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Old 10-10-2016, 12:07 PM   #81
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My tanks are poly and translucent. The sensor kit I installed measures the potable water tank and the black water tank. The potable water part works fine. The black water part works fine if I scrub the wall where the sensor is (for a while).
The Noflex my be worth a try then.
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Old 10-10-2016, 02:33 PM   #82
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This thread has wandered a bit. The "overboard" discharge, in this thread, refers to pumping raw effluent overboard into the water, usually under water. Bad practice unless beyond three miles from shore. However, many systems are set up with a valve which enable tank contents to use the macerator to pump to a shore facility. Our boat has this capability, although we've never used it. The through hull is above water line and has a threaded fitting for a shore hose. A good reason to keep your macerator in good operable condition. Just my 2 cents...
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Old 10-10-2016, 03:20 PM   #83
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As others have mentioned, it certainly may be worth trying to use the Noflex approach to see if that can take care of the sidewall issues. Gemini Ltd has instruction for using Noflex initially on an existing tank. Essentially they suggest using 1oz of Noflex for every 10 gal capacity of the tank and use the tank normally. My only question about that is that it may not actually help with the upper side walls or, in my case, the top of the tank.

Something that I intend to is to pump out and rinse the tank as I normally do. This means that I will rinse the tank at least twice when I pump out. I will then go back to my home dock, add the recommended amount of Noflex to the tank and completely fill the tank with water from the dock. I will then let it sit for a while (a day or a week since I still am working 5days/week) and then going back to the pump out and once again pumping and rinsing. This should help with the sidewalls and the top of the tank.

Seems useful if somebody (like you) tries it and reports results afterwards.

My theory is that the problem with the normal daily treatment is that the sidewalls at any given point don't get any attention until the effluent level rises to that point... and then the Noflex is possibly busy doing more than just sidewall treatment. Filling the tank with freshwater first and then adding a massive dose of Noflex could well work like a champ... but I've not ever heard anyone say so from first-hand knowledge, and I've not had an opportunity to try that with our tank.

Several members in our owner's club report good result with Noflex, but there's usually a flaw in the report:
- Worked great on my hoses! (Did you visually inspect those hoses? No...)
- Worked great on my odor problem! (What was the underlying cause of your odor problem? I dunno...)
- Worked great on my holding tank! (Did you inspect your tank? No...)
And so forth.

One first-hand report, from me, though: When we bought the boat, the bottom of the bowl was discolored, and I wasn't able to clean that to my satisfaction. Some Noflex standing in there for a while did indeed turn that area white again.

Another first-hand report: if you add some Noflex to the bowl of an electric macerating toilet and then flush right away, it'll sound like ground glass going through the macerator. Dave Strank said he's not ever heard of that causing a problem, but it makes me cringe. I therefore usually let the dose dissolve in the bowl first before flushing. Dave Strank said the stuff will remain active "until spent" -- implying even if the powder has dissolved it'll still be useful once it's finally flushed into the holding tank. I hope so, but can't tell (our tank didn't seem super-clean last Fall when I was replacing our sensor). Might have been cleaner than otherwise, but I had no "before" to compare. Adding a BIG dose would maybe be best done backwards through the pump-out discharge, though...


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Old 10-10-2016, 05:42 PM   #84
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All very good points Ranger. I will reinspect the interior of the tank after I do it.

I can report that when I got the boat, I was never able to get a rinse of the tank that actually came out "clear". Despite repeated rinses I was still seeing what looked liked chunks of sludge in the clear portion of the pumpout nozzle. After using Noflex for the first time, I got a clear rinse on the second rinse. So this seemed to work well for me but I can't tell you for sure that it simply was coincidence that I happened to use the Noflex after the last rinse that completely cleared my tank.
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:56 PM   #85
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.......... However, many systems are set up with a valve which enable tank contents to use the macerator to pump to a shore facility. Our boat has this capability, although we've never used it. The through hull is above water line and has a threaded fitting for a shore hose. A good reason to keep your macerator in good operable condition. Just my 2 cents...
I have never seen such a system. The pumpout stations I have seen and used suck the sewage out of the holding tank. And the boats have a deck fitting that comes directly from the holding tank, not the macerator.

Putting sewage under pressure is generally not a good idea.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:34 PM   #86
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Wes, when a macerator pulls waste out of a tank, how do you think it sends it overboard if not by using pressure?

