New boat. I can't pump out either holding tank - SailNet Community

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  • 2 Post By Gusnyc
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Old 07-03-2013
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New boat. I can't pump out either holding tank

Hello!

I will try to be short to explain the problem, which is very frustrating.

I recently got a Sense 46. The head is Vacuflush/Sailvac (I don't have experience with this system). I did two pump outs, but the third time, it stopped working. The holding tank can't be pumped out. The vent that goes to the hull seems to be clean (but it seems it was designed to exhaust the air, not to take air when you do the pump out). I tried with two pumps. It seems air is not entering the system.

I am 100% sure we used only the fast dissolve toilet paper and I followed all the instructions for the pump out (opening the "ball" in the WC and closing the water valve).

Am I missing something? I will have to cancel a 5 day trip because of this problem.

Any help will be more than welcomed.

THANK YOU!

Gus

Last edited by Gusnyc; 07-03-2013 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: New boat. I can't pump out either holding tank

maybe they are already empty? jus sayin... Or you could try disconnecting the vent. Seems to me the pump out will pull it out of the tank vented or not. Are the pump outs using badly maintained nozzles? One up here is a terrible waste of time when trying to use it.
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Re: New boat. I can't pump out either holding tank

Thanks for your reply Denise. One tank is full, the other one is 3/4 full. I don't trust the indicators that much, but I know because of the time the pump takes to create the vacuum.

The weird thing is that the tanks were emptied with the same nozzles a few weeks ago, and now they are not working. It also happens with both tanks. The sailboats around me are being emptied with the same barge/pumps and they don't have a problem.

I am very frustrated. Everything is under warranty, but it may take more than a week until a technician comes to see the boat. In the meantime, I can't use it.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: New boat. I can't pump out either holding tank

I'd try disconnecting the vent hose from the tank, as Denise suggested. Did you get any docs on the Vacuflush? Any special instructions on pumping out in there?
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Re: New boat. I can't pump out either holding tank

Hi Tom, I did disconnect the vent hose (I forgot to clarify that to Denise). There is a rubber, conical plug that seems to be designed not for air intake, but to release the air (and gas) that the holding tank generates.

I've been checking online, and I found a post that mentions the duckbill valve on the conduit that goes to the deck. Maybe that is clogged? Could that be the reason?
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Re: New boat. I can't pump out either holding tank

could there be a valve you don't know about? or the (if it has one) 3way valve to discharge overboard?
Lots of piping photos here;

The West Advisor: Heads Holding Tanks

With a trip planned I'd find a way.. CUT AND REROUTE!
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Last edited by deniseO30; 07-03-2013 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: New boat. I can't pump out either holding tank

Do you have a direct access port on top of tank?
Usually a big cap screwd to be used when you want to look at things inside tank.

Just open a insert pump nose

A big of smell might vent inside boat but at least tanks will be empty
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Re: New boat. I can't pump out either holding tank

duckbill valves are the same as check valves... could be your problem. gas and air get out but can't get back in
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: New boat. I can't pump out either holding tank

dauber wasps and other insects can make a home in your vent line too.
If it is not a check valve then something is clogging up your holding tank vent.
I've seen a dauber wasp nest in a vent on a sailboat in the Chessy so why not up here in NY?
Tank would not pump until vacuum caused by nest/obstruction was removed. Air needs to replace the former contents of tank for the pump to work.
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Old 07-09-2013
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Re: New boat. I can't pump out either holding tank

Thanks for all the answers. It seems there is a problem with the duckbill valves. They have to be replaced with a new system, that Dometic is providing for free. The system was repaired by a technician, but there is still work to be done.
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