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Old 11-21-2011, 05:06 PM   #1
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Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

As you know I am a new owner of a 34LRC. My 4th boat but still find something new on every one. Decided to pump out holding tank today. PO said it was full and on sea trial got some back fill up into the toilet. I guess that suggests some valve problem. Couldn't get the cap off the waste pump out. Finally broke it so replace with a whole new fitting. I use a macerator at the fitting and pump out to a 35 gal. portable holding tank. Pump the tank full--?? From a 30 gal. holding tank??? So I though, well I'll empty and come back--pumped tank full again. 60 some gal. pumped out of the waste pump out fitting. Now something isn't right. Second tank was mostly clear water--in fact the first tank didn't smell too bad either.

I went down in the bilge and tried to trace the hoses but they come down a forward bulkhead and disappear under the tanks. Both of them had a manual pump out valve inline. Do they have to be in a certain position to enable dockside pump out? Ran out of time and light so gave up but it would seem I am just pumping water out of the "Waste" labeled fitting. It is on the port side and the water fill fitting is on the starboard side. Is that standard?

Water tank was empty so I ran some water into it yesterday. Might have been pumping it out today--I don't know. Is there a way that pumping out waste could draw water into the holding tank--- maybe thru a bad valve in the toilet? The pump out flow was really good so there was a good source someplace. Could the two deck fitting be mislabeled? Waste actually on the starboard side and water fill on port?

Tomorrow I'll see if I can find the fill hose for the water tank and trace that. There are two tanks fiberglassed into the centerline of the boat. One is twice the size of the other. I assumed the smaller was the waste tank at 30 gal. and the larger was the water tank at 70 gal. Help.

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Old 11-21-2011, 06:59 PM   #2
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

Typically your waste tank will have*two large diameter hoses going to it - from the head and to the deck fitting and a vent line going to the thru hull fitting (above the water line).

The water tank should have a large diameter fill hose (coming from the deck),*a vent line going to the thru hull fitting (above the water line) and smaller supply line going to the feed pump for your pressurized water system.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:35 PM   #3
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Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

My 40 gal fiberglass holding tank is fwd and on centerline between the engines. My 75 gal fiberglass water tank is aft, on centerline just fwd of the transom between the fuel tanks.

My pump out fitting is on the port step. The pumpout line from there to the holding tank are apparent and includes a Y valve to allow overboard pumping via a manual pump like this:



There is an 'in' line from the head and a vent line to port.* All these lines on the holding tank are white sanitation hoses.

The water fill line runs from the water cap at the center transom to the water tank below.* There is also a vent line to the stbd transom.*


-- Edited by FlyWright on Monday 21st of November 2011 08:46:34 PM
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:46 PM   #4
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

My tanks are also on the centerline in the ER; Forward tank is the 30 gal holding tank, aft tank is the 70 gal water tank. Water tank fill is located at the aft end of the cockpit. Fill is labelled water. Only concern there is that it is close to the port fuel fill cap. Holding tank pumpout is located on the port side by the steps to the foredeck. I have a 1"(approx) line running from the head discharge to the front side of the waste tank. That line comes from the head under the head cabinetry, under the bulkhead, & into the tank. The pumpout line is 11/4, or so, leads from the bottom of the waste tank up the back side of the bulkhead to the pumpout fitting on the port deck. Ther vent line runs from the top of the tank to a vent fitting on the port side of the hull; about 'midship. The incoming water line (1.25) comes into the tank on top; aft. The vent line exits the top of the tank to the transom, just above the swim platform. Line exiting the tank to the water pump also exits the top of the tank at the fwd part of the tank. I have had similar problems with overflow, etc. Turned out to be a plugged vent fitting/line; to include the vent hole in the waste tank itself. that could make pump out tough as well. I'd pick one fitting and follow it to a tank; water should go in & out at the top; "stuff" should go in near the top, out at the bottom. Sort of sounds like your fittings may be wrongly labelled. Good luck
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:14 PM   #5
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Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