It's not uncommon for people with trailerable boats to use the macerator pump to empty the tank into the sewer line or septic tank at home through an access fitting. Never seen it set up to do that on larger boats except for those big enough to have tanks that hold hundreds of gallons and are fitted to connect to the sewer when at the dock. I first saw it about 20 years ago on a customer's 125' schooner when we tied up at Fells Point in Baltimore. Sewage tanks connected to the sewer, fresh water delivered by tanker truck.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:53 PM   #87
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I just checked our 1986 GB42 manual (as built). The above-waterline pumpout to an offshore facility, in addition to below-waterline and deck suction options, was added when the boat was being constructed in Singapore. So, Peggy, here is a first for you . It's possible that the original owner, who ordered the boat, requested and paid for this option.
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:09 PM   #88
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I have tank level monitors that don't work well. It shows me the tank is either "not empty" or "full". Yes, I will see if I can pull it out and see what I can do to improve it. My tank construction will not allow an exterior sensor.

If you can pull out the senders, you can replace 'em. The SCAD system has an internal sender...it's sealed in a PVC tube, so it never comes in contact with the tank contents, therefore can never become clogged.
SCAD Internal Sender Instructions

It'll cost you a little less if you buy it directly from the mfr Profile Tank Monitors

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Got one rom Ferriollo. Drilled a hole in the top of my plastic tank, glued the threaded collar in place, cut the tube to lenght, screwed it in, calibrated to empty and full. Works like a charm. No fouling.
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:14 PM   #89
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My macerator is between the toilet and the black[water tank. Is that unusual? Seems to be preferred. Best to have solids macerated before being sucked out for sewage treatment.
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:20 PM   #90
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Wes, when a macerator pulls waste out of a tank, how do you think it sends it overboard if not by using pressure? ........
It sucks it to the pump (vacuum). As long as the discharge is into space (the river, ocean, etc.) there is no significant pressure. Reduce the output of the pump down to 3/4 " and hook it to 25' of garden hose and you have pressure.
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:24 PM   #91
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My macerator is between the toilet and the black[water tank. Is that unusual? Seems to be preferred. Best to have solids macerated before being sucked out for sewage treatment.

I believe it's not uncommon to have one macerator between toilet and holding tank (especially for electric water-flush toilets) and then perhaps another/separate macerator between holding tank and overboard discharge thru-hull.

Yes, solids and paper and so forth in the holding tank has already been macerated once, and pump-out stations seem to appreciate that.



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Old 10-14-2016, 05:27 PM   #92
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It sucks it to the pump (vacuum). As long as the discharge is into space (the river, ocean, etc.) there is no significant pressure. Reduce the output of the pump down to 3/4 " and hook it to 25' of garden hose and you have pressure.

??

Our overboard macerator won't pump-out underwater without some sort of outward-bound pressure. If the thru-hull is left open and the macerator is not running, the holding tank will fill up with raw/sea water (inward-bound pressure, at least until reaching the equilibrium point).

??

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Old 10-14-2016, 05:32 PM   #93
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??

Our overboard macerator won't pump-out underwater without some sort of outward-bound pressure. If the thru-hull is left open and the macerator is not running, the holding tank will fill up with raw/sea water (inward-bound pressure, at least until reaching the equilibrium point).

??

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Mine is not like yours. Mine pumps out overboard above the waterline with no seacock. If your holding tank fills with seawater, I think there's a problem.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:16 PM   #94
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?? Our overboard macerator won't pump-out underwater without some sort of outward-bound pressure. If the thru-hull is left open and the macerator is not running, the holding tank will fill up with raw/sea water (inward-bound pressure, at least until reaching the equilibrium point). ??-Chris
There's no problem...Chris just provided the perfect illustration of the reason why it's long been a "rule of thumb" that, unless the entire tank is above waterline and plumbed to drain via gravity, any below-waterline discharge thru-hull should always be kept closed except when actually dumping the tank. In fact, it's always been considered a good "rule of thumb" to keep ALL below waterline thru-hulls closed except when in use, but one that's largely ignored these days.

Wes, a macerator pump impeller simultaneously pulls AND pushes--IMPELS liquid through the pump (which is why it's called an impeller). A diaphragm pump--manual or electric also pulls and pushes liquid simultaneously. Electric toilets have two impellers---an intake impeller that simultaneously pulls in flush water and pushes it to the bowl and a discharge impeller that pull waste out of the bowl and pushes it down the toilet discharge line.

A separate macerator pump in a toilet discharge line is NOT that common, nor is it recommended....for a bunch of reasons: A macerator pump moves waste at about 12 gal a minute...toilets move bowl contents at varying rates. If they aren't moving bowl contents at the same rate--which is almost always the case if the toilet is a manual toilet, it can cause a backup or cause the macerator to run dry, which even if only for a few seconds at a time isn't good for the impeller. If the macerator should decide not to run at all, nothing will get past it.

