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Old 09-22-2019, 04:28 PM   #1
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Black tank odor

Hello, we recently bought a 2015 Jayco 36FBTS Pinnacle and no matter how much "digest it" chemical we use or deodorant.... the odors are sooo strong from both black tanks. I always dump only when full, and flush everytime. I have even put used a wand from inside a few times to try and clean out.
has anyone ever discovered... or know how to check if the vent is actually working? even an extreamly quick flush allows almost knock you out odors!!
Also looking for a good sanitizer chemical for 1 really good clean... then hopefully digester and deodorant will be sufficient.
Thank you and look forward to comments.
Regards.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:58 AM   #2
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Hello, we recently bought a 2015 Jayco 36FBTS Pinnacle and no matter how much "digest it" chemical we use or deodorant.... the odors are sooo strong from both black tanks. I always dump only when full, and flush everytime. I have even put used a wand from inside a few times to try and clean out.
has anyone ever discovered... or know how to check if the vent is actually working? even an extreamly quick flush allows almost knock you out odors!!
Also looking for a good sanitizer chemical for 1 really good clean... then hopefully digester and deodorant will be sufficient.
Thank you and look forward to comments.
Regards.
Welcome to the Forum.

Sounds like you have an issue with ventilation. Id pull the cap off the roof vent, and inspect the cap, tube etc. I replaced my vent cover with this, it seemed to help with odors regardless of whether I was stationary or moving.

Camco Cyclone Rotating Sewer Plumbing Vent - Rids Odors from Your RV Holding Tank, Rotes 360 Degrees to Pull Odors Up and Away - Black (40597) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SQ1K19A..._j1nIDbYN75VR1
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:33 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. But, unfortunately, I've got nothing new to suggest on how to check for a blocked vent.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:39 AM   #4
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Welcome! Is the odor present all the time? Does it diminish after a tank flush? After checking the vent, check the toilet slide valve. Easy check, put about 4 inches of water in the toilet, come back in a while and see if it's still there. If not, found the problem. Best of luck!
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:09 PM   #5
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Welcome to the Forum from Western New York State!

I commend you on the tank wanding, but wonder if you have a clear fitting attached, so you can see if everything comes clean? We do this after every trip, and it takes us about 10 minutes of flushing before the water runs clear.

Also, Thetford makes a product called 'Tank Blaster' which may be what you need. Once the tanks are cleaned, regular tank chemicals should work again to your satisfaction.
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:06 AM   #6
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I tried to biotic type digester one time and it was awful. Now I buy orange packets from Amazon and I don't have any issues
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:26 AM   #7
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I have found out that if I leave the bathroom power vent or the range vent running while I am messing with the loo it will pull vapors right out of the tank into the living space. I just shut it off any time I flush or have the toilet slide valve open for maintenance. Then like kblast523 said I keep about 3-4" of water seal in the loo when I am done.

My last camper had terrible odors in and around it from the black tank when I got it. No amount of flushing or deodorant tabs would keep it in check. I eventually got a box of Ridex and filled the tank pretty full with fresh water then dumped about a 1/4 box in and drove it around to get it mixed. Let it set full for a week, drained, and redid the procedure. After the second flush the inside of the tank that I could see looked like new and the stink had been eliminated. I don't think that some of the flavored orange pods that we use have enough "bugs" in it to digest the solids like the ridex does. Now I use about a 1/4 of a cup of ridex and a couple of orange flavored pods after each dump.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:12 AM   #8
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I have found out that if I leave the bathroom power vent or the range vent running while I am messing with the loo it will pull vapors right out of the tank into the living space. I just shut it off any time I flush or have the toilet slide valve open for maintenance.
This is good advice as the camper isn't like your house. While going #2 at home of course you turn on the exhaust vent to get rid of the odor. If you're running the bathroom power vent while going #2 in the camper, bam! you have a room full of stinky smell in no time at all. You can run the power vent while going but turn it off when you flush.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:47 AM   #9
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Yep, that bathroom fan is nice till you flush with it on. Especially in these newer more air tight RVs. Especially if you have a high quality fan that moves some CFM.

