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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #31  
Old 03-30-2007
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Thanks for the input.

When I tried plunging the bowl, the water was pushed into the holding tank (therefore no clog existed). So I examined the hand pump more closely and discoverd the seal has cracked, which makes me think that I wasn't getting enough vacuum. I've ordered replacement parts for the pump and hopefully that will work.

Thanks for all the help
I'm new to the forum, but this seems like a great place to get your questions answered.
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Old 03-30-2007
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Old 03-30-2007
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  #35  
Old 03-30-2007
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Mineral deposits in the hose are a real problem, the hose opening gradually gets smaller and smaller til nothing goes out. Vinegar is good, but a little on the costly side. I like Muriatic acid which is watered down hydrogen chloride. I water it down even more and pump til the entire system is filled. You'll see the reaction with the calcium in the mineral, let set overnight then flush with clean water. I've used this method for over 20 yrs and never had a problem with hoses or fittings.
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Old 03-30-2007
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Ian - I know you said 'no problems with hoses or fittings', but I should point out that Hydrochloric acid (even diluted) can corrode even stainless steel. It is great for mineral deposits, and i don't think many head systems have metal exposed to the 'brown water', just be careful about spills. Vinegar is also acidic enough (barely) to work on most mineral deposits, and a lot gentler on metal. (OK, OK you're right, HCl makes things sparkle, just please make sure there's no loose fittings letting it trickle into your bilge....)

Also about the 'brown TP', (sorry but lunch is over) my cruising instructor gave us each a ziploc....
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While we're on the subject, who makes the best head ? Manual or electric ?
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Blake-Lavac makes the best marine toilets in the world. Low maintenace (actually no maintenance), ease of use and very effective flushing with no clogging. We have two onboard - since 2 heads are better.

Downside - initial cost of the units and parts, if ever needed, are expensive due to limited distribution from GB.
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I'll second the Lavac recommendation. My wife didn't endorse buying the new boat until she saw it. Then she started taking off her jeans so she could flush them down it.

(The preceding joke might be a little "inside" unless you own a Lavac...)
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The problem may not be the head. It may well be the holding tank. My experience: I had my new to me Catalina 27 for only a few weeks and the head acted up. I could draw water in but the I had difficulty pumping it out. Seemed like back pressure was hold the water in the bowl. Though it had only been a couple of weeks since the last time, I thought it might be the that I needed to empty the holding tank again.

To empty the tank on the 27 I had to access the pump out connectiom located in the bottom of the anchor locker in the bow. I had tied the anchor locker hatch to the life line to keep it open and was on my knees unscrewing the cap on the pump out connectiom when a gusher (of you know what) soiled me from the wast up. I yelled to my friend who was helping me at the pump out station to hose me down NOW. He was laughing so hard he nearly fell into the water.

This is a story we laguh about now, but at the time, it was anything but funny - to me.

Oh, what hapened??? The holding tank vent was plugged. With the vent plugged, waste pumped into the tank was compressing the air inside that released when I oppened the pump out connection.

Check the holding tank vent.
Duke
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