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Old 08-05-2012, 06:30 PM   #1
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Black water smell on second trip

So, the first trip out in our 2012 Surveyor SP 260 went great, however after having the camper home for a few weeks the black water tank began to cause a horrible odor in the bathroom. If you flushed the toilet, it would take a few seconds and the odor came up the toilet and was unbearable.

I had black water flushed the tank for 20 minutes before we came home last time. No matter how long or how much I flush them this past weekend the odor wouldn't go away. I've heard of the Eco treatment and what not, but first i crawled up on my roof and found the vent cover screwed into the small vent tube, actually blocking off the small tube. Is that a problem? I would think that would prevent fresh air ventilation. Maybe something the dealer missed on the PDI? The grey water vent was not like this, meaning the lid was screws into the small vent hole, thus the grey water does not stink.

Am I on to something here or is there another cause I should be looking for? I had used the dark blue chem solution Forest River provided with the camper in the black tank along with a few gallons of water before it sat for a month.

Finally, according to the photos, should the hole in the cap be directly above the small vent tube, or should the cap be turned to prevent rain water from entering it? Thanks in advance, and forgive me for any typos, posted this from my phone.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:16 PM   #2
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The "small vent tube" is a plastic stand off to receive the screw that holds the cap on. Sounds like they just jammed the cap on blocking it off. The cap is there to keep rain water from entering the vent.

Oh, and if that cap was jammed on the vent pipe so as no air could come in; THAT is why your tank stank.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769
The "small vent tube" is a plastic stand off to receive the screw that holds the cap on. Sounds like they just jammed the cap on blocking it off. The cap is there to keep rain water from entering the vent.

Oh, and if that cap was jammed on the vent pipe so as no air could come in; THAT is why your tank stank.
So, the screw was NOT supposed to be screwed into the small vent hole? Just making sure I understand correctly. Does the small tube allow air to enter black tank and the larger hole allow air to vent out? I took the screw out, the cap is held on by plastic clips anyway.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
The "small vent tube" is a plastic stand off to receive the screw that holds the cap on. Sounds like they just jammed the cap on blocking it off. The cap is there to keep rain water from entering the vent.

Oh, and if that cap was jammed on the vent pipe so as no air could come in; THAT is why your tank stank.
Is the vent not double acting by letting air out during flushing and to let air in when dumping?
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Wolfpacker76 View Post
So, the screw was NOT supposed to be screwed into the small vent hole? Just making sure I understand correctly. Does the small tube allow air to enter black tank and the larger hole allow air to vent out? I took the screw out, the cap is held on by plastic clips anyway.
No sir. The "vent hole" business was your quote. It is just a place to hold the screw that holds the cap on. Air does not go in or out of that small hole. The BIG hole is where the "venting" takes place. I would make sure wasps have not built a nest in the vent pipe though.

Also I am assuming you are talking about black tank odors.
You do realize that gray tanks can smell bad too.

Make sure there is water in the toilet bowl at all times.
It is needed to make an airtight seal.

I had an odor once in the camper that took me a week to track down. A soapy dish cloth was left under the kitchen sink (yea, I know... my fault again). Man did THAT smell bad after being in a closed camper for a month.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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I see (2) problems, 1 vert.black vent pipe is too short and 1 vert pipe is too long. The proper length is stated on the vent cap,most of the time. Youroo!!
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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Oh no, definitely black tank. Smell was horrendous when flushing toilet. Shined a flash light down big vent hole, didn't see any blockage. A little curious if some solid waste didn't get cleaned out during tank flush after last trip. Like I said, flushed tank with black water flush hookup a few times during our trip this weekend and smell didn't subside much.

Keep hearing about bacteria forming in black tank to keep odor down, maybe camper is too new for this yet? Not sure, maybe I'm reading too many different threads about black tank odors, making my head spin.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youroo
I see (2) problems, 1 vert.black vent pipe is too short and 1 vert pipe is too long. The proper length is stated on the vent cap,most of the time. Youroo!!
Soooo, how do I fix this, since pipe is not adjustable? Take back to dealer?
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:05 PM   #9
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I have seen many vent pipes instaled wrong. Your (Short pipe) could be setting on the bottom of the tank,how,they let it fall before the glue set up,they cut the pipe too long,ect. They also cut the pipe too short where it will not even go thru the ROOF,thus water runs in the (Boot) area. I have not seen it (ALL) but I have seen a (LOT)! Yes measure the pipes if they are not (2-21/2) long above the flange (Like stated on your CAPS) take it back to the dealer. Youroo!!
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:10 PM   #10
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it's hard for me to tell if u r vented or not. there should be a small space between the cap and pipe. sense the space is under the cap, u may not be able to see it. the screw just insures that the cap doesn't fly off. what i'm looking at appears normal...but i'm not there.

do u put tank treatment in the tank while in use? r u containing ur black water until u r ready to leave or it fills which ever comes first? the answer to both of these questions should be yes.
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