I had good luck with the commando cleaner. You toss one pack in, fill the tank completely and let it sit a couple days and dump and flush. We suddenly had major odor issues and the commando cleaner was the only thing that would work to rid the odor. I'd I recall, I left it sit for a week. No trouble since. We got out some very old looking poo when we dumped and flushed. Guess it was stuck in there somewhere. Lol


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Old 09-29-2019, 08:14 AM   #10
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Check your washer/dryer prep

If you have a washer/dryer prep, you may not be smelling black tank odors. We'd never used our washer/dryer and the trap in the line dried up. The RV stunk so bad we couldn't stay in it. We learned from our friends and fellow RVers that the washer drain line can dry up and cause this issue. I now use some RV antifreeze in the line when we get home so it won't evaporate out anymore. May be worth a try...

Good luck and hope you get it resolved...
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:31 AM   #11
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If you have a washer/dryer prep, you may not be smelling black tank odors. We'd never used our washer/dryer and the trap in the line dried up. The RV stunk so bad we couldn't stay in it. We learned from our friends and fellow RVers that the washer drain line can dry up and cause this issue. I now use some RV antifreeze in the line when we get home so it won't evaporate out anymore. May be worth a try...

Good luck and hope you get it resolved...
They use a screw on cap now for the washer drain to avoid that problem.
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:41 AM   #12
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If you still haven't cured the odor problem consider the toilet bottom seal. Give the toilet a shake and make sure the bolts are tight. If you smell odor and with the vent fan running and windows and vents all shut use smoke such as a blown out match around the bottom. If you see air movement then you need a new floor seal.



Also, if you don't use the tub do you ever add water to the trap?
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:42 AM   #13
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They use a screw on cap now for the washer drain to avoid that problem.
Yep my 2017 was capped. Also my 2017 doesn't have a water trap but a duckbill type of trap. We have a combo unit and no odors out the drain.


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Old 09-29-2019, 10:21 AM   #14
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If the toilet holds water, there can be no smell; look at the AAV under the sink for your problem; also the black tank is a 'holding tank' not a septic tank.All it needs is plenty of water
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:33 AM   #15
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If the toilet holds water, there can be no smell; look at the AAV under the sink for your problem; also the black tank is a 'holding tank' not a septic tank.All it needs is plenty of water
The seal between the floor flange and toilet can leak odor too. Bolts too loose or bad seal or sealing surfaces.


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Old 09-29-2019, 10:59 AM   #16
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There is a foam rubber flange seal between the floor and the bottom of the toilet. Maybe they did not put it in at all? I mean all the other mistakes they make this could be one of them.



No kidding, get something that will show air movement. a cigarette, blown out wood match, whatever and use your fans to suck in air. Then start testing the toilet floor seal and all your other pipe joints, traps, Studor vents. etc. for where the air with smell comes into the camper.
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:50 PM   #17
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If you still haven't cured the odor problem consider the toilet bottom seal. Give the toilet a shake and make sure the bolts are tight. If you smell odor and with the vent fan running and windows and vents all shut use smoke such as a blown out match around the bottom. If you see air movement then you need a new floor seal.
Just be careful with open flames around your throne. The bugs digest the poo and one of their byproducts is methane gas. A recipe for disaster if you fire up the loo explosively!

And as a side note SCapper, also be sure that you are not smelling propane. At high enough concentrations the ethyl mercaptan stench in the propane can smell pretty rank...
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:19 PM   #18
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I always flush my black tank after each tank dump. I learned early on that it prevents odors. The wand device was bought at Walmart and attaches to a hose, then is inserted into the tank through the toilet. There is a spinning brass nozzle at the tip which does a great job scouring the tank. Every 3 cleanings some Dawn or LA Awesome is poured in before the wand for extra cleaning.
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:59 PM   #19
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I think you said this is a Pinnicle. You should have a Black hose hook up right next to were your fresh water goes. Hook up another hose to that and turn water on. You will hear the wands that are build in. keep it running with the Black valve outside open and watch for the water to start running clear. ( about 10 to 15 min. ) after it is running clear turn off. Close black valve. Then I use this. https://www.amazon.com/Camco-41197-U...s%2C372&sr=8-4 I use 4oz and then 2 quarts of water and I do not get oders. Do entire procedure everytime you dump.
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Old 10-02-2019, 02:00 PM   #20
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We use a mix that was recommended to us a few years ago. It is Calgon water softener, Borax and Dawn dish soap. Using the cap from the Calgon put 1 cap of each of the above after you dump and flush. If you have a larger tank just add a bit more of each. Just put it in the toilet with a bowl of water and stir it around and clean the bowl then simply flush into the tank. You are ready for the next trip. Prior to this we tried several RV treatments with poor success with odor. Now we live in our RV full time and dump once a week with no odor. It also helps digest solids. We use household 2 ply paper with no problems.
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