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Old 07-29-2013, 03:53 PM   #1
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Whats that smell coming from my toilet!

Looking for some tips as a short cut here. For three years we have been amazed at the lack of any odor coming from our toilet/black tank. We dump, flush, and treat with packets.. We never have the black tank valve open when hooked to septic. We let it float til its time.
This year, we have a strong oder that is more like a moldy earthy smell. Not at all like sewage. It is definitely coming from the toilet/black tank.. The ball seal seems fine as water will stand in the toilet for hours. The smell hits you when you flush, but it appears to linger long after a flush. No leaks, floor dry as a bone.
What's this earth/dirt type smell? I filled the tank half full with water and bleach, let it slosh around for a few hours. No luck.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rkh View Post
Looking for some tips as a short cut here. For three years we have been amazed at the lack of any odor coming from our toilet/black tank. We dump, flush, and treat with packets.. We never have the black tank valve open when hooked to septic. We let it float til its time.
This year, we have a strong oder that is more like a moldy earthy smell. Not at all like sewage. It is definitely coming from the toilet/black tank.. The ball seal seems fine as water will stand in the toilet for hours. The smell hits you when you flush, but it appears to linger long after a flush. No leaks, floor dry as a bone.
What's this earth/dirt type smell? I filled the tank half full with water and bleach, let it slosh around for a few hours. No luck.
Does your toilet burp when you flush it.?
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:59 PM   #3
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Does your toilet burp when you flush it.?
No...firedoc..is that a serious question?
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
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"Earthy". Mold?
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
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Check the vent pipe. Sometimes they slip down into the tank causing the gases to come up through the toilet when you flush.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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Check the vent pipe. Sometimes they slip down into the tank causing the gases to come up through the toilet when you flush.
Ah, so if the vent pipe is sitting below the sewage level, backs right out the toilet..How do I check for that? Mirror on a stick?
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:35 PM   #7
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Hi Rkh,
The clogged vent pipe is why you were asked if the toilet "burps" when flushed. The reason there is now a smell is that the flush must displace air in the tank. That air must go somewhere.

The easiest way to check this is to get on the roof and see if the black tank vent pipe is lower than the vent pipe for the grey tank. Due to different coach construction this does not always work, but it is easy to try. Also, one could gently pull up on the vent pipe. Does it feel loose. One does not want to pull the vent pipe out of the tank, so we are just checking for it being loose.

I do not think it is possible to check the vent pipe via the toilet. One would need a direct drop into the tank and a considerable amount of light and a mirror.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:42 PM   #8
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Hi Rkh,
The clogged vent pipe is why you were asked if the toilet "burps" when flushed. The reason there is now a smell is that the flush must displace air in the tank. That air must go somewhere.

The easiest way to check this is to get on the roof and see if the black tank vent pipe is lower than the vent pipe for the grey tank. Due to different coach construction this does not always work, but it is easy to try. Also, one could gently pull up on the vent pipe. Does it feel loose. One does not want to pull the vent pipe out of the tank, so we are just checking for it being loose.

I do not think it is possible to check the vent pipe via the toilet. One would need a considerable amount of light and a mirror.
Got it! Thanks. I'll get on the roof and check this.. I figured it was a serious question by the lack of any Ha ha ha's. but no other info was with it..soooooo..what's a fella to think? ha ha ha.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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HF sells a small TV camera/light/display on a long flexible probe for inspecting inside closed tanks, machinery parts and other places you can't see. I don't remember the price but it could pay for itself if you have other uses for it. HF always has a 20% off 1 item coupon in their flyers.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:04 PM   #10
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When you have "stuff" in the tank, and getting the odor, go up on the roof and blow into the vent pipe. If you hear bubbles, the end of the vent is below the liquid level.

Oh Ya! Don't breath in while blowing into the vent.

You could also have a wasp or bird nest in the vent blocking the air flow.

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Old 07-30-2013, 09:20 AM   #11
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Gary, ruffian,

Went up top this am. Vent pipe is definitely in the correct position. It extends about 2 inches past vent housing. Any further and it would interfere with installing vent cover. Gray tank vent pipe looks exactly the same. My tanks are empty... I was able to see down to the bottom of the black tank using a high intensity LED flashlight. The pipe is positioned correctly and is clear of debris.
I also tightened the Sealand bowl and floor base clamps/bolts. They were a bit loose but I doubt this was causing an issue.
Do the septic treatment products change the smell of the tank from a sewage smell to this dirt type smell. I need you all to sniff yer tanks now! (bad joke I know)
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:33 AM   #12
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Hi Rkh,
The next step is easy. Try a different chemical treatment. Any local RV parts store should have a good selection. CW has quite a selection. You'll need to be patient and use the entire box/bottle, before making a decision if the chemical made a difference. This may take several tank full before a change is noticed.

I use Thetford's eco smart enzyme holding tank additive.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:55 AM   #13
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Hi Rkh,
The next step is easy. Try a different chemical treatment. Any local RV parts store should have a good selection. CW has quite a selection. You'll need to be patient and use the entire box/bottle, before making a decision if the chemical made a difference. This may take several tank full before a change is noticed.

I use Thetford's eco smart enzyme holding tank additive.
That's exactly what I'll do Gary. Thank YOU and everyone else for helping me identify and hopefully eliminate any structural cause for this..
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:07 AM   #14
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You don't need any chemical treatment, just plenty of water. That is a holding tank, not a septic tank. Just make sure you have plenty of water, don't dump until it is at least 2/3 full and 'burps', then make sure you put water in the emptied tank.

As to your question, does your toilet have an overflow line under the rim? If so, that is probably the source of the smell because it has dried out.

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