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Toilet Odor Solution Finally fixed the odor problem

#1 User is offline   palod 

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:39 PM

In 2006 and 2007, we had some horrendous odor problems with our Thetford Aqua Magic IV RV toilet. The toilet had water in it, which seals the tank quite effectively from the toilet – but the odor was still coming into our living quarters.

I cleaned the tank several times, and we tried several types of chemicals without any luck. It stank.

Thinking that the odor might be coming from where the toilet connects to the floor and tank, I replaced the closet flange seal – twice. This didn’t help.

Then, thinking that just maybe the black water tank roof vent was clogged, I ran an old piece of hose down the vent pipe from the roof. Again, no help.

I checked the bathroom vent fan, and found that it WAS miswired, and blowing IN from the outside - from right near the vent stack. I fixed this by reversing the wires, but the odor remained.

I checked all the hoses for cracks, and tightened all of the hose clamp connectors at the tank and the toilet, although all seemed to be good and secure. No help.

I pulled the belly liner to inspect the tank and fittings directly, and found no evidence of leaks or odor.

Finally, in the summer of 2008, I solved the problem.

There is an overflow tube that extends from right near where flush water enters the top of the bowl directly to the black water tank. This is apparently intended to keep the toilet from overflowing if there is a small leak in the water valve.

The tube is curved, forming an "S" trap. If there is no water in the "S", there is a direct passage between the black water tank and the bathroom. Thus - BAD odors in your living quarters - regardless of what chemicals are in the tank.

To fill the "S" with water, simply fill the toilet to the brim. Let it stand for a couple of minutes to make sure the overflow trap is filled, and flush it down. Then, just use the toilet normally. It would probably be a good idea to repeat this a few times during the camping season, just in case the trapped water is sloshed out or evaporates.

At any rate, we have had NO ODORS SINCE WE STARTED DOING THIS!


For a diagram showing the overflow tube, see:
http://www.thetford....18/Default.aspx

PALOD

#2 User is offline   LarryTheOutback 

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:56 PM

Awsome information. This is a perfect example of why I love Outbackers.

Thank you for the post!

Ed
Ellen, Ed '57, Ed '96 (Age 17), David (Age 15), Sophie (Age 13) and Clara (Canine; Age 9)
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#3 User is offline   Oregon_Camper 

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 09:32 PM

Thanks for that info...I will do this the next time we go out. thumbright

#4 User is offline   battalionchief3 

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 09:43 PM

Huh. Cant say I have a smell but it makes sense. I will have to try that out since the trap could dry out in the off season.
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#5 User is offline   dgilmore12 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 07:46 AM

Thanks for posting. I will be trying this next time out.
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#6 User is offline   Sayonara 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 01:04 PM

Interesting. No odors here but Ill check it out.

Thanks!
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#7 User is offline   TitanFlyer 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:23 PM

EWWW.. you guys poop in your trailers??? :)

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#8 User is offline   skylane 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:47 PM

EWWW.. you guys poop in your trailers???

Man that struck me a funny!!!!

LMAO
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#9 User is offline   folsom_five 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 05:38 PM

View PostTitanFlyer, on Mar 21 2009, 01:23 PM, said:

EWWW.. you guys poop in your trailers??? :)


WOW, and I thought I was the only one that had a "no pooping in the trailer" rule. :yuk:
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#10 User is offline   tdvffjohn 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 06:30 PM

View PostTitanFlyer, on Mar 21 2009, 04:23 PM, said:

EWWW.. you guys poop in your trailers??? :)



In the toilet in the trailer :P



Interesting info about the overflow tube thumbleft thumbleft
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#11 User is offline   Katrina 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 06:43 PM

Palod,
Do you have a plastic or china toilet?

Edit: nevermind, I see from the diagram you posted that it's the plastic one.
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#12 User is offline   CamperAndy 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 08:28 PM

View PostKatrina, on Mar 21 2009, 06:43 PM, said:

Palod,
Do you have a plastic or china toilet?

Edit: nevermind, I see from the diagram you posted that it's the plastic one.


I think it is applicable to both.
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#13 User is offline   folsom_five 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 08:32 PM

View PostCamperAndy, on Mar 21 2009, 06:28 PM, said:

View PostKatrina, on Mar 21 2009, 06:43 PM, said:

Palod,
Do you have a plastic or china toilet?

Edit: nevermind, I see from the diagram you posted that it's the plastic one.


I think it is applicable to both.


I have the china toilet in my 2008 31rqs. I just took a look and I do not see any "overflow" hose.
There is the pex tubing that goes into the toilet valve assembly and then another line that goes into the toilet to supply the water.
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#14 User is offline   Herbicidal 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 09:58 PM

View Postfolsom_five, on Mar 21 2009, 02:38 PM, said:

View PostTitanFlyer, on Mar 21 2009, 01:23 PM, said:

EWWW.. you guys poop in your trailers??? :)


WOW, and I thought I was the only one that had a "no pooping in the trailer" rule. :yuk:

Great info about the "S" overflow hose. thumbright

H.E double 'L's yeah we poop in the trailer! Have you seen some of those public restrooms!?! At least I know who's used our potty. They are the same people that use them in our house! :P
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#15 User is offline   OBcanOB 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 11:47 PM

Wow... my vent fan was wired backwards too! I wonder how many Gilligan missed! We had the same odor problem. We also found another odor problem that some may have. Ours is a 28FRLS. There is a separate vent for the kitchen sink grey water that goes up behind the fridge. (we found this out because the fridge broke and while they had it out I got to clean up the wiring and found the pipe floating loose) Even though the pipe vents outside, it's pretty close to the bathroom fan, so when it was sucking air in... it was sucking in the smelly air from the grey water...
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