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Old 09-07-2015, 08:21 PM   #1
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Black tank odors, help!!!

I have had a 2013 Jayco Eagle 31.5 RLTS 5th wheel since bought new in Nov. 2013. Have put close to 9,000 miles on it, and this past summer is the first and only time the black tank ever said it was full on the sensor panel, I went to drain the tank and before ever pulling the drain valve handle I noticed water dripping down from behind the valve where the pipe entered the undercover and sprayed expanding insulation. Thought to myself their is no way it should be leaking down under the 5th wheel, if full, wouldn't it be seen while trying to flush the toilet??? I went up on the roof to check to be sure the black and checked the grey tank vents are not plugged, which none of them were!!! Drained the black tank, used the fresh water flusher after connecting city water and followed by draining both grey tanks after flushing black tank!!! The problem, ever since then, is when the hot water heater is turned on, I get a very bad black tank odor coming from the louvered wood panel that appears to be an access panel for the water heater and also under the sink cabinet next to the water heater!!! I've tried to use up to 3 toss inns and also used liquid as directed to break down black waste and deodorize but to no avail!!! Is it possible that the vent or valve itself is leaking where it enters the tank??? Iv'e only seen it drip underneath the 5th wheel that one time so it leads me to believe that the vent tube connection to the tank may be loose??? Getting ready to take it into the dealer where it was purchased for some warranty work, just want to make sure that all the insulation gets reinstalled so it it 4 season ready as we live in Utah!!! It has always been winterized and the tank only leaked that one time but I cannot stand that terrible smell any longer but only happens when the hot water heater comes on!!! Any and all suggestions will be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:41 PM   #2
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Have you checked for a dead animal around the w/h, that stinks when it heats up? Also, do you have a buildup of sewer underneath someplace that is reacting to the heat?
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:58 PM   #3
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Black tank odors, help.

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Originally Posted by arkhillbilly View Post
Have you checked for a dead animal around the w/h, that stinks when it heats up? Also, do you have a buildup of sewer underneath someplace that is reacting to the heat?
Arkhillbilly, we just got back from Texas & New Mexico where the outside temperature highs were 95`-105` and when the water heater was not kicked on, we had no smell!!! But as soon as we turned the waer heater on to do dishes or shower etc. you knew right away it was a very foul black tank odor!!!
I am thinking that somehow when it leaked that one time it may have settled in a low spot near the heater and when it comes on it heats up that which has settled and begins to smell??? As far as a dead varmit, could not get inside from the door on the water heater unless it came through the underside cover got stuck in there but do not see anywhere it may have gotten in!!! Under the sink is where our water heater bypass is and looking around there see nothing like a dead animal or puddle of poo???
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:05 PM   #4
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any chance it's the water?

Now and then our hot water itself will bring along a nasty smell with it. Not necessarily a black tank smell but a very strong rotten egg smell and pretty unpleasant. Couldn't tell if your problem was only related to the hot water tank being on or actually when the hot water was used.....
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhumphers9a View Post
Arkhillbilly, we just got back from Texas & New Mexico where the outside temperature highs were 95`-105` and when the water heater was not kicked on, we had no smell!!! But as soon as we turned the waer heater on to do dishes or shower etc. you knew right away it was a very foul black tank odor!!!
I am thinking that somehow when it leaked that one time it may have settled in a low spot near the heater and when it comes on it heats up that which has settled and begins to smell??? As far as a dead varmit, could not get inside from the door on the water heater unless it came through the underside cover got stuck in there but do not see anywhere it may have gotten in!!! Under the sink is where our water heater bypass is and looking around there see nothing like a dead animal or puddle of poo???
I live in NM and don't have any issues unless I'm nearly full but the odor dissipates as soon as I dump.
Check this The RV Doctor: RV Waste System Plumbing Odors Under One Sink Only
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:39 PM   #6
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Have you checked your anode rod in your water heater ?
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:56 PM   #7
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Make sure your water heater is burning clean and not sooting and the gas is being completly burnt, low fuel tanks with excess mecapitant oil in the tanks can really smell when burning.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:42 PM   #8
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Black tank odors, help!!!

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Originally Posted by Greydog View Post
Now and then our hot water itself will bring along a nasty smell with it. Not necessarily a black tank smell but a very strong rotten egg smell and pretty unpleasant. Couldn't tell if your problem was only related to the hot water tank being on or actually when the hot water was used.....
Greydog, while taking a shower or washing dishes, the water doesn't have an odor, but when either propane or electricity is used to heat the hot water tank is the only time we smell the odor & sure smells like ==== if ya get my drift!!! It smells while the tank is being heated even before any hot water is used!!! When the black tank sensor said full is when I noticed the brownish water dripping by the tank drain valves. If the vent tube was tight and the drain pipe and valve was tight, there should never have been any leakage under the 5er, it should have either come up in the toiletbowl or came out the vent up on the roof right????
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:01 PM   #9
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Black tank odors, help!!!

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Originally Posted by Edd505 View Post
I live in NM and don't have any issues unless I'm nearly full but the odor dissipates as soon as I dump.
Check this The RV Doctor: RV Waste System Plumbing Odors Under One Sink Only
Edd505, I have noticed a smell when the black tank is 2/3rds full or more, but has only said full once as I have a tendency to go ahead and drain them before they reach that point. I understand in extreme hot temps. you have to throw in an extra toss in or two or double the liquid amount to help de-orderize the black tank!!! But the smell I get is a lot worse than when the tank is almost full and only gets like that when we turn on the electric or propane to heat the hot water tank!!! We were visiting in Las Cruces and El Paso in the month of July and temps were usually 91`-103`so I used extra chemicals in the black tank but I have a feeling the drain or vent pipe coming out may be loose, don't think it's is the drain pipe or it would be dripping most of the time unless it's such a small drip that it is just settling in a low spot of the enclosed belly liner where the insulation was sprayed or it only leaked when the tank registered full on the tank sensor panel out the vent tube connection to the black tank which I would think would be on the top of the tank (and that may be why I only saw it leak once when registered full) and has settled somewhere near the water tank and when it begins to heat up is when it begins to stink!!!
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:09 PM   #10
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Black tank odors, help!!!

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Have you checked your anode rod in your water heater ?
Wags999, I was told when I purchased this 5er in 11/2013 that this had a upgraded water heater that doesn't use a anode rod. We have around 9,000 miles on it since new, twice to Ca. from Ut. and twice to Wa. and once to Tx. and we've had it since new!!! Wouldn't think that a anode rod would be ready to replace this soon even though it doesn't use one so the salesman said??/
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