Notices
The Boating Forum

Smelly Grey Tank.

Old 01-06-2021, 10:31 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 22
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Smelly Grey Tank.

Hello,
My grey tank (waste galley and shower water) stinks. I have tried every chemical product including boat products, septic tank powder, vinegar, etc. I cleaned it out completely, but the smell came back.
It has been suggested that it is a result of having in adequate venting. This results in the water containing too many "bad" bacteria and not enough "good" ones, because the "good" ones require more oxygen than the "bad". Improving the venting will be a bit of a problem, so I do not want to waste my time unless it will work.
Does anybody have knowledge of this, please?
Old 01-06-2021, 11:31 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SWFL
Posts: 3,117
Received 396 Likes on 208 Posts
Default

Plastic absorbs odors. Put some water and bleach in the tank and leave it there for a while, drain and do again. See what RV sites recommend for bleach strength. Don't leave bleach water in contact with your pumps' innards for long, if at all.
Old 01-06-2021, 12:18 PM
  #3  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Martin County Florida formerly Palm Beach County
Posts: 12,079
Received 2,762 Likes on 1,548 Posts
Default

vodka usually works, not joking
Old 01-06-2021, 12:24 PM
  #4  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 58
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 2 Posts
Default


This!
Old 01-06-2021, 01:40 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 273
Received 51 Likes on 37 Posts
Default

Igloo recommends vanilla extract for smelly ice chest and I can say for certain that it works! I use it in my storage bins on my boat when they start to stink and it works there too. A few big bottles from the dollar store should do the trick.
Vinegar may work, but I doubt bleach will do anything long term.
Old 01-06-2021, 02:37 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Virginia Beach Va
Posts: 2,283
Received 1,131 Likes on 527 Posts
Default

Replace all the hoses or flexible tubing. The odor permeates it and it wont go away.
Old 01-06-2021, 02:52 PM
  #7  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: New York, NY/Barnegat Bay
Posts: 491
Received 159 Likes on 72 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by mfix View Post
Replace all the hoses or flexible tubing. The odor permeates it and it wont go away.
This^^^^^^

Once the hoses become porous, and allow odors to permeate, there is no fix but replacement.
Old 01-06-2021, 03:09 PM
  #8  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 22
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Thanks guys for the advice. However I am sure the problem is in the water and I really want to check out the advice about lack of ventilation and oxygen in the tank. My current vent pipe is only 5/8 inch internal diameter, but it will be a hassle to change it, so I am asking if anybody knows about this good and bad bacteria question.
Old 01-06-2021, 03:16 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Virginia Beach Va
Posts: 2,283
Received 1,131 Likes on 527 Posts
Default

Yup, I was sure of that too.
Likes:
Old 01-06-2021, 03:18 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 135
Received 31 Likes on 22 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by v303x View Post

This!
best product ever in my coach!
Old 01-06-2021, 03:25 PM
  #11  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 194
Received 125 Likes on 53 Posts
Default

Your coach doesn’t flush with salt water, everything in it dies off and rots. It’s a god awful stench.

I also vote for bad hoses. 🤙🏻
Old 01-06-2021, 03:35 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 602
Received 311 Likes on 175 Posts
Default

5% Bleach solution.... fill it up to the top .... (20gal tank gets 1 gal bleach). Pour half the bleach in first, add the water, top off with the last half of the bleach. Let it sit overnight. Drain and flush. DO NOT use bleach with ANY other chemical.
Likes:
Old 01-06-2021, 04:59 PM
  #13  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New Smyrna Beach
Posts: 8,693
Received 347 Likes on 236 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Indyspecracer View Post
best product ever in my coach!
This is great stuff (Happy Camper) and worked well in my boat in grey and black water. The owner doesn't mention its salt water. He said its grey water from galley and sink & shower. I
Old 01-06-2021, 05:31 PM
  #14  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 194
Received 125 Likes on 53 Posts
Default

I figured waste meant the bowl, but you’re correct, it does say grey water........ Odd, Most sinks go overboard, and shower drains are generally into a sump and overboard. No need to tank grey water. If your shower drain and sink waste smell that bad, how is the fresh water tank? Do you have a sulfer smell from the spigots?
A shock with about a half gallon of bleach in 60 gals fresh water run into all lines and allowed to sit overnight fixed that for me. Multiple flush and fills to clear out residual bleach, and now I add a cap full every fill. Golden.
Now, if I would plumb my bowl with that water I’d be happier.

best of luck tracking it down
Ed
Old 01-06-2021, 06:04 PM
  #15  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Fort Myers Beach, FL, USA
Posts: 3,522
Received 534 Likes on 342 Posts
Default

To answer the OPs original question, yes there is a difference between aerobic bacteria and anaerobic bacteria. The anaerobic bacteria grow in a low oxygen environment and stink, but aerobic bacteria - as used in many water treatment facilities - do not stink.

We bought the boat in my signature new in early 2002. GW puts a 10-gallon Groco tank in for waste, with an internal macerator. Like most of us, I used regular marine toilet chemicals to deal with odor. When the internal macerated died after about five years, I decided to make a significant change. I replaced the 10-gal Groco tand with a 15-gallon Groco Sweettank. Same internal macerator and external connections, but with the addition of an air manifold at the bottom of the tank, a connection on top for air supply, and a high-volume low-pressure air pump. Air was pumped into the tank 24/7/365 for the next 12 years (had to replace the air pump once), and no chemicals were ever added to the tank. The aerobic environment in the tank eliminated odor completely.

While keeping tank vent lines clear is always important, you will not have “good bacteria” unless you have forced air into the tank.

I have no financial interest in Groco, but that was one “Sweet Tank”.
Old 01-06-2021, 07:31 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 135
Received 31 Likes on 22 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Baldilox01 View Post
Your coach doesn’t flush with salt water, everything in it dies off and rots. It’s a god awful stench.

I also vote for bad hoses. 🤙🏻
I assumed just fresh water since it is from the shower and sink.

if it smells like rotten eggs, it is probably sulfur bacteria, which can be eliminated with a chlorine and water solution.
Old 01-06-2021, 09:26 PM
  #17  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 527
Received 195 Likes on 90 Posts
Default

This will fix it. https://www.amazon.com/BoatersMate-Noflex-Digestor-Treatment-Eliminator/dp/B07C7HRV4P/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
Old 01-07-2021, 02:55 AM
  #18  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 22
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Many thanks for all your replies. ocnsir has answered my direct question and this is what I was getting at. It sounds as if a fish aquarium air pump could do the trick, be relatively easy to install and not require repeated chemical additions. I will give it a try.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.