Holding Tank Woes - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Reston, VA
Posts: 37
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
datswite is on a distinguished road
Holding Tank Woes

New blog post at Don't Pay the Ransom!!!

Don't Pay the Ransom: You'll Thank Me for the Lack of Photos
__________________
1981 Morgan 382, Hull #257 - Cobb Island, MD
Our Cruising Blog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Aquarian's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 30
Thanks: 3
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Aquarian is on a distinguished road
Re: Holding Tank Woes

All I can say is Air head - really. Skip the tank and start composting - no float valve/switch/pump out required.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Gladrags1's Avatar
Sailor
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Rock Creek, Maryland
Posts: 575
Thanks: 10
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Gladrags1 is on a distinguished road
Holding Tank Woes

You will get to know how much poop fits the tank, how many flushes 'til full. You will be able to feel the difference in flushes (assuming manual, non-electric head). You will see the overflow out the vent until you develop this sense the tank is full thing. Then pump outs will be your friend. We have never had a gauge and feel they are prone to failure. Live without, say I!

15 gallons is very small for a tank. Since you guys want to cruise, that is going to be a big factor in your plans. You need some way of emptying that tank when out at sea, away from land where it's legal. Do you have a macerator and overboard discharge? Guys can "direct discharge" over the side which helps but ladies can't. Also, have a "No toilet paper down the toilet" rule. Keeps things from filling and clogging. Keep a trash can for the TP.

At least the tank didn't explode.

Tod


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
Mandolin
Bayfield 36
Sailing out of Rock Creek, Chesapeake Bay
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Gladrags1; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:45 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Group9's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,504
Thanks: 19
Thanked 56 Times in 55 Posts
Rep Power: 4
Group9 is on a distinguished road
Re: Holding Tank Woes

You might want to put in some poop eating bacteria. You can get the really strong stuff at places like Lowes. I say this, because on an old tank, the same as in a septic system on land, you can get a buildup of sludge in the bottom of the tank that reduces your actual holding capacity.

The bacteria will start to break that stuff up. You need to put it in with lots of water, and then just let the stuff work for a while. (I got turned on to this when living in a used motor home after Katrina that had the same problem).

And, I agree. Long term cruisng wise, a 15 gallon holding tank is pretty small.

I have two 40 gallon holding tanks in my boat (two heads). My problem is just the opposite. I can go a lot longer without needing to empty my tanks than most state water enforcement people (like in some Florida places) believe.
__________________
On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Earth
Posts: 94
Thanks: 6
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 3
Pegu club is on a distinguished road
Re: Holding Tank Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquarian View Post
All I can say is Air head - really. Skip the tank and start composting - no float valve/switch/pump out required.
To the OP, sorry to here your woes,
We just installed a natures head, never ever want to go through the inevitable horror of playing the failed marine head game, I have read far to many threads/post about the failures, the aroma, etc, I just don't see the appeal.
I do realize that many folk have success with their marine heads, but I suspect that composting heads will become more and more common place on boats, they make to much sense. Just one mans opinion.
__________________
1975 B24 #578
A slave to the wind

Last edited by Pegu club; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:23 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Multihullgirl's Avatar
don't like leanin'
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: gulf coast MS
Posts: 521
Thanks: 137
Thanked 41 Times in 38 Posts
Rep Power: 4
Multihullgirl is on a distinguished road
Re: Holding Tank Woes

Allow me to vent:

datswite,

I also had a 15gal holding tank, attached to it of all things was a Jabsco macerating electric toilet (BIG flushes). You may imagine the capacity was virtually nil with that little rig. Add to that, the poorly thought out way the system was plumbed.

I had one overflow (quel gachis!), I was hesitant to use the head because of the small capacity, and I could always smell it.

Exactly a week ago Friday, I removed the entire system, and yes even though the tank was empty there was still some stuff in the hoses, so be aware of that. The removal was one of the vilest jobs I've ever had to endure. The formalin (ergo "tank treatment") in the holding tank, once I cut the hoses, fumigated the area and made my nose bleed. It was 100F in the engine compartment and on top of everything else I had to wear a cartridge mask. I thought cleaning up after the overflow was pretty bad, but the tank removal was waaay beyond that.

Now I have two heads 'cause I have a catamaran. (Take that wherever you want.)

