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Author Topic: Head Odors 101 & Fresh Water to Head from the Sink in the Head FLIX  (Read 29590 times)

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Peggie Hall

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2010, 05:34:34 PM »

The shower SUMP???  Oooh, yuk!  The head sink drain delivers CLEAN water...what's in the sump is full of bacteria, soap scum, body oils, hair.  Adding detergent just adds another ingredient to that primordial soup, it doesn't turn it into clean water.

But...it's your boat....
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Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since 1987
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors - A Guide To Marine Sanitation Systems and Other Sources of Aggravation and Odor"
http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Boat-Odors/dp/1892399784/

Stu Jackson

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2010, 06:02:54 PM »

See?  I KNEW I'd "get learned."   :cry4`

All I can say is that at least it cleans up the shower sump AND the head... :sleepy:

Looks like I'm gonna install that "T" now.

So, how about this:

Change the dual connection "head intake and shower sump" and simply SWITCH the shower sump out and the sink out?  It's just like a "T" and on my boat it's a straight into a 90 degree elbow.

Couldn't be simpler.

Except for me... :abd:
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Peggie Hall

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2010, 08:37:23 AM »

"All I can say is that at least it cleans up the shower sump AND the head.."

Only about as clean as a bathtub or kitchen sink full of dirty water would be if you just dumped some detergent into it and pulled the plug.  Same thing applies here that applies to bilge cleaning: YA GOTTA RINSE!!

And besides, detergent doesn't dissolve hair  and any little bitty food particles or dirt. 

Best sump and drain cleaner on the planet is Raritan "C.P. Cleans Potties"...it's part of the product line that my company developed and sold to Raritan in 1999, and IMO the best product in the line.  It's only marketed as a toilet bowl cleaner, though. C.P. is a bio-enzymatic cleaner that not only destroys odor on contact, but the enzymes in it "eat" hair, soap scum, grease, body oils etc in drains and sumps. About 2 oz down the shower drain once a week when it can stay there at least overnight will do a lot more for it than detergent...but YA STILL HAVE TO RINSE!

When you're ready to close up the boat, pump all the dirty water out of the sump (NOT through the toilet!), then fill the sump about 1/3-1/2 full with clean water and 2-3 oz of C.P. It can stay there forever without doing any harm, so no need to worry about getting back to pump it out.  When you do come back, pump out the sump and follow with some clean water. That's all you'll ever need to do to keep your sump(s) smelling sweet and pumps running freely.

After you've rerouted your toilet to pull from the sink DRAIN, you eliminate sea water intake odor completely AND keep your toilet bowl sparkling clean by squirting some C.P. under the rim of the toilet bowl and adding a couple of ounces to a sinkful of clean fresh water (after you've closed the seacock of course)...flush the toilet. Go home.  :clap

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Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since 1987
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors - A Guide To Marine Sanitation Systems and Other Sources of Aggravation and Odor"
http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Boat-Odors/dp/1892399784/

Mike and Joanne Stimmler

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2010, 10:13:40 AM »

Peggy,
You mentioned that muriatic acid can safely be used in the sanitation system. What is the process that you use? How much do you put in and how long do you leave it in? Does the chemical reaction cause nasty fumes?
I know that muriatic acid will attack metal parts and I believe there are metal parts in the macerator.
When I last had the hose between the tank and macerator off, I noticed that there was a lot of calcium type material (like in the picture of my hoses) in the bottom of my holding tank. Will the acid clean this out?
I tried to flush it out as best I could with repeated fresh water rinses at the pump out dock, but it left quite a bit in there.
Thanks for joining our group! Your info is fantastic!

Mike
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 12:40:44 PM by Mike and Joanne Stimmler »
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Mike and Joanne Stimmler
Former owner of Calerpitter
'89 Tall Rig Fin keel #940
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Peggie Hall

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2010, 01:44:05 PM »

Thanks for the kind words!

Muriatic acid may or may not dissolve the buildup in your tank. If it won't, nothing will that won't also damage the system. 

