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    Holding Tank Smell 3270

    Hi all, my 32 has a holding tank smell. I’ve replaced the toilet, hoses and the vent pipe. I’m assuming my 37 year old aluminum tank is the culprit. The thing is, the tank still looks new. I’ve checked as best as I could the underside and same thing. Looks new.
    My question is there a “barrier” type of paint that I can coat the tank with ? Has anyone tried that with any success ?

    Thanks
    Terry
    1982 3270
    Volvo BB 140 A's
    Killbear Marina, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

    #2
    It’s odd that any smell could permeate the aluminum. Have you tried washing and rinsing repeatedly? Is it a rotten egg smell? If it’s the rotten egg, you have critters in the raw water intake hose. On my previous boat I had a fitting a foot or so above the water line that I could shove a bottle brush through down the hose and out the valve. That worked better than other attempts.
    There’s a really good book called “Get Rid Of Boat Odors” by Peggy Hall aka the “HeadMistress”. In the book she recommends some bleach and fill to rinse then pump cycles until the water coming out is clear. Next, she states that the tank is rarely the source of odors because the tank is vented. It could be that the hoses you replaced are the issue. Btdt. She’s a member of the Trawler Forum and you can PM her from there, but buy and read the book first. She has a good recipe for the tank solution instead of the commercial stuff.
    Create holding tank charging kit and procedure
    Half gallon milk jug
    Laundry soap - one cup
    Water softener - one cup
    Makes four treatments per half gallon
    Procedure
    Pump tank then rinse using dedicated hose and nozzle, pump again until empty. Add measured amount of laundry soap and water softener combination.

    I eliminated the Y valve and converted the direct overboard hose and thru hull to a second vent. I kept the macerator, with a lockout switch, for when we are out of the US and far away from places with pump outs.

    Pete
    P/C Pete
    Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
    1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
    Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
    1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
    MMSI 367770440
    1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
    Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

    Comment


      #3
      Do you have a vent filter ?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Pcpete View Post
        It’s odd that any smell could permeate the aluminum. Have you tried washing and rinsing repeatedly? Is it a rotten egg smell? If it’s the rotten egg, you have critters in the raw water intake hose. On my previous boat I had a fitting a foot or so above the water line that I could shove a bottle brush through down the hose and out the valve. That worked better than other attempts.
        There’s a really good book called “Get Rid Of Boat Odors” by Peggy Hall aka the “HeadMistress”. In the book she recommends some bleach and fill to rinse then pump cycles until the water coming out is clear. Next, she states that the tank is rarely the source of odors because the tank is vented. It could be that the hoses you replaced are the issue. Btdt. She’s a member of the Trawler Forum and you can PM her from there, but buy and read the book first. She has a good recipe for the tank solution instead of the commercial stuff.
        Create holding tank charging kit and procedure
        Half gallon milk jug
        Laundry soap - one cup
        Water softener - one cup
        Makes four treatments per half gallon
        Procedure
        Pump tank then rinse using dedicated hose and nozzle, pump again until empty. Add measured amount of laundry soap and water softener combination.

        I eliminated the Y valve and converted the direct overboard hose and thru hull to a second vent. I kept the macerator, with a lockout switch, for when we are out of the US and far away from places with pump outs.

        Pete
        Thanks Pete, I never thought about back flow. Makes sense as I would say it’s more of a stale water smell and yes, more like rotten eggs.
        1982 3270
        Volvo BB 140 A's
        Killbear Marina, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by iceclimber View Post
          Do you have a vent filter ?
          Hi Ice, to be honest, there is no filter yet. That hose went on in the fall, I haven’t used the system yet, on the hard, but when the boat is first opened up is when you smell it the most.
          1982 3270
          Volvo BB 140 A's
          Killbear Marina, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

          Comment


          • iceclimber
            iceclimber commented
            Editing a comment
            Got it. Same as others I have never heard nor seen a metal holding tank. One would think that they are impervious, but what do I know. Seems everything else connected would be of suspicion.

          #6
          I did not know that some 32xx have aluminum holding tanks. Try using Zaal NoFlex Digestor chemical treatment according to the directions plus a scant 1/4 teaspoon full every time you flush for a couple of weeks. It has eliminated odor for many a boater. It is an easy remedy to try. Fisheries Supply has it for a good price.

          Greg
          Newport, Oregon
          South Beach Marina
          1986 3270 with twin 110 HP Hino diesels. Name of boat "Mr. Darcy"
          Past work history: Prototyping, tooling, and repair for Reinell,. General fiberglass boat repair starting in 1976.
          Also worked as heavy equipment mechanic, and machinery mechanic for over 30 years.

