the aromatic results as we drove along. I eliminated the problem by installing a Cyclone Sewer Vent on the gray vent on top of the RV. It really did the trick for us. You can read the details of how it works (link below) and decide for yourself if it is worth an install, if you ever get a washer and have to unplug the washer trap.

Cyclone Sewer Vent - Camco 40595 - Sewer Accessories - Camping World
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:54 PM   #6
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Good question Dr D--in his post, OP indicated he had a 34 "Limited"--I assumed it is a later model based on the "Limited"--perhaps not. Anyway, I didn't realize the photo was on its side--so upon rotation, realized it was the vertical washer drain stack. No way p-trap has retained water all these years. So my answer is to--yes, cap the end of the washer drain p-trap. Probably not necessary but OP could use one of those fancy inside vent caps that allow air into drain but keeps fumes from escaping......
PS--kind of have to wonder if WRV ever capped any of these pipes in the event a washer was not being installed at the factory??????
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Scout View Post
Good question Dr D--in his post, OP indicated he had a 34 "Limited"--I assumed it is a later model based on the "Limited"--perhaps not. Anyway, I didn't realize the photo was on its side--so upon rotation, realized it was the vertical washer drain stack. No way p-trap has retained water all these years. So my answer is to--yes, cap the end of the washer drain p-trap. Probably not necessary but OP could use one of those fancy inside vent caps that allow air into drain but keeps fumes from escaping......
PS--kind of have to wonder if WRV ever capped any of these pipes in the event a washer was not being installed at the factory??????
Good observation Old Scout and Dr D. Dose anyone know what the pipe cap size is? Is it 1 1/4 or 1 1/2.Any open P trap will allow fumes from the tank.
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Old 09-15-2016, 05:29 PM   #8
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1. I capped my vent as others have noted.
2. I also installed a venturi vent on the roof.
3. For the kitchen not so flex line after many years, I replaced mine with pool suction hose.....the kind that hooks up to your Kreepy Krawly (or other pool sweep).
4. Another thought to help with tank odors, is to leave the drains open to the air. This will help dry the tanks......obviously cap before using the facilities.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:54 PM   #9
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I added a rubber cap to ours before we installed a washer. I held it in place with a stainless hose clamp. IIRC it is 1 1/2".
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:24 AM   #10
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I had the same issue, this coach had set awhile and was a stinking bomb. I tried everything, ice you name it we would try it. I had two problems. One the fin on the roof if was turned wrong as we went up the road , air came down that fin and the small traps let us have it. The next thing it shouldn't stink. I finally had a guy promise this product would fix the problem, Happy Camper extreme. It will clean any of them. This Coach sit on a beach in Texas and had never been flushed until they traded in. The next problem got solved by putting in a 360 degree cap. I had some monsters stop the hose up that came out of the Black tank. The grey was just as bad. I now every fall run Happy camper in the system and it will keep your grey and black tanks clean. There are some vaccum breakers under the sinks that stick open. But the tanks shouldn't stink.
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Old 09-16-2016, 09:53 AM   #11
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Thanks to all of you for your prompt and interesting replies. The coach is a 2005, we have had it for 4 years. I will most certainly keep an eye on the flex line, but for now, I believe that the 1-1/2 cap will solve the problem as my wife likes the additional clothes storage without the washer being present! Also thanks to the Forum for being friendly and welcoming!
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Old 09-16-2016, 09:54 AM   #12
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2005, we also tow a Grand Cherokee Overland, 2015!
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