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Old 10-03-2011, 07:02 PM   #21
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

Peggie--- Since you are monitoring this discussion, is there a reason you can think of not to use a pressure washer on the inside of a one-piece molded plastic waste tank (25 gallons) to clean and break up sludge and whatnot? The nozzle wand could be inserted through the vent line fitting and then turned in all directions to clean out the inside of the tank. As we did this and the tank filled with water we would periodically pump the tank out with the portable dock pumpout unit. I can't think of a reason why the pressure spray would damage the tank but this is not my subject of expertise. Thanks,
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:00 PM   #22
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

Several years ago I was helping a friend take delivery on a new Heritage East trawler in Clearwater, Fl.* We were staying on the boat while installing electronics.* The heads seemed to just not flush.* The owner called the dealer.* He came down to check it out.* He found that dirt dauber wasps had filled the vent with mud. We were inside working on the boat when we heard the holding tank make an oil canning kind of noise.* We looked out.* The dealer had been digging in the vent with a pocket knife.* When he freed it their was a whoosh of foul air that over powered him.* He wound up down on the dock.* The tank had been distended from a pressure build up from gases as well as pumping more in.* The rest of the mud and no telling what else just enveloped the poor guy.* He said that it was the worst experience of his life.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:25 PM   #23
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

The last time I was at a marina with pumpout in the slip I pumped out as usual then brought a water hose from the "city water" faucet on the dock down to the holding tank I took off the inspection cover plate, about 6" dia, and using a garden type nozzle sprayed all over the inside of the tank. Just about all of the crud stuck on the walls and the bottom of the tank broke up, once I had about 10 gallons in the 45 gal tank I pumped out again. I plan to do this a couple of times a year. It probably willl not work out well at a busy pumpout station but fine in the slip.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:22 AM   #24
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

For folks that cant get a hose into the waste tank the RV solution might work.

Dump 10- 20 pounds of ice cubes into the tank and go for a ride.

Might be harder dropping them down a boats 1 1/2 suction hose that thru the 3 or 4 inch opening of an RV toilet, but it might be worth a try.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:30 AM   #25
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

is there a reason you can think of not to use a pressure washer on the inside of a one-piece molded plastic waste tank (25 gallons) to clean and break up sludge and whatnot? The nozzle wand could be inserted through the vent line fitting and then turned in all directions to clean out the inside of the tank.

*

Aside from the fact that it won't work unless you spend half a day and several hundred gallons of water doing it, no reason at all you can't do it that way.

Tanks should be flushed at least 2-3 x/season--and especially in preparation for winter or other extended layup--to remove any sludge.* And if you do it that often, there won't be any need to "break it up," it'll still be soft mud.

However, the water needs to go into the tank via pumpout fitting 'cuz that sends it into the tank at the bottom to stir up any sludge and hold it in suspension so it can be pumped out. It's not necessary to fill the tank, just add enough water to cover the bottom to a depth of a few inches...pump that out. Repeat, repeat, repeat...till you're pumping only clean water.* Then, if you have an overboard discharge pump, put some water in the tank one more time and turn on the pump to rinse it and that plumbing.* Once a year, put a gallon of LIQUID (NOT powder) detergent into the tank--you can flush that down the toilet. Fill the tank with clean fresh water this time...let it soak a day or two...pump it out, rinse it out.

Or, if you have a washdown pump and can go out beyond the "3 mile limit," there's an easier way:* the water doesn't have to be FRESH water, so use the washdown pump to put the water into the tank via the pumpout fitting...when there's about 6" in the tank, turn on the overboard discharge pump and let it run while you continue to add water to the tank.*

However, the most important thing is, do NOT allow the vent to become blocked! Backflush it EVERY time you pump out and or wash the boat. If your vent thru-hull doesn't allow it, replace it with one that does. If there's a filter in the line, remove it...filters cannot get wet.* So you'll have make the necessary mods to the tank venting to create the aerobic environment necessary to prevent odor, eliminating the need for a filter...'cuz not only do they cost a ridiculous amount, they only treat the symptom...they don't cure the problem. Instead they actually contribute to it!

