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DLM 12-04-2007 12:05 PM

Holding tank
I purchased a Pearson 34 it has a flexible holding tank. The y valve handle was broken (unnoticed) so I could never turn the handle. Finally, broke down and replaced it....well, now, when I turn the valve handle...wallaa....water pours into the holding tank....... the system does not have a macerator...

Anyone have an idea why something would be plumbed that way???

Not sure I want the darn holding tank anyhow.


Cruisingdad 12-04-2007 12:14 PM


Welcome aboard.

Many of the older boats did not have a macerator. Some were plumbed so you could manually pump out (often using the same manual pump on the bilge with a Y valve in it) or by going to a pumpout station.

I am not sure what waters you frequent, but with few exceptions that come to mind, you will either have to pump out via a station or go 3 miles offshore. Directly dumping into an anchorage is pretty much a no-no. Pumping out is a heated topic on this board, and for good reason. I will say that though I agree with many posters that finding a pumout facility can be a real pain, doing it is easy.

- CD

sailingdog 12-04-2007 12:45 PM

Also, depending on where you sail, the pumpout facilities may be free or may cost up to $30 or so per use. Down where I am, the local harbormaster has a pumpout boat that comes right to my slip and empties the tank for free. :D

HoffaLives 12-04-2007 12:54 PM

it warms my heart to read another having problems with the poo pot. you're in mediocre but eager hands here at sailnet, and we'll try and help.
as for water rushing in were poo fears to tread, you are missing an antisiphon loop. basically a loop of hose coming from the tank outlet that has it's apogee above the waterline and has an antisiphon fitting on it. i would also reconsider the flexible tank unless it's very small; they do not have great longevity from i've heard, and a ruptured septic tank aboard is as bad as it gets.

sailingdog 12-04-2007 01:28 PM

Hoffa is just looking for company on **** creek. :)

DLM 12-04-2007 01:37 PM

Not sure what I'm going to do with this situation. I think it was installed improperly to start with as the line that allows water to flow into the holding tank comes directly out of the bottom of the boat...there is a shutoff valve...tracing the other lines is next to impossible. They go behind a bulkhead that from what I'm able to inaccessible.

I don't like the flexible tank either...however, there is very little room for a rigid tank...?

Thanks for the input....

sailingdog 12-04-2007 01:49 PM

I am guessing that your holding tank is below the water line. UGH. The guy who installed it without an anti-siphon valve should be shot.

HoffaLives 12-04-2007 04:54 PM

yeah, not least because working on a used sewage system is far worse than a new one. it might be best to step back, assume that you are starting from nothing, and design a proper system. you can get tanks custom made to fit strange places, or find a premade model of the correct dimensions. there are even all-in-one units that include all the fittings and a macerator, but you'll be pumping out a lot as they are pretty small.
the other option, and I wanted to do this but my head (as in toilet) was too small, and that is to use one of the new marine composting toilets. apparently they work quite well.

dougyoung 12-04-2007 05:07 PM

If you can fit it, Install a macerator to pump the tank. Best thing I ever did. I have a electric head that pumps directly inot the tank, then I can use the pump to empty the tank at sea or use the pump out station via a y valve. Include the loop and you will be happy

DLM 12-05-2007 11:22 AM

I've thought about "starting over" including a macerator..... I'm not so sure the flexible tank would hold back the smell very well....also, realize that the hoses are part of that problem too. Macerator would greatly for pumping out where allowed....

Thanks guys....

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