PLEASE help.. black water tank smell.. long story..

hello to all!

i recently purchased a 2019 heartland pioneer 25 foot. the bathroom, sinks etc had never been used. i took the trailer from florida to ga to sit on a friends property.. we spent one weekend in the travel trailer, dumped the black tank
then the gray tank, put in a deodorizer packet and a small amount of water when we left.. came back a couple weeks later and could smell a urine smell.. then, this is where the bad news comes: a friend told me that the flush connector was
where you put the water hose to run water directly from a water source.. as it turns out, that wasnt the case, it was the tank flush connection. so, the black tank filled up into the toilet, thank god i noticed before it got any higher!!!

so, after figuring things out, i dumped the black tank, flushed it numerous times using the flush connector until clean water ran out.. i then put another packet in, put a small amount of water in and left it.. come back a week later and there
is still a smell in the rv..

any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

thank you!
 

Lou_and_Bette

Well-known member
Is water remaining in your toilet bowl? Initially, if we left the rig parked for an extended period of time, when we returned the water that I left in the bowl would be evaporated and the seal would dry out letting smells in and the seal would become stiff and not hold water in the bowl until I could get it “rehydrated.” I have since begun to add a toilet seal conditioner and a bowl full of water. While some, or all, the water may evaporate, but the seal remains intact because the conditioner doesn’t evaporate. There are multiple other reasons for this smell problem, but I thought I would start with the simplest solution.
 
Thank you for the reply. im honestly do not recall if there was still any water in the toilet. i will definately have to check that and get some conditioner you mentioned. what is the name of it?
thanks!
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
If you overfilled the black tank, the water has to go somewhere. Sometimes it goes up the vent pipe and spills out on the roof. Sometimes it causes a separation of the pipes entering the tank and water goes into the underbelly. Sometimes it can rupture the tank.

It's also possible the upward pressure on the toilet may have damaged the seal at the base of the toilet such that it's now passing vapor and possibly leaking a bit. You may have to remove the toilet and replace the seal.

See if the odor is stronger at the base of the toilet. That would be an indication of the leak being there.
 

JohnDar

Prolifically Gabby Member
hello to all!

i recently purchased a 2019 heartland pioneer 25 foot. the bathroom, sinks etc had never been used. i took the trailer from florida to ga to sit on a friends property.. we spent one weekend in the travel trailer, dumped the black tank
then the gray tank, put in a deodorizer packet and a small amount of water when we left.. came back a couple weeks later and could smell a urine smell.. then, this is where the bad news comes: a friend told me that the flush connector was
where you put the water hose to run water directly from a water source.. as it turns out, that wasnt the case, it was the tank flush connection. so, the black tank filled up into the toilet, thank god i noticed before it got any higher!!!

so, after figuring things out, i dumped the black tank, flushed it numerous times using the flush connector until clean water ran out.. i then put another packet in, put a small amount of water in and left it.. come back a week later and there
is still a smell in the rv..

any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

thank you!

Running water in via the tank flusher serves two purposes. The primary (with the drain valve open) is to help clean reluctant sewer trout from the tank and rinse the sensors (not very effective at that). The second is to add SOME water to the tank after dumping and flushing so you can use the toilet again. Safest way to do it is with an inline water meter so you know how much went in (5-7 gallons is enough) and NEVER, EVER, walk away while the water is running.

BTW, give your friend a slap upside the head for misleading you.
 

hoefler

Well-known member
I never use packets, they don't always dissolve, they never would for me. I always use the liquid and at least 5+ gallons of water
 

JohnDar

Prolifically Gabby Member
I never use packets, they don't always dissolve, they never would for me. I always use the liquid and at least 5+ gallons of water

I usually let them sit in the toilet bowl full of water for a minute until you could see color coming out of them, then flushed it into the tank. For a while, I was using a liquid, Microblaze RV, in the tank. It's a microbial solution made by the same folks that make Microblaze for firefighting. That stuff eats hydrocarbons and renders a spill non-flammable. Acts as a wetting agent for Class A fires.
 

CDN

B and B
To keep the seal of the toilet working when leaving pour about 3 inches of cheap cooking oil. It will not evaporate and with lubricate the seal. Also makes the dump valves slick as a goose eating fresh greens!

I do this once a year to lube my dump valves. I pour a gallon down gray tanks, catch and reuse then finish with the black tank.
 
thanks for all the input.. i think ill try making sure the vent isnt clogged and then a very thorough cleaning of the black tank.. followed by a liquid black tank treatment.
 

BST

Member
I recently watched a YouTube video that found the culprit of the smell you are describing. It can be found by doing a search for “WindersRanger” and “RV Tank Vent.” The guy discovered that the Heartland factory did not run the vent pipe up through the roof. Not saying that is your issue, but it could be.
 

centerline

Well-known member
instead of using the expensive packets of tank deoderizor (which doesnt usually work for more than a couple days), after dumping, put in 3-5 gallons of water, and pour in a cup full of borax.....
borax is biodegradable and safe, and is a much better deodorizer than any other product sold as a tank deodorizer, except for a formaldehyde based product...

but as much as a waste tank can smell, it is usually not a problem until you flush, dump or otherwise disturb it... so in this case, the tank may not be the specific source of the odor you are having...
 

Wulffpack

Member
instead of using the expensive packets of tank deoderizor (which doesnt usually work for more than a couple days), after dumping, put in 3-5 gallons of water, and pour in a cup full of borax.....
borax is biodegradable and safe, and is a much better deodorizer than any other product sold as a tank deodorizer, except for a formaldehyde based product...

but as much as a waste tank can smell, it is usually not a problem until you flush, dump or otherwise disturb it... so in this case, the tank may not be the specific source of the odor you are having...
Heartland also has been known to have open top vent lines in the wall. This guy has a video... You tube video zBhTdMdqLuk (paste into youtube). This forum not allow a direct link? Anyway, I am running a scope in my wall shortly.
 

centerline

Well-known member
Heartland also has been known to have open top vent lines in the wall. This guy has a video... You tube video zBhTdMdqLuk (paste into youtube). This forum not allow a direct link? Anyway, I am running a scope in my wall shortly.
i took the shop vac up on the roof and blew down the vent lines to check for a breach... i had my son on the roof with the shop vac, blowing down the vents while i was inside sniffing and listening for any change... I swore it was sewer gas smell and likely a failed vent tube, but there was noting to be found... it ended up being a cracked elbow fitting on the furnace unit...
 

Wulffpack

Member
So I used an inspection camera to scope the blackwater vent stack. Heartland so screwed this up. Just dead ends up in the wall and does does go up through roof! Every time the toilet is flush it forces the tank gas in the rv. I have yet to scope the 2 vents on the roof to see if they vent anything. One I think is the shower. The other was never hooked up to toilet? But is 3 feet from where it should be. An AAV will not work here as I need airflow going both ways on toilet vent. All 3 sinks have AAV.


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BST

Member
So I used an inspection camera to scope the blackwater vent stack. Heartland so screwed this up. Just dead ends up in the wall and does does go up through roof! Every time the toilet is flush it forces the tank gas in the rv. I have yet to scope the 2 vents on the roof to see if they vent anything. One I think is the shower. The other was never hooked up to toilet? But is 3 feet from where it should be. An AAV will not work here as I need airflow going both ways on toilet vent. All 3 sinks have AAV.


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This is not good. I have stink in mine as well. I’m planning on replacing my EPDM roof system soon and will check the vent pipes at that time. Thanks for sharing the pics of the problem!
 
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