sewage backs up into head when boat heeled - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 23 Old 07-13-2010
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Originally Posted by ajf10 View Post
I am also concerned ... since the toilet doesn't seem to pump water through very well as it is.
I hope you do have a vent for the tank itself and that it's not clogged, otherwise the tank will be pressurized by the act of flushing the toilet. This could cause all the symptoms you've cited, with the heeling being a red herring. But if the toilet isn't pumping properly and it's not caused by a vent issue, then a rebuild or replacment is called for.
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post #12 of 23 Old 07-13-2010
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Is the only solution to install a vented loop between the holding tank and head? Or, is replacing the joker valve enough to prevent backflow?


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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Yes.

Nope, not the ONLY solution. It may be the easiest remedy in this case. However, IF the tank's inlet fitting is located properly (i.e., on or near the tank's centerline), the tank vent will break the siphon (unless the tank is almost full; low, flattish, waste tanks being more problematic in this case). Also, a simple loop in the toilet-to-tank hose, with its "apex" as high as possible above both the toilet and tank, will stop the siphon from developing in the first place as long as you pump the toilet empty (i.e., fill the hose with air; something you should do with or without a vented loop) after each use.
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post #13 of 23 Old 07-13-2010
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I hope you do have a vent for the tank itself and that it's not clogged, otherwise the tank will be pressurized by the act of flushing the toilet. This could cause all the symptoms you've cited, with the heeling being a red herring. But if the toilet isn't pumping properly and it's not caused by a vent issue, then a rebuild or replacment is called for.

Joel could be right (giving you the straight poop? sorry, couldn't help it). But, as I alluded to above, it could also be that you're leaving the toilet-to-tank line full after each use. A five-foot length of 1.5 inch hose holds about half a gallon. If you don't pump the hose full of air, the only thing keeping the contents of the hose out of the toilet bowl is the Joker Valve (an untrustworthy item, if ever there was one).
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post #14 of 23 Old 07-13-2010
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Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
Nope, not the ONLY solution. It may be the easiest remedy in this case. However, IF the tank's inlet fitting is located properly (i.e., on or near the tank's centerline), the tank vent will break the siphon (unless the tank is almost full; low, flattish, waste tanks being more problematic in this case).
The tank vent will only help the siphoning event to flow better.


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Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
Also, a simple loop in the toilet-to-tank hose, with its "apex" as high as possible above both the toilet and tank, will stop the siphon from developing in the first place as long as you pump the toilet empty (i.e., fill the hose with air; something you should do with or without a vented loop) after each use.

Sorry but pumping dry won't and rarely clears the entire line when using the "dry" mode. Been the recipient of the remaining fluid on numerous hose changes on all types of marine heads.

I have seen MANY instances where siphons overcame a simple high loop especially when heeling. Unless your head is located above the holding tank on all points of sail there really should be a siphon break in this line.

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-13-2010 at 04:51 PM.
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post #15 of 23 Old 07-13-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
The tank vent will only help the siphoning event to flow better.
ONLY if the inlet fitting is submerged, which can ONLY happen if the fitting isn't on the centerline of the tank AND the tank is almost full.


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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Sorry but pumping dry won't and rarely clears the entire line when using the "dry" mode. Been the recipient of the remaining fluid on numerous hose changes on all types of marine heads.
True, but as I said, the remainder will potentially leak past a bad Joker Valve with or without a vented loop. If the tank's inlet is not submerged (which can only happen with a full tank that has the inlet fitting improperly positioned) a siphon cannot develop (unless you've invented a new Physics that you're keeping to yourself).

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I have seen MANY instances where siphons overcame a simple high loop especially when heeling. Unless your head is located above the holding tank on all points of sail there really should be a siphon break in this line.
I will grant you that there are many head tanks with fittings improperly placed. But, that doesn't contradict what I said above.
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post #16 of 23 Old 07-13-2010 Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies. I do have a rebuild kit for the toilet, I just have not gotten around to installing it, will do soon.

The holding tank is vented to the outside of the boat. The tank inlet is unfortunately located on the starboard side of the tank, this is how ronco plastics suggested it be fitted, so it is what it is. I will install a vented loop in the discharge line.

If the vented loop has a valve and does not connect to the outside of the boat, will the valve prevent the loop from discharging foul odors into the boat?

Soggy 1975 Catalina 27 #2056
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post #17 of 23 Old 07-13-2010
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The valve is designed to normally stay closed until a vacuum is created inside the hose by liquids trying to siphon... then it opens and breaks the siphon effect....and closes again. So, if it is working properly, it will not vent odorous gases into the cabin.

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Thank you for the replies. I do have a rebuild kit for the toilet, I just have not gotten around to installing it, will do soon.

The holding tank is vented to the outside of the boat. The tank inlet is unfortunately located on the starboard side of the tank, this is how ronco plastics suggested it be fitted, so it is what it is. I will install a vented loop in the discharge line.

If the vented loop has a valve and does not connect to the outside of the boat, will the valve prevent the loop from discharging foul odors into the boat?

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post #18 of 23 Old 07-16-2010
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I'm currently having the same problem as the original poster. I have a Jabsco toilet. I called Jabsco and talked to their "expert". He said it was the Joker valve. Here is his advice:

The most common is mineral build affecting the gaskets. Both urine and salt water contain high concentrations of calcium. When you stop flushing or allow the lines to dry out, calcium can build up over time and cause the seals to no longer line up properly to stop the backflow. This issue can be rectified by purchasing a gallon of white vinegar from your local market, pouring the vinegar into the bowl and pumping it on the dry bowl setting. Allow the vinegar to sit for 24 hour and rinse clean with fresh water. The vinegar should dissolve any mineral buildup that may have occurred.

I plan to try this first, then clean the valve, then replace it. Until recently, I had no problem so I can't see installing a vent (although I realize that would also prevent the problem).
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post #19 of 23 Old 07-16-2010
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When I saw the lead I guessed Catalina 27. I have had the same issue, replaced the "joker" valve and have not had an issue. Old valve simply did not seal any more, regardless of backflow pressure.
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post #20 of 23 Old 07-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harbin2 View Post
I'm currently having the same problem as the original poster. I have a Jabsco toilet. I called Jabsco and talked to their "expert". He said it was the Joker valve. Here is his advice:

The most common is mineral build affecting the gaskets. Both urine and salt water contain high concentrations of calcium. When you stop flushing or allow the lines to dry out, calcium can build up over time and cause the seals to no longer line up properly to stop the backflow. This issue can be rectified by purchasing a gallon of white vinegar from your local market, pouring the vinegar into the bowl and pumping it on the dry bowl setting. Allow the vinegar to sit for 24 hour and rinse clean with fresh water. The vinegar should dissolve any mineral buildup that may have occurred.

I plan to try this first, then clean the valve, then replace it. Until recently, I had no problem so I can't see installing a vent (although I realize that would also prevent the problem).
I'd point out that the Jabsco brand heads are generally poorly regarded and often considered disposable. If you have to re-build a Jabsco head, my recommendation would be to REPLACE IT with something like a Raritan PHII or PHC head. This can be done fairly economically by getting a Raritan PHII/PHC LBA kit and re-using the bowl from your existing head--and will result in you having a much more reliable and lower maintenance head.

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