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Old 07-23-2016, 09:04 AM   #1
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Using household plumbing on a boat

Well, about the plumb the Rose. Besides the actual pump for pressurizing the tank water and the water heater, can I use household valves and toilets? Pex for water lines and pvc for drain lines? I would isolate for example where the sink would meet the thruhull with a piece of drain hose but for the most part I would like to use ridged pipe.
Any thoughts?
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:26 AM   #2
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I am thinking of using household toilets. My toilets will be above the waterline and directly above the holding tanks. So I think all I have to worry about is water in the tank and bowl sloshing out. Two ideas: "flush valve" ("Sloan" valve?, I've forgotten) toilets (commercial type) with no tank, or "Flushmate" type, with a pressure vessel in the tank so no sloshing there. But what about the bowl?
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:34 AM   #3
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100% on the PEX. Great stuff for boats.

I'd use PVC sparingly. I suspect vibrations and flexing of the hull would be a problem.

Household toilets don't seem like a good option. They expect a 3" or 4" gravity drain, pressurized potable water and typically use a lot of water. Also, having an open tank full of water sloshing around doesn't sound ideal.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:42 AM   #4
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For the toilets, if you have a straight drop to the holding tank, RV toilets are the best choice. Simple mechanism, easy to install and maintain.

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Old 07-23-2016, 09:48 AM   #5
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For the toilets, if you have a straight drop to the holding tank, RV toilets are the best choice. Simple mechanism, easy to install and maintain.

Bill
The RV toilets I have looked at have two concerns: as they don't hold any water in the bowl, odors from the tank can escape, and as they don't hold any water, many come with a spray nozzle to clean the bowl after use. Don't care for that.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:56 AM   #6
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Household toilets don't seem like a good option. They expect a 3" or 4" gravity drain, pressurized potable water and typically use a lot of water. Also, having an open tank full of water sloshing around doesn't sound ideal.
The flow path through most household toilets is 2", and some are up to 2-3/8". Marine toilets are usually 1-3/4", which may contribute to clogging problems.

Flushmate toilets use one gallon per full flush (I don't know if any offer a reduced flush for No. 1s). Marine toilets offer reduced water usage options, but this also contributes to clogs. I don't think one gallon per full flush is far off marine toilet full flushes.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:57 AM   #7
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PVC works just fine in boats. It handles the vibration and minor boat flexing perfectly well. any place you use it it must have adequate "fall" If at any time the boat is stored in freezing weather and the lines are full of water, the PVC will shatter. It is an excellent choice in waste lines because it is impermeable.

Using a household toilet will not work. It uses too much water for one thing. Water will slosh out of the water closet and the water closet itself is likely to leak because it is not designed to handle the accelerations of a boat moving over waves.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:10 AM   #8
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The Dometic toilet in my RV has no separate flush wand. It flushes nicely with a ring of water injected below the rim. It lets you use a pint or so to flush #1 and as much as you need for #2. It has a secure ball valve at the bottom that blocks any odors. It does need to be mounted so it is a straight shot downward to the holding tank and it may be a problem when bouncing around in a seaway with an almost full tank.


I think PVC is fine for drains, but I would try to only use it above the water line and transition to hose when it is necessary to go lower in the bilge. It is subject to cracking under vibration and below the water line could be a disaster.


PEX is fine for fresh water plumbing- either with the screw on compression type fittings or the mechanical clamp ones.


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Old 07-23-2016, 10:19 AM   #9
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Using a household toilet will not work. Water will slosh out of the water closet and the water closet itself is likely to leak because it is not designed to handle the accelerations of a boat moving over waves.
See this:

http://www.flushmate.com/models/pdf/koohoo-T-3052C.pdf

Sorry for the Non-english, it was the only image of a one-piece I could find that shows the tank inside the "water closet." Apparently the tank fills from the bottom, trapping and compressing air above, which then "powers" the flush.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:23 AM   #10
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Well, about the plumb the Rose. Besides the actual pump for pressurizing the tank water and the water heater, can I use household valves and toilets?

Not a good idea, not only for the reasons already posted, but because a) household toilets rely on a siphon started by releasing enough water from the reservoir (which has to fed with pressurized fresh water from your potable water supply or by a pump to bring in sea water) and gravity to get it to the sewer line, and...b) marine toilets are designed to PUSH bowl contents to their destination (tank, overboard, treatment device). You COULD use hard PVC for any long straight lines, but PEX and other fresh water plumbing isn't rated for sanitation or below-waterline use.

The flow path through most household toilets is 2", and some are up to 2-3/8". Marine toilets are usually 1-3/4", which may contribute to clogging problems.

1.5" ID is the standard size for discharge hoses on marine toilets.

Flushmate toilets use one gallon per full flush (I don't know if any offer a reduced flush for No. 1s). Marine toilets offer reduced water usage options, but this also contributes to clogs. I don't think one gallon per full flush is far off marine toilet full flushes.