On the other side we had experimented with a C-Head. I gotta say, these desiccating/composting heads are IMO the greatest thing since sliced bread. The C-head's containers are in another container, which means that even if you spill, the whole merde is kept in the outer container which is easy to clean. Detractors say that the system is archaic, gallon jug for urine, 5-gal bucket for feces, but I say its simplicity is what is good about it.

The C-head has never, ever smelled bad (well, RIGHT after a deposit, ok.). It did get gnats, and a couple handfuls of diatomaceous earth solved that. I use the effluents to water and amend my garden. AFAIC, the desiccating/composting toilet is the best way to go.

If we were in Florida, which is really good about having pumpout facilities literally everywhere, I might rethink. No, even the empty holding tank smelled bad. Likely because it was time to change the hoses.

Yeah, even maintaining within regular intervals means a vile, vile job with a holding tank system. If the equipment in the C-head gets to stinking, the milk jug goes into the recycler and I bleach the 5-gal bucket. Done. No hoses to install, no worries about capacity, no worries about where I pump out...

I am absolutely sold on the composter. Give it a thought since it sounds like you're having to rip out your system anyway. And if not, I've got a Jabsco macerating electric head, a Jabsco pump head, and a 15-gal holding tank with some hoses. We can make a deal.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Reston, VA
Posts: 37
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
datswite is on a distinguished road
Re: Holding Tank Woes

All great ideas!!! I like the idea of the bacteria... sort of like a septic tank system. I'm also curious about the composting heads. Frankly, it comes down to cost. If I can fix the float cheaper than replacing the entire head, I have to go that way. Cruising kitty and safety trump all.
__________________
1981 Morgan 382, Hull #257 - Cobb Island, MD
Our Cruising Blog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
pdqaltair's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Posts: 2,189
Thanks: 1
Thanked 31 Times in 31 Posts
Rep Power: 6
pdqaltair is on a distinguished road
Re: Holding Tank Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Multihullgirl View Post
Allow me to vent:

datswite,

I also had a 15gal holding tank, attached to it of all things was a Jabsco macerating electric toilet (BIG flushes). You may imagine the capacity was virtually nil with that little rig. Add to that, the poorly thought out way the system was plumbed.

I had one overflow (quel gachis!), I was hesitant to use the head because of the small capacity, and I could always smell it.

Exactly a week ago Friday, I removed the entire system, and yes even though the tank was empty there was still some stuff in the hoses, so be aware of that. The removal was one of the vilest jobs I've ever had to endure. The formalin (ergo "tank treatment") in the holding tank....
I am amused that these rants against conventional holding tanks systems always start with...
1. the original system was terribly designed (often they do not understand proper design).
2. I used the wrong holding tank treatment (formalin/formaldahyde, which we all agree is an enormous mistake--should have researched that).
3. I went about the repair/removal all wrong (I didn't clean the system out with water flushes first--I've found replacing hoses to be both neat and easy).
... and then they expect other folks to agree. We do agree that mistakes were made.

If we relate a tale of a composting head installation that failed (I believe the percentage is greater than conventional systems) due to some error, we are told, "well that was all their fault."

Just comical.
__________________
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by pdqaltair; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:24 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Reston, VA
Posts: 37
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
datswite is on a distinguished road
Re: Holding Tank Woes

I've no complaints about the design. However, I do think that a non-mechanical sensor is better. Given the age of the system, I'm sure what I currently have was common technology at the time of installation.
__________________
1981 Morgan 382, Hull #257 - Cobb Island, MD
Our Cruising Blog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
Multihullgirl's Avatar
don't like leanin'
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: gulf coast MS
Posts: 521
Thanks: 137
Thanked 41 Times in 38 Posts
Rep Power: 4
Multihullgirl is on a distinguished road
Re: Holding Tank Woes

pdqaltair,

it's always amazing to me that people like you, who know so very much, only expound your knowledge on Internet fora, rather than being published in peer-reviewed publications, or other publications which pay for such knowledge.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Holding tank Beach bum Gear & Maintenance 2 01-06-2014 09:37 AM
Convert existing steel freshwater tank to blackwater holding tank? patrickstickler General Discussion (sailing related) 7 09-24-2010 07:55 PM
Other Yanmar 3 GM woes & fue4l tank saltypat Gear & Maintenance 2 04-07-2008 09:42 AM
Diesel Fuel Tank Woes...or Bonehead mistake of the season rperret Gear & Maintenance 9 10-07-2007 09:32 PM
fuel tank woes almostbroke Gear & Maintenance 2 12-08-2004 07:10 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:18 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.