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  #1  
Old 08-13-2012
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Fresh Water Heads

Over in the "Everyone Needs a Bigger Boat" thread Doug S mentioned that their new acquisition has fresh water flushing in the heads.

Why ? Why in the name of all that is holy would anyone choose to have fresh water heads ? (Emphasis on CHOOSE)

Now I've seen a couple of folk here discussing FWH and one of the boats we considered last year had them (it was probably the ultimate deal killer for us) but no one has ever given me a half way decent reason as to why one would choose to waste all that precious fresh water.

Thoughts ?
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Last edited by tdw; 08-13-2012 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Fresh Water Heads

One of the ONLY reasons I can think of, if in salt water, the salty water will ruin the hoses quicker than if they only have fresh water in them. Along with if you do not use your head a lot, say only in the boat once a month. salt water stinks sooner than fresh.

At the end of the day, not sure it really matters much. Altho I do keep a 1 gal ug with FW in it, so as to not have the issue(s) I mentioned above.

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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Fresh Water Heads

Fresh water flushing killed the stank in my head. Your mileage may vary, but, one thing is for sure, sea water is filled with micro organisms that stink like low tide when they die.
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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Fresh Water Heads

Ok, I agree re the micro organisms and the pong. With salt water flush the first minute or so of flushing when you first get on board after a break is a bit off. Marty has a solution and its one we've even used though you cannot rid yourself of the water in line from the inlet seacock so that first flush will still be whiffy unless (shock horror) you leave the seacock open. Not on our boat you don't and if all you do is pump a couple of gallons through the system with the toilet seat down the whiff is a very passing problem.

The fact still remains that if your flush is all fresh water then you are flushing overboard possibly your most precious resource and one that is difficult to replenish if you are not tied to a dock. Dammit all we use up enough fresh water at it is without flushing the stuff through the dumpster.

So no, I don't think the pong is a good enough reason to go fresh flush and Marty we replaced all the head hoses on Raven when we bought her and six years later they were still good, probably still are today. On the new girl they well predate us and I am seeing no reason to replace them as yet.

Thanks for your replies guys, but would you go fresh in a new boat ?
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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Fresh Water Heads

I wouldn't go with FW. While I can understand the thinking, I can't find sufficient value, to me, in the concept to adopt it, as it's not something that's been an issue for me (the smell).
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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Fresh Water Heads

If constant smell is an issue I suggest you might have a SYSTEM issue.

The thought of a malfunctioning check valve getting stuck and getting sewage in the fresh water supply give me the willies.
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Re: Fresh Water Heads

We are usually only away from our boat for three days at a a time, but that is enough to get the seawater in the intake hose to rot out and smell very bad on that first flush. Let's face it, that is a very bad smell, not just a little wiffy. When we remain aboard, it is not a problem at all. However, since I'm a big advocate of flushing great amounts of clean water to clear the waste lines, I would not want to use that much fresh water.

If I could upgrade to a vacuflush system that only used a pint of FW per flush, I would do so in a second. I have had the intake thru hull pick up seaweed which, like any intake, can be a contortion to pick out. You only find out its blocked, with a bowl full ready to flush. Hate that.
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Old 08-14-2012
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We have a fw option that we use from time to time that keeps the sanitary lines clear and clean.
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Re: Fresh Water Heads

BTW, one of our departure checklist items is to fill the toilet bowl to the rim with freshwater from the sink and flush it. Only the intake lines are an issue.
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Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Fresh Water Heads

One of my wife's requirements when we bought our boat was a new head that would eliminate the smell (I agree with Minnewaska, it's a very bad smell) After some research I ripped out the old head anmd put in a Vacuflush system and added an extra freshwater tank just in case. Turns out the system uses very little water and there is no more smell. Whether you go that route or not depends on on how sensitive your nose is. I put in the vacuflush orginally because I wanted my wife to sail with me but I have to admit that she was 100 pct right. Our boat is much more pleasant without the head odor that did tend to linger
Added note: We sail mostly in he Chesapeake where I suspect the water has more microorganisms than your average salt water and probably produced worse smells..
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