Today's manual and electric marine toilets only need about .5 gal water/flush and when installed, operated and maintained according to mfr's instructions, rarely clog. 99% of clogs are caused by guests...the remaining 1% are caused by owners who don't maintain the system.

The RV toilets I have looked at have two concerns: as they don't hold any water in the bowl, odors from the tank can escape, and as they don't hold any water, many come with a spray nozzle to clean the bowl after use. Don't care for that.

Dometic/SeaLand RV toilets have flush mechanisms identical to their VacuFlush toilets...step on a pedal to open a trap door in the bottom of the bowl and start flush water running, lift the pedal to add water to the bowl ahead of use.

If you'd like some help designing a trouble-free ODOR free marine sanitation system, give me a shout. Meanwhile, you might find some worthwhile information here: http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Bo...dp/1892399784/
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:12 AM   #11
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Pex is great for fresh water systems.

Pretty sure Sea Ray uses it and is OK with the NMMA. They use blue and red tubing and fittings for PEX so I can't imagine it's not.

As posted, many RV toilets are not open to the holding or flush system. I have one in my master, has worked flawlessly for 4 years with a macerator replacement because of a pebble in the rock salt. Can use any type macerator because it is down in the engine room and very quiet.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:22 AM   #12
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Pex is great for fresh water systems.

But ONLY for fresh water, not for sanitation, with the possible exception of the line connecting a toilet designed to use pressurized flush water to the fresh water plumbing...and I'm not sure it's even used for that. SeaRay used sanitation hose to connect the VacuFlush on my '85 340 to the cold water line in the head.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:58 AM   #13
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"The RV toilets I have looked at have two concerns: as they don't hold any water in the bowl, odors from the tank can escape,"

Perhaps if they are worn out , the usual lack of seal I see is folks closing the foot too early valve on paper , which then keeps the ball from sealing.

To not stink RV use the same under sink J traps as would be found in every dirt house.

With a std seal in the toilet , water IS held for no smell.

The RV head must be filled with water after installation so the overflow hole in its construction gets flooded.

The tubing behind this is S shaped and works as a J trap would to stop odors.

A Wand for an RV unit is so slide streaks can be powered off , rather than simply flushing till there gone.

The best trick for lowest water use is Pam sprayed inside the unit , and using the fill valve just enough to wet the bowl surface first..

Most RV have room for a 1 1/2 vent pipe thru the roof to service the waste tank, so most get loads of air and dont stink.

At 1 1/2 or 2 gals per flush the house toilet will fill the holding tank and empty the water tank at 10X or 20X the RV rate.

40gal holding tank or 500gal, you chose.

In houses plastic tubing works because the common water use is 100g a day.

This plus local water supply chlorine keeps the pipes fresh.

In a boat that might sit for weeks or months copper tubing will not allow "stuff" to grow.seems to work best.

Sadly 5/8 flair fittings are not cheap, but with a flair tool and tubing cutter any part of the system can be replaced worldwide. NO torch required.

5/8 is used so the FW pump can be tuned back to lower the pressure to save electric and still give a great shower.Big boats with washing machines and dishwashers usually don't bother.
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Old 07-23-2016, 01:03 PM   #14
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Potable Water Systems | | PassageMaker



http://www.passagemaker.com/channels...n-system-woes/


The greatest challenge for a sanitation system hose involves standing effluent. It’s not a pretty visualization, but bear with me. When these hoses are installed in such a way as to create large dips, low spots, or U-shaped bends, effluent will settle in these areas making life difficult for even the most permeation-resistant hoses, as well as increasing the likelihood of clogging. The best course of action involves eliminating such dips, and barring this, replacing them with sections of rigid PVC sanitation pipe.
A frequent location for such a scenario is at a holding tank whose fittings are located on the bottom or lower side of the tank (an undesirable design trait). Hoses attached to such fittings are continuously submerged in effluent, making permeation a veritable certainty. In this case, the solutions are: relocation of the fittings to the top of the tank and using a drop or dip tube, installation of rigid PVC or fiberglass tubing in place of the hose where it will be submerged, or replacement of the tank with one that does not rely on bottom fittings.
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Old 07-23-2016, 01:03 PM   #15
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Well, about the plumb the Rose. Besides the actual pump for pressurizing the tank water and the water heater, can I use household valves and toilets?

Not a good idea, not only for the reasons already posted, but because a) household toilets rely on a siphon started by releasing enough water from the reservoir (which has to fed with pressurized fresh water from your potable water supply or by a pump to bring in sea water) and gravity to get it to the sewer line, and...b) marine toilets are designed to PUSH bowl contents to their destination (tank, overboard, treatment device). You COULD use hard PVC for any long straight lines, but PEX and other fresh water plumbing isn't rated for sanitation or below-waterline use.

The flow path through most household toilets is 2", and some are up to 2-3/8". Marine toilets are usually 1-3/4", which may contribute to clogging problems.

1.5" ID is the standard size for discharge hoses on marine toilets.

