Replacing "bladder" in the head? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Replacing "bladder" in the head?

Possibly a stupid question, but the previous owner replaced the head's holding tank with a "Vetus" bladder of sorts.

What on earth is the procedure/policy for removing and discarding? Or can this system be pumped out? NY does not allow overboard discharge (thank god).

Seems like it will be a nasty job as there is no apparent built in cap or closure. The local "West Marine" does not carry a replacement either.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-19-2011
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I find it unlikely in the extreme that there is not a means for pumping out the bladder shore-side. The nature of the holding tank container is irrelevant to the function of the system. You can: (A) Trace down the system and/or, (B) contact the former owner for instruction. It would be wise to do both.

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks. Marina just confirmed that there is a pump-out boat (free due to DEC/DEP grants) that will come to the mooring. Pump-out guy thinks it will work the same as if it were a holding tank. Learn somethin new everyday!
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hackettsan View Post
Thanks. Marina just confirmed that there is a pump-out boat (free due to DEC/DEP grants) that will come to the mooring. Pump-out guy thinks it will work the same as if it were a holding tank. Learn somethin new everyday!
Vetus makes bladder tanks for specific uses including holding tanks. The advantage of the bladder is that it will conform to irregular spaces and works well so long as its properly secured and protected from chafe. We have had a 35 gal Vetus bladder-type holding tank aboard our boat for 10+ years with no difficulties and no odors. Once the tank is emptied, we drop a few table-spoons full of dry enzyme treatment into the head and pump it over to the tank. That breaks down the waste material and prevents odor development. To ensure there is no odors around the tank, I drape a couple of lengths of ladies shear stockings filled with activated charcoal--available from Aquarium Supply sores--around the hoses which does an excellant job of absorbing any odors that might occur. (We change these annually at the start of each season).

FWIW...

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post #5 of 12 Old 10-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks again. Will try the charcoal thin next season for sure.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-20-2011
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My boat had a 9 gallon Vetus bladder holding tank. What I didn't like was that when they pumped out it never emptied very well because the pump out hose port would suck down against the bottom of the tank and stop the flow. It seemed like it needed something inside the tank to keep that from happening. When I replaced it I first had them pump it out. Then a got a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a lid and a short piece of clear 3/4" PVC hose. I punched a hole in the lid that fit tightly around the 3/4" PVC hose. Then I punched a second hole for the vacuum hose from my shop vac. I then used the 3/4" hose to vacuum all of the remaining contents into the 5 gallon bucket. Do NOT vacuum directly into your shop vac! Don't ask how I know.

Gary H. Lucas
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-20-2011
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One can also pump out and then add clean water to head rinsing out bladder then pump out a second time.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-21-2011
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My last two boats (both Cals) came from the factory with bladder holding tanks. I replaced the one on my previous boat with a rigid plastic tank after repeated problems. The one on my current boat seems to be working OK. The vents on bladder tanks seem to be particularly prone to getting plugged.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-21-2011
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The Vetus bladder will work the same as a holding tank--if the PO bought the right bladder and plumbed it properly. Never underestimate what the PO might have done, right or wrong.

Check to make sure there is nothing that will chafe or puncture the bladder, add some Tyvek or outdoor carpeting, etc. if there are sections that regularly rub against raw fiberglass, and the bladder will stay intact.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
The Vetus bladder will work the same as a holding tank--if the PO bought the right bladder and plumbed it properly. Never underestimate what the PO might have done, right or wrong.

Check to make sure there is nothing that will chafe or puncture the bladder, add some Tyvek or outdoor carpeting, etc. if there are sections that regularly rub against raw fiberglass, and the bladder will stay intact.
Amen!

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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bladder , head , holding tank , vetus

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