The descriptions of the tanks location and size in your posts seem to match up with mine. The aft tank is water since I have traced the fill hose to the tank. I was having a senior moment when I suggested there was a deck fitting on the starboard side. The water fill is aft not too far from the port fuel deck fitting. I'm inclined to think that as I pull water out of the waste tank it is being replaced somehow. Where does the toilet get its water when flushed. Is it sea water or from the water tank? If sea water could it be that I am pulling that water thru the toilet system somehow and in thru the waste tank? When I went down into the bilge to look at the plumbing after pumping the second holding tank full I could here some noise coming from the toilet area, as if something was cycling. Maybe I had pulled enough of a vacuum in the holding tank such that more water was coming into it. I don't know. Just a thought. On second thought, if the holding tank has a vent line it shouldn't form a vacuum. If there is a vent line how do you preclude oder in the bilge?
I'll bet the vent line goes to a thru hull above the water line somewhere. Will have to check and see it I can find it and if it is working.
-- Edited by Fighterpilot on Monday 21st of November 2011 09:18:02 PM



-- Edited by Fighterpilot on Monday 21st of November 2011 09:20:17 PM


-- Edited by Fighterpilot on Monday 21st of November 2011 09:23:22 PM
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:09 PM   #6
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

It's disturbing to think that you might be drawing fresh water into your holding tank. Do you by chance have a Levac toilet? I'm thinking that if you have a blocked vent in the holding tank, then as you pump out the tank you could be sucking raw water in through the toilet and into the holding tank. I can't think of any other toilet that might happen with.
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:22 PM   #7
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

They are supposed to be separate tanks. At least mine appear to be, as I can feel the seam under the glass. I'd verify that your waste tank vent line is not plugged; then close the seacock that supplies seawater to the head, and see what you get when you pumpout. Check the vent line for a filter that may be plugged , or wet, as well as checking the fitting on the hull exterior, the line itself, and the fitting that the line exits the waste tank from. Mine was plugged inside that fitting, leading to a really nasty situation inside the head compartment as things started flowing the wrong way. Be careful and make sure that vent line is open before you apply any suction with the seacock closed. Good luck.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:35 AM   #8
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Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

Thanks for the additional posts. Sounds as if I may have a blocked vent line. It is pretty clear that there are two separate tanks from distinct seam line. Don't know what brand of toilet but will check both toilet and vent line on my return trip to the boat this morning. As I recall the water looked more like sea water than fresh water. Thanks again for the advice.

Why would the boat have two manual pumps like the one pictured?


-- Edited by Fighterpilot on Tuesday 22nd of November 2011 06:39:47 AM
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:20 AM   #9
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

Two manual pumps like the one pictured?* I have one, but it is fact a manual bilge pump.* it is located on the front bulkhead of the engine room, just to port of the front engine room door.* My waste pumpout is a macerater pump.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:24 AM   #10
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

Sounds to me like you may have a below waterline overboard pump out and an incorrect valve is open and you are pulling sea water.* It is highly doubtful that you are pulling freshwater/seawater through the toilet.* My overboard through hull exits below the waterline.* I keep it off with the handle removed to make sure I am in compliance with any laws concerning this equipment.* Also keep it closed to prevent issues such as you have explained or accidental flooding of the boat due to failures in the system.* Hope this helps.* Leon
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:37 AM   #11
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Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

And the answer is--I'm not sure but I do know I am getting back flow into the holding tank from sea water. When I pulled the hose off the vent line water water flowed until I shult off the the thru hull valve below the water line--It is the discharge valve so have a problem there. Knew the macerator didn't work, but must be it is permitting a backflow thru it. Is that possible? or even likely given it is in bad shape. The manual pump goes around it. Could water be flowing thru that? I'll post some pictures.

Vent line was plugged up at the thru hull vent. It looked like the previous owner had plugged it up with foil or some such material. Note the picture of the vent line tank fitting. Where the tip of the screw driver is,*it now weeps. Probably from my effort to get the line off. Could try 5200 but my inclination is to drill out the screws and replace the whole unit. Don't want to make a bigger problem however by messing up the tank structure. Your thoughts. Pictures to follow, I don't see that I can attach with quick reply. Thanks for your help.




