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Old 10-16-2020, 03:09 PM   #1
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Septic Smell Inside of Coach

I'm having a septic smell in the coach of my Forester 3011DS. I've researched this and read all of the responses. My problem appears different from the others.

We have emptied both tanks; flushed the black tank fir a LONG time; added deodorizer; even put dodeizer down the drains and shower. I've done this the same way for four years with no oroblems. My toilet is a porcelain Dometic 310; plenty of water in the bowl (which doesn't leak out.). I also checked the vent stack but the cover on the roof is not removable. There's no smell coming from there but I cannot tell of it's plugged.

Despite doing everything that we've always done, I cannot get rid of the septic smell. We just returned from a 9-week trip and it started on the last day on the way home.

Any ideas?
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Old 10-16-2020, 03:42 PM   #2
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Septic smell aka rotten eggs is sometimes due to the vent under the sink not working. It unscrews by hand so you can check it. Lots of posts on the subject.
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Old 10-16-2020, 04:38 PM   #3
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Just my suggestion is to fill with fresh water prior to a trip and let it slush around while you drive. Even add a good dose of deodorizer.
When you get to your 1st campground stop dump and re fill before leaving for your next stop.

How do you flush?
Now just for clarity even if you flush and leave valve open and the water looks clear doesn't mean all the solids are out.
It needs lots of water in the tank to clean anything on the walls and even bottom.

So as I said you really have to fill and flush numerous times to get that stuff and smell out.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
Just my suggestion is to fill with fresh water prior to a trip and let it slush around while you drive. Even add a good dose of deodorizer.
When you get to your 1st campground stop dump and re fill before leaving for your next stop.

How do you flush?
Now just for clarity even if you flush and leave valve open and the water looks clear doesn't mean all the solids are out.
It needs lots of water in the tank to clean anything on the walls and even bottom.

So as I said you really have to fill and flush numerous times to get that stuff and smell out.
Fill with some fresh water, maybe 30% full, and add two 20lb bags of ice. The ice will slosh around and mechanically clean the tank.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:07 PM   #5
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But how are the fumes getting inside the coach??
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:13 PM   #6
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But how are the fumes getting inside the coach??
I guess you checked the vent and its OK.
Next possibility is the flush nozzle fitting. It has three screws that hold it to the tank. If one or more are stripped in the plastic then you could get seepage into the compartment. That will stink up the coach as well.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:19 PM   #7
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Mechanical Plumbing Vent , AKA Air admittance valve. Located under 1 of your sinks has failed. Any hardware store will have. No tools needed to replace. 6 - 8 dollars. Buy 2 for a spare. Check it out.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:31 PM   #8
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My porcelain Dometic 310 failed in the same manner as noted in the various plastic Dometic 300 posts. Leaked sewage into a cavity in the (plastic) toilet base. I believe the design of the 300 series toilets (300, 310 and 320) is essentially identical. Don’t know why the 310 and 320 toilets seem to last longer before they fail. My original 310 lasted ~7 years before that failure occurred.
FYI, Jim
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:50 AM   #9
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Thanks so much for the information folks. Greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:46 AM   #10
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Okay, I always like to post the cure. I did replace both vacuum breakers on the plumbing but just happened to notice that one of the burners on the stove was on low. That was the smell!!! It's all cleared up now but I wanted to thank you all for taking the time to respond.
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Old 10-17-2020, 12:18 PM   #11
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Don't buy cheap chemical... I have been using Aqua Chem for years... no odor...SEE:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (check the ratings !!)
Use about 6 oz for your tank..
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Okay, I always like to post the cure. I did replace both vacuum breakers on the plumbing but just happened to notice that one of the burners on the stove was on low. That was the smell!!! It's all cleared up now but I wanted to thank you all for taking the time to respond.
Thanks for posting the solution. Im surprised that propane smelled like septic.
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:55 PM   #13
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Mercaptan!

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Thanks for posting the solution. Im surprised that propane smelled like septic.
Mercaptan, the odor chemical included in natural gas, doesn't smell septic to me, either.

There are a couple of threads about special knobs for your RV range that can't be turned by accident. They have to be pushed and turned at the same time or somesuch.
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:46 PM   #14
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Thank God nothing but smell happened! Glad you found the problem...
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Old 10-18-2020, 09:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach428 View Post
Okay, I always like to post the cure. I did replace both vacuum breakers on the plumbing but just happened to notice that one of the burners on the stove was on low. That was the smell!!! It's all cleared up now but I wanted to thank you all for taking the time to respond.

Um, your TT is supposed to have a detector to alert you to propane gas and carbon monoxide. I think you should get that thing checked, just saying.


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Old 10-18-2020, 01:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clintbonnie73 View Post
Don't buy cheap chemical... I have been using Aqua Chem for years... no odor...SEE:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (check the ratings !!)
Use about 6 oz for your tank..
Quit using that stuff unless you have access to a hazardous waste dump site. It eliminates smell with formaldehyde. Not good.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:03 PM   #17
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Formaldehyde?

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Quit using that stuff unless you have access to a hazardous waste dump site. It eliminates smell with formaldehyde. Not good.
Formaldehyde? They would permanently ban you from our campground if they caught you using that stuff. They have already had issues of people dumping chemicals that messed up the biome in the septic system. That's when the policy was pubicized.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:06 PM   #18
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Yep....formaldehyde.

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Old 10-18-2020, 04:08 PM   #19
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Um, he does not have a TT.

OMG, really.
TT coach RV popup aframe whatever same same.
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:06 PM   #20
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Really Really! You said “Have Fun”. So I did.
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