There's really no need macerate waste going into the tank OR coming out of it. Solid waste is about 75% water and is broken up pretty well going through the pump, so they dissolve very quickly in the tank. "Quick dissolve" TP also dissolves just as quickly. In fact, both solids and TP dissolve quickly enough that an "overload" of either or both that causes a clog will dissolve on its own with an hour unless the clog was caused by someone who flushed something they shouldn't have...in which case, it would jam any extraneous macerator pump if it hadn't jammed the toilet first.

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Old 10-14-2016, 07:01 PM   #95
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The "Clean Water Act" (Federal Water Pollution Act of 1977) mandated that boats must begin holding or treating toilet waste on Jan 1 1980. So in anticipation of this, the engineers at Jabsco immediately began brainstorming ways to empty a tank at sea...and came up with this one which, as the photo shows, was designed to be installed on the side deck... The larger opening was intended to be the pumpout fitting...the smaller one the discharge for the macerator pump. It quickly became evident that turning a macerator pump into a water cannon was NOT gonna work! Turning on the macerator if nobody had thought to make sure that side of the boat was the lee side in even the lightest breeze had predictable consequences...and there were a number of other blow up disasters. Apparently they also tried putting it in the side of a boat, 'cuz I saw one installed in the side of a Grand Banks (the current owner had no idea what it was), but that didn't work either. So it was back to the drawing board for the engineers at Jabsco....

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Old 10-14-2016, 07:06 PM   #96
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Got one from Ferriollo. Drilled a hole in the top of my plastic tank, glued the threaded collar in place, cut the tube to lenght, screwed it in, calibrated to empty and full. Works like a charm. No fouling.
Why was it necessary to use an internal sensor in a plastic tank instead of the external sender designed to go on the outside of any tank material except metal and wood backed fiberglass?

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Old 10-14-2016, 07:14 PM   #97
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I just checked our 1986 GB42 manual (as built). The above-waterline pumpout to an offshore facility, in addition to below-waterline and deck suction options, was added when the boat was being constructed in Singapore. So, Peggy, here is a first for you . It's possible that the original owner, who ordered the boat, requested and paid for this option.
If so, I'd bet real money that either the original owne--or perhaps it was installed by a later owner--berthed the boat in a private dock at his home or somewhere where he had access to the sewer line.

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Old 10-15-2016, 03:15 AM   #98
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Why was it necessary to use an internal sensor in a plastic tank instead of the external sender designed to go on the outside of any tank material except metal and wood?
When I had our holding tank replaced, I opted not to use a monitor such as a SeaLand Tank Watch which can become inoperable from sludge building up on the verticle slides. I opted for stick-on sensors (SeeLevel, Garnet Industries) before the tank was installed but, unfortunately, the monitor did not work reliably. With the tank being installed such that I do not have access to any of the sidewalls, I was forced to go to Plan B. I opted to use Ferriollo's sensor in a one-inch PVC tube. It works. I'm happy. Installation through the top of the tank was quite simple. I am not trashing the SeeLevel product. I think it didn't work because the tank installer taped the wire leads over the sensors which is specifically advised against and, since I no longer had access to the sidewalls, I could not fix the error.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:51 AM   #99
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Not to sidetrack the thread, but speaking of "discharge", this happened in Sept of this year:

"As a result, city officials said, over the course of roughly 10 days, the St. Petersburg authorities released 136 million to 151 million gallons of partly treated raw sewage..."

And that was just St. Pete...Tampa did the same thing. A quick google search will show that Long Island sound suffers the same fate, at least to some degree. A friend and long time boater in that area said that it's no secret...and anyone in the area can always tell it happens after every big storm. He said there was plenty of "visual evidence" to back up his claim, and his Admiral agreed.

At a holding tank size of 50gal, that's roughly the equivalent of 300,000 boats all discharging at the same time.

It's discouraging when individuals are so diligent in handling their waste, and can get heavily fined when they don't, to see government officials take actions which erase all of that effort over the course of a few weeks. And this was just one instance.

We now return to our normally scheduled programming.
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:11 AM   #100
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"A quick google search will show that Long Island sound suffers the same fate, at least to some degree."


It used to happen quite often both on LI sound and near any larger NYC treatment plants. But now there is not often a problem due to some pretty extensive ($$) changes to treatment plants in both holding capacity and treatment techniques.
What many do not realize until they look is the affect that larger cruise ship destinations can have on this subject.
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