And there's more good reason to keep a tank aerobic than just odor prevention. When organic matter breaks down AEROBICALLY (with oxygen), it converts to CO2, which is odorless.* But when it breaks down ANEROBICALLY (without oxygen), it generates hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide which not only stink, but are highly toxic--even lethal in high enough concentration.

Those gasses, along with methane which is odorless, but flammable, are what knocked out the dealer. Had he been in a confined area, he'd have been lucky to only land in the hospital...several years ago, a gasses from a ruptured holding tank in the bilge of a cruise ship killed two crew and hospitalized several more.* Those gasses were enough to knock out the dealer outdoors!

Holding tanks require only a minimal amount of PREVENTIVE maintenance,* which is a lot easier than cure.* Preventive maintenance doesn't provide any war stories, but I can do without those.

*
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:53 AM   #26
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

I ditched my charcoal filter and added larger vent lines per Peggys book I am happy to report with the added ordos chemical I no longer have any tank odor when flushing I put my nose right to the vent fitting and nothing Thanks Peggy
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:47 PM   #27
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Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

Quote:
motion30 wrote:
.......*I put my nose right to the vent fitting and nothing.....
*But would you put your lips on it and blow through it?


-- Edited by Tony B on Wednesday 5th of October 2011 10:48:30 PM
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:22 AM   #28
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

Quote:
HeadMistress wrote:
is there a reason you can think of not to use a pressure washer on the inside of a one-piece molded plastic waste tank (25 gallons) to clean and break up sludge and whatnot? The nozzle wand could be inserted through the vent line fitting and then turned in all directions to clean out the inside of the tank.

*

Aside from the fact that it won't work

However, the water needs to go into the tank via pumpout fitting 'cuz that sends it into the tank at the bottom to stir up any sludge and hold it in suspension
That is a parallel to cleaning a fuel tank by putting fuel down the filler pipe. It will clear a small area immediately under the pumpout pipe but by the time the water has moved a couple of inches away it won't have the velocity to do anything.

Sticking a pressure washer wand inside the tank and directing the stream on the sides and bottom will most certainly break up deposits that can then be pumped out normally and the amount of water required will be far less than flooding the tank several times in the vain hope of dislodging the crud that sticks to the sides.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:46 AM   #29
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

Quote:
HeadMistress wrote:
Peter, why not just back flush the vent every time you wash the boat...thus PREVENTING a blockage instead of having to cure one?
*That also would work Peggy, so I guess to be honest, I am not an obsessive about washing my boat, especially as until the extra wet past summer, when we got too much and suffered serious floods, we were on water restrictions.* Generally I think it pays most dividends to wash it down just before we are going out in it, so it's nice and clean for when we are on it, rather than after we came in, which many seem to do, but seems a bit pointless to me, as dust gathers in days again, undoing all that washing.* Also, the blocking only happens very occasionally.* But I promise you I will try to remember to give it a quick flush each time I am washing the boat.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:24 AM   #30
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Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

That is a parallel to cleaning a fuel tank by putting fuel down the filler pipe. It will clear a small area immediately under the pumpout pipe but by the time the water has moved a couple of inches away it won't have the velocity to do anything.

Unless the pumpout line is long and convoluted, a power washer or even a garden hose nozzle will put water into the tank with a LOT more pressure than any fuel pump.

It also assumes that the sludge is still "mud" that's easily stirred up...that you don't wait to do it until the sludge has turned into hardened material that has to be broken up.* The stuff clinging to the walls is, after all, mostly just animal fats, which are fairly easily dissolved in detergent. Any salts or minerals are easily washed away if the tank is flushed 2-3 x year...or at least you flushed out before the tank is winterized, leaving whatever is on the walls to dry out and harden. *

But if you've owned a boat for several years and have never flushed out the tank, even nominally before laying it up empty, getting rid of sludge and buildup is just about impossible no matter what method you use.

Peter,* your approach to boat washing reminds me of a 7 year old boy who sees no point to taking a bath 'cuz he'll just get dirty again.

The solution to watering restrictions on my dock was a raw water wash down pump. We'd take our boats out far enough from shore to be in clean water and use our dinghys to get to the topsides.


-- Edited by HeadMistress on Thursday 6th of October 2011 07:30:28 AM
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:44 AM   #31
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

Quote:
Tony B wrote:motion30 wrote:
.......*I put my nose right to the vent fitting and nothing.....
*But would you put your lips on it and blow through it?



