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Old 08-31-2016, 06:37 PM   #1
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Foul Smell - Sink vs Shower P-Traps

Earlier this year I encountered a foul smell inside the coach, and it seemed like it could likely be coming from the black water holding tank however upon investigation I learned that the water in the p-trap for the kitchen and bathroom sink had either evaporated and/or drained into the grey holding tank as we traveled.

I've since made it part of my routine to make sure there's adequate water in the p-traps for both sinks and it's my first line of defense if I detect a foul odor.

More recently however, I noticed a foul odor once again yet confirmed (through a smell test up close and personal with each sink drain) that the water levels in the p-traps was not the problem. I use Tank Techs RX for both holding tanks and feel rather confident in my methods to maintaining those tanks. After confirming that it wasn't the sink traps I was lead to believe there might be an issue with the components of the black tank/toilet etc. Nevertheless that didn't seem to be the issue either.

In the end, I smelled the shower drain (the shower has only been used twice) and lo-and-behold I found the source of the foul odor. I poured some water down the shower drain and have not had any recurring foul odors.

Now... It was my understanding that the shower drain is a waterless trap and I had therefore assumed that I need not maintain a fluid level in the shower drain. Has anyone else experienced something similar? Can anyone help me understand why a waterless trap would need to be flushed with water to avoid foul odors from the grey holding tank?

Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:04 PM   #2
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I have checked out the waterless trap and it can hold a little water on the drain side so I would follow your process on the shower drain as well.

If the RV is leaning forward any at all, the waterless trap doesn't drain - I first thought it was a clog when this happened to us but found out the importance of level for it to drain. I am very glad I didn't stick a coat hanger in there to get the clog out! It was only when I took the panel off below the shower that I found out we had one.


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Old 08-31-2016, 08:14 PM   #3
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thanks for head up dukeboone. It's very good information to keep.
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Old 12-31-2016, 10:28 PM   #4
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Taking a shower seems to force air back up the drain vs out the vent so we get a nasty smell when taking a shower (2016 MBS 2401W). We simply put the deodorizer packs that we put in the Black tank Also in the Bathroom sink (pushed it down with a fork). After that - it was fine. Our ritual now is to put the biodegradable deodorizer packs in both black and gray tanks every week. I also just ordered one of those cyclone vent tops - we'll see if that tops it off...
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Old 01-01-2017, 05:34 AM   #5
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Depending on the style of toilet installed , some need to be serviced.

There is frequently a hole high up in the toilet bowl that is to allow a leaking fill to drain if the bowl gets too full .

These sometimes use a bent in low point in their discharge hose as a simple J trap.

These have to be filled with water to stop the sewer gasses from coming up.Frequently its only noticed underway from an open fwd window.

Next time you dump just fill the bowl to cover the overflow hole to fill the tubing .

Simple and cheap.
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukeboone View Post
Earlier this year I encountered a foul smell inside the coach, and it seemed like it could likely be coming from the black water holding tank however upon investigation I learned that the water in the p-trap for the kitchen and bathroom sink had either evaporated and/or drained into the grey holding tank as we traveled.



I've since made it part of my routine to make sure there's adequate water in the p-traps for both sinks and it's my first line of defense if I detect a foul odor.



More recently however, I noticed a foul odor once again yet confirmed (through a smell test up close and personal with each sink drain) that the water levels in the p-traps was not the problem. I use Tank Techs RX for both holding tanks and feel rather confident in my methods to maintaining those tanks. After confirming that it wasn't the sink traps I was lead to believe there might be an issue with the components of the black tank/toilet etc. Nevertheless that didn't seem to be the issue either.



In the end, I smelled the shower drain (the shower has only been used twice) and lo-and-behold I found the source of the foul odor. I poured some water down the shower drain and have not had any recurring foul odors.



Now... It was my understanding that the shower drain is a waterless trap and I had therefore assumed that I need not maintain a fluid level in the shower drain. Has anyone else experienced something similar? Can anyone help me understand why a waterless trap would need to be flushed with water to avoid foul odors from the grey holding tank?



Thanks!



The drain you refer to is a Hepvo trap made in England. It's simply a very thin sleeve made of silicone rubber where the inlet is propped open and the outlet opens with fluid. If the fluid attempts to reverse the outlet tube will collapse and seal off. They leak gas when soap scum and hair prevents the tube from sealing flat. My remedy is a good flush with Cl bleach followed by water


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