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Old 06-10-2007
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convert to fresh water head

We have a Catalina 36. The manual head uses salt water. The head is located right next to the sink with fresh water. I would like to have our head use fresh water instead of salt water. How can I make this change?
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Put a diverter valve in the output from the head sink drain, and plumb it into the input on the head pump. You can use either a t-fitting, and continue to retain the ability to use salt water to flush, or connect it directly.

I recommend using the t-fitting, since on a longer cruise, it would make sense to flush using seawater in order to conserve your fresh water supply. By turning the diverter valve, it will allow you to flush the head by filling the sink with water. You can fill the sink with anti-freeze and use it to winterize the head, or you can fill it with vinegar to clean the head and help de-mineralize the waste lines once in a while.
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BTW, I already answered this in this thread.
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How about putting the boat on an inland lake?

Sorry.. I couldn't resist.. I was asking myself the same question as you (converting to fresh water) when I all of a sudden remembered that my boat is now located on Lake Champlain Voila!
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Or an even simpler way is to keep a quart container in the head and fill it with fresh water and dump into the head when you want to flush. I have an advantage in my P-33-2 in that the head is aft and the sink is very close to the ice box. As the ice melts, there's a hand pump in the head sink to empty the water out of the ice box. So, when using the head, I either pump water from the ice box into the container to pour in the head, or I use the pressure water system (the faucett in the head is one of those telephone jobs) and pour the fresh water in that way. Keeping the Ches Bay water out of the holding tank goes a long way to hold down odors.
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Can you just tell us why you would want to do this?
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Makes cleaning or winterizing the head easier.

Reduces the smell caused by the head—as much of the odor in a head system is caused by small marine life, like plankton, rotting in the water used to flush the head.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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