-- Edited by Tony B on Wednesday 5th of October 2011 10:48:30 PM

* Tony

* I would not** but If you like......
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:26 PM   #32
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

"Peter, your approach to boat washing reminds me of a 7 year old boy who sees no point to taking a bath 'cuz he'll just get dirty again."

C'mon Peggy, that's a bit over the top, you've ben sniffing your cleaning chemicals a bit much methinks.* Do you wash your car every time you go out in it?* I suspect not.* Does it suffer BO if you don't...?* Does your boat stay clean for long after you've washed it down - if you have one - your comments suggests not?* Well I'll bet the seagulls and sea swallows and other winged and feathered varmints in the US eat, sleep, and defaecate just like ours here is Oz do, and they love to nest on my boat, (sea swallows, that is), but I have a cunning plan, and I'm gradually winning.* Also, let's not forget the dust and salt spray which is always blowin' in the wind', so boats tend not to stay pristine for long.* Which is why I prefer to go down and clean it just before we go out.* Works for me.....and it never gets BO....
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:54 PM   #33
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

I'm sorry, Peter...I assumed that you have a sense of humor and would know that the grin emoticon attached to my comment conveyed that it just a humorous a poke. My mistake...I apologize.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:10 AM   #34
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Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

Quote:
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I'm sorry, Peter...I assumed that you have a sense of humor and would know that the grin emoticon attached to my comment conveyed that it just a humorous a poke. My mistake...I apologize.
*No apology needed Peggy.* I got it all right.* I just couldn't let the opportunity pass to rag a 'headmistress'.* I guess it's* 'cause my sense of humour must be a bit twisted.

Marin, I can sympathise. We don't have a railwat yard, but sugar-cane farmers all round near here still like to burn off the tops before they harvest.* If the wind is in a bad direction...well, I'll leave it it to your imagination.* And yeah....where dose that dust inside come from...?


-- Edited by Peter B on Monday 10th of October 2011 07:16:45 AM
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:12 AM   #35
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

but sugar-cane farmers all round near here still like to burn off the tops before they harvest.

Same in Fl, simply open a can of paint or varnish , and watch the smoke rise in the fields.
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:41 AM   #36
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

Quote:
FF wrote:Same in Fl, simply open a can of paint or varnish , and watch the smoke rise in the fields.
*This must have been one of the days you opened a can. Photograph taken just a few miles south of your location.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:18 AM   #37
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

The powers of a can of paint or varnish are simply amazing.* Around here, all you have to do is put down a perfect mirror smooth coating of paint or varnish, and wait about ten minutes.* The rain will start, and you end up with a nicely textured finish.* On close inspection, you will see it looks like the craters on the moon.* If you change your mind and decide to wait, you will have a perfectly dry day.** Go figure.................Arctic Traveller
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:18 PM   #38
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

Any opinions on the Headhunter brand? I've been boat*touring and these cropped up.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:58 PM   #39
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

When I was working we used to make an sell lots of sugarcane harvesters to the farmers in Florida and Australia too.
Steve W
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:14 PM   #40
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RE: Head Problems ... HELP!!!!

Quote:
sunchaser wrote:
Any opinions on the Headhunter brand? I've been boat*touring and these cropped up.
*They're excellent high end systems, with a price tag to match the quality.* Headhunter brags on their website http://www.headhunterinc.com/index.html that they're "the only manufacturer to offer onboard installations and aftermarket support of our own products." Unfortunately they're the ONLY source of aftermarket support of their products....which is no problem if you own a megayacht 'cuz you can afford to bring one or more of their techs anywhere in the world to solve a problem. But a bit of drawback for the rest of us unless you happen to live in south FL.

When Headhunter was just getting started, their pres Mel Melinger brought one of their toilets to the Atlanta boat show...flushing pantyhose, pocket change, a Bic lighter and all kinds of things into a clear plastic tank to show how the toilet can handle anything.** He'd overlooked only one minor detail in coming to that show: Lake Lanier north of Atlanta is a NDZ...everyone was very impressed that all that junk could make it through his toilet, but how did Mel recommend getting it all out of the holding tank??? * Mel realized that inland lakes were NOT the right market for Headhunter toilets!
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