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Author Topic: Best black water holding tank bacteria solution?  (Read 7152 times)
DROdio
WonderlandBus
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« on: April 17, 2006, 09:34:29 PM »

Wondering what the best thing is to put in the holding tank.

I would much rather have an entirely natural, "bacteria" microbe  type thing going on in the tank than just try to cover the smell.

Are all brands the same or are some better than others?
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"WonderlandBus"
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FAST FRED
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2006, 02:56:57 AM »

RIDEX is avilable at most hardware stores or food markets .

All seem to work fine and FAR better than pioson.

This is no place for "Bestitis",

 to not have the coach stink of waste  its more of a mechanical instalation task..

Good waste lines with full U traps , a 2 inch vent thru the roof , and a toilet that holds its water seal are all that is needed.

FAST FRED
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2006, 04:36:49 AM »

Fred is 100% correct.

From my experience with both sticks & staples, the waste tank solutions primarily try to mask the odor.

When I built my bus system I used 2" vent and revent all around.

I went on a trip in January and did not empty the tank.  It wasn't until I was working on the roof a couple of weeks ago that I smelled the odor out of the roof vent.   Good venting works.  Never a smell inside.

On the additive issue:
I did some recent research on septic tanks recently and the generally accepted answer is the only thing you need to add is human waste and water.  It will supply all the bacteria you need. Some of the solutions may speed it up, but if you smell wintergreen, roses, whatever, it is still really the masked odor of waste
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2006, 06:55:21 AM »

I have not tried this but someone on one of the boards gave this link.  Once we get going in our bus, I'm going to try it.  It seems logical.  It's called the GEO method: http://home.mindspring.com/~cbruni/index.html
-Brent
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H3Jim
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2006, 08:14:47 AM »

My experience agrees with Fred and Floridacracker.  All I have is good 2" venting, a good toilet seal, and never any smells, under any conditions.  I typcially go months between dumping.  I don't think any of the additives do any good, and the ones that killl bacteria actually harm any tank you dump it in, while not really providing an odor free tank.

My home is on septic system, and every septic person I have ever talked to agrees that the only thing it needs is regular additions of water and human waste.  Human waste has all the bacteria that is required for good breakdown of solids.
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Jim Stewart
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2006, 05:22:28 PM »

I've tried   Yeast, like you buy in the bakeing section of the store. If you are dumping in the boonies, It does seem to help the digestive process. But like others have said a well designed system is best. If you are getting oders there are other ways to tackle the problem.
                                      Work?/Play safely Jim
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2006, 05:30:23 PM »

on to not using the additives my system also includes not completely emptying the tank in order to save the microbes and not to flush it out with fresh water for the same reason.
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PD4107-152
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2006, 07:59:37 AM »

I posted a similar question on the other board a while back and one reference that was cited was very informative:

http://www.phrannie.org/macerator.html

Several folks replied to that post (and to this one as well) that they did not use anything.  I am not quite ready to take that approach just yet.  On our maiden trip, we used some generic septic tank treatment and it did not seem to do a very good job.  Towards the end of the trip we picked up some Ridex and that seemed to really help.

As was noted earlier, the tank vent is very important.  I plumbed a 2 inch vent and then capped it off with the typical RV vent cap.  When we went down the road, the smell about killed us.  When we got back, I removed the RV cap and put a "sweeping" 2 inch Tee on.  I then went on a short trip and there was no smell.  The tank has not been dumped in over two weeks.  I suspect the major factor is the new "cap".

Just some thoughts.
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Jim Shepherd
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2006, 09:01:32 AM »

  "When we went down the road, the smell about killed us."

Unless your tank was completely full, I suspect that you have an air leak from the holding tank back into the coach such as shower trap, Kitchen or bathroom sink trap, Dishwasher or clothes dryer trap, bad toilet seal  or something like that. I had a standard cap on my vent and the only time I got odors was caused by one of the above.
Richard 
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gumpy
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2006, 12:57:40 PM »

We've been having problems with sewer smell, also. I vented my tanks through the roof midway and used a venturi vent.

What I think I've narrowed it down to is the seal on the roof hatch. I can feel it drafting air INTO the coach when cruising down the road. What I think is happening, is the venturi vent (which is just in front of the hatch about 3 feet) is pulling gases out of the tank, and then they are getting sucked back into the coach through the leaking seal on the roof hatch.

I'm going to relocate the vent towards the rear of the bus, behind the hatch.

I also tied my battery vent into the tank vent before exiting through the roof. I could not convince myself it would be a problem with pulling battery gases into the coach. Unfortunately, I only looked at the problem from the one side. I realized that when I turned on the air conditioner blower which created a vacuum in the poorly sealed compartment where the batteries are located. You can guess the rest.

