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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Smell INSIDE the rig when dumping Black Water Tank

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RVER

West of Boston, MA

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Posted: 08/04/12 05:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a fifthwheel and love it but when I dump the Black Water Tank it really stinks INSIDE the rig. I use chemicals for the black water tank to digest the tp and for smells and it works very well, no smell UNTIL I dump and then it really stinks in the rig. HELP what could cause this and what to do.
Thanks


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2oldman

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Posted: 08/04/12 05:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know...this isn't something you can put up with for a few minutes? Most of us don't use chemicals because they really don't do much and don't do any digesting.

YC 1

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Posted: 08/04/12 06:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very possible it is gray water smell if you don't put chemicals in there too. Dumping can sometimes suck water from the P traps and you will get smells. Fill each sink with a bit of water next time before dumping and see if you can avoid the smell. The water will keep the traps from pulling empty.


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kalynzoo

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Posted: 08/04/12 06:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a similar problem in the MH. Adding one of those wind vents to the roof vent completely ended the problem. There are a few models on the market, they are really simple to install, just stick in and tighten the set screw. Most important, in my case, it worked and solved the smell problem.

docj

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Posted: 08/04/12 06:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMHO you have a problem that needs to be corrected. You shouldn't smell anything when you drain your black tank; we sure don't. I would look underneath to make sure you don't have any leakage. Also check to see if the vent line to the roof is clogged; I can't see how or why a wind vent is going to resolve this.


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RVER

West of Boston, MA

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Posted: 08/04/12 07:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

will look at the vent tube but if clogged not sure what to do. Not sure if you can see all the way down to the tank either. NO leaks underneath since it is a covered bottom and there is NO sign of leakage. (fifthwheel)
Thanks for your reply

RVER

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Posted: 08/04/12 07:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

YC1 it really smells like Black water if you know what I mean. I will fill sinks and make sure that is not the problem though. Thanks for the idea.

louiskathy

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Posted: 08/04/12 11:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Try this.

Make sure you don't have any of your roof vents open inside your rig when you dump. Those ceiling vents will pull air from your black tank while you are trying to flush the tanks.

Put water in all the "P" traps (Bathroom sink, kitchen sinks and shower.
Then put the stoppers in place on all the sinks. Put a little water in the sinks, too.

For the shower, try to plug it with a wet washrag and put a little water in the shower stall.

Make sure the Black tank and the gray tanks are full. Not over full...but full.

Hook to the sewer.

Just to be safe, I always pull the gray valve for a couple of seconds JUST to check the connections.

So open the gray and then shut it real fast. Check Connections.

Now pull the black valve. Let it suck air from the vent to the roof. You should feel it pull air like a real "GULP" and then a heavy swoosh of liquid should exit your black tank. Let it empty.

Close the Black. Get your tank flusher going. (either your internal tank flusher or a hose down the toilet.) Let it fill and spray for about five minutes...at least a half a tank full.

Now open the black valve again while you are still spraying inside the tank.
Keep flushing until only clear liquid is coming out.

Turn off all the sprayers and hoses.

Shut the black valve.

Open the gray valve. Let it drain. Put some water through the gray tank. (either through the kitchen sink or in the shower). It should be coming out clear. If not, shut the gray and put some water in it and try to flush it as you pull the gray valve again.

(If you are forgetting to shut the black valve when you open the gray valve, you can allow black tank water to contaminate your gray tank.)

Now put water in all the P traps again.

FYI: Your bathroom sink normally drains into your black tank.

At this point... you should not have gotten any bad smells into your rig.

Don't let your black tank stay "empty". Put at least 5 gallons of water down there before you drive away from the sewer/dump.


Kathy

woodsmitch

Sedro Woolley,Washington,USA

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Posted: 08/05/12 07:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had that happen on my fifth wheel. It ended up being a broken drain line in the belly. Never showed any leaks until one time I tried an extra valve on the end of my drain so I could have my galley tank drain into the other graywater tank. (The galley tank fills up so much faster.) It showed up with a leak coming out of the belly. With the cracked pipe in the belly, when I dumped the black tank, fumes came into the rig. Too many bumps on the roads and pipe wasn''t supported adequatly.

OldGreaser

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Posted: 08/05/12 08:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've had an intermittent odor problem in the past. We essentially follow what LouisKathy posted. Even though we have a built-in tank flusher, we figured out that some material was hanging up further up the line, i.e. somewhere between the toilet and the tank. About once a month, or whenever some odor is detected we run the hose in through the door and blast water down through the toilet for several minutes. So far this has always worked.
Lots of other good ideas posted here, surely you'll get to the bottom of the issue.

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