Join Date: Oct 2009
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Holding tank overflow into bilge?
A week or so back I motored my Hunter 28.5 over to the head holding tank pump-out station because I figured with a capacity of just 12 gallons it had to be pretty close to full. The guy operating the pump said nothing came through the hose, so the tank must be empty. I knew this wasn't possible, so today I decided to make sure the tank was full by pumping it full. Big mistake. My boat has an electric toilet, and my plan was to pump water through the commode into the tank until it backed up into the toilet bowl, then take it back to the pump-out station. The tank NEVER filled, but every time I stopped pumping water into it I could hear water running under the deck. THEN I heard the bilge pump kick in! For the next 10 minutes, a stream of blue water spewed out of my boat into my (and surrounding) slips. Luckily, it was rather chilly here, so no one noticed (I hope). I immediately motored back to the pump-out station, only to be greeted with a sign saying that the marina office was closed on Monday and Tuesday, and power to the pump had been shut off. I puttered about in the cove until I was certain the bilge was empty, then back to the slip. There was still a half-inch or so of the foul blue stuff in the bilge which had to be scooped and sponged out. By hand. My question is: Is it normal for an overfilled holding tank to discharge into the bilge? I'm not talking about the engine bilge, but the small bilge under the salon deck. I noticed there is a small (3/4" dia.) flexible tube that goes into that bilge, but don't know where it originates. Any help would be appreciated.