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post #1 of 5 Old 09-05-2008 Thread Starter
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PS40: Holding Tank Access

We want to replace all our head hoses, just because. But I can't get to the three that go to the holding tank. Does anyone have any insight into how hard it is to gain access to these, presumably by pulling the countertop? Looking up at the counter, there's a fiberglass molded layer there, not raw countertop, so it's not completely clear to me that pulling the countertop's going to give me the access I'm hoping for. Anyone been through this?
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-07-2008
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Hello "DDP":

The answer to your question may depend on when your PSC-40 was built. I think there have been some variations in the head plumbing over the years. While I have not tackled this particular job, there was a thread about it a year or two ago, and Bob Cross on S/V Fugue (I'm not sure of the hull #) posted a very thorough description for not just replacing the hoses, but relocating them so as to use much less hose and relocating the "drain" fitting on the holding tank so that pumping it out with the macerator actually drained the tank instead of leaving several inches in the bottom.

I still have a copy of Bob's description, with photos, that I can forward to you off list if you so desire; just send me an e-mail with your address. Or, if Bob is out there, he may want to weigh in on this.

In the meantime, here is his description of how to gain access to the tank and hoses without removing the countertop. It's quoted from his previous post, so all thanks here go to him...I'm just a conduit.

Stage 1:
  1. Remove ‘furniture’ (access doors, drawer, and pull down door)
    The factory installed the furniture in our boat by inserting wood screws through the inside face of the furniture frame such that the screws go ‘end on’ into the supporting bulkhead cutout. When you open the doors and remove the drawer, you’ll gain access to the countersunk screws. Back them out and the furniture comes right out in one piece. Caution – if your cutout is larger than the furniture frame, there will be a gap between the frame and the cutout. Where there is a gap, the factory used longer screws to bridge the gap and bite into the bulkhead. Check for this, because when you reinstall the furniture, you need to use the same length screw that came out originally. Also, don’t try to tighten the screws down to remove the gap, as that will distort the frame. You must leave the same gap in reinstallation you saw when removing.
  2. Remove sink
    Yep, the sink has to come out. Close the drain seacock and remove the drain hose. Mounting nuts can be reached from underneath. Remove them and their brackets using a ratchet wrench with extender. I don’t remember the nut size – yours may be different, anyway. Break the seal using a flexible putty knife. I use a 1.5” wide blade Red Devil. Be patient and don’t hammer; use hand pressure and work the blade around the seal between the counter top and sink. It can be done! Remove the sink from below (ours is an undercounter mount).
  3. Remove tank
    Flush tank until you’re willing to risk what will spill out when you wrestle it out. Close seacocks and remove hoses. I had to cut off the fittings on the tank with a sawzall because I could not reach the hose clamps, much less loosen them and then muscle the hoses off. Rotozip might work, also. Once all the connections are off, the tank can be removed by pulling it forward under the sink location and then out. At least ours did.
Fair Winds,

Roger Lopata
PSC 40 -- #46
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-08-2008 Thread Starter
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Excellent, thanks! My email is ddp at (The forum software won't let me send you email directly until I have enough posts, sorry everyone else.)

We're 1999 hull #32, FWIW.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-09-2008
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Using Bob Cross's excellent description, we replaced all of our hoses to and from our holding tank. We have hull 33 ('99), so I suspect it's the same layout as yours. I removed the cabinet doors below the sink, and it was unnecessary to remove the counter top. Be sure to thoroughly follow Bob's advice about thoroughly cleaning the tank, and don't neglect the hose from the head to the tank. I did, and I was sorry!
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-17-2008
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New Holding Tank Plumbing

With help and encouragement from this list I took on this terrible project as well. My diverter valve had frozen in place during a recent cruise. Once we were home I took up the effort. For those of you who are interested, our web site has a picture of the finished product. Go to and then follow the link to The Boat section of the site.

Roger Block
Shango PS40
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