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Old 06-06-2007
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Holding tank pump-out question

I recently purchased a J/30 which is my first boat with a proper head. My marina has a pump-out station that is self-serve and I'm not sure what the process is. Here are my questions:

1) Does one generally have to open some sort of vent before pumping out the holding tank? I followed all the hoses around and I dont see any kind of vent. It stands to reason that once you start pumping out the tank, air needs to come from somewhere to take the liquid's place. Does the air just get pulled in through the head itself or am I just missing the vent? The system does not have a macerator or any other means to dump overboard.

2) I've read that some pump-out deck fittings require adapters to be rigged to fit the pump-out hose of the marina. Looking at the nozzle on the end of my marina's hose and my deck fitting it seems like the tapered nozzle will just fit right into the hole, forming a seal - am I missing anything here?

Appreciate the help!

thanks - djm
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Old 06-06-2007
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Your first question - All holding tanks that I know of have a vent. If the vent gets plugged, you have issues. The vent works both ways - letting air out when the head is being used and letting air in during a pumpout. Look for any hose coming out of the top of the tank (or really close to the top) and trace it.

The second question - The adapter is a device which screws into your boat and then allows the hose of the pump-out machine (Why does Sherman yelling "hey Mr. Peabody!" come to mind) to attach securely using a quick connect method. If the adapter doesn't screw in, I don't think you'll get a good connection for the pumpout.
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Old 06-06-2007
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Some older pumpout facilities use a tapered fitting that just fits into the deck pumpout fitting. It is easy to make a serious mess with one of these... hopefully, your marina has one of the newer ones with the screw-on adapters.

The air is drawn in through the holding tank vent and eventually the head bowl.

I would also recommend that you fill the head bowl with water when you are about to pumpout. The pumpout will drain the water from the head bowl and essentially rinse the hoses and the holding tank a bit. Also, leaving the bowl full of water will allow you to tell when the pumpout has emptied the tank, if it doesn't have a clear section to view the pumpout progress.
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Old 06-07-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Some older pumpout facilities use a tapered fitting that just fits into the deck pumpout fitting. It is easy to make a serious mess with one of these....
You better believe it! I found out the hard way this spring.
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Old 06-07-2007
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Old 06-07-2007
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I have noticed that all boats have to have holding tanks. But here in the Gulf the boats do. But to find a pumpout station is like looking for that proverbial needle in the haystack. The law don't make the Dock owners install pumpout stations. In fact the CFRs are very one sided on this.

CFR = Code of Federal Regulations
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Old 06-07-2007
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That bugs me as well Boasun. Seems if the Feds want you to have a holding tank, and come down on you if you're Y valve (if you have one) is properly locked off, there should be more done about making pump-out stations available.

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Old 06-07-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun
I have noticed that all boats have to have holding tanks. But here in the Gulf the boats do. But to find a pumpout station is like looking for that proverbial needle in the haystack. The law don't make the Dock owners install pumpout stations. In fact the CFRs are very one sided on this.

CFR = Code of Federal Regulations
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not all boats have to have a holding tank, only those with marine sanitation devices (toilets). numerous small craft are out there with portapotties and buckets or a comfortable rail and they are all in full compliance with cfrs. i also have a friend with a custom 38' ketch who has never installed a head. he cruises with a bucket an an attitude. both legal.
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Yeah, I had an explosive situation with a non-threaded fitting, while emptying the boat for the first time (from the PO, who apparently hadn't emptied the tank since Reagan was in office.

Yuck. And then some.

My suggestion: push down, firmly, while you open the valve on the hose. Then, at the end, shut the valve, and break the seal gently, by leaning the hose in 1° increments, until the seal break.s

Have a rag handy.

Pray, also.
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