Holding tank overflow into bilge? - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 12-01-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 22
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
countrygent5201 is on a distinguished road
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.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 12-01-2009
n0w0rries's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 239
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 6
n0w0rries is on a distinguished road
Typically you got a holding tank and it's plumbed intake, discharge, vent.

You've got a leak somewhere. Inspect the tank and hoses.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 12-01-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 22
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
countrygent5201 is on a distinguished road
Thanks. I found a diagram of the plumbing system and it shows a hose going from the holding tank into the bilge. I wonder if that could be a vent line -- the 3/4" flex tube I mentioned? Since I was running water in pretty fast, is it possible that I pushed some out through a vent line before it could back up in the toilet bowl?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 12-02-2009
mitiempo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Victoria B.C. Canada
Posts: 7,065
Thanks: 0
Thanked 68 Times in 59 Posts
Rep Power: 7
mitiempo will become famous soon enough mitiempo will become famous soon enough
I`m pretty sure that no boat was designed and built with a holding tank venting into the bilge - we would have heard about it by now. But I would love to see that diagram. The vent should go constantly upwards with no dips to the vent which is usually near the top of the hull. As messy as it will be you should trace all the lines and check every hose clamp while you`re there. Follow them from tank to wherever they go. I am a firm believer than when you get a boat you should explore every hose or wire run and installation to find out where they go and what the previous owner has changed - it pays off in less problems. Besides you`ll be down there cleaning anyway.
__________________
Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 12-02-2009
n0w0rries's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 239
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 6
n0w0rries is on a distinguished road
Your holding tank and fuel tanks should vent outside the hull. If it's not that way, you should fix it!

Whenever you flush the toilet, you push waste water in to the holding tank, and that displaces foul smelling air that goes out the vent line. I wouldn't want that nasty air in my boat.

I also wouldn't fill my holding tank until it overflowed, as bad things can happen. At least you found out now, and not in the middle of a long stay onboard--wondering why your boat smells like an outhouse.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Flexible holding tank installation sarafinadh Gear & Maintenance 29 10-17-2009 07:46 PM
Holding Tanks Tom Wood Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 06-10-1999 08:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:39 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.