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Old 09-05-2012, 08:25 AM   #1
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Black Tank Odor When Using Bathroom Vent Fan

We get an odor, sewer smell, every time when use our exhaust/vent fan in the bathroom. I use the recommended amount of chemical and flush it out after dumping. The smell is not there when the fan isn't running. We try to run the fan only when using the shower to get the moisture out. I don't believe the amount of moisture, that taking showers create, is good for the bathroom walls, etc. and want to use the fan, but the smell is disgusting. I did have to change the water valve module and had the toilet off before using the camper. I followed the instructions and installed the new seal that came with the kit and tightened the bolts as stated. I have no water leaks, but do have the odor. We just bought the camper and only used it once, before needing to replace the water valve module. This past weekend I added double the amount of tank deodorizer to see if this will help. Does anyone have any info. on this problem?
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:06 AM   #2
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We get an odor, sewer smell, every time when use our exhaust/vent fan in the bathroom. I use the recommended amount of chemical and flush it out after dumping. The smell is not there when the fan isn't running. We try to run the fan only when using the shower to get the moisture out. I don't believe the amount of moisture, that taking showers create, is good for the bathroom walls, etc. and want to use the fan, but the smell is disgusting. I did have to change the water valve module and had the toilet off before using the camper. I followed the instructions and installed the new seal that came with the kit and tightened the bolts as stated. I have no water leaks, but do have the odor. We just bought the camper and only used it once, before needing to replace the water valve module. This past weekend I added double the amount of tank deodorizer to see if this will help. Does anyone have any info. on this problem?
There's not much you can do except scrub the tank out. I usually do a good flush when in FS campsites. I have found that when in route to your CG dump a capfull of Laundry Det or DW soap into the tank with a citrus based deodorizer works best. I am sold on the TST orange right now. This is by far the best stuff that I have ever used whether in boats or RV's. The key is to have about 2-3 gallons sloshing around in your tank to help break down the sludge and get up on the walls.

Since your unit is used and you have no history or tank health I would do the above while in transit then when you get to the site, hook up and dump a 5 gallon pail of hot water down the bowl with the gate open. This will get rid of most of the solids that may be stuck to the bottom of the tank. Then I would close the gate and dump another bucket of hot water down there to sit for an hour. After that flush it good and treat with 2 gallons of water and some treatment. You need to have some water in the tank for the best results. Once you get your tank health back you should see a considerable difference in odor reduction while the fan is on. Keep in mind that if you flush while the fan is on some odor will come back in due to pressure.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:23 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. I bought a cheap stick type black tank flusher from our CG that has to be used by putting it down the toilet and running an extra long hose to reach inside the camper, but I'm not happy with the procedure. I've used it, but it doesn't seem to have enough force behind the spray to loosen anything deposits up in the tank. Camping World sells a similiar item with a brass spray nozzle that rotates, but I'm not sure it would be any better. They also have one that installs inside the tank with a hook up to the outside that could be placed by the dump valve handles. It's not that expensive, but cutting a hole in the black tank could cause other problems. I will try your method and see how it works for me.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:28 AM   #4
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Since you get the smell when the fan is running I suspect the toilet valve is not sealing completely. Lower pressure in the bath pulling "vapors" from the black tank.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:40 AM   #5
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Do you keep some water in the toilet bowl between flushes? I keep a few inches in there. If you are getting fumes in while running the fan and the bowl has water in it (and it holds that water) there is no seal leak there and fumes are not coming from there. Now, if you are running the fan and flush the toilet, it IS going to suck some fumes into the bathroom while the gate is open to the strink tank. there isnt going to be a way around that, it's normal. Best to not run fan when flushing if you dont like the smell.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:04 AM   #6
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I do keep water in the bowl and the seal seems to be holding the water ok. I will have to check to see if water seeps out over time, but every time I open the lid there has been water in the bowl. The odor is really noticeable only when trying to run the fan when taking a shower. We don't run it when using the toilet.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:17 AM   #7
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the toilet is not sealed properly from the repair it will leak fumes and not leak water you need to reseat the toilet.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:23 PM   #8
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Few things you might check and help you widdle down the culprit.
1. Without the fan on, tank empty but treated, open the flush valve. Do you smell excessive odors? Mine I cannot due to it being clean. Clean the tank then try again.
2. With water in the bowl and fan on do you smell the odors?
3. Check under your cabinet and see if there is a airlock vent stack off the black drain pipe. Is there an odor there with the fan on?
This is commonly used in the grey plumbing systems since they are cheaper and easier to run than stacks through the roof.
If it's not working and you are hooked up to a sewer line the fan will pull the odors from the cesspool line outside the unit with your grey valve open. You could close your grey line a see if it goes away.
4. If none of the above the stink is coming in from around the bowl and you need to try to tighten your bowl if any play is present or maybe replace the seal as mentioned above.

There are several places odors can stem from especially with the draw that the fan creates. Start with tank IMHO.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:32 PM   #9
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If you have one of these under your sink, I bet your fan can pull gases from your grey tank. My grey tank has smelled nastier than the black tank at times. It is a very weak sealing device (i guess by design). I have one on the kitchen sink and it at times will burp nasty smelling gases into the cabinet. It is secondary to a roof vent also on the sink, so I wonder why it is even installed. I unscrewed it and examined it to see how it works, once off gases really came through the pipe...could it be you have this and the fan is pulling gases out here?
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Thanks for the advice. I bought a cheap stick type black tank flusher from our CG that has to be used by putting it down the toilet and running an extra long hose to reach inside the camper, but I'm not happy with the procedure. I've used it, but it doesn't seem to have enough force behind the spray to loosen anything deposits up in the tank. Camping World sells a similiar item with a brass spray nozzle that rotates, but I'm not sure it would be any better. They also have one that installs inside the tank with a hook up to the outside that could be placed by the dump valve handles. It's not that expensive, but cutting a hole in the black tank could cause other problems. I will try your method and see how it works for me.
We bought the flexible flush stick with the spinning sprayer at the end of it. We used it on our 17 ex-port before we sold it last month as the buyer was really concerned wih the tank being cleaned. We used it in conjunction with laundry soap. I used an inspection camera used by plumbers to inspect sewer drain pipes....(I work for a mechanical contractor), to show the buyer the interior of the tank. It looked like a new tank! So the sprayer works.
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