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Old 03-31-2013, 08:15 AM   #1
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Holding tank hoses

I have to remove my holding tank. The hardest part will be disconnecting the hoses. Any tips on making it easier.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:31 AM   #2
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I have to remove my holding tank. The hardest part will be disconnecting the hoses. Any tips on making it easier.
1. Surgical mask, goggles, rubber gloves. Don,t want any misplaced splatters hitting sensitive facial or other areas.
2. Big and little buckets to capture any falling goo. Plus a few plastic bags.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:52 AM   #3
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Hello Pokey2
I had to remove my holding tank in the fall as it was leaking. Horrendous job.

Surgical mask - not enough. Use an organic cartridge respirator.

Unless your boat is brand new, or very small, the bottom of the tank will be full of "solids", making it very heavy. I had to cut a hole in mine, reach in, and scoop them out. Fun times.

The easiest way to get the hoses out is one of those oscillating multi-tool gizmo's as it gets in tight places and slices through hose like butter.

You want the Admiral at home while you do this or she will never set foot on the boat again :-)

Good Luck (You'll need it)

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Old 03-31-2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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Er, don't forget to empty it.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:32 AM   #5
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What I have done is pour clorox in the hoses let sit for and flush thu a couple of times to clear the hose and cut the odor. Then wet vac the hose to get as much out as possible, and cap the ends. Do this over a weeks period of time so. Could also pour some stink pretty down the hose and also pour.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:34 AM   #6
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tank was flushed and emptied in fall. I would rather not cut the hoses if possible. I remember disconnecting the hose from the toilet and it was a pain. The hoses are so stiff and not easy to reach. Is there a secret way to get the hose off the fitting.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
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Come on people, it's not that bad. Plumbers deal with this sort of thing on a daily basis.

If you want to save the hoses, go to an auto parts store and buy a radiator hose removal tool for under $10.00. Ask the guy at the store to show you how to use it. While you're there, get some radiator hose grease to make it easier to put the hoses back on. A little heat from a heat gun helps with removal and reinstallation.



If you don't want to save the hoses, just cut them just after the tank nipple.

You can't have too much solids in the tank or you wouldn't be able to empty it. The outlet is at the bottom. If it exits at the top, there is a dip tube that reaches the bottom.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:42 AM   #8
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Heat gun will soft but try not to melt the hose when soft they will wiggle off easier. I would replace hose unless impossible to do. Good luck.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:13 AM   #9
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That tool is called a hose pick. Search for that and you'll all types and sizes. I like the one that bends back toward the handle, since you can get a lot more leverage pulling than pushing. Heat gun will help too. Might be a good time to replace the hoses, if they're permeated.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:20 AM   #10
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tank was flushed and emptied in fall. I would rather not cut the hoses if possible. I remember disconnecting the hose from the toilet and it was a pain. The hoses are so stiff and not easy to reach. Is there a secret way to get the hose off the fitting.

Heat gun or hair drier to make the hose soft, to get screw driver under a.h spray lubricant under. Make sure the stays warm/hot

You might want to change hose. Connect the new and old hose, so as you pull the old hose out, the new hose is pulled thru.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:07 PM   #11
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Heat gun to remove old hose end at connection; Heat gun & dish soap work well to reinstall. Enjoy!
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:01 PM   #12
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tank was flushed and emptied in fall. I would rather not cut the hoses if possible. I remember disconnecting the hose from the toilet and it was a pain. The hoses are so stiff and not easy to reach. Is there a secret way to get the hose off the fitting.
Might consider replacing old hose while you're at it. Hard PVC where possible, and white flex hose for barb connections. White flex hose as used in dairy mik storage sytems is much less expensive then the white marine stuff, and I believe is comparable in terms of odor protection. For non-vacuflush systems, add "P" traps in the toilet discharge lines (water in the bowl).
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:08 PM   #13
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When I rebuilt my own plumbing and waste tank system last year, it was not pleasant, but a few of the ideas above with regard to flushing the system worked well. I removed 35 ft. of hose, three Y valves, and more than 20 hose clamps that only complicated a simple system. I can't imagine why it was plumbed this way, but you never know about previous owners and their habits. If you already have the system you want, then just replace whatever you have, but make all the decisions about adding or subtracting things before you complete the job. If you've got to get down and dirty, do it all in one unsavory moment. The only thing better than leaving the Admiral home would be getting her to do the job instead of you.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:36 PM   #14
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Heat gun to remove old hose end at connection; Heat gun & dish soap work well to reinstall. Enjoy!
Exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:26 PM   #15
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When we bought our boat, we quickly learned the prior owner had not maintained the hoses so many had solid buildups in them.
I would not do all of that work without installing new hoses, so cut them off - a PVC rachet cutter works great. Get 2-3 boxes of extra heavy duty rubber gloves from Harbor Freight. Put 2-3 gloves on each hand. When you cut each hose, put your palm over the end of the hose, peel one of the gloves back over the end of the hose and duct tape it in place.
The hose picks make a huge difference, usually you will not need to use a heat gun if you don't want to cut the hoses.
It is not as bad of a job as you might think.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:14 PM   #16
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There is a reason plumbers get paid the rage they do.... They earn it.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:37 PM   #17
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Oh, my, gawd. That's something for the boatyard professionals to do.

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Old 03-31-2013, 09:30 PM   #18
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Put 2-3 gloves on each hand. When you cut each hose, put your palm over the end of the hose, peel one of the gloves back over the end of the hose and duct tape it in place.
WOW!!! Best top-tip EVER!
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:18 PM   #19
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Oh, my, gawd. That's something for the boatyard professionals to do.


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Old 04-01-2013, 02:44 AM   #20
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After dealing with near impossible hose removals on various projects and trying everything from matte knives to hose picks, I was clued in by the shipwright we used on various projects "the secret." As others have mentioned, it's heat.

Since then judicious use of our multi-setting Makita heat gun has made child's play out of every subsequent hose removal project including a complete re-pipe of our aft toilet to holding tank run last year. We have never needed to use any tools at all, nor have we damaged any hoses we intended to refasten.

Heat also makes child's play of installing tight-fitting new hose on fittings along with the use of Lemon Joy detergent.

When working on sanitation hoses we first flush a lot of fresh water through the systems and then we pump out the tanks with the portable pump out carts our marina uses. The vacuum pump out pulls virtually all the liquid out of the system from the tank clear back to and including the toilet. So no liquid runs out regardless of what hose connections are removed. For odor control we put a plastic bag over the open ends and tape it. But I really like the glove idea in Henry's post so will try that next time if I can remember it.
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