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Old 06-24-2014, 04:36 AM   #1
Lou
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Default Sewer smell, any advice?

We are having trouble will sewer odours in our Pleasureway Excel. Sometimes you only notice it in the bathroom sometimes it is also in the van. We are RVers who have had lots of Class C experience and I think we are doing all the things we are supposed to do including thoroughly cleaning the tank. It is not a constant problem but it happens sometime on every trip even when the tank has barely been used.
One strange thing is that if the Fantastic fan is on while someone is using the toilet the whole van fills with sewer odours. This happens even if there is an open window closer to the fan to pull fresh air through.
I have thought of buying one of those items you can attach to the top of the sewer vent but as far as I can figure out they only help if the van is moving or there is a wind.
I did search the site for previous posts on this topic because I thought I remembered reading some but I couldn't find anything.
Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sewer smell, any advice?

Not sure about your van, but our '95 PWay has an exhaust fan in the bathroom which can make a big difference.
We experienced bad odours once in very hot weather and, although the bathroom shower/floor drain should be going to the grey water tank, we've had no problems since we regularly ensure there is water in the trap in that floor drain - just pour a cupful of water down it periodically.
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sewer smell, any advice?

sounds like your sewer vent is not worry correctly. Check for partial blockage. Sometimes critters can nest in the tube. Sometimes if your tank gets too full, debris can be in the bottom of the vent tube.

Also, refrain from running your exhaust fan when flushing. That can actually suck gasses up thru the toilet drain and fill your coach with stink.

In the hot months, it also may be a good idea to put deodorizer in your grey tank. It can get pretty nasty in there with just a little bit of water in there in a few days time.
If my coach is going to sit for a few days, I also make sure the traps are filled and install the sink drain plugs/stoppers.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sewer smell, any advice?

Our sewer odors often come from the grey water tank and not the black water tank. Often that is because the water sloshes out of the traps on a bumpy drive. Filling the traps periodically helps. If it is from a black tank is the toilet holding water in the bowl to create a seal? If not then there is a leak - water into the tank and odor back out. Also, it is surprising how much odor can be produced from all the plastic and toilet bowl in a small bathroom. Cleaning is imperative and in some cases you might not think it is that dirty but a small film of unseen urine can go far. After every tank dump we prime the tanks with some water and a deoderizer cleaner rather than let them sit dry until next use. If the odor is persistent all the time then it could be a clogged vent. An exhaust fan is for exhausting the air during bathroom use. The fan otherwise would only exacerbate the problem if the odor is from any other reason.
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sewer smell, any advice?

Thanks, but does anyone know if the sewer cap that you install on the top of the sewer vent works only if the van is moving or there is a wind?
For example, will it work when we are camped overnight?

We had already checked most other things but didn't think about water in the traps or the smell coming from the grey tank so we will see. I bought a small portable fan for bathroom. Thanks again for advice.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sewer smell, any advice?

A sewer vent cap is usually to prevent rain from coming in. It really isn't necessary considering the amount of water than can come in a 2" pipe (maybe a half cup) and settle in an enclosed waste tank that is mostly gallons of water. If it is a cap with some kind of device like a wind propeller designed to draw air up and out, it is really not necessary in my opinion. Also it should not be a solid cap or cut down the area of the pipe venting. The vent works like the vent on your house that is obviously stationery. If it is clear and unobstructed it will work.

No water in the traps simply turns your waste plumbing into sewer vents back inside your van.

If you have a fan that doesn't exhaust to the outside all you do is blow odor into the rest of the van.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sewer smell, any advice?

this is a popular one


http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/it ... vent/31992
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sewer smell, any advice?

DITTO on all the suggestions posted thus far. We've included most of them over time in our rigs.

One thing we recently ran into on our SeaLand flush toilet in our 5th wheel (we have a dry toilet in the van conversion so it is a non issue there) is we did not notice the build up of solid residue on the sides of the down pipe from toilet to black tank below. We had all the right things taking place such as good venting and water-trap in bowl, but we began to notice an overwhelming sewer odor during bowl flush once our weather turned a bit warmer on the oregon coast (this week was the first week of 70 temps since last summer). We were puzzled and then i thought of taking a flashlight and looking down the open toilet and saw all the solid build up on the plumbing. Soooo, my MacGirlver of a wife grabbed a bunch of paper towels and rubber banded them onto our toilet bowl scrubber wand and i held open the toilet-flush while she scrubbed the walls...

WaLa!!! No more smell

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