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Old 03-26-2008, 05:45 AM   #1
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Hi all.

After 6 month in our Diplomat, we are going crazy because of a smell of sewage inside the coach. The smell is strongest in the gap between the kitchen slide-out backing up to the shower.

We have checked all pipe connection for leaks and we have checked the pipe vent fitting. We have even replaced the pipe vent fitting to make absolutely sure that this is not the "culprit". We have also checked for leaks under the shower tray. We are convinced that the smell is not coming from anywhere that is accessible without taking major items to pieces.

We are using approved odour control products for both the black and grey water tank but this doesn't stop the smell. The problem seems greatest immediately after emptying our tanks.

The only place left (we think) that could cause this smell is on the top of the tanks where pipes are connected. This theory is supported by the fact that the smell is also noticeable in the cargo area where all the plumbing is. There are no visible leaks in this cargo area and nothing is dripping.

Have any of you had a similar problem, and if so, what was the cause of the smell?

Looking forward to hear from you.

The Great Dane.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:45 AM   #2
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Hi all.

After 6 month in our Diplomat, we are going crazy because of a smell of sewage inside the coach. The smell is strongest in the gap between the kitchen slide-out backing up to the shower.

We have checked all pipe connection for leaks and we have checked the pipe vent fitting. We have even replaced the pipe vent fitting to make absolutely sure that this is not the "culprit". We have also checked for leaks under the shower tray. We are convinced that the smell is not coming from anywhere that is accessible without taking major items to pieces.

We are using approved odour control products for both the black and grey water tank but this doesn't stop the smell. The problem seems greatest immediately after emptying our tanks.

The only place left (we think) that could cause this smell is on the top of the tanks where pipes are connected. This theory is supported by the fact that the smell is also noticeable in the cargo area where all the plumbing is. There are no visible leaks in this cargo area and nothing is dripping.

Have any of you had a similar problem, and if so, what was the cause of the smell?

Looking forward to hear from you.

The Great Dane.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:02 AM   #3
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Do you have a Sanicon system?

Using the Sanicon, I had a residual "sewage smell" in the utilities compartment even after carefully rinsing the system after use. For a number of reasons, I now only use the Sanicon system on occasion and normaly dump tanks using the standard three inch hose. Since making this change and letting the Sanicon system inlet hose dry, all ugly smells have gone away. The Sanicon is great if you need to pump sewage over a long distance (like to a sewer clean out at home). However, for routine dumping, I think the "old fashioned" way of doing it is far superior.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:12 AM   #4
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Hi GlennB

Thank you for your reply.

Yes - we are using the Sani-Con system and we use it all the time. We never use the "standard" sewage hose.

To the best of my knowledge the Sani-Con system is a sealed system? I am not arguing that you a wrong in any way - plz don't misunderstand my point - especially since you have tried this first hand, but I can't figure out how the smell would come from the inside of the Sani-Con hose. Could it be that the Sani-Con unit itself is not smell-proof?

Thank you for your input.

The Great Dane
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:48 AM   #5
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I`ve used the sani-con system on 2 different coaches, & never had a smell from using them -- Bill Willard
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:45 AM   #6
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To The Great Dane

I still suggest you try dumping without the Sanicon. That's an easy experiment to try. If the smell goes away - great. If it doesn't, it didn't cost you anything and you've eliminated the Sanicon as a possible source of the smell.

One word of warning - on our coach (06 Camelot PAQ), there is a lot of water held up in the hose from the dump valves to the Sanicon unit. Make sure you have rinsed the system well before taking off the hose and have lots of paper towels ready for clean-up.

Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:30 PM   #7
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I had the same problem with my previous coach (Monaco), it also had Sanicon. I used every chemical and method known to man, nothing worked.

Out of frustration I purchased Xtreme swivel vents. During the install I had to remove the factory caps and found the vent pipe stopped about a half inch short of the roof top. It is my belief the odor was trapped below roof level, infiltrating the coach and the water bay. I extended it with a short piece of PCV, installed the swivel vent, and all problems disappeared.

I have the same swivel vent installed an my new coach and I can attest, THEY WORK.

I haven't needed any form of chemicals since finding the vent issue was more important then chemistry. NO odors, NO chemicals, doesn't get any better than that.
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:49 PM   #8
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Found this on an earlier post. I flush well, but still have the smell in the water bay.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">InflatableBoats4Less
"Monaco Owners Forum Member"


Posted July 25, 2007 07:32 AM Hide Post
I spoke with RVSaincon's owner and he said the larges diameter black hose is pourous and will start to smell over time. There are two solutions. After you empty tanks and with dump valves closed fill a sink with bleach and water then dump. Open grey valve letteing this mixter in to large black hose. This water needs to sit in black hose for a short time to kill odors. Solution two is to replace the hose with a new hose @$ 25.00.
I bought the hose but before installing I tried solution #1...no more odor so the new hose is still unused.

Tim & Crystal Ryerson
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Posts: 31 | Location: Full Timer | Registered: October 19, 2006

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:34 PM   #9
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I also had the same problem. Like Corky, I got a sewer vent, but I got a different one. I bought the Cyclone Sewer Vent at Camping World. It Installed real easy and took care of the problem almost 100%.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:30 PM   #10
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This is a very informative thread, with lots of ideas to store away for future use when the smells come.

Of course the most common source of smells inside the coach come from P-traps that have lost their water trap. That often happens when you dump the tanks. P-trap problems seem to be frequent in the washer drain. (Some folks without washing machines installed, have found that their sewer input line fot the washer had not been capped.)

Smells in the bay area can sometimes be caused by a back-flow valve in the black tank flushing system being stuck open. This problem has also been known to cause an oder inside the coach in the area near the defective valve.

Lots of information about this problem posted in this and other RV web sites, if you search on the words "sewer" or "smell".
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:50 AM   #11
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I agree with glenb. I have a slight smell in the storage compartment. I also thing it is the system. I don't see any leaks anywhere. Using the large hose on my old coach never had the smell.The black hose from the drain to the system is never MT.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:15 AM   #12
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Hijacking this thread because sewage smell (like rotten eggs) is also a problem with some Alpine Coaches. In our coaches, it comes primarily from the grey water tanks because we usually use deodorant in the black water tank.

Friends of mine have tried two approaches -- 1)the rotating swivel vents on top the coach, as mentioned earlier, and owners say they work, and 2)adding about 1/2 cup of bleach mixed with about the same amount of water to both the bathroom sink and the kitchen sink after dumping and flushing the tanks with your Sanicon system.

We have tried the bleach trick after having the same problem and we find it works well for us. Just flush some water down each sink after putting in the bleach te get rid of the bleach smell and you should be good to go.

Some of our friends also put bleach in the black water tank but we find regular formaldehyde free deodorant works find in that tank.
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:05 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the feed-back.

I have e-mailed the manufacturer of the Sani-Con system Empththetanks asking them for their comments. I have tried earlier to get in contact with them but for some reason they never replied. Maybe I will have more success this time??

Did I read somewhere that valves and gaskets will get damaged by using bleach in your tanks?

The Great Dane
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:57 AM   #14
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Great Dane,

No one may monitor the email link on that site any longer. It used to be closely monitored by RV Sani-Con's founder and owner, Lannie Stegall, who would offer excellant support by email or telephone to all of his customers. But Lannie sold the company late last year to Thetford.

Here is a link to the Sani-Con owner's manual on the Thetford site. There is an 800 number at the top for customer service. 800-543-1219.
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