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Old 06-16-2014, 12:37 PM   #1
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Question Another Vacuflush Question-Yep again

My continuing battle. My boat has two heads, forward and aft. As most of you know the back head system was rebuilt from the head up to the pump.

Yesterday, the pump kept running. The aft head would have vacuum, but the forward head did not have any vacuum. So I ordered a new vacuum switch assembly for the forward head. The hose is old, so I am going to replace all the hose from the forward head back to the "Y" where the two systems come together. This way I figure it will all be new and should work for at least a while.

Any advice from the pooper experts?
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:19 PM   #2
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Any advice from the pooper experts?

Disposable gloves, trash bags and a very light breakfast the day you pull the hose.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:22 PM   #3
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Amen and lets not forget to flush lots and lots of water in the system before taking anything apart!
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:28 PM   #4
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I don't think it's the switch. Since you aren't building up a vacuum on your forward head, you most likely have a large leak. If you had good vacuum and the pump continued to run, then, I would suspect the switch.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:36 PM   #5
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Thanks Larry. I believe you are correct. I am just not hearing the leak and there is no water (or other fluids) in the bilge. It could be that the hose is just old and I have a leak in that part of the system, so off to WM to get some new hose........
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:46 PM   #6
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Good luck but don't bite your finger nails.
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:45 PM   #7
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You can use shaving cream to find the leak. Spray it on an suspect fitting or connection and if it gets sucked in you've found it.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:26 PM   #8
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I had the same problem and bought some flex seal advertised on TV and sold at local HD's and Lowes and sprayed all my fittings to the tank or any clamped fitting and finally got my vacuum to hold. A vacuum leak is hard to find and equally harder to stop but the flex seal worked great.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:30 PM   #9
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I had the same problem and bought some flex seal advertised on TV and sold at local HD's and Lowes and sprayed all my fittings to the tank or any clamped fitting and finally got my vacuum to hold. A vacuum leak is hard to find and equally harder to stop but the flex seal worked great.
Know that is an idea! I will put a can of that in my spare parts list for cruising...
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:39 PM   #10
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There is no need to go willy nilly chasing these issues, randomly replacing hoses and switches!

In over 6 years of living aboard full time, and very heavy use of the heads, I only had one issue with my VF systems (had three separate systems on board). This was due to an improper installation by a PO, which even though it broke several of Sealand's rules (they actually have a score sheet to evaluate the quality of an install). Even still it took 2 1/2 years to evidence itself. The other two, one which got particularly heavy use, I did exactly zero to the whole time.

I got on of their vacuum testers from Environmental Marine and it was invaluable to tracing down all the weak links in the system. I think it was about 60 bucks. Most VF issues come down to the duckbill valves in the pumps. Then the bowl seal.

What exactly is the layout of this system or systems? Does the head in question hold water? Do you have the owners and service manual? How old is the system? When were the DB valves last changed? Why?
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy and David View Post
I had the same problem and bought some flex seal advertised on TV and sold at local HD's and Lowes and sprayed all my fittings to the tank or any clamped fitting and finally got my vacuum to hold. A vacuum leak is hard to find and equally harder to stop but the flex seal worked great.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:45 PM   #12
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X2. A vacuum leak is very easy to find with the right tool. Covering a problem (and a bunch of non-problems) with goo rather than addressing the root cause, in fact not even to bothering to find the problem itself... oh well...
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:55 PM   #13
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Sorry but I have dealt with vacuum leaks in my experience maintaining and repairing HVAC units from 1 ton to 1200 tons. Vacuum leaks are not like pressure leaks and can be hard to find and frustrating to repair. Flex seal is a simple solution to a frustrating problem. If you have used flex seal you would know it is not a goo but is effective for sealing applications. A one micron vacuum leak will void the vacuum and cause the pump to run. You can double clamp and triple clamp and still have a one micron leak. I do not view this solution as covering up the problem I view it as a viable solution to a problem. My engineering background forces me to examine solutions and I am sorry you see other wise.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:59 PM   #14
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I dumped my new VF about 4 years ago for a Raritan Marine Elegance, I'll never install that 1 year old VF in anything I own. The ME is on it's 5 season and it hasn't needed any servicing. I ordered a new Raritan ME for my Gulfstar I expect the same performance from it that I got in my Mainship.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:04 AM   #15
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My engineering background forces me to examine solutions and I am sorry you see other wise.
Ah, you're an engineer. That explains everything.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:06 PM   #16
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Thanks George. I have the VF vacuum gage and will start looking at the forward head. I have no idea how old the system is, bowl holds water. From past experiance with the aft head I may have an old hose with a leak. The hoses for the forward head are easy to get to, so I am going to just rebuild the fwd system, with new hose.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:15 PM   #17
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Put some silicone sealant on the new hose when you replace them. Then, double clamp and let it dry. This should eliminate those pesky little leaks.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:45 PM   #18
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Well at this point (after I spent the money for new hose and a switch) the issue fixed its self, so for right now I have spare cruising parts and don't need to get my hand messy.

Taras, good suggestion...
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