Recommended Odor Treatment?

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by MikeWood, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. MikeWood

    MikeWood Member

    110
    Jan 19, 2012
    Seneca Creek, Baltimore
    2008 270 Amberjack
    6.2 MPI & Bravo III
    Hey guys, this is my first year with a boat that has a head. What does everyone recommend as a chemical to treat the tank for odors control? I was in Walmart the other day and noticed they have a couple different choices, but they are only labeled for RV tanks, not boats...but I'm imagining it might work just the same??
    But I also don't want to buy cheap and regret it, so let me know what you think!

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    I've always just stuck with the SeaLand brand products and they have always served well. SeaLand is who made your toilet system. I don't doubt there's other products out there that would work, but I don't feel like experimenting. I figure they (SeaLand) know what works and that's good enough for me - even I'm paying a buck or two more per bottle.
     
  3. alnav

    alnav Member GOLD Sponsor

    764
    Sep 16, 2009
    West River, MD
    40 MY
    QSB 425
    Mike, most if not all RV-marked items are the same stuff as for boats, only (at least seemingly) marked up less. That includes the toilet paper Wal-Mart sells in the RV section. There is also a product in that section for drain systems that I use in my boat to keep the sump less yucky. FWIW, I personally try not to use chemicals in the head. If the system is properly ventilated by making sure the vent (and charcoal filter) is clear you might be able to get away without adding chemicals which I have found only mask the problem. I do perform a last flush at the end of each stay on the boat with vinegar to keep the scale down in the system and do a flush with washing detergent as recommended by the manufacturer. But, to each his own on this subject, you will likely see many opinions on the subject.
     
  4. MikeWood

    MikeWood Member

    110
    Jan 19, 2012
    Seneca Creek, Baltimore
    2008 270 Amberjack
    6.2 MPI & Bravo III
    Thanks Dennis. Can SeaLand products be bought anywhere? or do you have to order directly from them?
     
  5. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    No, most marine stores (maybe Walmart?) should have it. Check with BOEmarine.com. Jim, the owner of this forum, runs that online store.
     
  6. MikeWood

    MikeWood Member

    110
    Jan 19, 2012
    Seneca Creek, Baltimore
    2008 270 Amberjack
    6.2 MPI & Bravo III
    Al thanks to you as well, I think we were typing at the same time. I hadn't really considered not using chemicals at all. How often do you change the charcoal filter?
     
  7. northern

    northern Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    After reading the manual it said to flush the tolet once a month with 5 gallons. If you fill and empty the main tank a few times at a pump out you should get the solids out of the tank and the stinky water. Based on us the more you use it the better it works. In the fall we flush it a couple of times and leave the tank empty. In the spring it works fine no oder.
     
  8. alnav

    alnav Member GOLD Sponsor

    764
    Sep 16, 2009
    West River, MD
    40 MY
    QSB 425
    I believe the spec for a change is annually but if it ever gets wet because the vent backed up it needs to be changed immediately. SeaLand offers the filter cartridges and they are pricy but there is a whole lot of info about do-it-yourself filter charging as well as some folks who build and sell them on eBay. If you're interested in that option there is lots of info on this forum about that. This link would be a good starter: http://clubsearay.com/showthread.ph...tank-vent-filter-w-pics?highlight=fart+filter
     
  9. Alex F

    Alex F Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Mike,

    Adding chemicals is not the solution to the odorless head. There are few items that's involved (some have been mentioned here already). In short:

    1. Have clean and dry filter.
    2. When doing pump out, flush the tank with fresh water. If you can do it more than once it's only going to help.
    3. After each pump out I add this stuff: http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wc...toreNum=50632&subdeptNum=50653&classNum=50657
    I find 12 pack easier to use as I drop one tablet in the bowl after every pump out. But, liquid version will do the job just fine.
    4. When using the head, make sure to flush well (hold the pedal for several seconds). Don't try to "save the space" in the holding tank. It will contribute to the odor.
     
  10. Pack66Dad

    Pack66Dad New Member SILVER Sponsor

    Aug 26, 2010
    Browns Point, Washington
    1997 41 Convertible
    Caterpillar 3126 Diesels
  11. MikeWood

    MikeWood Member

    110
    Jan 19, 2012
    Seneca Creek, Baltimore
    2008 270 Amberjack
    6.2 MPI & Bravo III
    wow, I love this site! So much help and so fast. Thanks...obviously there are lots of choices. Alex, your method seems to make good sense to me. But it brings me to a very newbie question. As I've never had a head system, I've also never dealt with a pump-out. I'm assuming this is a simple as it seems. Are there any tricks to getting it done?
     