Flushmate toilets use one gallon per full flush (I don't know if any offer a reduced flush for No. 1s). Marine toilets offer reduced water usage options, but this also contributes to clogs. I don't think one gallon per full flush is far off marine toilet full flushes.

Today's manual and electric marine toilets only need about .5 gal water/flush and when installed, operated and maintained according to mfr's instructions, rarely clog. 99% of clogs are caused by guests...the remaining 1% are caused by owners who don't maintain the system.

The RV toilets I have looked at have two concerns: as they don't hold any water in the bowl, odors from the tank can escape, and as they don't hold any water, many come with a spray nozzle to clean the bowl after use. Don't care for that.

Dometic/SeaLand RV toilets have flush mechanisms identical to their VacuFlush toilets...step on a pedal to open a trap door in the bottom of the bowl and start flush water running, lift the pedal to add water to the bowl ahead of use.

If you'd like some help designing a trouble-free ODOR free marine sanitation system, give me a shout. Meanwhile, you might find some worthwhile information here: http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Bo...dp/1892399784/
I bought Peggy's book some time ago (just before the new version, dang it), and I listen carefully to everything she says.

Having said that, household toilets are about the most reliable, trouble-free appliances in my life. From everything I read, marine toilets, not so much. And if the problems are due to guests or owner incompetence, well, I can expect both.
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Old 07-23-2016, 02:10 PM   #16
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PEX is great for the fresh water system. I like Sea Tech fittings because they are so fast and easy to install. Just shove the PEX in and you're done. No tools needed. You can also remove and reuse them easily.

Follow Peggie's recommendations on designing your black water system.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:02 PM   #17
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Whizzit that so many people have over-complicate simple projects???

The greatest challenge for a sanitation system hose involves standing effluent...when these hoses are installed in such a way as to create large dips, low spots, or U-shaped bends, effluent will settle in these areas making life difficult for even the most permeation-resistant hoses, as well as increasing the likelihood of clogging. The best course of action involves eliminating such dips, and barring this, replacing them with sections of rigid PVC sanitation pipe.

Or...just don't leave effluent standing in the hose...replace it by flushing plenty of clean water before the boat will sit.

A frequent location for such a scenario is at a holding tank whose fittings are located on the bottom or lower side of the tank (an undesirable design trait)...
the solutions are: relocation of the fittings to the top of the tank and using a drop or dip tube, installation of rigid PVC or fiberglass tubing in place of the hose where it will be submerged, or replacement of the tank with one that does not rely on bottom fittings.

It's not always possible to put all the fittings on the top of the tank...that requires at least 5" clearance above it. There should only be ONE fitting at the bottom of the tank--the discharge/pumpout line. The simple solution: hard PVC from the fitting to the top of the tank, then switch to hose the rest of the way to the deck pumpout fitting. Any y-valve or tee in that line to an overboard pump can be installed above the hard pipe.

Hey Cottontop...there's no rule preventing you from owning both editions. The new one is also available in kindle.
http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Bo...dp/1892399784/
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:11 PM   #18
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Paul as large as The Rose is and the potential length involved in waste run I'd use as much pvc pipe as practical owing to the huge price difference alone. It's fun as hell to spend other folks money but until someone can convince me otherwise I see no upside to a hose in place of a pipe.

As to 5" clearance above a tank that's not even a remote consideration on a boat this huge.
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Old 07-23-2016, 04:13 PM   #19
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There shouldn't be a long run from the toilet to the tank....6' is optimal, a couple of feet more only with a lot of help from gravity. If the boat is that big and has multiple toilets it may be necessary to install more than one tank.

edit: I just clicked on the Rose's profile photo...there's no way you should even consider trying to put all her toilets on a single tank.

It's fun as hell to spend other folks money but until someone can convince me otherwise I see no upside to a hose in place of a pipe.

There's a considerable upside to hose in a run that has multiple bends which would require breaking hard pipe to insert inline radius fittings.
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:06 PM   #20
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How to install a toilet in your house (never actually had to do this, because they are maintenance free and last forever):

1. Buy toilet
2. Put the wax seal down, more or less centered around the hole in the floor.
3. Set the toilet down over the wax seal and the two bolts sticking up out of the floor (all houses come with these bolts sticking up). This is the hardest part of the job, because the toilet is heavy, and you don't like having your face near the toilet, even if it's new.
4. Tighten the bolts.
5. Attach the inlet water line.
6. Open the inlet water line valve.
7. Surf the web for a while, cursing periodically to convince the wife it's a hard job.

How to install a toilet in your boat:

1. Read Peggy's book (It's not a short book) (and I bet the new edition is longer).
2. Spend endless hours learning about different marine toilets (are there "joker valves" on a household toilet? No.) and the problems associated with them, all of which require a plastic suit, goggles, a respirator and ben-gay under your nose (back-up if the respirator leaks) to fix.
3. Design the boat to accomodate household toilets. See number 1, above.
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