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Old 08-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #1
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Grey water smell?

We're just back from 10 days on the road, and we've noticed a rather strong smell in the trailer. I think it's coming from the grey tank. We emptied it on our last day out (that was 2 days ago) but I'm just getting to flushing the tank out tonight.

We use our grey for dish washing and teeth brushing. We use camp facilities for showers.

Is a developing smell normal? How do you deal with it? Should I flush the tank more thoroughly every time I empty it? How do you do that?

Thanks for the assistance. Still on the learning curve...
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:31 PM   #2
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Did you get a little bottle of blue ink deodorizer? try that in both your black and grey tanks.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
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I have never deodorized in the grey tank. The traps should stop any smell from coming up.

Did you check to make certain that the drain plug is closed tight in the shower, and that there is water in the trap?
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
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My solution is to always wipe the dishes clean before washing. I keep every napkin and papertowel (except the NASTY ones) and use those to clean plates, pots, etc. I make sure very little "food" goes down the drain. And absolutely NO Tuna oil/water or water from steaming vegetables (expecially broccoli and cauliflower).

I have a friend with a monster 5th wheel. After they dump the gray water, they put bleach (kept in an old dishsoap container) down the drain and put a gallon or so of freshwater in the tank.

Consider putting the sink plug in after you dump the tank too. Keep those odors contained.

There are commercial products for gray water tank deordorizing too. I haven't used any of them, my solution works for me!
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:26 PM   #5
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I use a Flush King for both waste tanks of my 17B. It normally takes 7 or so flushes to clean the black water tank and I normally flush the grey water tank 3 or 4 times. I then 1/2 fill both tanks, add some Calgone water softener and laundry soap and drive it home. After getting home I drain both tanks on the grass and they are nice and clean.
Our trailers are small; there is no room for odors.
Here is a link http://www.flushking.com/
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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I did the bleach thing tonight. We'll see if that works. If not, I'll try other chemicals (after making very sure there's no bleach left!). Yeah, we did get one of the bottles of black-water chemicals.

We generally do keep the plugs in the various drains.

I'm not one for fussing, so wiping down dishes before washing them isn't going to fly.

I didn't think there was a trap in the shower floor -- no room for it. There also doesn't seem to be a trap in the bathroom sink, though it could be hidden in the wall. But I will test those questions.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbailey View Post

I didn't think there was a trap in the shower floor -- no room for it. There also doesn't seem to be a trap in the bathroom sink, though it could be hidden in the wall. But I will test those questions.
I've been wondering about traps, or lack of, as well. You can see the one under the kitchen sink, so that led me to believe there must also be traps for the bathroom drains. If you peek under the trailer, you can see what I believe is effectively a trap made of PVC fittings between the shower drains and the point of entry near the top of the gray tank. It looks to me like the drain water could slosh and lose its water seal while traveling, which is probably why they suggest closing both drains before hitting the road. No promises that I'm right about this, but that's the way it looks to me.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:03 PM   #8
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Parker, I thought exactly the same thing since the only thing that looks like a trap is rather shallow. We also experienced bad smells after 4 days of dry camping and didn't have a chance to empty the grey tank. Pulled into new location after traveling with a 2/3 full grey tank and there were obvious smells from the sink when I unplugged the stopper. I think the trap is just too shallow.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:25 PM   #9
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OK, makes sense. I have the spray insulation, so haven't tried to look. I will take a gander tomorrow once I've got some light.

I put water down the shower drain this evening. We'll see if that helps.

There was already noticeable improvement after the bleach treatment.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:35 AM   #10
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Reace told me the bath sink and shower all meet below the shower and there is a trap so you can pour rv antifreeze down the shower drain and it will winterize that part of the system. I also pour a little down the sink, just in case.
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