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  #1  
Old 03-06-2009
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Plumbing sink drain to head intake

Having done some research, I'm convinced of the benefits of plumbing my head sink drain to my head intake, allowing me to flush using fresh water and avoid the stink of dying sea critters, etc. I don't think I'm missing anything here (pretty straightforward), but the below diagram is how I'll be proceeding. My only question is whether I need another diverter valve where the sink drain Ts into the head intake line -- don't think so, but am putting it out there.

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Last edited by CLucas; 03-06-2009 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Updated image
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Old 03-06-2009
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Clucas—

The simplest way to do this is to eliminate the sink drain seacock and diverter valve at the sink. There's no reason you can't drain the sink through the head intake seacock. If you want to flush the sink using fresh water from the head, just close the seacock. This is actually the method suggested by Peggie Hall, diva of marine heads and plumbing.

That said, what you've drawn is basically how my head sink is setup, excep there's no seacock on the sink drain, since it drains above the waterline, by about two feet, and there's little risk of heeling to submerse it on a trimaran.
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Old 03-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Clucas—

The simplest way to do this is to eliminate the sink drain seacock and diverter valve at the sink. There's no reason you can't drain the sink through the head intake seacock. If you want to flush the sink using fresh water from the head, just close the seacock. This is actually the method suggested by Peggie Hall, diva of marine heads and plumbing.
I think you responded within about 90 seconds -- make that 60...

Your suggestion (and Peggie's) is even simpler, except that...
a) the head intake seacock is under the vberth and access requires either lifting cushions and an access panel or pulling out a drawer and reaching a long way (if it's even reachable). I've updated the image to indicate the forward bulkhead between the head sink and head intake. As it is in the diagram, I can leave the head intake seacock closed (so long I want to flush using fresh water). I routinely close all my seacocks (except cockpit drains) when we leave the boat.

b) Removing the sink drain seacock turns this into a much bigger project if I wanted to remove the thru-hull. I suppose I could just cap off the seacock... Ironically, I actually just replaced it last year -- completely seized (open!) and badly corroded.
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Last edited by CLucas; 03-06-2009 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 03-06-2009
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I did essentially what you are considering on my previous C28 and C320. I basically made the plumbing into an H with the left vertical being the salt water to head, and the right vertical being the sink drain to outlet. I added the horizontal line being the tee'd connection between the existing lines with an On/Off valve in the middle of the horizontal line of the H.
Now on my Nauticat even though I have a separate shower stall and faucet I also have a (second) hand-held shower type faucet at the sink which is right next to the head bowl. Now I just use that hand-held to add, and more importantly Pressure Spray, the exact amount of water I need to clean things up. My point is if you have a shower head fixture, as many boats do, within reach of your head bowl I have found that to work much better than simply to have it flooded with fresh water.
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In that case, carry on... should work just fine... it does on my boat. Makes winterizing the head a cinch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLucas View Post
I think you responded within about 90 seconds -- make that 60...

Your suggestion (and Peggie's) is even simpler, except that...
a) the head intake seacock is under the vberth and access requires either lifting cushions and an access panel or pulling out a drawer and reaching a long way (if it's even reachable). I've updated the image to indicate the forward bulkhead between the head sink and head intake. As it is in the diagram, I can leave the head intake seacock closed (so long I want to flush using fresh water). I routinely close all my seacocks (except cockpit drains) when we leave the boat.

b) Removing the sink drain seacock turns this into a much bigger project if I wanted to remove the thru-hull. I suppose I could just cap off the seacock... Ironically, I actually just replaced it last year -- completely seized (open!) and badly corroded.
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Old 03-07-2009
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sink drain/ head inlet one seacock?

Whoa. Glad I checked out this topic.
Im getting ready to redo my seacocks and found the suggestions here that there is no reason that I cant tee into the head inlet line (below waterline) and use that for the head sink drain too (also below waterline). Hardly ever use the sink anyway. Right now I have two seacocks right next to each other. Always seemed kind of excessive. I would love to glass over one of them. Less seacocks = less maintainence and worry.
Am I overlooking anything even if I dont intend to use the sink drain for flushing the head. Can I do it, please say yes again as I believe I heard you in this post. And where do I get a link to the Diva of head plumbing, Peggy?
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Yes, you can scosch... But you'll find that the head stinks a lot less if you flush it with clean fresh water if you have to leave the boat for an extended period of time. Often, the head smell isn't caused by the waste or hoses, but by the salt water critters being in the hoses and dying and decomposing there.
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Old 03-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scosch View Post
...And where do I get a link to the Diva of head plumbing, Peggy?
Peggy Hall, "The Head Mistress" is at The Head Mistress - SailboatOwners.com. As mentioned here, she also has a popular book.
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Old 03-07-2009
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I did something like this in reverse for my head in my Viking 33. Keep in mind I am in Lake Ontario and therefore flush relatively clean fresh water already.

Basically, this boat is cleared out for racing and daysailing. I got rid of the evil old 10 gallon tanks in the galley and the head, and the Whale pumps were half dead anyway. People can wash their hands with "city water" brought aboard in jugs...they just have to soap up in the basin and then rinse with a "gravity bag". No different from camping, really...except the head is in full working order!

Anyway, I "stacked" the drain and the head water intake as follows:

Seacock---short length of double clamped hose---plastic T-fitting to head---short length of double clamped hose---plastic stopcock---short length of double clamped hose to sink drain SS outlet.

Method if you want to flush: Open seacock, close sink stopcock. Pump away.

Method for wash-up: Fill sink, prior or after, wash up, and either let greywater go straight out, or close seacock and pump greywater through the head.

Method for winterizing head, sink, etc. Close seacock, fill sink with pink stuff, open plastic stopcock, pump system. Slosh pink stuff in head bowl, shut 'er down.

I use the same "divert antifreeze from sink" method to winterize my engine and Lavac head on my steel boat using a simple bypass from the drain to the standpipe, which I seal from the outside to make the standpipe into a nice tall reservoir for antifreeze.
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Old 03-07-2009
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This topic comes up occasionally, and at first it seems like such an obvious solution that everyone begins to wonder why all builders don't set-up their systems like this at the factory. But they don't typically do it this way, probably for a variety of reasons.

One issue is that sink drain seacocks/thru-hulls are usually much larger than the head/engine intake sea-cocks. So there could be a concern about constricting the flow, especially if any debris goes down the drain. If that drain/intake gets clogged by sink debris, it could take the toilet partially out of commission.

Also, drain thru-hulls usually are not as far below the waterline as intake thru-hulls. If your head intake thru-hull is a foot or two below the waterline, you could easily end-up with a lot of "standing water" in your sink drain. This may lead to as much or more stink than you are trying to cure by giving the head a fresh water rinse.

One more concerning is healing. If your head intake/sink drain is closer to the centerline of the boat, and the sink is outboard, the sink can easily end-up below the waterline, or even below the intake/drain when the boat is healed. So if you open the thru-hull to flush the toilet, you had better have a way to prevent the water from gravity draining up, into, and out of the sink.

So think it through a bit before taking the plunge. We've had good results with simply adding water to the head (we have the same shower arrangement as Christyleigh, but a cup of water from the sink works almost as well).
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