Clean or replace holding tank? - Page 3 - 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? 


Like Tree1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #21  
Old 11-06-2012
pdqaltair's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Posts: 2,189
Thanks: 1
Thanked 31 Times in 31 Posts
Rep Power: 6
pdqaltair is on a distinguished road
Re: Clean or replace holding tank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
Thanks all. I'll take care of the 5/8" vent next time I'm at the boat. I'm just going to remove it, I don't think that it can be that helpful when I also have a 1-1/2" vent.

I'm already a PS subscriber and think that I've read everything that they've written about heads and holding tanks. It's a good resource.

I do leave some fresh water in my bowl when I'm not on the boat.

Keeping the5/8-inch vent might give a flow-through vent, which is good. Don't know the layout.
__________________
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #22  
Old 11-06-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Beacon, NY
Posts: 1,979
Thanks: 16
Thanked 66 Times in 63 Posts
Rep Power: 8
miatapaul is on a distinguished road
Re: Clean or replace holding tank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul323 View Post
Somewhere I remember reading about an lady who was an expert on heads, with load of advice...google Peggy Hall the Head Mistress. She literally wrote the book on it, and used to hang out at cruisers forum.

I remember one piece of her advice which I have yet to try - dump a couple of bags of ice cubes into the waste tank, along with non-foaming washing liquid, go sailing. When you return, pump out and flush. The idea being that the ice cubes gently rock around, gently abrading/cleaning and residue in the tank.

Also - I am sure that you have thought of this - sulfurous smells often come from sea water, as the marine organisms die either in your head, or sometimes in the bilge - thus the recommendations for fresh water use. Personally - and I still have a slight smell I cannot locate, so am no expert :-) - I keep a bottle of vinegar on board, and slosh some of that into the head. It seems to help.

I just hate the idea of you trying to remove that tank. I can only imagine what a messy job that would be - and the mess would stink for quite a while. A last resort - I hope there is another way. Good luck!!
Peggy Hall has written the book on heads, and she hangs out at Sailboat Owner's Forums, and even has her own dedicated forum. Though I don't think she is posting much anymore as she has retired, there is enough over there to keep you reading for a long time.

I think the main thing is to do a thorough cleaning, and use only fresh water for all flushing. That seems to be the formula. I have only really dealt with heads on fresh water, so I never had big issues. Any salt water is going to introduce critters into the system, and cause calcification on the walls of the hoses. both bad things. I know people have put containers to catch the grey water coming out of the sinks and using that to flush. Otherwise just use hand shower or a bucket.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #23  
Old 11-06-2012
Alex W's Avatar
always busy with sailing
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,273
Thanks: 2
Thanked 136 Times in 130 Posts
Rep Power: 2
Alex W is on a distinguished road
Re: Clean or replace holding tank?

Thanks for all of the continued insights.

I'm replacing the holding tank. It isn't only due to the smell, but that is the excuse for doing it earlier. I picked up the new tank with custom fittings today (Marine Sanitation in Seattle did this for a reasonable price) and get the following benefits:
* the new Sealand tank is a lot thicker than the Todd that it replaces.
* no more Y for macerator vs vacuum, I have two outlets now, one for each purpose. The Y valve can be removed and disposed of.
* both outlets and the inlet are coming in from the top. I'll be able to empty more of the tank vs how the old one was routed and no sewage sits in any flexible lines. There are dip tubes for the outlets, and they should be able to clear all but the bottom 1/2".
* 18 gallons vs 13 gallons is a nice, and doesn't take up much more room on the boat.

I'm keeping my 1.5" short run vent and will use sanitation hose for the vent too.

Removing the old tank isn't that big of a deal or messy, I already did it once when replumbing the head. On our boat the tank just sits in the lazarette and when it is empty it can be lifted out of place. This is also why I have the flexibility on tank size (the new tank is 1" wider and 4" longer than the old).
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #24  
Old 11-07-2012
chef2sail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 6,964
Thanks: 29
Thanked 54 Times in 50 Posts
Rep Power: 7
chef2sail will become famous soon enough
Send a message via AIM to chef2sail
Re: Clean or replace holding tank?

Diptubes by their nature dont pick up the sludge on the bottom well. Hope they are removeable and you got an inspection/ cleanout port installed the tank.

Dave
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
___________________________
S/V Haleakala (Hawaiian for" House of the Sun")
C&C 35 MKIII Hull # 76
Parkville, Maryland
(photos by Joe McCary)
Charter member of the Chesapeake Lion posse

Our blog-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


“Sailing is just the bottom line, like adding up the score in bridge. My real interest is in the tremendous game of life.”- Dennis Conner
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #25  
Old 11-07-2012
Alex W's Avatar
always busy with sailing
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,273
Thanks: 2
Thanked 136 Times in 130 Posts
Rep Power: 2
Alex W is on a distinguished road
Re: Clean or replace holding tank?

They are removable and it would be easy to convert to a side exit if necessary. I don't understand how a port on the side of a tank does any better at getting the sludge though...
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #26  
Old 11-07-2012
Maine Sail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Posts: 5,345
Thanks: 11
Thanked 121 Times in 89 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice
Re: Clean or replace holding tank?

One thing that has not been mentioned is "odor attachment" to the exterior of the tank. I have come across this numerous times and it often appears as the tank has permeated. To rid the tank of external odors I remove them from the vessel and spray the exterior for multiple days and sometimes weeks with a foaming tub and tile cleaner (bleach). The bleach is allowed to fully dry on the tanks surfaces and it is rotated to get all sides. I rinse the tank every few weeks to check progress.

The tank locker is also give a full treatment too but use proper ventilation and don't allow the bleach to get to the keel bolts and sit there.

