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Misdesigned Holding System?

Old 12-06-2011, 03:22 PM
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Angry Misdesigned Holding System?

Experienced ole salt getting a newbee experience on powerboats here...

The Wife had been complaining about "bathroom odors" whenever she flushed and my feeble attempts at humor got me The Stare . I tried this and that but it wasn't until we hauled out and I was doing my best to winterize ... and then noticed the overboard discharge thru-hull hole was emitting brown water. I opened up the hatches and got my mirror and long story short, my potty system was set up as follows... head to macerator, to holding tank, hose from holding tank to stern, ordinary PVC splitter (the Home Depot kind), and left hose goes to pump-out opening on deck. Right hose split goes to pump that handles overboard discharge.

I've never used the overboard discharge so why was the brown stuff coming out? Some research seems to indicate that the discharge pump itself should provide adequate "blocking" to prevent anything going through it unless it's pumping. Well, something was going through! Down below, I found a key that turned on the overboard discharge pump and it produced a considerable output, even though I had pumped the tank "empty" at the gas dock.

Here's my question: Why is effeluence coming out via the discharge pump and what should I do to fix it? I am planning to put a stop valve off the Y splitter, but could the pump need replacing? It worked fine when we turned the key.

I'm also surprised that the splitter is a plain old PVC from Home Depot. Even more is that the hose, which is top of the line septic system marine hose is made from PVC. I see "purple stains" on the PVC and I think that the hose is cemented into the Y Splitter just like ordinary PVC pipe. It also has two clamps that I fear are merely decorations. My view is that if the hose is PVC, then regular PVC cement is as good as any clamp(s).

What's your take on all this? 2 cents worth and great thoughts welcome!
Old 12-06-2011, 03:33 PM
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Replace the Y with a Marine Y valve and lock. Your problem will be over.
Old 12-06-2011, 04:02 PM
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Smile Cause of odor & brown water

Your System is a Victim of NON USE-All the hoses are full of Scale & probably 1/2 clogged --We use Acid that ya get at Hardware for concrete etching -Forgot name --In comes in gallons --Pour 1/2 in head as you use the pump button , put rest in bowl --STAND BACK --you will have ACID CHEMICAL SMOKE -- Do not breathe--AS SOON AS SMOKE QUITS pump large quanties of water through the system --Every use of the boat, make the Admiral responsible to put some good smelling holding tank treatment in her---Get The Large size & follow instructions ---NOTE --if you don't have white smooth inside wall sanitation hose on system CHANGE IT--geo.

www.adeale.com

Last edited by gullfinder; 12-06-2011 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Time Check
Old 12-06-2011, 04:47 PM
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You have left out some important information here. Did you buy the boat new and this is the factory installation, did you buy it used from some hack who cobbled up what he thought would work, or something in between?

Before you start replacing things at random (don't use PVC cement, BTW), I suggest having it inspected by someone experienced with marine sanitation systems to see if it can be "repaired" or if it would be better to redesign it using some of the original components and some new.

Buying and studying this book would be a great help if you're good at understanding this sort of stuff:


http://shop.sailboatowners.com/books...66438&cat=1304
Old 12-06-2011, 04:50 PM
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replace the y valve as suggested. If you are ambitious change out the hoses to Trident 101 heavy duty sanitation hose. ($7/ft).

The cause of you smell is probably none of the issues you've identified. A rotten egg smell when you flush is due to the decay of organisms in the sea water line that is used to flush after the boat sits for a couple weeks. Flush several times to clean out the lines when you arrive at the boat, air out the head, and you're good to go for the duration of your trip.
Old 12-06-2011, 04:50 PM
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Is it Muratic Acid?
Old 12-06-2011, 05:38 PM
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You should have a thru-hull valve after the pump, and I believe that CG regs require it to be closed (and maybe locked?) when in port. Probably when the flow you got from an empty tank was the material in the hose between the tank and the pump (emptying the pump couldn't remove that).
Old 12-06-2011, 07:24 PM
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T^wo things that might help. First, make sure it flushes with fresh water, not salt. Next, find the vent line and install a charcoal odor filter in it. They do help quite a bit. I also agree that the system should be properly valved.
Old 12-07-2011, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by kerno View Post
T^wo things that might help. First, make sure it flushes with fresh water, not salt. Next, find the vent line and install a charcoal odor filter in it. They do help quite a bit. I also agree that the system should be properly valved.
x2- did both these to my BF, made a significant difference. Also, wipe your discharge hoses with a wet paper towel- if the paper towel then smells like effluent, replace the hoses-

Randyh
Old 12-07-2011, 10:55 AM
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DO NOT pour acid into your head or sanitation system.

DO NOT attempt to convert a raw water flush head to a fresh water flush head.

Buy the book and study it. Answers to your questions are in the book.

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