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Old 04-10-2017, 07:50 AM   #1
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Accessing black tank vent pipe


I need help accessing the blackwater vent pipe between the toilet and bedroom.
I've a pee smell in the RV, I think the vent tube for the black tank is cracked/broken/dislodged. On my way to FL Saturday a real nice guy in a "sedan" wanted a rectal exam from my 35' Winnebago Chieftain, (cut me off slammed on the brakes) I hit the brakes hard and had to take the shoulder of the road. It didn't seem like a particularly rough or violent shoulder ride but it's the only thing that's happened since our last trip. I've looked at the plumbing diagram and the vent is right at ground zero for the smell. the bathroom is fine, the bedroom is the main casualty, the smell is coming from a small divided towel type closet with the house circuit breaker panel at the bottom. I can provide pic's if anyone thinks it will help. I've already re-watered the p-traps so it's not that.
I also have a hotwater heater issue, not nearly as important, but if someone has an idea I get about 1 maybe 2 seconds of hot water.
Thank you soooooo much for any help you can provide, I'm afraid I'll have to cancel this trip and head home if I can't get the smell problem resolved and this is my sons spring break trip
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:41 AM   #2
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Have you tried to get a local RV mobile tech to look at it?

With your hot water heater check to see that the outside shower is turned off not just the sprayer but the valve as well.

Another suggestion regarding getting cut off. Buy a dash cam. They're not expensive and it would have shown he would have been at fault had you hit him.
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:47 AM   #3
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Look inside the cabinets and you may find an In-Line vent. It will be like the one listed here. If it sticks there could be gases released They are cheap and do fail.

https://www.grainger.com/product/39A...170410174612:s
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:03 PM   #4
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Air Admittance Valve like one in link are located under bathroom sinks & kitchen sinks just after the 'P' traps........doubt of that is you PEE Smell issue

Does your toilet have a 'shroud' around bottom portion?
If so ---remove it and CLEAN thoroughly. Little miss here, little miss there.....pee doesn't always go in bowl

Otherwise you may have to pull that house circuit breaker panel OUT and have a look-see.

As for water heater......
Hot water for 1-2 seconds:
1) then luke warm water? ------showers (in/out) just turned off at handle vs hot/cold knobs---cold mixes with hot inside faucet===luke warm
2) then luke warm water? ----bypass vlave on water heater open or leaking allowing cold to go to hot ====luke warm
3) hot then NO FLOW---cold/hot/luke warm======bad check valve in WH hot out fitting
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:28 PM   #5
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Im with Tony on the hot water issue. Some outside showers have shut offs on the end of the wand. Sometimes people use the shut off and forget to close the taps. This allows hot and cold water to mix in the tap itself, sending luke warm water down the line or hot cold hot cold water. Hope its that easy for you. Nice when its something simple and FREE to fix. As far as the smell, you will have to get on yours hands and knees and put the sniffer in action. Try to pinpoint where the smell is originating. Like stated, could be someones aim isnt too great and it has seeped under the toilet trim. If so, maybe suggest the sharpshooter take a seat. lol
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noeldale View Post
Look inside the cabinets and you may find an In-Line vent. It will be like the one listed here. If it sticks there could be gases released They are cheap and do fail.

https://www.grainger.com/product/39A...170410174612:s
Excellent advice from noeldale. When they go bad you get a sewer smell. Relatively easy to replace and inexpensive.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:51 PM   #7
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Some electrical wire gives off a smell similar when it is getting hot. Have you checked all your elect connections in that closet?
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby171 View Post
Some electrical wire gives off a smell similar when it is getting hot. Have you checked all your elect connections in that closet?
Thanks but I'm very familiar with the burnt electrical smell, this is definitely CHT issue.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winniman View Post
Im with Tony on the hot water issue. Some outside showers have shut offs on the end of the wand. Sometimes people use the shut off and forget to close the taps. This allows hot and cold water to mix in the tap itself, sending luke warm water down the line or hot cold hot cold water. Hope its that easy for you. Nice when its something simple and FREE to fix. As far as the smell, you will have to get on yours hands and knees and put the sniffer in action. Try to pinpoint where the smell is originating. Like stated, could be someones aim isnt too great and it has seeped under the toilet trim. If so, maybe suggest the sharpshooter take a seat. lol
Thanks for everyone's input, I'm trying to do what I can between vacation activities, DW is keeping me pretty busy
Checked the outside shower it was off, still need to test the Hot water element
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:24 PM   #10
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Funny you would get any hot water at all if the element wasnt working. Does the hot water work on propane?
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:43 AM   #11
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I had a friend who struggled with very short showers, even though the hot water tank was full. It turned out to be the shower valve - not mixing correctly once it got warm.

The most likely cause, however, is the tube inside the water heater that should be delivering the cold water to the bottom of the tank. They can break off...then the cold water enters at the top of the tank in the same place as the hot is leaving the tank.

Does this make sense?
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Old 04-12-2017, 04:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danhannah View Post
I had a friend who struggled with very short showers, even though the hot water tank was full. It turned out to be the shower valve - not mixing correctly once it got warm.

The most likely cause, however, is the tube inside the water heater that should be delivering the cold water to the bottom of the tank. They can break off...then the cold water enters at the top of the tank in the same place as the hot is leaving the tank.

Does this make sense?
YES..........
RV water heaters (Atwood & Suburban) use 'dip' tubes on cold inlet and hot out

Dip tube falling off cold inlet would dilute temp of hot water as cold inlet would no longer be directed towards bottom of tank.
BUT cold inlet on RV WH tanks IS at bottom not at top of tank

Missing dip tube is a possibility.....but not a common issue

Suburban RV WH (looking straight down from top...birds-eye view)



Atwood RV WH-----depiction of internals
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:51 PM   #13
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I have similar problem potty smell with my 2011 Suncruiser 32h. Have not been able to track down the source either. All the in-line vents have been cleaned and are not the issue. The roof vent is clear as well. The black and grey share a single pipe. The problem is obviously a crack or corruption of the vent from the black water tank to the vent, just haven't found it yet. I did upgrade the vent pipe cap to one that is more aerodynamic and that helped.

One associated problem I have is that when I drain the black water, the hose has to burp. That tells me that the external venting to the black water tank is blocked somehow. May have to drop a camera down the vent pipe to find the problem.
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:34 PM   #14
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Had the same problem, abused because the black tank vent pipe had come out of the grommet on the black tank. I had to open the wall and add a couple of inches to the vent pipe to fix the problem.
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