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Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:32pm

Post Subject: Smelly Wooden Wardrobe!

We bought a second hand narrow boat 3 years ago from an enthusiastic diy man. He had installed his own pump out toilet system, part of which was the piping. Unfortunately he used non-sanitary standard piping and joined it together with duck tape resulting, not surprisingly, in leaks!! We have now replaced the whole system but can't get rid of a nasty residual smell particularly in the wardrobe through which the pipes were run. The wardrobe can't be used at the moment so we are desperate for any ideas of how to get the smell out of the wood as it is starting to spoil our enjoyment of the boat. Apart from the smell the boat is perfect and we love her very much!!


Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:43pm

Post Subject: Smelly Wooden Wardrobe!

Dear Sue, I am very much afraid that I can not be much help and very much fear effluent may have soaked into the wood or MDF in that area. It may also have dripped into the bilge below the wardrobe where there may now be a nice pile of smelly slime etc. I expect the wardrobe "floor" will come out once it is unscrewed and that might give access so you can inspect the bilge and surrounding woodwork. If the bilge is dirty I expect you will have to lift the slabs up through th wardrobe and put them outside to scrub off with lots of bleach and then leave in the sun for a long time to dry and hopefully sterilise. Then scrape up and clean the bilge. If you can not get the ballast slabs out then you might have to dismantle the wardrobe and cut a large hatch in the floor. If it appears that the bilge is OK then try a thorough soaking of the contaminated wood and then a good scrub with a strong bleach solution followed by plenty of air to dry it out. Leave those window hoppers not above soft furnishings open when you are not on the boat and tie the wardrobe door open. Given enough time I suspect the contamination will breakdown and dry out and hopefully the smell will reduce, but I fear a lot of new woodwork might be the fastest way to resolve this one. Tony Brooks

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