So, my plan now is to put a new vent in the rear for the black tank vent, and use the current vent for the batteries.

craig
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Craig Shepard
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jjrbus
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2006, 05:47:18 PM »

You can do a  "smoke test" on your system.  You go to your local plumbing supply store (not home depot or Lowes) and buy a smoke bomb they come in different cubic footages a small one will do, but buy 2.  you then seal all openings with duct tape or whatever you have handy, including the overflows in toilet and sink, shower drain, sink's ect. also tape off the vent on the roof. Get your shop vac and some pvc fittings 1in or larger will do. Make a tee that you can tap into the system, be creative here, you can take off a sink trap, use a cleanout plug, I have a 3" access plug on my black water tank that I used.  The bottom part of the tee is going to be capped off. One end is going to be inserted into your system a lighted smoke bomb is going to be put in the capped off part of the tee and a shop vac with the hose put in the exhaust port is put on the other end of the tee. What you are trying to accomplish here is to pressurize the system with smoke in it, the smoke will pinpoint your leak.
                                              Work?/Play safely Jim
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Dallas
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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2006, 05:51:52 PM »

Cool Jim,
It only takes a head cooler than ours to come up with a good answer.
Dallas
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Ace
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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2006, 06:49:34 PM »

This probably doesn't pertain but I have read a lot of guys venting thier systems upward towards the roof and having problems like odors coming into the coach. I vented mine simply by using a 2 inch pvc pipe coming out of the top side of my round tank and going directly downward thru the bay floor and then rearward with a baloney cut on the end. It only goes about 6 or so inches under the bay floor. I have never had a problem with odors of any kind while stationary or moving!

Ace
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NJT5047
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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2006, 07:31:57 PM »

This may be a little abstract, but is it possible that your venturi cap is pulling the water out of the sink and shower traps?  That would allow all sorts of odors back into the coach.  If your vent is t'eed between black and grey, the blackwater and grey gasses will mix and may be "pumping" back through a sink or shower. 
I've got a two inch vertical vent that is between the hatch in the bedroom and the bath Fantastic Fan Vent and have not had any problem at all when using standard RV tank treatment. 
I'm using a round RV cap on mine...it doesn't "draw" a vacuum on the system when moving...just vents.
Have you looked for leaks around the pottie?  That will make some stink when moving.  The flange may be venting.   You shouldn't have enough stink from the stack to cause a problem no matter the condition of the hatch seal.  You'll have those vents open during nice weather.     
What are you using to treat the tanks?  RV stuff works well.  Not treating the tanks  at all is garunteed to make a big stink that will be will be noticed by you and your neighbors.   Your cleaning out the tanks after each use?  Flush'em out and dump a little RV anti-stinkum and they should be good to go.  Most of the RV treatments are environmentally friendly.   Some of the trick is to keep the odors under control.   
Good luck, JR 
 
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2006, 05:03:35 AM »

Only have the problem when driving. Have never smelled anything while stopped (except what's already in the coach).

My other concern is the overflow in the toilet. I can't confirm or deny if it's getting sucked dry.

I haven't treated the tanks with anything. I really don't think you should have to, but I may end up doing so.

My first act will be to move the vent rearward, and remove the Tee into the battery vent, and replace the hatch rubber seal.

Will try that for this summer.

craig
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Craig Shepard
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2006, 05:56:28 AM »

Gumpy, You just reminded me of what my problem was. It was the overflow in the toilet itself. I finally plugged it with silicone and my problem went away.
There is a vacuum created by the front window which is shown by curtains pulling out the window when driving and the window is open the least bit. 
Thanks for reminding me so I can put it in the new hints board.
Richard
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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2006, 07:55:20 PM »

I haven't treated the tanks with anything. I really don't think you should have to, but I may end up doing so.
Will try that for this summer.

Try a little tank treatment and you'll probably resolve your problem.   After 30 plus years of trying different ways to handle this issue, and forgetting to treat the tanks occasionally, BIG MIStake,  I wouldn't do without it.   I can walk through a campground and very quickly locate the "greens" RVs.    Roll Eyes
Doesn't Ridex have to 'cook for a while to get a good colony growing before it works?    Have to look at that sometime.  But in the meantime RV products work too well, and most don't have formaldyhde (spelling?Cheesy) and so don't harm the environment.   With RV tanks treatment, you can dump the blackwater right in your front yard and no one will know what it is.....maybe.  If they don't get to close they won't.  Smell won't be a problem. 
Now there may be a difference in the short term (the way I use mine) and the long term users.  I don't know. 
But, if you got odors coming into the coach when driving, it's pullng, or pumping into the coach.  Which would indicate a dry trap, or pottie seal that's leaking, or pottie flange that's leaking. 
May I ask what it is about RV black and grey tank treatment that is problematic?   I freak when it gets low...like to keep a small stash of the pottie stuff.  I have a 55 gallon tank of caca and that would be a lot of methane without something to inhibit the process.
JR   
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

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