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Old 06-08-2019, 10:28 AM   #1
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Holding Tank Lock Out

Our holding tanks have both overboard discharge and deck fittings for vacuum service. The overboard discharge systems have a macerator pump and a local switch with a keyed switch in series. The keyed switch locks out the pump so no discharge is possible without a key.

As we crossed yesterday from Bimini to Miami we prepared for U.S. regs. As the discharge through hulls are difficult to access at sea, I just locked the pump switches and stored the keys. I see this as comparable to a locked valve.

Any thoughts as to how LE might react to this method?
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:33 AM   #2
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A keyed switch to a macerator where the key can be secured is supposed to be good enough....most likely 9 out of 10 times the LEO will agree...but you can't bet on no issues no matter how well you explain or they supposedly understand the intent of the law which states the recommended ways are not all inclusive.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:50 AM   #3
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I agree with psneeld, that should meet the "spirit" of the law and be considered adequate as you cannot discharge without "intent" (unlocking the pump) and the same would apply if you lock the thru hull handle in the closed position.

Common sense says that any LEO should agree (but we all know how common that is)
Don't forget to post the required signage (waste management plan) regarding garbage and overboard discharge somewhere on board.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:52 AM   #4
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Our macerator breaker has a cover over it that has to be pushed aside to turn on the breaker. When we got the boat the through hull was closed but there was nothing securing it. Now we put a cable tie on that needs to be cut to open it.

However I have always thought this was a strange reg. If the idea is to stop someone from accidentally operating the macerator through an open through hull, then simply having the through hull closed would do that - it is hard to "accidentally" open a through hull.

If the idea to to stop boaters from purposefully pumping into the water, they can simply cut the cable tie, get the key and turn on the switch, reattach the handle, pump, and immediately put everything back to where they were. It takes seconds.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:26 AM   #5
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If the idea to to stop boaters from purposefully pumping into the water, they can simply cut the cable tie, get the key and turn on the switch, reattach the handle, pump, and immediately put everything back to where they were. It takes seconds.

Only proving once again that no system is foolproof because fools are more creative at defeating it than in working with it.



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Old 06-08-2019, 11:26 AM   #6
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I agree menzies....... always seemed strange to me, but I just try to follow the rules, which isn't always easy.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:32 AM   #7
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No one "accidentally" pumps out their holding tank. The idea is to make it a purposeful act so that when you get caught there is no argument about the ticket you get. Of course those who purposely pump out will still bitch and argue about the ticket.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:48 AM   #8
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Many (US) National Park Service waters require discharge hoses to be capped prior to the thru hull.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:22 PM   #9
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The Washington State Dept of Ecology says you can lock the door to the space enclosing the toilets with a padlock or door handle key lock to prevent discharges. ??????
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:34 PM   #10
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The one that has worked for me so far was removing the seacock handle. So far, no complaints from USCG, DNR from FL and MD. Interestingly, none have bothered to check if it was seacock was in the open or closed position.

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Old 06-08-2019, 12:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadMistress View Post
If the idea to to stop boaters from purposefully pumping into the water, they can simply cut the cable tie, get the key and turn on the switch, reattach the handle, pump, and immediately put everything back to where they were. It takes seconds.

Only proving once again that no system is foolproof because fools are more creative at defeating it than in working with it.


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You really think you need to be creative to "defeat" a cable tie, a removed handle, or a removed key?

The point was - the reg does nothing to prevent discharge. Either people will do it and only get cited because they are caught in the actual discharge, or people will not do it. The reg does not change that one iota.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:55 PM   #12
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The Washington State Dept of Ecology says you can lock the door to the space enclosing the toilets with a padlock or door handle key lock to prevent discharges. ??????
So their position is, if you half fill your holding tank and then lock the door to the head, you can't discharge. Smart. Clearly written by a boater!
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:26 PM   #13
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We have a valve in the hose that connects the holding tank to the macerator pump. It is closed, and the handle is removed. There is a through hull (above waterline) that is located under the head sink. That handle is in place but frankly it is hard to find even if you know what you are looking for. On the rare times I do pump overboard, I forget about that valve 1/2 the time. Finally, I have the switch to the macerator pump zip-tied closed.

Since I pump overboard very rarely (BC is the only place it is legal under certain conditions so the last time was almost two years ago) it isnít too inconvenient. I just have to remember to open those two valves, then cut the zip-tie then remember to close the two valves, remove one of the handles, and replace the zip-tie before I re-enter US waters.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:09 PM   #14
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Dave, that is the same cover I have on my switch. I never thought of having a cable tie on that. Great idea!

I would also suggest that that would negate having to put a tie on the through hull - or even close the through hull. Because if you are cutting that breaker tie, you are also throwing the through hull lever!
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:08 PM   #15
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Hey Menzies, Hey Dave,

I love that lockout. Who makes it?

Cheers!
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:27 PM   #16
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Hey Menzies, Hey Dave,

I love that lockout. Who makes it?

Cheers!
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Installed already when I got the boat. Tried to do a Google for you, but no good.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:05 PM   #17
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It is from Blue Seas click this link.....

I have two on our boat, one for the holding tank and one for the fridge. Our last dog had a nasty habit of turning the fridge off with his tail......
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:08 PM   #18
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Hi Menzies: Thanks so very much for looking. I had the same luck!

Hi Rochepoint: Wow! Thank you! If that were a snake, it have bit me. I would never have thought of searching for a "toggle guard". Tried lock out, cover, flip cover, and protector. Thank you again!
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Hey Menzies, Hey Dave,

I love that lockout. Who makes it?
Rocherpoint beat me to the link. I have a bunch of those covers on my boat. Most from the PO, but I recently added a few. I have them on anything that I want left on or definitely left off. Refrigerator is one, main house bank is another, solar panel etc....

To add the zip-tie you just have to drill through the switch cover from the side. I used a 1/8Ē drill which is big enough to handle the very small ties.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:36 AM   #20
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I removed the switch cover portion of the switch on the panel for my macerator. 5 USCG inspections later, it's still good.

To pump, I simply put the cover back on and turn on the switch.
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