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Old 04-15-2015, 03:04 PM   #1
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Pump out problem

Marina came down to pump me out. Could only get a little foam and small Amt of liquid out. They gave up leaving me with full waste tank blaming it on low tide!?!?

They have a remote system with a main unit at office and a remote unit they wheel down and connect to sewage access at end of dock.

Anyone else heard of this kind of shenanigans?
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:12 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. frg. Blocked holding tank vent would be my first guess OR, the good one, your pickup tube in the holding tank is broken off. I think I'll put off my visit for a while...
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:37 PM   #3
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The self-serve pumpout dock in our harbor does a very poor-- or no--- job of pumping tanks at low tide because of the height difference between the dock and the sewer connection on the pier above it. The pump is simply not strong enough. It works fine at mid to high tide.

However, this is a harbor with a tidal range of up to 12 feet or so. Fortunately the boat docks are all equipped with portable pumpout carts that work great so we never have to deal with the pumpout dock.

But tide can be an issue. So can a blocked vent as RTF suggests. So can a broken, cracked, pinholed, or corroded through pickup tube in the holding tank. The pump out system will develop suction only down to the first hole/crack/etc.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:15 PM   #4
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Pump out problem

Ok. Did some more research and called PO.

PO said he never pumped out. There are two toilets, both Raritan PHE II's. There is also a Lectro/San onboard.

From what I can figure out, PO has been using toilets and then turning on a breaker labeled "Holding Tank". I turned on this breaker, heard Lectro/San come on and then saw bubbles come out from front starboard side of boat. This is exactly where the overboard Y Valve is located. It seems PO has not used the holding tank?!?!? I wondered why the holding tank pump out access was so hard to open. I guess this also explains why nothing came out of the tank when we tried to pump her out.

I will follow up with a picture of the Y valve and how it is currently set.

Regardless, I think I am in a pretty stinky situation. Ugh! I always thought I was a shit magnet. Guess this proves it! 😂
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:28 PM   #5
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Low tide could be an issue in some places, but highly unlikely to be in Fort Lauderdale, where you are. You're only dealing with 2-3' tide depending on where you are.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Low tide could be an issue in some places, but highly unlikely to be in Fort Lauderdale, where you are. You're only dealing with 2-3' tide depending on where you are.

Agreed!
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:36 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr. frg. I would strongly suggest you move the Y-valve to the holding tank position and LOCK it in place or remove the handle ASAP. BIG $$$$ fines for dumping anything in the ICW.
Maybe the difficulty in attempting the pump out was due to the Y-valve position (For your olfactory well being, let's pray that was the problem). Baby steps my son, baby steps....
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. frg. I would strongly suggest you move the Y-valve to the holding tank position and LOCK it in place or remove the handle ASAP. BIG $$$$ fines for dumping anything in the ICW.
Maybe the difficulty in attempting the pump out was due to the Y-valve position (For your olfactory well being, let's pray that was the problem). Baby steps my son, baby steps....

Agreed and done!
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:58 PM   #9
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Now we will see if a) I have right valve ID'ed, and b) see if holding tank works.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:18 PM   #10
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Try it with water first.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:28 PM   #11
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Pump out problem

Ok. When I shut off what I thought was the Y valve the toilet - with just water - only flushed a short time and would not flush again. When I turned valve back water flowed in waste line. Seemed there was a lot of pressure.

More crawling and digging
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:36 PM   #12
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George,

Been there, done that.

Welcome to boating - if you weren't self sufficient before, you will be now.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:26 PM   #13
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George,

Been there, done that.

Welcome to boating - if you weren't self sufficient before, you will be now.

Amen to that!
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:42 PM   #14
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I would bet the vent is clogged.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:50 PM   #15
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Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByTrawler Forum1429145333.420677.jpg
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ID:	39215im learning! When ya got boat problems it's best to have a cold one and think the problem through. There's always tomorrow.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:58 PM   #16
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I used to have problems with mud daubers getting into my vent openings and closing them off for their nests when I was in the Palm Beach area. It's a bear to get them cleaned out. I finally changed all my vents to the screened type. I had the same problem with my holding tank pumpout because of them but no problems after changing the vents. Ben
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:59 PM   #17
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I was trying to pump out the other day and wasn't having any luck . I had just rebuilt my y- valve and that was not pretty . Took me a while to figure it out , but the marina uses cam lock fittings and one of the male camlocks did not match the female and we were not getting a good seal . I went thru all of their old camlocks and finally found a match that gave us a good seal . The marina attendant said he had been having problems for a while .
Your problem sure sounds like a clogged vent . Good luck . Before I started working on my y- valve I did several wash outs / pump outs of the tank . It wasn't as bad as it could have been .
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:15 AM   #18
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"I went thru all of their old camlocks and finally found a match that gave us a good seal . The marina attendant said he had been having problems for a while ."

Old boats have a 1 1/4 waste thread and similar sized ball.

The newer boats use 1 1/2 inch threads and ball.

Many marinas dont bother with the ball and adapter they just stick a flexible tapered suction fitting in the deck and pump away.

The 1 1/2 is the standard (for now) so a change out might solve cruising hassles.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:38 AM   #19
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If anyone suspects a connector leak might be the cause of problem (or just want to ensure a good seal) run some water from a hose over the connector / adaptor fittings at the boat.
It will prevent an air leak and can help troubleshoot by starting / stopping the flooding you will generally hear the leak start/stop
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:53 PM   #20
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Found the holding tank. Tiny thing- about 14.5 gal.

Drawing out the waste system now. I'll post it up when done. Maybe it'll help someone else
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