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Old 08-01-2021, 07:25 AM   #1
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Puzzling odor

We have been traveling the last 3 days in 90°+ heat and when we camp overnight we have a strong black tank smell. I have dumped the tanks and rinsed them 3-4 times and treated them with a quality tank treatment product, all to no avail!
The seal in the bowl holds water but as soon as you open the lid you get the odor.
Am I missing something? I use a Thetford tank treatment.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:39 AM   #2
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I would speculate that there is some residue under the ball cover....either on the back where you can't see it or the sides. Especially if you have a long drop like we do.

I've used the sprayer we have to clean the sides and behind the ball cover as best I can and we still get the occasional whiff.

You also may have residue in a upper corner of your tank where the sprayers don't reach. I've considered one of those stick type sprayers but haven't done it yet.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baer View Post
We have been traveling the last 3 days in 90°+ heat and when we camp overnight we have a strong black tank smell. I have dumped the tanks and rinsed them 3-4 times and treated them with a quality tank treatment product, all to no avail!
The seal in the bowl holds water but as soon as you open the lid you get the odor.
Am I missing something? I use a Thetford tank treatment.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
Do you have the same smell coming from the bowl immediately after dumping? Are you sure your tank is emptying? Have you ever left your black tank valve open while using full hookups? Are you using lots of water to flush?

There are current threads about some Dometic toilets allowing pee to get behind the rubber seal and cause smells.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:56 AM   #4
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Possible your air admittance valves need replacing as well. They do go

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Oatey-1-...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

Gray tanks can smell as bad as black as well

Try replacing them easy and quick to do
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:14 AM   #5
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If you are running the bathroom exhaust fan as you flush, you will absolutely suck the air out of the black tank regardless of what perfume you have added to the tank. The gray water tank is also very stinky and if you have a washer/dryer in the bathroom, and the trap is dry, the bathroom fan will suck bad odours from that trap as well.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:21 AM   #6
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I vote for air admittance valve, which is likely under the sink. They are available at Home Depot, and generally are hand tight, so no wrenching required. They fail in two ways:

1. They starting letting air out instead of just in.
2. They fail to allow air in either direction. A pressure differential can develop and gets equalized when flushing.

It is a cheap part.
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Old 08-01-2021, 02:43 PM   #7
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Overheating batteries can produce a rotten egg smell. I would check them if you haven't already!
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:20 PM   #8
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Do you have a washer/dryer? If so, have you used it lately?

The only time we have had a sewer smell in the coach is when the water in the trap for the washer evaporated because we had not used it for a long time. This opened an air path to the gray tank, and the odor began. And believe me, the gray tank can smell just as bad, if not worse, than the black tank.
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:25 PM   #9
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More information on your coach would help, plus does your kitchen slide out.
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Old 08-02-2021, 04:17 AM   #10
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Thanks for all your replies, I'm going to start with the air admin valve, I didn't realize they could be a problem. We do have a washer/dryer and haven't used it but it is still winterized, so I don't think the antifreeze would dry out, but I will check that also.
Thanks again, this is a sure a helpful site!
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Old 08-02-2021, 06:33 AM   #11
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Thanks for all your replies, I'm going to start with the air admin valve, I didn't realize they could be a problem. We do have a washer/dryer and haven't used it but it is still winterized, so I don't think the antifreeze would dry out, but I will check that also.
Thanks again, this is a sure a helpful site!
Correct, the antifreeze may not dry out, but in my case, my washer/dryer trap is often sucked dry when emptying the waste tanks requiring the trap to be filled each time. This is obviously a venting problem that I have never addressed.
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:55 AM   #12
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Please check your batteries like Joe said. Only takes a second. Place your hand on the side of each battery if it is hot you have a shorted battery. Shorted batteries will off gas and smell like sewer gas. If ignored they will explode!!
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:58 AM   #13
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Shower drain passing odor from grey tank ?
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:04 PM   #14
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Might also check the floor seal. It is frequently a rubber ring like device. They do go bad and will emit sewer gas.
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