I also do a de-scale and bleach fill by plugging the openings with plastic or PVC NPT plugs.. I let the tank sit for weeks with a very strong mixture of bleach inside the tank as well.

After this treatment the tank almost always smells as new. I have only had one tank, a Ronco, that still smelled even after this treatment.

The tank on our CS-36 came out like new even after 32 hard years... Our boat has ZERO head system odors and I use Trident #101 except for the vent hose for which I used an A1-15 vapor barrier diesel/gas fuel hose in 5/8". I have yet to have this stuff permeate. If it does not permeate to diesel or gas.... So far so good... If that stuff does permeate my next vent hose will be PEX tubing..
__________________
______
-Maine Sail / CS-36T


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




© Images In Posts Property of Compass Marine Inc.



Last edited by Maine Sail; 11-07-2012 at 09:23 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #27  
Old 11-07-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 666
Thanks: 1
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 14
olson34 is on a distinguished road
Question Re: Clean or replace holding tank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
I've been trying to deal with holding tank stink on our new to us Pearson 28-2. So far I have replaced the head (needed anyway, the original was 28 years old and not working properly) and all of the sanitation lines with Trident 101. I added a water strainer for the flush water. I have also added a second 1.5" diameter vent (4' long, about 10" of rise) to the original 5/8" vent. Finally we rinsed it out 3 times last weekend, wasting 39 gallons of fresh water in the process (it is a 13 gallon tank). There is really nothing else that I can possibly replace in the system except for the holding tank. After the flush with clean water I've been using Raritan KO as my holding tank solution and nothing else.

Yesterday we went sailing and the head was used about 3 or 4 times. Today I went to the boat to do a little work and the sulphur smell was unbearable.

I can see the holding tank and the bottom does have brown stains for the lower about 2" (the pump out hose is at the bottom, so when you pump it out about 1.5" to 2" of liquid will remain). Is it possible that there is enough anaerobic culture there that even with my upgrades that I have a tank that is still anaerobic heavy?

The tank is made by Todd, 24x14x10" in size, and appears to have roughly 1/4" walls.

Any ideas?

I should add that we are on salt water. I always flush a quart or two of fresh water into the tank when we return from sailing though.
I wonder if the plastic material in your tank is a bit thin? AFAIK, the current Ronco roto-molded tanks are about 3/8" wall. Having said that, though, I am not aware of any general problem with any of those plastic tanks seeping any liquid. One quick "test" is to rub the tank outside with a hot wet rag and then smell that rag -- same test used for checking on hose permeation -- and then you'll know if your tank is somehow allowing waste to permeate thru.

If you have replaced all of the hoses, that should not be your problem. One caveat.... when I rebuilt our head plumbing, I found that the original manual pump-out was seeping odors around the decayed rubber diaphram and putting some stink into the boat interior.
I replaced it with a new pump. (We boat where going offshore XX miles to pump out is legal.)

I also installed a larger tank and then changed from bottom exits to dip tubes installed from the top. Another potential leak-n-seep area was eliminated.

Best of luck in your trouble shooting.

Last edited by olson34; 11-07-2012 at 11:20 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #28  
Old 11-08-2012
Alex W's Avatar
always busy with sailing
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,273
Thanks: 2
Thanked 136 Times in 130 Posts
Rep Power: 2
Alex W is on a distinguished road
Re: Clean or replace holding tank?

The Todd holding tank that I removed had 1/4" thick walls. Upon closer inspection after removing it also had a lot of caulk around all 3 of the fittings, I wonder if they previously leaked (and now could be again).

The Sealand tank that we replaced it with is about 5/16" thick and much heavier. I have it half plumbed in and feel even better about this decision as I make progress on the project. I don't know why chef2sail dislikes the dip tubes, they make a lot more sense to me and Peggie Hall seems to suggest them as well. I think I will shim one end of the tank with tapered high density foam to keep the tank draining well towards the pump out dip tube.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #29  
Old 11-08-2012
chef2sail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 6,964
Thanks: 29
Thanked 54 Times in 50 Posts
Rep Power: 7
chef2sail will become famous soon enough
Send a message via AIM to chef2sail
Re: Clean or replace holding tank?

I dont necessarily dislike them, they are not the only alternative thats all. Our system required less hosing and seemed simpler thats why I suggested it, I felt that applying a vacum/ or the mascerator pump through the direct opening in the tank was one less area than could be a potential clog area later on. To keep the sediment of sh.t from sitting in a hose ( 101 trident) i installed a ball valve. I know the old vacume cleaner tubes get clogged easily so I used a simpler method. The dip tube is used by lots of people with no problems. Was just a suggestion.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
___________________________
S/V Haleakala (Hawaiian for" House of the Sun")
C&C 35 MKIII Hull # 76
Parkville, Maryland
(photos by Joe McCary)
Charter member of the Chesapeake Lion posse

Our blog-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


“Sailing is just the bottom line, like adding up the score in bridge. My real interest is in the tremendous game of life.”- Dennis Conner
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
Convert existing steel freshwater tank to blackwater holding tank? patrickstickler General Discussion (sailing related) 7 09-24-2010 07:55 PM
Fuel tank clean/replace Cal 29 Atomic 4 banty2 Cal 5 08-18-2010 10:18 PM
Best way to clean a holding tank and lines Frozensurfer Gear & Maintenance 4 04-20-2010 10:28 PM
Clogged Exhaust or Mixing Elbow: Clean or Replace? oft Gear & Maintenance 18 07-18-2008 03:55 PM
Dirty Rub Rail: Clean it or Replace it? ChicagoNewport27 Gear & Maintenance 6 04-28-2007 02:11 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:05 AM.

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.