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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 11-13-2007
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If there were something bad stuck in there, the macerator would not even turn.

The point of checking for open/blocked seacock is well taken.
If I were you, I would pump out the tank, fill it with water, pump out again, until its clear.

Then try the macerator again. Be careful not to burn out the motor.
If you have perform surgery, do it step by step with buckets to catch any bad stuff.
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  #12  
Old 11-13-2007
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If the tank is full and the vent line is plugged You could be pressurizing the tank. are you getting any thing out of the vent?
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  #13  
Old 11-13-2007
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Make sure your vent is breathing before doing that. If it is clogged and you cannot replace the black water with air, it will draw a hard vacuum and you might experience the same problem.

RE the water hose, if it fills the tank faster than air can escape, you could blow off the tank (air vent hose) and you do not know stink until that thing even slightly leaks in your boat. Don't ask me how I know. It is a bear to replace on most boats... so be careful.

Sounds like something has clogged it from the info given. Maybe just the pump has gone out?? Here is what I would do.

1) I would start with a pumpout. That will get you out of your immediate mess. If it will not pumpout, the vent might be the culprit. You could find out by opening the T-hull and see if it suddenly starts pulling a vacuum.

2) If that works, flush many times with water and keep pumping it out. Pour a good waste break down product of your choice in there... maybe a little strong. See if it clears it up after a week or so and a couple more pump outs.

3) You might also try doing a pumpout with the Thull at the macerator open and the Thull for the head closed. See if you can pull a vacuum through the water. Better than a water hose and easier if it works. If you put something over the Vent hull it might force water backwards through the macerator. You run the risk of something breaking off doing this... but if it were me, I might try. I have seen this work on a Hunter once.

4) If not, plan on getting dirty. Get the wife a hotel room. Get some long yellow gloves and lots of clorox.

Removing the macerator is really not that hard on many boats (at least the ones I have seen) and not as bad as it sounds. It will turn out better than you think. It will stink though, so make sure you have really pumped her out a lot and dumped in a nice deoderizers before tackling. Make sure you put lots of towels (that you will subsequently throw away) under the hoses and macerator. For some reason I cannot explain, even a drop of black water takes forever for the smell to go away.

Hope that helps. That is what I would do and just my opinions.

Good luck,

- CD
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  #14  
Old 11-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoffaLives View Post
Are you kidding? People might think I'm a whiner, but without resorting to hyperbole, I don't think we have gone longer than a week without something major going wrong. Most of the time I just have at 'er and keep my mouth shut.

I've never heard of anything like this, and while I'm not superstitious, it's like there's a curse aboard. Seriously. I'm a rational dude, but I don't know how to explain the continuous series of disasters/near disasters/problems that have followed us onto this boat. It's not like I haven't owned boats before and I know the work they require, but for every day I fix something, tomorrow two more things will go wrong.

I've never experienced anything like this. We all go through unlucky patches but this one has lasted 4.5 months, thousands of dollars and I'm running out of money and stamina. Since last Friday my power cord gave it up, my NEW depth sounder gave up the ghost, my internet connection no longer works, and my plumbing discharge system is plugged (just as the holding tank filled).

People laugh and I try laughing with 'em but it's damned hard.
Anyway, you brought it up. Just had to get that off my chest.
Hey Hoffa, What kind of boat do you have ? (So the rest of us can avoid that make!!) Just kidding. Take heart, the luck is bound to change.

I'm a little sketchy on where you do your sailing, thought it was the PacNW or BC. Are you ever sailing in waters where it is legal to discharge your holding tank? I never get to use our macerator pump because we're in Chesapeake Bay. It must be convenient not having to visit the pump-out facility...
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  #15  
Old 11-13-2007
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Geez Hoffa, not again! Did you change her name when you bought her?
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  #16  
Old 11-13-2007
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I checked and there isn't any vacuum or pressure in the system.

Pumpout is the first thing to do, and since the force 10 winds are now gone I can at least leave the dock. I will try the backflushing through the macerator by opening the thru hull to see if that unplugs the line. I've got a respirator so if worse comes to worse I'll cut off the hose (impossible to pull off that thick white tubing) and shove a dowel down the pips and unjam it and suck it out with another pumpout.
Ten to one it gets uglier before it gets better.

I sail in BC, but the regs here are a joke, with no enforcement. The harbour is a ND zone and I'm surrounded by a dozen or more liveaboard boats that never leave the dock. Even if we were hooked up to city sewer, they just dump it untreated into Juan deFuca Straight anyway.

Last edited by HoffaLives; 11-13-2007 at 05:55 PM.
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  #17  
Old 11-13-2007
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Maybe she's haunted !

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  #18  
Old 11-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBowman View Post
Hoffa,
I had the same issue with a mascerator as you currently have with identical symptoms. I was a failed mascerator pump, not a cloged pump. I changed the pump and all was well again.
If that's the case then I'm moving off this @#$% boat. I just put that pump in this spring, and it's been used maybe twenty times...
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  #19  
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I feel your pain

Sucked a good 3 quarts of effluent out of our bowl with a turkey baster (don't accept any Thanksgiving invites from me) last month. That was fun. It's about a 10 foot run from our head to our holding tank and the stinkin' stuff kept backing into the bowl.
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Old 11-13-2007
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That's one reason I recommend keeping runs in the head system as short as possible. I doubt that any hose in mine is over two feet long.
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