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Old 07-10-2017, 09:14 AM   #1
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Head case (Vacuflush)

[Warning: Not for the squeamish. Though you may get a chuckle]
I have a vacuflush system on my Pilot 34. I added a new tank gauge last year and due to replacing batteries, had to recalibrate it at Empty and Full. Soooo... it was probably about 3/4 full of waste and I figured I'd just pour a bucket or two of fresh water down the head until it seemed full. As I was pouring, the vacuum pump kept running and running. I turned it off at the panel, went and looked in the engine room and saw that the holding tank had ballooned (like a portable gas can sitting in the sun). CAPTAIN! SHE'S GONNA BLOW! We quickly cast our lines and headed over to the pump out station. I carefully unscrewed the deck cap ever so slightly and it started to hiss. When it seemed to be done, I unscrewed the cap a bit more. BOOM! Let's just say it was a real sh*t show.

So... now what? The tank and hoses look ok, with no signs of leakage. The mere fact that it held a bunch of pressure I take as a good sign. But now I'm thinking about the vent line. How come the excess pressure didn't bleed out? I have an in-line filter on it. Guessing that is now clogged? Maybe that is all? I don't fully understand how the vacuflush system works. What should I do to make sure all is good?

Yours truly,
Captain Stinky
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:20 AM   #2
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Well your Vacuflush sounds like it was doing its job and the vent line or filter is plugged. I would do away with that filter. One minor overflow of sewage will plug it.

David
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:22 AM   #3
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We had no filter when we got the boat and the odors during a flush were nasty.
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:06 PM   #4
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In her book, Peggy says ditch the filter.
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Old 07-10-2017, 01:06 PM   #5
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Yes you need to loose the filter and get more air into the holding tank. You can add another vent so air can flow through or do something like a Groco Sweetank. Both will get more air into the holding tank and allow aerobic bacteria to grow. Aerobic bacteria are your friends. Anaerobic bacteria are not your friends and are what causes the stink. Filters get clogged easily as you found out and also block off air flow.
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:10 PM   #6
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This discussion makes me think of that Robin Williams movie "RV." One of the best.

Before I had a compressor dockside I always had a dilemma figuring out how to make sure the charcoal vent filter was still passing air freely. Crossed my mind a few times to blow into it like a trumpet, but on the other hand...
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