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Old 04-16-2012
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My holding tank is inflating!

I have a 1984 Starwind 27 -- pretty similar to a Catalina 27. The head system seems very normal. A thru-hull feeds seawater to the toilet, which then pumps to a holding tank that has a thru-hull out (which has to be closed) and a hose up to the deck for pump-out. There is also a vent line off the top of the tank to a vent in the anchor locker.

Here's the problem. When I pump the toilet, and the holding tank is closed, it inflates and pressurizes the holding tank to the point that it finally blows air back through seals in the toilet, immediately filling the entire boat with a horrible stench.

I thought the vent line must have been plugged, so I replaced it and cleaned the vent in the anchor locker -- no change.

What am I missing?!!!
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: My holding tank is inflating!

Sounds like you missed the vent blockage... could be at the tank itself rather than the fitting in the anchor locker.. did you remove and clear the hose too?
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: My holding tank is inflating!

I put a new hose on it and cleared the deck vent in the anchor locker, but you're right, I never checked the fixture on the tank. I just slid the old hose off it and the new hose on it. I'll run a pipe cleaner through it and see if there's a clog.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: My holding tank is inflating!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetexas View Post
I put a new hose on it and cleared the deck vent in the anchor locker, but you're right, I never checked the fixture on the tank. I just slid the old hose off it and the new hose on it. I'll run a pipe cleaner through it and see if there's a clog.
Blow through the vent hose--I repeat blow.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: My holding tank is inflating!

My toilet guy runs a hose on the vent line, a common fail is a piece of dried paper floats to the top of the tank covers vent opening in tank, and dries to an airtight seal.

Chances are the clog is at the tank.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: My holding tank is inflating!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeta View Post
Blow through the vent hose--I repeat blow.
Don't inhale!
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: My holding tank is inflating!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Don't inhale!
I, myself, personally would use compressed air on a LOW pressure setting.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: My holding tank is inflating!

For sure sound like blockage some where in da vent, check fitting on the top of the holding tank some can be threaded so it mite be taken off.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: My holding tank is inflating!

When all else fails, call the head mechanic
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: My holding tank is inflating!

Instead of blowing down the vent pipe and just pushing the blockage aside (so it comes back later) check out any plumbing section. A couple of companies are selling "mini snakes" now, looks like a big plastic zip-tie with a handle and barbs on it, maybe two feet long, cheap enough to use and throw out. Tearing up the blockage will help get it out at the next pump-out.

Some septic-tank enzyme (from the grocery store) once in a while also seems to help digest whatever is in the tank.
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