-- Edited by Fighterpilot on Tuesday 22nd of November 2011 10:50:36 AM
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:44 AM   #12
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

here are some pictures. Do I need to install a Y valve someplace to be legal?
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:20 AM   #13
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

Answer to my last question regarding Y valve may be just lock down the* thru hull valve that is connected to the manual and macerator pumps--than nothing can go overboard.*
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:40 AM   #14
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

Here's what I have:



It looks like you were between the engines looking forward to stbd of centerline at the area to stbd of the fwd entry door.* That line that passes under your electrical access door is where my line runs from the head to the top of the tank.* It's hard to tell from your pictures where the lines run.* All of my lines downstream of the tank, vent and pumpout, run to port.

Along with replacing that vent fitting, I would replace all those lines with white sanitation lines.* I bought a copy of Peggie's book that helped me work through some issues.* I highly recommend it.* Maybe she'll even chime in here with some sage advice.

This thread has much discussion about the issue.* Maybe it or other past threads will be of some assistance.*

I hope this helps.* Keep us posted on your progress.*
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:48 AM   #15
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

typically there are several ways of emptying the holding tank.
Overboard by the use of a macerator pump and secondly by a manual pump.
Be sure to have this valve (below waterline) shut unless you are ready to legally pump it overboard (in california must be 3 miles from shore).

Thru a pumpout service line accessible on the port mid ship deck.

Most marine toilets pull in seawater to flush, if you wanted to verify this all you have to do is close the sea-cock typically located just forward of the head, below the forward bunks/closets on the sb side.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:10 PM   #16
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

Quote:
FlyWright wrote:
Here's what I have:


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Where do you get these great graphics? They really add to the comprehension of your posts.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:23 PM   #17
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

I steal 'em!!

Here's a page from BoatUS about boat plumbing. There is a graphic on the page of the plumbing schematic. I hover my mouse over the graphic, right click and 'copy image location' from my Firefox browser. Then I paste the image url between [img] [ /img] to display the graphic directly in the post, like this:



(BTW, my plumbing system looks just like this, too!)
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:32 PM   #18
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

In my case water is flowing backwards thru the underwater seacock, than thru the non-working macerator pump into the holding tank. Will a properly working macerator preclude the backward water flow. If not than I should replump and get the hose from the macerator to the discharge seacock with a loop in it higher than the water line as an additional safety factor to a closed seacock.

Here on the Gulf Coast we have to be 9 miles out to discharge.

The other manual pump is a bilge pump.

Thanks for the schematics. I'll have to figure mine out one of these days. 78 degrees today--kind of hot down in the bilge of the old boat, but tomorrow it will be cooler.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:17 PM   #19
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

Quote:
Fighterpilot wrote:
In my case water is flowing backwards thru the underwater seacock, than thru the non-working macerator pump into the holding tank. Will a properly working macerator preclude the backward water flow.
*Are you saying*with the sea cock closed the water is still getting into the holding tank?

If it isn't then what is the problem, close the sea cock and be done.* A new macerator will do the same thing, flow back into the tank, most do not have a check valve.* The vent loop will fix it but why bother.*Why do you need the sea cock open?
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:10 PM   #20
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RE: Holding tank and water tank=which side for pump out and fill???

I agree, will keep the sea cock closed, but at the present time believe there is a slight leak thru the sea cock. Need a new macerator pump anyhow to pump out at sea, if and when I have to,-would rather not but never know. Since I believe there is a slight leak thru the sea cock I will loop the discharge hose to the sea cock. The sea cock is in good shape, in fact looks newer than other stuff on the boat so not sure if leaking or not. When I replace the macerator will find out if sea cock leaking. Might put a "T" in the loop so I can use that as a connecting point to pump the tank to my portable RV holding tank on wheels. Presently using a new shurflo macerator to empty tank from waste pump out deck fitting, but it is all it can do to get sufficient vacuum to get liquid up to the pump for pump out. Line has a sagging loop so there is always a little liquid close by to start but still marginal. It is right at the 4 foot lift limit for the macerator specs.
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