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Old 04-25-2011, 10:45 AM   #21
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RE: Head Flush - Raw water vs Fresh water

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markpierce wrote:
On an extended off-shore cruise, I'd opt for a bucket and avoid using a toilet dependent upon fresh water.
*Why not spec out a toilet for your new boat that can use both? Flush with sea water offshore (where the water is a lot cleaner and less "organic" anyway)...switch to fresh water in coastal waters.*

I know the "Sea Fresh System" can be added to the Raritan Elegance* Raritan Elegance toilet ...and I THINK it can be added to any toilet that's designed to use pressurized flush water.* It just can't be added to a sea water toilet.

*

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Old 04-25-2011, 10:53 AM   #22
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RE: Head Flush - Raw water vs Fresh water

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*Why not spec out a toilet for your new boat that can use both?**
******* Good info....didn't know such a system was available.

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Old 04-26-2011, 04:38 AM   #23
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RE: Head Flush - Raw water vs Fresh water

In homes there is a good reason that waste systems require a vacume breaker in any feed that goes to waste water.

A solenoid might work , but I have no idea on different failure modes , and pumping only a bit of black water into your FW tank could be a big medical bill.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:30 AM   #24
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RE: Head Flush - Raw water vs Fresh water

One way of using any existing head with fresh water flushing.* Is to install an inexpensive poly water tank dedicated to the head only.

Impossible to cross contaminate and also no loss of water capacity due to head use.

It would require a little effort to install properly, but even if you eventually bought a new head it would still be usable.

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Old 04-26-2011, 08:59 AM   #25
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RE: Head Flush - Raw water vs Fresh water

You'd need more than just a vacuum breaker to prevent bacteria from migrating into the fresh water plumbing. It's also important to remember that sea water toilets are designed to PULL water into the pump....pressurized fresh water PUSHES water through the pump. There is no intake pump...a solenoid valve (not the same type as the solenoid valve in a vacuum breaker) in the intake opens and closes to ALLOW water to flow into the toilet...like opening a faucet and closing it.

A separate flush water tank isn't that simple actually...it must be totally separate from the potable water system...separate fill, separate vent...so there can be no cross-contamination.

By the time you do all the surgery required to turn a sea water toilet into one that can use freshwater, you'd spend almost as much as a new toilet.

99% of sea water odor problems are caused by sea water left to sit and stagnate in the head intake while boat sits...and just pouring fresh water into the bowl can't solve that problem because what's in the bowl only goes through the discharge pump and down the discharge line, it isn't recirculated (thank God!) through the intake. There's a very simple--and very inexpensive--solution that problem: a y-valve in the head sink drain line with a line off it that also tees into the head intake line. To rinse the sea water out of the WHOLE system, simply turn the y-valve to open the sink drain to the head intake line....fill the sink with clean water...flush. The toilet will pull the water out of the sink. If your sinks drain below the waterline (as they do on most sailboats, but not on most powerboats), you don't even need a y-valve...just tee the head intake line into the head sink drain line below the waterline. The toilet and the sink will work just fine, although you'd have to keep a plug in the sink to flush the toilet with sea water . Just close the seacock to fill the sink to flush with fresh water.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:47 AM   #26
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RE: Head Flush - Raw water vs Fresh water

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Not sure how I managed to leave that out...weekly. Doesn't need to be any more often...less frequently doesn't do much good. And before anyone asks, vinegar will not harm a LectraSan/ElectroScan. In fact, can actually extend the time between cleaning.
*Peggy,

I haven't read my LectraSan manual for a while but I don't remember any cleaning instructions in there.* Are you talking about removing the electrode, cleaning and replacing it?

*
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:40 PM   #27
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Hi, new guy here. Just bought a MT Trawler and am learning the ropes so to speak. I have been reading all the comments about fresh water flushing and thought I'd ask...I have a gray water tank for the shower that has a sump pump and am thinking of utilizing the gray water for a fresh water toilet flush. Will reroute the drain hose from the sink and maybe raise the float level in the tank just a bit to ensure an adaquate amount of water for flushing. The gray water doesnt stink now, and I supposed it would be fairly easy to keep some kind of order/cleaning solution in the tank if it became necessary. Seems like a good idea to me, but I may be overlooking something...what do you think?
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:51 PM   #28
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Unfortuantely the person who can best answer your question, Peggy Hall, has retired from internet forum participation. However she said that she will still answer e-mails, so if you can find her address--- try the T&T list archives unless someone here happens to have it--- I'm sure she will give you the benefit of her long experience with all aspects of marine sanitation.

I'm not sure your idea is a good one but I don't have the knowledge or experience to definitively say why. So try to get hold of Peggy.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:57 PM   #29
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Thanks Marin, I'll see about getting her email...
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:06 PM   #30
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The problem with sea water flush is that if you don't use the toilet for a while the water in the flush lines starts to stink. All kinds of organism in there die off. It's not a problem if the toilet is in daily use.

