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Old 03-05-2016, 06:45 PM   #1
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Removing Holding Tank

Hello Boaters, we have a 2001 Mainship 390 and want to remove Black Holding Tank and all Hoses PU! has anyone done this and if so How?The hoses are not a problem but how to get to tank is? we then plan on installing a fresh water tank there and replace old head with composting head. All help appreciated
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:35 PM   #2
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A holding tank smelling is often the result of an inadequate vent line or old hoses. You may want to consider how removing the tank will impact resale value and the ability to sell the boat down the road.

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Old 03-05-2016, 09:13 PM   #3
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Ted is right. A holding tank doesn't have to be a nightmare and there are better alternatives than "composter" that isn't really a composter but a dessicator. We should talk before you do anything you might live to regret. Send me a PM after you confirm from others that I MIGHT know what I'm talking about.
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:21 PM   #4
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Thanks Ted, and so true, the vent tube is to small, all the hoses "and tank" are old and impossible to get sink out. We live aboard and a composting head has none of the above and no smell. The Mainship is are new home and first trawler. Hoping someone knows the best way to reach tank?
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:26 PM   #5
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Ok Thanks Peggie will do
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:19 PM   #6
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:36 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr. GM. From her many posts I would concur that Ms. HM "might" know what she's talking about...
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:05 PM   #8
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Greetings,
Mr. GM. From her many posts I would concur that Ms. HM "might" know what she's talking about...
Wifey B: Just might... Head Mistress knows her sh..
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:29 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Ms. WB. Re-read Ms.HM's post #3. Pretty well saying what she said herself no?
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:22 AM   #10
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Greetings,
Ms. WB. Re-read Ms.HM's post #3. Pretty well saying what she said herself no?
Wifey B: Pretty well, RTF. Yes.
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:03 AM   #11
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While you are on here Peggy, can I ask a question?

I have to replace the (not very good - ever), TMC macerator pump I had as my (when legally able) holding tank pump-out pump. The toilet is already a TMC electric with macerator, and that has really given no trouble. However, this TMC macerator pump has never self-primed like it was supposed to, even though much less that the 1 metre about the tank it was supposed to handle, and I used to have to go through the laborious process of flushing water (via a diverter valve), back down the out line to the pump to prime it then switch everything back to actually pump out.
It has now seized solid with corrosion/rust/time, I guess, etc. I was thinking of replacing it with a Jabsco type, which is claimed to 'definitely' self-prime, and also be ok for moderate run-dry without damage.

Do you know of any other better pump to use in this situation, and which might be available in Australia..? The tank, (all I could retrofit in an old CHB 34), is a Turtle Pack designed for the purpose, set in a part of the bilge where is could fit, (well padded and protected from sharps), and the pump is about a foot above the outlet. It has a vent to the outside, which I keep clear. There is also a deck pump-out point on the side deck for dockside clearance, with a heavy duty Jabsco Y-valve to select either that or thru-hull discharge using this pump I need to replace.

Appreciate any comments re the best type of pump, bearing in mind it might not be available that easily here in Aus.

Ok, sorry, thread hijack over, and returning to "removal of holding tank"...which I also agree might well not be a good idea. If I was looking at a boat with view to buying, and was advised it had a composting toilet, I would be looking elsewhere, sorry...
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:55 AM   #12
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I would check with a couple of boat brokers before you proceed. My guess is that you would limit the resale of your boat to those who actually wanted a composting toilet. A boat without a holding tank in the United States is an odd ball.
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:30 AM   #13
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"old head with composting head."


There are many problems and unique features with a composting head.

We had one for 5-6 years and the hassle is urine must never be in the mix.

A 2 gal. tank catches the urine , and the only way it works is if the user sits .

Fine for ladies but hard to train male guests to sit.

Beer is like coffee , its only rented , so high volumes from visitors becomes a nightmare.

As noted above resale will be difficult, .

If you have a new FW tank created , build it with plumbing sizes that will function as a holding tank , when you desire to sell the boat.

Personally I would repair the holding tank system so it does not stink.

This may be more expensive and time consuming than just ripping out the old stink box , but you will have fewer hassles down the road.
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:10 AM   #14
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It has now seized solid with corrosion/rust/time, I guess, etc. I was thinking of replacing it with a Jabsco type, which is claimed to 'definitely' self-prime, and also be ok for moderate run-dry without damage.

Do you know of any other better pump to use in this situation, and which might be available in Australia..?

If it helps... we have had two Jabsco 18590-series macerators on board since OEM, 2002. One of those is for overboard discharge of the holding tank (where legal) and the other is our fishbox pump-out.

I'm just in the process of replacing at least one of those, the one for the fishbox... which has been used yearly, for about a month during the season I bother to fish, since we got the boat in 2005. This one needs to self-prime, and it has done that fine up until recently. Actually, that pump still works, but the symptom is a worn impeller. Not unexpected, over time. There's a re-build kit available, but my approach will be to replace, and then afterwards see about re-building the original, to keep onboard as a spare.

The OEM parts were 18590-0090 12V units. Replacement with Jabsco's current 18590-2092 12V unit is not hugely expensive, $145 from Amazon, and there were some slightly less expensive options.

Our other pump hasn't been working well for a couple years, I suspect primary because we're usually 99% inshore where overboard discharge isn't permitted. IOW, lack of use. The symptom for this one was at first that I had to manually spin the impeller shaft first, to unfreeze the mechanism. More recently, that hasn't worked. I suspect it's either really crapped out ( ) or possibly equally likely, just seriously frozen with uric acid build-up.

