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Old 09-06-2016, 12:29 PM   #1
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Black Tank - Stinky Stew !!

After spending almost 30 nights in the camper this season, we parked it for three weeks to take a little break. The black tank was almost empty, but not quite. Parked for 20 days with the humidex ovefr 40C, creates quite a stinky stew. It took two days with the fan on before the smell started to subside.

Any ideas on how to keep the smell down?
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:29 PM   #2
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Do you use toilet chemicals in your black tank?


I have never had a smell issue with our toilet or black tank when in storage. I always put down one 40 gallon toilet chemical pack ever time we empty the tank and also when in storage.
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:33 PM   #3
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You sure all the p traps are full of water? When we've noticed a smell in our coach we find the shower drain to have dried or splashed out somehow. We use no chemicals. Hope it's as simple for you.
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:38 PM   #4
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I don't use chemicals........no real need

If the 'vapor barriers' are working then no reason for ANY smell inside RV from waste tanks (black or grey ----grey can stink as bad/worst)

'P' traps full of water
Air Admittance Valves closing properly (on stub pipe after 'P' traps under kitchen/bath sinks)
Toilet bowl seal holds water
Toilet floor flange sealing off (toilet doesn't wobble/seal not 'crushed'
Waste tank vents free and clear

Other then a quick whiff when flushing toilet (especially with exhaust fan on) there should NOT be any waste tanks smells inside RV

Something is NOT sealing off properly.....find it/fix it!!
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:39 PM   #5
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Ya ... we use chemicals every time.

I never thought of the shower trap. But, I thought the shower trap went to the grey tank.

This specifically happens after a long drive.
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:42 PM   #6
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The gray tank can stink as bad as the black tank. We traveled with the sinks plugged and shower drain covered to avoid this.
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:16 PM   #7
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Black Tank - Stinky Stew !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBirch View Post
Ya ... we use chemicals every time.



I never thought of the shower trap. But, I thought the shower trap went to the grey tank.



This specifically happens after a long drive.


Do you leave any of your ceiling vents open as your driving down the road? If you do, I'd bet that is the source of your problem. The down wind side creates a vacuum and it's going to suck air from somewhere. If all the windows are closed, it's going to come thru your holding tanks.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBirch View Post
After spending almost 30 nights in the camper this season, we parked it for three weeks to take a little break. The black tank was almost empty, but not quite. Parked for 20 days with the humidex ovefr 40C, creates quite a stinky stew. It took two days with the fan on before the smell started to subside.

Any ideas on how to keep the smell down?
Keep more water in the Black Tank. Sounds like the water evaporated during your hot temps, leaving the solids. That makes for one horrendous smell. We witnessed our friends experiencing this, and my nostrils are just quivering remembering this!
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:38 PM   #9
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Before parking the rig for any length of time in the summer either do a long flush of the tanks or add maybe 20 liters (that's a bit more that 5 gallons to us south of the boarder) to the tanks. The objective is to keep the tanks as free of any waste as possible or keep them wet. Even though it maybe summer a 1/4 liter (a cup for us savages) or so of pink antifreeze in the traps will keep them sealed. Antifreeze has a very low evaporation rate. Mineral oil will also work in the traps.

Down here in the mid Atlantic region humidex over 40C (that's "Ready Sweat" temps and humidity for us southerners) for a week or two or three,,, isn't unusual. Never had the problem, yet, but I flush my tanks at home after every outing.
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
I don't use chemicals........no real need

If the 'vapor barriers' are working then no reason for ANY smell inside RV from waste tanks (black or grey ----grey can stink as bad/worst)

'P' traps full of water
Air Admittance Valves closing properly (on stub pipe after 'P' traps under kitchen/bath sinks)
Toilet bowl seal holds water
Toilet floor flange sealing off (toilet doesn't wobble/seal not 'crushed'
Waste tank vents free and clear

Other then a quick whiff when flushing toilet (especially with exhaust fan on) there should NOT be any waste tanks smells inside RV

Something is NOT sealing off properly.....find it/fix it!!
He nailed it. If everything is working properly there is no need to use anything but water.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:39 AM   #11
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If you've ever had the black tank really full, it's possible for some solids to get up into the roof vent pipe and clog it.
I occasionally get up on a ladder with a hose and open to vent caps and blast DOWN the pipe into the tanks to clear out any debris.
If the tank can't vent out... it will vent in!

I also never use chemicals. Waste of money.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:12 AM   #12
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Had that same thing for the first couple years until I figured out the antifreeze trick. I put about 10 to 15 litres of water in each tank then I follow with a jug of antifreeze for each tank. One down the toilet then the other poured into each drain for the grey tank. Problem solved because the antifreeze changes the evaporation point and the traps stay sealed and the tank stays wet.

Hope that helps!
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