Raritan has been recommending a 12% solution of muriatic acid in water to clean the buildup off the electrode plates etc in their Lectra/San for a couple of decades...and their instructions call for it to be introduced by flushing it down the toilet.  Left in the system for 45 minutes-hour.  Boat owners have been using it full strength--or what passes for "full strength" as sold at hardware stores--to clean out hoses for even longer without any harm to the system. I've not heard of any nasty fumes from it.

Or... you COULD do it the hard way: remove the hoses and beat hell out of 'em on the dock to knock all the buildup out of 'em.  However, if you're gonna do all that work it makes more sense IMO to replace the hoses than to put the old ones back.

There is a third way, but it takes forever if the buildup is serious: multiple doses of undiluted distilled white vinegar.  If it's fairly mild, a cupful of white vinegar (ONLY distilled white vinegar, not cider or any other kind) flushed all the way through last thing when it can stand at least overnight and/or before the boat will sit will dissolve it and prevent future buildup. Do NOT leave vinegar sitting in the bowl...it accomplishes nothing but will destroy the joker valve.

Sanitation systems require maintenance--PREVENTIVE maintenance (there's a reason why it's called that!)...not just the toilet, the WHOLE system! Hoses and tanks--and macerators too--should be thoroughly flushed out at least 2-3 x season...toilet pumps require lubrication...hose connections/clamps should be checked at least once a month...tank vent requires constant attention to make sure it never becomes blocked.  That may sound like a lot...but it's nothing compared to the aggravation of toilets that don't flush, tanks that overflow and hoses that are in such bad shape that replacement is the only solution that won't create more problems than it solves! 
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 01:54:13 PM by Peggie Hall »
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Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since 1987
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors - A Guide To Marine Sanitation Systems and Other Sources of Aggravation and Odor"
http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Boat-Odors/dp/1892399784/

Ron Hill

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2010, 02:54:19 PM »

Guys, Susan & D. Gill : 2 or 3 times a season I mix alittle bleach in a quart of water.  Then I shut off the head intake/shower sump thru hull.  Flip the head pump to wet bowel.  I turn on the shower drain pump and pour the bleach mix into the shower drain.  I keep pouring it in until I see the mix start to fill the bowel to about 1/3 full.  I shut off the shower sump pump and let the mix set in there for an hour or two.  Then I change the head pump to dry bowel and pump the brew out of the head.

This cleans out the shower sump, takes the mildew out of the shower and head inlet hoses, cleans the bowel and the head outlet hoses. 
I've been doing this for one year less that Peggy has been the "Head Mistress" (1988).  I haven't noted any change in the number of parts that I have to replace (which are few) on the head and the hoses/bowel. They looks/smells great.

I also take water resistant grease and and manually apply a thin coat to the pump cylinder (couple of times a year).  This lets the pump do it's job easily and eliminates the use of head lube. 

A few thoughts
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Peggie Hall

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2010, 04:36:30 PM »

Ohhhhh dear...Everyone in the industry will tell you that bleach is a no-no...in fact, so is any cleaning product that contains bleach, any petroleum products, pine oil cleaners, Lysol and ALL chemical household bowl cleaners...'cuz they're all highly destructive to the rubber parts in toilets and break down hose resistance to odor permeation.  Because the deterioration is slow, most people don't connect the failures with their use of these products...they blame the equipment mfr instead. Or it's slow enough that they don't notice that the toilet doesn't pump as efficiently as it used to...and just assume that a certain amount of odor is normal on a boat. Or they trade boats often enough to make it the next owner's problem.

If you've been using bleach for 22 years, there's no way to know which parts you wouldn't have had to replace, or would only have to replace half as often, if you didn't use bleach!