          Comment


            #7
            Originally posted by Mr._Darcy View Post
            I did not know that some 32xx have aluminum holding tanks. Try using Zaal NoFlex Digestor chemical treatment according to the directions plus a scant 1/4 teaspoon full every time you flush for a couple of weeks. It has eliminated odor for many a boater. It is an easy remedy to try. Fisheries Supply has it for a good price.

            Greg
            Another vote for no flex. That along with a good charcoal filter solved my odor issues. Make sure not to get the filter wet because then it needs to be replaced.
            Doug
            Hanging Loose
            98 Carver 350 Mariner
            2013-
            KRUSTY KRAB
            2001 305
            5.7 BII
            2006-2013

            Comment


              #8
              Fisheries supply has holding tank filters.
              Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

              Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
              Twin 350 GM power
              Located in Seward, AK
              Retired marine surveyor

              Comment


                #9
                We installed a holding tank filter on the vent line of our 3988 and it did the trick. After about 5 years we replaced it. Pretty simple to do.

                Comment


                  #10
                  If you have raw water flush, the rotten egg smell is often microorganisms from the salt water that die on the raw water side of your system. When you pump the toilet, it will stink and then often abate after a few uses only to reappear if you leave the boat for a few days without flushing.
                  Johnson Point, Olympia, WA
                  1989 2855
                  Horizon 6.2 and Bravo II

                  Comment


                    #11
                    I’m in fresh water, once the boat is opened up and being used, no smell. It’s that first initial time on the boat. Takes about an hour for it to dissipate. I’ll install the new filter and replace the water line. Nice to hear it’s probably not the tank as mine still looks new.
                    Thanks for all the comments

                    Terry
                    1982 3270
                    Volvo BB 140 A's
                    Killbear Marina, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

                    Comment


                      #12
                      If it goes away after the initial use, it isn't your holding tank. If your holding tank stinks, it keeps stinking. My guess is dead water creatures (micro) that die in your raw water line between your last flush and the next time you arrive at the boat. There is a famous woman named Peggie Hall, who goes by the name "headmistress" on the trawler forum. She is an expert on marine sanitation and often answers questions on that forum. I chased this same ghost for awhile. A tank filter will not help, and it often retards the necessary airflow to keep your tank from stinking. Good luck Terry.
                      Johnson Point, Olympia, WA
                      1989 2855
                      Horizon 6.2 and Bravo II

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Originally posted by watchthis View Post
                        If it goes away after the initial use, it isn't your holding tank. If your holding tank stinks, it keeps stinking. My guess is dead water creatures (micro) that die in your raw water line between your last flush and the next time you arrive at the boat. There is a famous woman named Peggie Hall, who goes by the name "headmistress" on the trawler forum. She is an expert on marine sanitation and often answers questions on that forum. I chased this same ghost for awhile. A tank filter will not help, and it often retards the necessary airflow to keep your tank from stinking. Good luck Terry.
                        Makes sense to me. Thanks.

                        Terry
                        1982 3270
                        Volvo BB 140 A's
                        Killbear Marina, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

                        Comment


                          #14
                          If the smell comes when you flush - and is noticed outside the boat near where the holding tank vents (and inside if you have windows near the vent open), then a charcoal vent filter will fix the problem. If it smells at other times, then you are looking for a different solution.
                          Mike
                          "Allante I" Rayburn 75
                          Previous: '97 4788

                          Comment


                            #15
                            Originally posted by WhiteRockMike View Post
                            If the smell comes when you flush - and is noticed outside the boat near where the holding tank vents (and inside if you have windows near the vent open), then a charcoal vent filter will fix the problem. If it smells at other times, then you are looking for a different solution.
                            Hi Mike, the best way I can describe it would be stale, stagnant water but with a holding tank type smell to it. When I’m out using the boat for a weekend, there is no smell. Close it up on Sunday night, then back up Friday night the smell is there. It takes about an hour with the rear door, side windows and front hatch open to lose the smell. So either the smell is weak and takes 5 days to build up, or there is some type of reaction or chemical process that takes a couple days with nothing going through the system to get going.
                            The original raw water line is going to be replaced over the weekend and hopefully that will solve the problem. All the other lines have been replaced.
                            1982 3270
                            Volvo BB 140 A's
                            Killbear Marina, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

                            Comment

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