I can perhaps replace it with the rebuilt unit from the fishbox application, replace it with new, replace it with a treatment system (e.g., Purasan), or maybe even just try to free it up with something liquid (Raritan's CH, muriatic acid, or some such. Of those, the treatment approach would give us best usage, but at highest cost. If the liquid wrench approach works, that'd be least expensive, but then we're just back to our original state, not using the thing inshore.

Anyway, mostly my point is that I feel like I've gotten my money's worth from these particular units.


For OP: George, I'd suggest you examine treatment options (e.g., Purasan, etc.). You may find those alternatives useful for comparison to a composting (dessicating, gentlemen must sit) approach.


I've read that holding tanks rarely contribute to "head" odors in a boat, that usually it's something about the various fittings... or sometimes the hoses themselves... that are the culprits. There's a way to combine your holding tank with a treatment system.


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Old 03-06-2016, 09:10 AM   #15
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Do you know of any other better pump to use in this situation, and which might be available in Australia..?

http://www.dometic.com/QBankFiles3/E...heet_23611.pdf
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:40 AM   #16
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I agree with Bill...The Dometic/SeaLand T-Series pump (see the link in his post) would also be my choice. It's a diaphragm pump, not a macerator pump, but it's not necessary to macerate tank contents because solids and TP dissolve quickly in water. Because it is a diaphragm pump, it can run dry without harm for considerably longer than just the few seconds that an impeller pump can. It does cost considerably more than an impeller macerator pump, but a couple of impeller replacements eats up that difference.

However, to answer your question...yes the Jabsco macerator pump will prime and is higher quality than TMC.

Chris..if all your macerator pump(s) need are new impellers, there's no need to rebuild...replace the impellers. Rinsing out the pump before the boat--or the system the macerator pump serves--will sit will extend the life of the pumps. Sea water minerals, salt and urine crystals can't build up if they're flushed out.
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:05 AM   #17
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Chris..if all your macerator pump(s) need are new impellers, there's no need to rebuild...replace the impellers. Rinsing out the pump before the boat--or the system the macerator pump serves--will sit will extend the life of the pumps. Sea water minerals, salt and urine crystals can't build up if they're flushed out.

Yeah, that's really what I meant: impeller replacement. When I replace the fishbox unit with new, then replace the impeller in the original fishbox unit... that could make an easy replacement unit for the holding tank macerator.

And then I could see what's necessary to make the original holding tank pump work again, if that'll ever happen.

I don't get much use out of it though, here inshore. And so far, rinsing the holding tank and associated plumbing hasn't given stellar results for that pump. Partly bad technique, partly poor timing, partly lackadaisical follow-thru... complicated by being inshore 99% of the time... and then also slightly complicated by wintering in the water 3 out of every 4 years.

I have some feelers out for estimate of a Purasan HNT system, installed, using our OEM holding tank. We'll see if my wallet can stand it... but I'd get way more use out of that, in our circumstances.

While you're there... if our holding tank macerator is simply clogged with uric crystals (it's a freshwater system, no saltwater to worry about), would something like CH dumped in there as a rinse -- ideally gravity-fed from the tank into the hose that feeds the pump and then down into the pump itself -- maybe free up the macerator? Or some other product? (Assuming it's just stuck?)

I'm thinking it'd be easy while were on the hard this year to actually run that pump, and collect all the outflow in a bucket or some such, if the pump would actually spin. If that were to work, I wouldn't have to do much of anything else to our system (aside from a better rinse regime) if the HNT option turns out to be too big a leap this year.

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Old 03-06-2016, 03:09 PM   #18
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...if our holding tank macerator is simply clogged with uric crystals (it's a freshwater system, no saltwater to worry about), would something like CH dumped in there as a rinse...

As is true of most problems, prevention is a lot easier than cure. Urine crystal buildup is the result of using too little flush water and/or failing to run clean water through the macerator pump after use.

If your toilet is a VacuFlush, you aren't leaving the pedal down long enough...it needs to stay down a minimum of 3 full seconds after urine, at least 7 full seconds after solids and/or TP to rinse out the hoses and the pump the pump... A bowlful of clean water flushed through once a day, a cupful of distilled white vinegar once a week while aboard or before the boat will sit. Wait 45 minutes, then follow with a full bowl of water to rinse it out.

If it's any other toilet, a daily bowlful of clean water and a weekly cupful of white vinegar followed by a bowlful of rinse water after 45 minutes.

As for your PuraSan installation, if you want to be sure it's done right the first time, I'd go with a Raritan servicing dealer...in your waters that would be Annapolis Harbor Boatyard 410-268-0092
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Old 03-06-2016, 03:18 PM   #19
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Thanks, Peggie. Appreciate the tip to Annapolis Harbor; the Raritan folks suggested Kompletely Kustom, but I haven't heard back from them yet.


Ours is a Jabsco Quiet Flush... but I can agree, the overboard discharge macerator (the one that's failed, not the one on the toilet) suffers because it doesn't ever get rinsed... because it almost never gets used, since we're almost always inshore.


I think I've used it probably only 5-6 times in the past 10 seasons... not enough exercise. Now, it just trips the breaker right away, even after I manually rotate the impeller shaft a bit.


Anyway, that's the one I'm wondering if I can maybe free up with some kind of solution or other liquid product. Enough to get it to run by itself. Since I'm still on the hard just now, I have an opportunity to open that thru-hull and run the thing briefly (although I know that'll be a slightly messy process, need a catch bucket, etc.).


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Old 03-06-2016, 05:15 PM   #20
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Raritan CH should work...for $113/gallon, it BETTER work! Sew Clean is the same thing for $77/gal, which is still a lot to spend--plus the price of a new impeller only to find out that's not all that's preventing the macerator pump from working. IMO, you'd come out way ahead replacing the pump...or, considering how little use it can get, removing it altogether.
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