  12. Alex F

    Alex F Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Mike,

    Pump out is very simple process. This can be done by the following methods:
    1. finding pump-out station at a marina
    2. finding pump-out boat making rounds in the area
    3. going 3 miles out to open water and use your on board discharge pump. Watch out for "no discharge" zones.

    Most people (myself included) are using methods #1 and #2. So, for those all you need is the proper fitting from the station hose connected to your pump-out outlet labeled "WASTE" (don't drop the lid, it doesn't have a safety chain). When doing it the first time just ask the docks-hand for assistance (they usually provide it anyway). For more details check this thread (and my post #4): http://clubsearay.com/showthread.php/44856-Pump-out-while-flushing-BAD
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  13. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    If you don't know how frequently your holding tank was pumped, or how completely it was pumped, or how well maintained it was, let me suggest that you first use an enzyme dissolver for your first treatment. Tanks that are not properly pumped tend to get a build up of solids in the bottom of the tank. Odor reducing chemicals will not remove it, they only remove scents.

    To use a digester, you pump out the tank completely, add several gallons of fresh water, then the digester, then a bit more water to wash it it all into the tank. Then you cruise around with it in there for a couple of weeks so it has a chance to break down the solids. Then you pump out the tank. Then fill it with several gallons of fresh water and pump it out completely a second time, and a third time if necessary until you're pumping out only liquids, no solids.

    AFTER doing that then you can start adding the scented chemicals. At least this way you'll be starting with a tank that's pretty clean.
     
  14. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    We irrigate and pump until clear water comes out. Clean tanks don't smell. We also change the charcoal filter once a season.
     
  15. Dasch Boat

    Dasch Boat Member GOLD Sponsor

    566
    Jan 3, 2010
    Long Island
    2003 380 DA
    8.1 Horizons ZF 63IV
    V Drives
    In addition to the Sealand chemical I add a few squirts of Dawn dish detergent each weekend, Dawn breaks down fat and grease which helps keep the float switches free. I also have been able to go several seasons without changing the filter, this may be do to low volume use as I only pump out 3 to 4 times per season. IMO if the filter doesn't get wet it will last a good long time, I keep a spare on board just in case.
     
  16. EmrldDvr

    EmrldDvr New Member

    74
    Oct 4, 2011
    Oklahoma
    450 DA
    3116 Diesel
    I had an old salt tell me that after I clean the tanks, probably by the same methods posted previously, to add some cheap hair conditioner with some water and go slosh it around a bit. He explained the the waxes in the conditioner will coat the inside slightly and help prevent particle from sticking as much. I would assume that fabric softener would work even better.
     
  17. Pyrojodge

    Pyrojodge Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    May 1, 2011
    Lake Erie Ohio
    1989 Sea Ray 340 DA
    twin 454 Mercs
    We had the Fabric Softener discussion before...

    http://clubsearay.com/showthread.ph...-fabric-softener-to-prevent-holding-tank-odor

    I have to agree about the wax buildup being tremendous. Not sure I would be putting it in my holding tank?
     
  18. Alex F

    Alex F Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    I agree on the filter. It should go few seasons.

    Where do you add Dawn, in the head bowl?
     
  19. HUMPH

    HUMPH Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2009
    SF BAY AREA
    2003 410DA,
    2004 C14 Caribe
    CAT 3126TA's 350HP/
    50HP Honda
    I recently purchased 15 of these to sell to my friends in my club for cost. I have a spare and recommend to all of our club members to replace at a minimum every 2 years but keep a spare just in case. I explain to them it is for my self preservation since I may someday end up next to them in a raft up!
     
  20. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    As far as the Sealand filters go, have you seen the mod where you cut the filter, remove the charcoal from the inside, then remove about 1.5" from the length of it and put on male and female threads?

    If you do that, you can buy charcoal from any pet supply store (or WalMart) and redo the charcoal inside the filter every year for about $1.50. I have done that to the filters on my boats for the past 3 boats and it works like a champ.
     

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