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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-30-2007
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head problems

I've got some funk growing in my head, and I don't know exactly what to do about it. Although I try to keep the kids from parking their lunkers aboard, they just think it's the cutest little toilet they've ever seen and can't help themselvs. It's a Wilcox Head-Mate, and I think some "matter" may be stuck in there somewhere. The tank is clean. Should I start taking the toilet apart? I don't look forward to slopping around in my kids' dung, but I've got to fix the problem before my wife smells it. Very sensitive nose. Any smell whatsoever, and she's not sailing. Appreciate any and all input.
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Old 08-30-2007
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I would pick up a gallon of vinegar and start with that before taking anything apart.
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What water are you flushing with?

Are you sure that it is material clogging/smelling, or is it just an unpleasant odor? I found out the hard way, that much of the unpleasant odors emanating from the head come from the microcritters that live in the water that we flush with from the bay/ocean/lake. They get trapped in the pipes/tubes/crevices and die there. After awhile they stink up the whole place.
With my new boat, I flush with only fresh water and have NEVER had a problem. The head smells fresh after 18 months of use, according to the Commodore
As for the source of fresh water? I installed a 13 gal flexble tank under the head sink, plumbed it to the head. I fill the tank when needed via a small garden hose connection at the dock.

Just my $.02

Best of luck.
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Another source of stench is the hoses... if you take a few hand towels and soak then in really hot water and wrap them around the hoses, and then take them off when they've cooled down a bit.. and sniff... any that smell nasty indicate that the hose they came from has been permeated by sewage and is probably a likely source of smell, and in need of replacement.

Sealand's OdorSafe hose is generally recommended as the best hose to use for a head's sewage lines.

Originally, I thought this should be in the off-topic thread... since it was SailHog asking about head problems... but it isn't a psychological thread this time around...
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Old 08-30-2007
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sailhog,
In line with what sailmed recommended, we typically flush the head with the adjacent handheld shower fitting, instead of seawater - makes a difference in head odors.

Our Lavac heads use a vacuum for flushing, but only after the gasketed bowl lid is lowered. By pumping the flush lever with the lid up, the fresh water and other stuff you deposited, is emptied without being replaced by seawater. Don't know if this applies to your Wilcox head though.

PS, also helps to have a 140 gallon fresh water tank (g)
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TB-

The head on my boat is plumbed so that the head sink can be used to flush it—fill the sink with water, and then flush..

You can dry the bowl in much the same manner you describe by flipping the lever on the HeadMate to the dry bowl position, where it will just evacuate the bowl with out pumping more water into it.
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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.

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It really does make a difference - as you probably have already found out SD. This is mostly due to eliminating the chemical reaction resulting from mixing uric acid with seawater.
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Appreciate you guys taking the time...

Is there any chance that some material went toward the Y valve and the rest toward the holding tank? Ninety-nine percent of the time it's just wiz that's in the toilet, and so I send it out the Y-valve. Otherwise it goes in the tank.
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Old 08-30-2007
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1% solid fecal matter would still stink - regardless of where it's stuck.
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That's right Hog, blame it on the little darlings.
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