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Smell from Stringer drains after head problems…

Jun 1, 2016
128
Hunter 28.5 Lake City, MN
I had a mishap with fixing the head on my ‘78 Hunter 28.5, where I removed the drain hose and had some of the backwash from the black water tank run onto the floor and down into the stringers under the boat. I think I got most of it cleaned up, but I’m wondering about cleaning up the leftover waste that may have gone down into the stringers, leaving An odor.

It was suggested that I use a bio detergent (which in all honesty I’m not sure what that is), but I was wondering if I could use a small amount of bleach to clean up that area. Perhaps pour a few ounces down the holes, go for a sail, and then suck it out with a small hose attached to a wet and dry vacuum.

can I trust that the bleach won’t harm the fiberglass Under the stringers?

Sir Michael
 
Last edited:
Jul 27, 2011
4,529
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
A bio detergent is basically a laundry detergent that contains enzymes which attack, break down, and remove stains from fabrics, etc.
 
Dec 2, 1997
8,086
- - LIttle Rock
You can never eliminate any odor unless you first eliminate the source...'cuz as long as the source continues to exist, it'll continue to generate new odor. So first you need to clean the bilge thoroughly--every surface, nook and cranny--with a strong solution of detergent--any liquid detergent--and water...NO BLEACH! This will require some manual labor instead of just dumping something into the bilge and calling it done. A power washer can make the job a lot easier. Remove any standing water. Mop up an excess water and let the air dry till it's at least only damp...no standing puddles. Now you're ready to eliminate the residual odor. And PureAyre PureAyre is the best product to do that. A spray bottle won't go very far...plus, it's cheaper in the long run to buy it by the gallon...it has an indefinite shelf life, so just keep it on hand. Amazon has the "household" version for about $35.

Use PureAyre full strength...I'd use pump garden spray jug (buy a good one...a cheap one won't last long enough to finish this job...Walmart has a 1 gal size for about $20) set to a fine mist. Spray every surface, nook and cranny...just a light spray. Do NOT rinse...just let it dry with hatches open so that plenty of fresh air can circulate.

--Peggie
 
Nov 6, 2006
9,202
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
You can direct a garden hose into the stringer limber holes and flush them to the bilge.. Then put the detergent in the limber holes and flush that out. It may take a couple of wash/rinse cycles to get it clear. Like Peggy says, ya have to get it kinda clean first. Then you can put some straight PureAyre in the limber holes.. and ya may have to do that a month or so later, but that will eliminate a lot of the funk..
 
Jun 1, 2016
128
Hunter 28.5 Lake City, MN
Peggie & Kloudie,

Thanks, I'll give it a try next week. I'll have to order the gallon of PureAyre (or substitute).
Thanks,

Sir Michael

PS: Peggie, I was climbing the walls, looking for your book that I had purchased, finally found it. I've been reading some more...
 
Dec 2, 1997
8,086
- - LIttle Rock
He shouldn't have to do it again in a month if he uses it according to directions, Kloudie.

You'll find information about all kinds of uses for PureAyre in my book, Michael. And I wouldn't look for a cheaper substitute because not only is PureAyre the only product I've ever found that can eliminate ANY odor--diesel, smoke, sewage, musty foulies and PFDs, it's also rated for use around food...which means you can use it to get rid of nasty odors like spoiled food in a cooler or ice box or the inevitable odor in bait boxes. That's why I suggested you buy a gallon of it...you never know when you may need it again.

--Peggie
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,825
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I dumped waste water down under my engine pan and into the bilge once…

i got a bucket of hot water and poured in a good amount of ammonia…then dumped it all over where the waste water spilled…rinsed all over with the ammonia water…and let it all drain to the bilge.

Used a shop vac to suck out the bilge, and let everything dry.

The water and ammonia washed everything down to the bilge, and I could easily clean that out…all good.

Greg
 
Jun 1, 2016
128
Hunter 28.5 Lake City, MN
When I did the search for the gallon of PureAyre first on Amazon, it was for $50, but when I did a google search, the link to Amazon took me to the same product for $40.
I did get the PureAyre.

I'm hoping that if I tape a smaller hose (5/8 OD) to one of the vacuum attachments, that I can get into the stringers and suck out most of the water and PureAyre.

Thanks Everyone!

Sir Michael
 
Dec 2, 1997
8,086
- - LIttle Rock
I'm hoping that if I tape a smaller hose (5/8 OD) to one of the vacuum attachments, that I can get into the stringers and suck out most of the water and PureAyre.
You only want to suck out the water...I strongly recommend that you re-read my instructions above 'cuz PureAyre won't work if you don't follow 'em.

Btw...the price difference when you googled vs an Amazon search is because there are several versions of PureAyre formulated for different jobs...the "marine" version is the most expensive, the "household" version--which will work just fine on most boat jobs including yours-- is the least expensive.

--Peggie
 
Jun 1, 2016
128
Hunter 28.5 Lake City, MN
Peggie,
Thanks for the reply! I believe that I had misunderstood about how to use the PureAyre. I thought that you were suggesting pouring some into the holes on the stringers, and letting it soak there, for a while, then to remove it...

You know the old saying, "I can explain it to you, but I can't make you understand it"... ;-)

Next week, I'll try washing things down again with soap and water, then suck it out, and follow up by trying to spray some PureAyre into the stringers with my sprayer, and let that dry... I'm very hesitant to use the power washer in the cabin, I'm afraid of getting everything wet.

I had purchased a quart spray bottle of PureAyre in the past (per your recommendations), but I'm sure by now it's dated...

Hopefully I have it right now!

Sir Michael
 
Dec 2, 1997
8,086
- - LIttle Rock
In post #3 she said that it has an indefinite shelf life.
Yep. I keep a gallon on hand to use on pet accident sites...AFTER I've thoroughly cleaned the site. And you'll need to clean and spray every surface, nook and cranny in that area of the bilge, not just the stringers. That's because odors transfer themselves to all of them in that area.

--Peggie
 

NYSail

.
Jan 6, 2006
2,716
Beneteau 423 Mt. Sinai, NY
At the end of the season we typically fill the bilge with a couple inches of soapy water and let it sit so it gets in all those spaces. Then drain wipe, maybe full again if it was dirty, clean and let dry. Our bilge typically stays very dry and clean. Bilge doesn’t smell. And as Peggie said do t use bleach.

good luck!