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c172guy 11-20-2003 07:32 AM

Holding tank question
We need to replace our holding tank as it is too small and stinks. We are considering a head with a built in 9 gallon holding tank that connects to a pumpout. With the ability to manuelly pump overboard.
1. Without hoses it should be simple and stink less.
2. It frees up space in the bow for additional storage. Which is important for a 32'' boat.
3. For daysails it is plenty and we don''t want to leave a half full tank for a week or so.
4. Finally we want to go to the Bahamas and are assuming that there are few if any pump outs so waste would have to go overboard anyway. With me and my wife and the low volume flush we figure 9 gallons is good for a week.
Any comments will be appreciated. I am planning to replace the exisitng system within a few weeks and need to decide.

hamiam 11-21-2003 09:07 AM

Holding tank question
My only commet is this; my head stunk so I replaced all the hoses. did absolutely no good. used every chemical etc. do a search for peggie hall''s writings on how to control boat odors. She is a recognized expert. The short story is that air (oxygen, specifically) is needed in ample quantities to control the odor. Never heard of a boat with a head like the one you describe.

e31 11-21-2003 09:59 AM

Holding tank question
Peggy Hall (aka "the head mistress" @ ) provided invaluable info when I was replacing the holding tank system and hoses on my Ericson 31.

In short, figure on 2 to 3 gallons per person per day, The system needs lots of ventilation to allow areobic bacteria (non-odiferous) to to outnumber the anerobic bacteria (smelly kind). Peggy was also very helpful in providing troubleshotting information as I was debugging my new system and winterizing it for the first time.

Good luck

joeycam 10-05-2006 08:25 PM

Holding Tank Air
I recently read an article in one of the boating magazines about a device that pumps air into the holding tank to promote aerobic bacteria (odorless) and diminish anerobic bacteria (odorific). I thought I could remember the name of the company as I would like to try just such a device but I have forgotten. Has anyone else seen this type of device?

hellosailor 10-05-2006 08:32 PM

Joey, you could easily use any aquarium pump or a 12v "outdoor garden pump" to do that. But you'll probably do just as well if you just rig two vent hoses into the tank, and run them to parts of the boat where there is a differential pressure, i.e. forward and aft, or port and starboard, so the air sucks itself through. If you have good natural ventlation, you don't need anything more.

joeycam 10-06-2006 11:28 AM

Holding Tank Odor
I've thought of the dual vent concept also but my thinking is that it would only really be efficient while moving. When not moving I'm not confident it would work very well and if the pressures reverse due to prevailing breezes I could get an odor out of what was intended as the input which could be objectionable. You mentioned "garden" pumps. Are there garden pond air pumps available at retail? Where would I look for them. I checked at the big box stores and didn't find anything.

hellosailor 10-06-2006 12:01 PM

Joey, the dual vents will work anytime there is air moving. And that means even when there's just a breeze and you're not moving. Getting an odor from the "input" isn't a consideration--neither vent should be where you plan to sniff it.

I know I've seen the 12V air pumps available, no idea where offhand. From everything I've heard, including Peggy Hall "The Head Queen", ex-owner of Peal Products, now part of Raritan, one good vent is all you need, two is already more than enough. There' s no need for air pumps unless you've got a troop of cub scouts with the runs onboard. Using decent size vent lines, keeping them short, making sure the vent screens aren't plugged, is all you should need.

"Aeration Pumps

The easiest and most reliable way to supply a continuous source or oxygen to an aquarium in an emergency situation is to use a portable 12 volt battery operated aeration pump system like the KeepAlive Oxygen Infusors™. On the Bass-Pro Shops site, type the keyword aerators into the "Site Search" box to get a list of these products they have available. You can buy these types of compact live bait well aerators that run on regular or 12 volt batteries at most fishing and sporting good stores or departments."


And: for some of the bait aerators. Remember, they don't have to run 24x7, you just need to "give it a shot of air" once in a while if you want to use a pump.

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