On our previous boat we used sea water while cruising, but if the boat spent any time in a marina not being used we changed to fresh water flush.

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Old 05-07-2012, 09:26 PM   #31
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Thanks Marin, I'll see about getting her email...
You can try sending her a Private Message through this forum. Although retired she may still have them still set to automatically forward to her email address. HeadMistress is her user name. May be worth a shot?
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:28 PM   #32
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I wasn't going to comment but I wasn't aware Peggy had retired from the forum although I'd noticed she hadn't posted in quite a while.

I"M NO EXPERT HERE. But the first thing that came to mind, from my outlaws [brother I.L.], experience is HAIR will jam and foul up a lot of things. It's tough and stringy and may foul the toilet valves, plug the toilet bowl rim holes and may cause trouble in the holding tank with the pumpout. Shower soap may not help either although I expect that particular item can be gotten around.

If the smell of old seawater after non use weekend to weekend is the trouble I have taken to pouring a kettle full , cold water, into the toilet and flushing that through so no seawater is left in the bowl. Smell gone.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:29 PM   #33
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Thank You Peggy from here and the other Forums you have participated on.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:48 PM   #34
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I wasn't going to comment but I wasn't aware Peggy had retired from the forum although I'd noticed she hadn't posted in quite a while.
She made this announcement on the Grand Banks owners forum a month or so ago. I dont know if she made similar posts to the other forums she participated in, but her post to the GB forum referenced retiring from ALL internet forum participation, not just the GB forum. Her reason was that it is very time consuming and after many years of doing this she felt it was time to use her time for other things.

Considering how much time and effort she put into perusing forums, contributing to threads, and writing up her advice--- in many cases for probably the thousandth time--- and helping all of us out in countless ways, it certainly seems to me that she well deserves to use her time for herself now.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:49 PM   #35
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Hi, new guy here. Just bought a MT Trawler and am learning the ropes so to speak. I have been reading all the comments about fresh water flushing and thought I'd ask...I have a gray water tank for the shower that has a sump pump and am thinking of utilizing the gray water for a fresh water toilet flush. Will reroute the drain hose from the sink and maybe raise the float level in the tank just a bit to ensure an adaquate amount of water for flushing. The gray water doesnt stink now, and I supposed it would be fairly easy to keep some kind of order/cleaning solution in the tank if it became necessary. Seems like a good idea to me, but I may be overlooking something...what do you think?
Thimk that one through a little more.

A fresh water head expects (needs) pressurized water to operate. The water in your shower sump is not pressurized. Your "sump pump" will not provide this pressure, you will have to install a different type of pump. You will also have to filter out the hair and soap scum ahead of the pump.

I don't know about you and your boat, but we don't use enough water showering to meet our flushing needs. And we shower outside in the cockpit when possible to minimize cleanup. Or in the marina facilities.

With a standard fresh water flush head, you just poop and flush. No complications like taking a shower beforehand. Same with a raw water flush. Why complicate things?
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:57 PM   #36
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MYMT, I think you are just asking for trouble using grey water to flush a marine toilet, hair and soap will eventually gum up the works. Since the boat is new to you why don't you live with the sea water flush for a while and see how you like it?A lot of people are perfectly happy with sea water flushing. If you decide you want a fresh water flush, you can install a dedicated water tank for your existing toilet or buy a marine toilet that is designed to flush using your pressurized water system. Don't connect any toilet to your potable water system unless it was designed for that use. You need three books for your boat, Chapman, Nigel Calder and Peggy Hall.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:05 PM   #37
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Our '73 boat has salt water flush for both heads and it works just fine. No odor problems and using them does not deplete our fresh water supply, not that that would be an isue in the local cruising we do right now. But if the day comes we can take several month cruises up the Passage to SE Alaska, conserving our fresh water during some stretches of the run would be important.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:55 AM   #38
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Peggy published a book on the subject of marine toilets,see if you can search it out, though your question is very specific and may not be dealt with. BruceK
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:15 PM   #39
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I think I found the smell problem. The line feeding seawater to the toilet from the through hull is 3/4 IO but all the sludge that has built up in it makes it barely 3/8!
The water coming up through all that sludge is what stunk so bad. I'll be changing out that line tomorrow. Thanks for the comments though, I appreciate the folks taking the time to try and help. So much to learn...
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:29 PM   #40
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MYMT

I had a pleasant email exchange with the now retired Peggie Hall(aka HeadMistress) last night. She lurked a look at your question about gray water on this thread last night and stated it would be a very bad idea to summarize our exchange.

She stated that anyone that wishes to pick her mind about a marine sanitation issue they are having on their boat can contact her directly through email and she will do her best to help you through it. She just has no more desire to work the forums 2 to 4 hours a day anymore.

If you(or anyone else) can not locate her email address please send me a pm and I will send it to you.
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