However, you are onto something by using a thick grease instead of the never ending job of flushing some kind of liquid lubricant down the toilet.  Every toilet pump that leaves the factory is slathered in a thick Teflon grease...it's the reason new toilets rarely need lubrication for at least a year, sometimes two.  And it's easy to apply...a job that takes all of about 10 minutes: remove the top of the pump (or if a PH II pump, remove the pump from the base)...put a HEALTHY squirt of the grease into the pump...pump a couple of times to spread it all over the inside of the cylinder...put the top back (or remount pump onto base)...you're done.  If you make it a part of spring recommissioning, it's all the lubrication the toilet will need till next spring...unless you're a liveaboard, then you MIGHT have to do it twice a year. But even twice sure beats the sox off having to pour something down the toilet every week or two!

Btw...I do hope you really meant "bowl"...'cuz bleach in a bowel would really be PAINFUL!   :clown




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Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since 1987
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors - A Guide To Marine Sanitation Systems and Other Sources of Aggravation and Odor"
http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Boat-Odors/dp/1892399784/

Ron Hill

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2010, 05:40:01 PM »

Ah yes, I knew I'd get some scolding for the "Head Mistress", that's why I wrote what I've been doing to the same boat (that has only nice smells) for the past 23 seasons.  I'll probably continue to do the same as I've replaced less parts in all of those years than most others (only second head in 23 seasons)! 
Also I abide by the old axiom - "a little bleach goes a long way"! (in heads and water tanks)

As you know grease and water do not mix. That's why I only use a light coat and use it sparingly.  It would be my luck, that a wad of that heavy grease would get caught in something like the anti syphon valve, rattle around inside the holding tank and get caught somewhere else. 
I'll still continue to use & recommend a light coat of water resistant grease not Teflon - on the inside pump cylinder.

As my crew calls me - "Captain Clean, the Amp Meister"!    Interesting number of posts.  Out   :wink:
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Ron, Apache #788

Roc

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2010, 06:39:37 PM »

Hi Peggie,
Can you recommend the type of liquid grease to squirt into the top of the pump?

Thanks, appreciate your advice.
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

Chris

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2010, 07:15:10 AM »

Regarding holding tank failure....  a couple of years ago, we developed a small leak in the area of the holding tank. It took quite a while to discover that there was a crack in the fitting connecting the "pump out" hose to the tank itself.  We tried to have the crack repaired (some kind of "plastic weld"), but it didn't hold, so had to replace the holding tank.  We ordered the replacement from Catalina.  (Then, in the process of replacing the tank, we knocked loose a strange thru-hull from the P.O.and had to pull the boat...another story).
Lately, we've developed a "head odor" with no evidence of a fluid leak. It got very difficult to pump the head, and we discovered that the holding tank appeared to be under pressure!  Through our previous adventures, we had replaced hoses, so don't think that is the source.  We tried to make certain that the vent opening in the stanchion was not plugged.  Then we realized that the tank was actually full, even though it was just supposed to have been pumped out by the marina.  So did our own pump out and are now waiting to see if the odor is gone.  Does any of this sound like the stanchion vent was clogged, possibly preventing a complete pump out and causing odor?
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ChriSea #832, 1989
Tall rig, fin keel
Sailing on Lake Michigan

Peggie Hall

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2010, 08:24:40 AM »

Hi Peggie, Can you recommend the type of liquid grease to squirt into the top of the pump?
Thanks, appreciate your advice.


You don't want to use a liquid grease--or spray either...they just wash out in just a few flushes.  You want to use a thick Teflon grease that comes in a tube....SuperLube is the best, but just about any brand is ok. If you can't find it in your local marine store, you can find it at swimming pool supply stores  and bicycle shops.   It's made for use in submersible pumps, which is why all the toilet mfrs use it in manual toilet pumps.  A tube of it will last years and can also be used to lube seacocks, y-valves, manual pumps and anything else that stays wet.

