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Old 02-12-2020, 02:03 PM   #1
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Sewer gas smell when running air conditioning

We get a strong sewer gas smell when we run the air conditioner with the windows closed. It's a brand new fifth-wheel, and we have a wye-connection that drains all tanks at once. Any ideas on what the problem might be? We've used all the sinks and the shower and have no obvious plumbing problems.
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Old 02-12-2020, 05:27 PM   #2
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fuming rig

Fumes when running AC.


1. Make sure your AC is not holding the condensate and causing the fumes via mildew etc
2. Once drained close off the black tank from the Union (one spout draining...)

3. When you have drained the tanks, refill all the "water traps" U shaped thingies under the sinks and shower etc The traps should stay waterborne but just in case the venting of the system is not correctly operating...
4. Now try the AC again.
5. Does your operation of the furnace also cause the same fumes inside?


Best of luck in resolving the issue. For us in one of our rigs a solitary sink trap would empty itself and we had to just re fill it after every tank empty due to the way the system was "engineered" or rigged at the factory.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:24 PM   #3
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Some basic things that you may have already checked but we need to be sure are as follows.
Check the traps at each sink and shower to see that they do have water in them. If they have screens, etc, that block the view, try running something semi-flexible like a straw or wire down past the screen to see that it does get wet as a quicker way than removing the screen. Also make sure the stool is correctly set to leave water in the bottom of it as a trap for the sewer gas. These can get old and not seal or leave the water as they should.
But then if you find one trap without water, look for a failed airgap as it is possible for draining the tanks to create a "siphon" effect if the airgap is not working. As the waste is drained , there should be a way for air to get into the line to relieve the vacuum without it pulling the water out of the trap.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:44 AM   #4
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I am going to go another route for you. If the vent tube on the roof is close to the AC then it could be possible that you are getting oder from that. Make sure the vent cap is on, you may even want to change vent cap models.

Years back I had similar problem I change to a vent cap that would swivel with wind direction. That seemed to help. Good luck
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by be happy View Post
I am going to go another route for you. If the vent tube on the roof is close to the AC then it could be possible that you are getting oder from that. Make sure the vent cap is on, you may even want to change vent cap models.

Years back I had similar problem I change to a vent cap that would swivel with wind direction. That seemed to help. Good luck
Be Happy is more than likely correct in my opinion.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:41 AM   #6
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Be Happy is more than likely correct in my opinion.
I might think this would depend on type of AC involved. If it is only recirculating the inside air, I would not expect to draw smell from the outside vent but if it a type which draws outside air and cools it, then outside might be suspect as well.
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:50 PM   #7
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A/C units only recirculate inside air. Your roof vent is not the problem but two things inside your unit are the likely suspects - dry sink or washer traps (make sure they have water in them) or your AAV valves under your sinks. AAV valves allow air to follow water when when draining your sinks. This function is handled by air vents in your household plumbing but in RVs, it is done with AAVs. They are mounted high behind your sinks and yes, cheap ones can leak fumes from the tanks back into your RV. BTW, the worst offender is your gray tank.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:04 PM   #8
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Check the vent on the range hood

This will sound crazy, BUT ! I had the same problem and called the dealer. He immediately told me to go outside and see if the vent flap over for the range hood was unlocked. I thought he was crazy. I went outside and range hood flap was locked shut. I unlocked it and it DID solve the problem! I still do not understand why!
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