grey water odors

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smokeater1

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Sep 15, 2005
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195
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Southern CA
Every trip out in our 2005 Minnie I have dumped leaving the campsite, and first thing back home added the chemicals and two gal. water in the holding tanks. Except last time. Forgot for two days. By then there was a fairly strong sewage odor in the rig from the sink drains. I added the chemicals and water as usual. Next day still have the odor so I added more chemical and water. No help.
Now what ?  Do I need to fill and drain the tanks, and start over ?  Not very convenient as there is no dump station close by and it will be a couple of weeks before our next outing.  Any ideas ?

Thanks.
 

Ned

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Feb 1, 2005
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USA
First, what chemicals did you add?  Some of the products sold for holding tanks will actually kill the bacteria that help to breakdown the wastes.  Second, most experienced RVers have found that using no chemicals is best.  Let the natural bacterial action breakdown the wastes and you will have little or no odor from your holding tanks.

You may need to fill and drain your tanks a few times to get rid of any residual chemicals before they recover.  You could try adding a small amount of RidX or similar product to the black water holding tank to begin the bacterial action.  Since the odor seems to be coming from the gray water tank, putting some baking soda down the drains may help until you can rinse the tanks out.
 

Lorna

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Mar 7, 2005
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Jack make sure there is water in your sink and shower drain traps or you will get odor from your grey water tanks.
 

Tom

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Lorna, you're just so practical! Definitely one of those "why didn't I think of that" answers.
 

cheryl

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Nov 3, 2005
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64
We had almost the same problem with our coach, almost to the point that 5 months after purchase we were going to trade.  We flushed and flushed but, then we took off the wall were the w/d would have gone and found that one pipe was capped and one was not.  Capped it and no more problems.  Check all vent pipe flappers see if they need replacing.  We figure that the folks that owned our coach before us got fed up and traded.
Cheryl
 

smokeater1

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Joined
Sep 15, 2005
Posts
195
Location
Southern CA
Thanks, everyone for the suggestions.? I hate to admit this, but.....the odor was coming from a rotting piece of sandwich hidden behind the drain pipes and such under the kitchen sink. No one here has any idea how that happened, of course. However my bet is on one 12 year old who did not like the lunch, but sure wanted the ice cream afterwards......
The smell did seem to be coming from the sink drain however.

I'm interested in those who use no chemicals. Are you full timers ? Seems continuous use would not require the chemicals, but us part timers may have a problem. I'm guessing that anything short of a real complete flushing and drain would produce odors after a while, especially in warmer temps.
 

Ron

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Jan 29, 2005
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Home is where we park it
We do not use chemicals in our waste tanks but we are fulltimers.  However I don't really think it would be necessary at all.  For sure if you elect to add something to the waste tanks be sure the product does not contain formaldehyde or anything ending in hyde.  Ridex would be better or a product called Pure Power.

If you have used a formaldehyde product it may take several washings and use to clean up the damage done.

 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
I'm interested in those who use no chemicals. Are you full timers ? Seems continuous use would not require the chemicals, but us part timers may have a problem. I'm guessing that anything short of a real complete flushing and drain would produce odors after a while, especially in warmer temps.

Not really.  I am a vacation trailer user and use no chemistry for the tanks.  No odor problems to speak of.  Draining the tank between uses is indicated but not imperative.  It pays to pour a bit of water down the sinks and shower to insure that the p-traps are full.    I pull on the Pacific Coast and desert SW.
 

Betty Brewer

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Mar 10, 2005
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4,756
smokeater1 said:
Thanks, everyone for the suggestions.? I hate to admit this, but.....the odor was coming from a rotting piece of sandwich hidden behind the drain pipes and such under the kitchen sink. No one here has any idea how that happened,

Hi,
While you  hate to admit this, the rest of us reading about your adventures are happy it was not us.  Thanks for your honest portrayal of your  experience and may it  be resolved. I love to hear the real life experiences of  RVers.
Betty Brewer
childless and happy
 
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