Re your odor problem, Chris.  If your tank seemed to be pressurized, I  would bet money that the slit in the stanchion was clogged...and still is, which means that if the marina couldn't pump out your tank, neither could you. You may have gotten a gallon or two, but that's all before the pump pulled a vacuum.  The other most common location for a tank vent blockage is the vent line connection to the tank...both the tank fitting and that end of the vent line.  So you need to check both.  And, if I were you, I'd get the vent line OUT Of the stanchion and onto a thru-hull that'll supply enough air to the tank to let it breathe!  Catalina is one of the few builders who put vents in rail stanchions and they've finally realized that it's a horrible idea--at least when it comes to sewage tanks--and have begun using thru-hulls.

At the risk of appearing to try to sell you something (I do get a whopping $2 royalty from my publisher for every copy sold) , you might want to check out the link to my book in my signature...it explains in detail how to install and/or modify and/or just maintain a system that's odor free and trouble free.

A pressurized tank MAY have caused your odor problem if the pressure forced gasses from inside the tank back out the toilet...more likely if you haven't replaced the joker valve in the toilet in more than a year. But unless you replaced your hoses with Trident 101 or 102 (identical except for color) http://www.tridentmarine.com/stage/sanitation.htm  or SeaLand "OdorSafe" hose, there's also a good possibility that they've permeated already. I've seen so-called "heavy duty" # 148 white sanitation hose permeate in as little as 90 days!

« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 10:29:51 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since 1987
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors - A Guide To Marine Sanitation Systems and Other Sources of Aggravation and Odor"
http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Boat-Odors/dp/1892399784/

Roger Blake

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2010, 07:06:17 PM »

Peggy--Thanks for being a part of our little community...I know I've learned a lot...Thanks for the contributions!
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Last Call
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Roger Patterson

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2010, 07:43:34 PM »

The 'pressurized' holding tank has occurred this summer on my '05 Mk II (1723).  The stanchion vent was partially plugged. As noted in Peggie's recent post, the pump out was only partially successful. Pumping out via the macerator caused the tank to became a vacuum. The result was sucking sea water pass the macerator. These tasks are underway. First, install a thru hull vent to replace the stanchion vent. A 1/4" hole in the stanchion at the end of a 5/8" hose just doesn't make sense. Next is to put a air loop in the system to prevent possible future back flow. And yes, a tank monitor will be added.
Roger Patterson
S/V Blue Magic
Victoria, BC
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Roger Patterson
Mk II #1723  2005
Blue Magic
Victoria, BC

Kiskadee

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2010, 02:55:46 PM »

Although a failed plastic holding tank was not Steve's problem, yes they can fail. I have a 40 gal plastic holding tank under the V-Berth. It almost conforms to the shape of the hull, with only an inch or so not touching along the bottom centre. A couple of years ago, with an almost full tank, we pounded for hours through high seas off the Nova Scotia coast. About five inches of the welded seam at the bottom of the tank let go. It allowed a very slow seep of black water, but only when the tank was over half full. I suspected the smell and slight staining was from a loose hose. Then one day, in another storm with an almost full tank, it failed further. Luckily it didn't rupture and I was able to quickly pump out and wipe up.

The tank is too big to remove from the V-Berth, so I cleaned it and turned it over for the repair. A Plastic Welder did the job in about an hour total. He even found and welded tiny cracks that spidered from the main failure. He tested it with 40 gal of fresh water and saw one slow drop start to seep from around the bottom fitting. He said that this happens as the fittings were not factory welded, but only spun into an undersize hole, melting themselves in place. We removed the tank and he welded around the bottom fitting. It held the 40 gal fine for twenty minutes while he put his tools away. The total cost in 2007 was $85.00, much cheaper and easier than a new tank.

I've installed shim supports to take the full weight of the tank and it works fine now. This may not be a problem with smaller tanks, but you have to make sure than a larger tank is well supported along it's full underside.

Cheers, Dana
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Rick Johnson

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Re: Holding Tank Failure
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2010, 04:44:52 PM »

Any advice as to where to put a new holding tank vent and what type of vent to use? 
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Rick Johnson, #1110, 1990, s/v Godspeed, Lake Travis, TX
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