Clear the Air

Clear the Air

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Clear the air after months of layup when marine sanitation systems and air-conditioning ducts may be filled with stale, foul air. Ridding the boat of trapped odors ranges from the first step of simply flinging open all the doors, ports and hatches, to inspecting and cleaning the wastewater lines and holding tank with eco-friendly treatments, and installing an air filtration system.

A physical inspection of sanitation lines, valves and vented loops ensures there isn’t a major problem brewing. The sanitation system may have been neglected and not properly winterized, so it’s important to start off fresh. “Over the course of the boating season and in down time the vent valve can get stuck, an air pocket gets trapped and the head won’t work,” says Dale Weatherstone, Raritan’s managing director of Fort Lauderdale operations. “Check your discharge line vented loops to make sure the valves are functioning correctly. The lubricant used may be silicone-based, which is awful for valves. What you want is a Teflon-based kind of grease. Also, if you can increase the ventilation within your holding tank, do so. Most boats have three-eighths or half-inch lines, but one-inch vent lines are recommended.”

Raritan makes three biodegradable, non-toxic liquid treatments that can help rid the boat of sanitation odors: K.O. for holding tanks, C.P. for cleaning the head, and C.H. for cleaning lines and hoses. “K.O. helps facilitate the breakdown of solids to make pump-out easier,” Weatherstone says. “When re-commissioning, start with that prescribed mixture and then the boat is ready when people start using the heads. The aerobic bugs in K.O. consume the anaerobic foul-smelling bugs in the holding tank and break the solids down to more liquid contents, and that eliminates odors.”